Google News Optimisation – Increase Traffic and Build Links

As Google push to produce ever more relevant results for searchers, more people are searching using Google Images, Videos, Blogs and News. Google is driving this by including News and Image results on SERPs for relevant searches. Appearing on Google News tells both Google and searchers that your site is up to date and fresh. Come on a Brighton SEO Training course and learn how to optimise your content so that it shows up in Google News for the right keywords.

Google News: it can drive a lot of traffic and it’s amazing as a link building mechanism, but do you have the first clue what to do with it, or how to do it?

Google News Optimisation

Image by Spencer E Holtaway on Flickr

One of the biggest problems with Search Engine Optimisation in general is finding the right sources from which to acquire links – there are hundreds of promises out there in regards to acquiring search engine visibility, but the vast majority fall flat. The truth is, if you want visibility in search – the type of visibility which is going to drive sales (not just traffic) – then you need to put the time in.

One strategy which a number of my clients have used to good effect is Google News, which is a channel of Universal Search. Basically, if you feature in Google News then you will have the opportunity to gain exposure for your news items in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) for some rather high volume generic queries (the usual “takes time” approach reserved for link building isn’t as big a stumbling block).

Why use Google News as a promotion strategy?

Google News can drive a significant amount of traffic to your website – take a look at some of the bigger generic SERPs in your niche, and review how many of them feature news items as part of the results. With Google News, you can gain exposure around some very large generic queries.

However, that’s a bit simplified, because here’s the downside:

  • Google News traffic typically comes with a high bounce rate, that means they land on your news page, get what they want, and then leave.
  • News traffic is unlikely to generate much in the way of additional sales.
  • Featuring in Google News, if you’re a small business owner, can be a bit of a time investment.

With every downside however, there is an upside:

  • Featuring in Google News can have a major impact on your brand awareness within your particular industry – if users consistently visit your website to check out the latest news, then they may come back and buy something in the future.
  • Google News can prove to be a great link building mechanism, particularly if you write about topics people are interested in, or want to seed (link to). The additional visibility for your news items will make it all the easier to attract links to them.

How To Feature in Google News

Featuring in Google News isn’t exactly the simplest of tasks, here is what you need to be doing:

  • You need to publish at least two newsworthy and relevant news items to your site each and every day – the average word count can be as low as 300 words.
  • You need to have at least three writers contributing to your news section (these can be made up, although real writers linked to social networks hold more authority).
  • Each News URL needs to have a minimum of three unique digits in the URL (or alternatively you can use a news sitemap).
  • You need to have a base of at least three months’ worth of content prior to submitting an inclusion request.

While featuring in Google News clearly isn’t a no-time-commitment strategy, there are tangible benefits to be had from doing so – what’s more, it’s another strand in your link building strategy that when utilised, can deliver exception results.

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