How to Use SEO in Digital Publishing

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Written by Matt Berringer

February 7, 2022

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the future of digital publishing, and sometimes it feels like entering the upside-down digital world of the Matrix.

That’s why you have a choice. You can stay in the simulation and keep believing that a good story is all that matters for publishing, but there’s also an alternative. Let us take you down the rabbit hole and show you just how much SEO can make a difference for online news publications and magazines.

SEO for publishers can have a snowball effect as you create new content and search engines like Google recognize your site as authoritative and trustworthy. All it takes to open a new world of potential readers are some crucial adjustments, like website optimization and including keywords in your copy.

This quick-start guide will explore four universal rules to help you leverage SEO to skyrocket your organic traffic.

4 Basic Rules for Magazine and News Publishers

Matching your content with SEO evolves as Google’s algorithms become smarter and more intuitive. Here are four major tips for publishers to rank well on search engines:

1. Focus on the Reader

It’s key to balance meeting the needs of content optimization for the Google search engine and your audience. SEO optimization is important. Still, your most vital job as a publisher is to understand your target audience’s engagement, desires and behavior. Google’s algorithm changes consistently, but their focus remains the same—Google rewards websites where users visit and dwell because of relevant content.

2. Practice On-Page and Off-Page SEO

On-page SEO practices focus on keyword placement, title tags, metadata and website load speed. The technical factors allow Google to index your website and give you high rankings on the search engine results page (SERP). Off-page SEO builds your authority by creating links back to your website on social media, receiving referral links from others in your industry and more.

Publishers can also pursue becoming experts at Google News. The key to mastering this algorithm is to present original reporting, information that the public would not have known without your article.

3. Avoid Recycled Content

Duplicating content may seem like a common-sense strategy on the web. You may have more than one website with its own separate readership where you want to share the same story. The problem is that Google flags duplicate content because it confuses users and the algorithm itself. Then, Google lowers your position in the search engine ranking.

4. Balance Your Subscription Model and SEO Best Practices

Paywalls are a significant way to control access to your content, yet it’s vital to follow Google’s rules for SEO. Google provides three options for paywalls: lead-in, metered and hard paywalls. The lead-in offers the subscriber part of the article but requires a subscription fee to read the rest. The metered approach allows the user to read a limited number of articles, typically three, per month before requiring a subscription. Hard paywalls reveal no content without a subscription, but they have no SEO rankings.

Create Interactive SEO-Friendly Content With nxtbook and PageRaft

As SEO and publishing become increasingly interconnected, the need for engaging content will increase. The nxtbook platform from Nxtbook Media can help you turn a PDF or any print publication into an interactive experience with animation and multimedia. PageRaft also allows you to build a digital magazine from scratch with responsive features.

Want to explore more about revolutionizing your online publications? Schedule a free demo of nxtbook or PageRaft online today.

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