Google News has changed the way readers consume and devour news daily.
It has brought a massive change to the conventional way of skimming through newspaper pages and then finding the headlines worth their time and attention.
Today, a visit to Google news means an opportunity to get to read aggregated pages of news from various dailies, newspapers and sites from around the world.
With Google News, readers can even find topics of interest displayed to their personal interest. Quick and 24×7 updates are available and it takes a click to keep pace with the world around you.
Like readers, news publishes too gain a lot out of Google News as their information finds a broader audience without massive investment.
However, it’s not that easy to get your news features on Google News as it uses some unique algorithms and formulas nobody is sure about.
You’re never sure how Google news selects and ranks articles, apart from that factors like relevance, freshness, originality of the news finding precedence over other less vital aspects.
For Google News as well, the content is king and if you want attention from the most-widely available news platform, you got to know how to optimize your content well.
With proper search engine attention, you can easily boost the visibility of your news items on Google News and realize your conversion goals.
Here are some tips to optimize your content for Google News:-
- Conduct Keyword Research to Understand People’s Favorite News Searches
When you plan to start Google News optimization, the first step should be to do keyword research and find those news items people are interested in. There are some tools and features like the Explore tool in Google Trends and the Autocomplete feature in Google News that will help your cause a great deal.
Once you use these tools and features, it will give a better idea on what people are searching for in news or press release section. This will help you come up with the best possible answers for the hot and trending queries that readers have in their mind.
- Have Clarity and Brevity with the Headline
Get it straight, Google News continues to give a lot of weight to page titles when it comes to determining ranking. This practice continues on for years despite several revamps along the way. And you know the headline of your news (video, magazines and PR as well) works as their page title.
So, use clear and concise headline so that proper indexing by Google News is never an issue. With headlines, avoid going too much creative or stay away from showing word power. Try to keep it simple so that neither readers nor search engine algorithms find them obtuse.
- Give Emphasis to Headline with Subheads & Text Formatting
Yes, you can use subheads to add additional keywords that are not in the headline. With subheads, you can make the content or news more interesting to readers. Their presence can help users decide whether the news item is worth continuing on further. Plus, you can always emphasize key points in the article by using bold, italic, bullet and underlined text.
Since long paragraphs and sentences can put off readers, it’s better to break up the content into smaller chunks to make them easily digestible. And yes, you can pepper the news with some visual cues so that those in hurry-type readers can grasp the gist of the news quickly.
- Don’t Focus Much on the Length of the News Article
Look, Google News will never discriminate articles based on their length. That very much negates the conventional wisdom that says, ‘keep it short’ so that readers have it easy. Nobody knows exactly how long your content should be to be optimized for Google News. Rather, quality of content will hold the key in optimization.
Articles can be between 300 to 2000 words, even more, and Google News won’t have any issue with the length. However, optimization results will depend on whether the piece is written by a subject matter expert, whether it’s unique, researched, balanced, in-depth on a topic etc.
- Include Photos & Videos
The use of photos and videos can add value to your content optimization for Google news. Although Google focuses more on rich textual content, using images and videos can add more heft to your news for sure. Plus, you can find news items being displayed alongside relevant images to give more clarity to readers.
So, if you want your images to get paired with news item, make sure they are relevant, and they have schema.org to be the thumbnail to the article. Make sure your images come with standard file name extensions and they are sized to at least 60×90 pixels. And yes, use well-written captions and maintain reasonable aspect ratios with images.
- Add Meaningful Links
Adding meaningful links to your content can help direct audiences to additional content and serve your cause even better. The use of relevant and contextual links can help drive quantifiable traffic to the content and boost the user’s experience. Google gives preference to natural links (editorial placed links) while it can penalize unnatural ones not editorially placed.
For that reason, Google News only allows no follow tags to links in PRs which may not help with SEO but can still drive more visitors or traffic to the site. So, be ethical with the use of links and add value to your news content optimization.
- Track the Performance of Your Content on Google News
As a publisher, you should be ready to assess the performance and impact of your news or article to see where you’re heading. Google Analytics will help you conduct a deep analysis of not only your HTML but also AMP articles (for mobile pages). You can use Google site and track direct traffic to the site easily in case you provide content via RSS feeds.
Plus, publishers can also use tracking feature in Google News to get more details about the performance of their content or release on any particular point of time.