From headlines to search rankings: A SEO guide for news and media

February 21, 2023

The SEO strategy has been used for several years to expand companies’ marketing efforts,  achieving organic traffic of digital assets in search engines. Between 70% and 80% of users focus on organic results winning the clicks vs. ads campaigns. Therefore, a SEO expert performs different processes, documents, technical optimizations, and improvement actions on the website. 

Nonetheless, what happens when we want to position updated content that evolves but loses validity more quickly than other content, such as the news? 

This article will talk about 3 of the most critical factors that must be considered when we want to implement SEO on media and reach the first positions in the search engines. 

How does SEO work in digital media today?

First, we must understand how SEO works in digital media. Positioning news content is not only a task of the SEO or the editorial team. In this activity, as in many others, a successful SEO depends on a group committed to the website’s organic growth. This requires quality, dynamic, and updated content. The commitment of the newsroom to the SEO recommendations is crucial, too. Creating a synergy between copywriters, journalists or editors, and SEO experts is essential.

A. Content types for media that works with SEO

Content means everything in the media industry. Not only does it help inform a massive audience, but it also helps tackle a specific group’s interest. For instance, the presidential elections could be covered with various contents: evergreen for a wider audience and breaking news for instant spectators. This is why correct SEO optimization and the choice of content type for media are essential to driving traffic to a news site. 

Bearing this in mind, the most popular content types are:

  • Evergreen content

Able to be positioned in the long-term future. This kind of content is vital in an SEO strategy because it never loses traffic; it is functional for any time of the year and is handy for building a significant amount of traffic independently of the daily news. You can create different types of evergreen content, such as guides, cornerstone content, a list of valuable items, infographics, and interviews. An example of evergreen content is who won the US presidential elections in Therefore, the evergreen articles must be optimized from an on-page SEO perspective (keywords, tags, titles, and subtitles) and be part of an active off-page SEO strategy to generate inbound links.

  • News content

It is the strongest arm of media content. SEO can optimize this kind of content with different technical on-page and off-page strategies that could even place it in the first position on Google news or Discovery spots. 

Main characteristics of news content:

  • The news must be of social interest and particular interest.
  • Current: the events must be present or recent.
  • New: Events must be unique, unusual, or rare.
  • Human interest: the news must produce an affective or emotional response in the receivers.


  • Live content

Useful to cover different events in real-time such as strikes, presidential elections, and concerts, among other special events. It is a particular part of SEO content strategy because it generates first engagement with the audience. Live content can be watched non-live, but the most value for viewers comes from watching it unfold live and becoming part of a collective witness to a cultural event of their interests. As a type of news content, it allows you to put your content into the Google news feed or top stories carousel due to the immediacy of the information.

  • Breaking news

This kind of news refers to events currently developing or last-time information, such as an explosion, a robbery, world cup results, etc. This kind of content will become in trend in a few minutes, and it is mandatory to have an SEO checkup with the following steps before launching to Google; remember that the first goal is positioning in Google’s top stories: 

  • Create captivating headlines.
  • Give readers helpful information at the beginning of the content (including SEO keywords).
  • Use synonyms of the main keywords throughout the news.

Breaking news content involves all newsroom coworkers due to the big competition from other news media sites.

B. Five effective SEO strategies for media

  1. Produce unique and original content

Even though we are talking about news those do not have significant changes, it’s essential to customize the content, making it relevant and original, following the ethical path of journalism. 

Remember that, in the end, we don’t want to be attractive to the search engines; we need to engage the users.

As general rules: 

  • The title of the content must not be false or misleading.
  • The body of the content must show detailed information and be genuine.
  • Use keywords in the title that describe the main idea of the new,
  • The content must be divided into ideas and subtitles; this will help the search engine to understand the content and also will be helpful for the lecture of the users
  1. Continuously Optimize the content

It does not matter if you wrote the best news if the users need help finding it when looking for it. So it’s essential to take into account the following key factors for On-page optimization for


  • Friendly URLs (logical structure + keywords)
  • Create meta descriptions and titles with keywords and focus on the new content.
  • A logical structure of titles and subtitles with keywords.
  • The images must have ALT images and ALT text; the photographs should be original and include the photographer’s name.
  • Add a page where the users can find information from the author; this will reinforce the reader’s trust in the news and the media.
  1. Create hybrid content

The media used to have a higher volume of news content than evergreen content, making their content pieces have a short useful life. Here we can find an opportunity for media SEO in which the creation of hybrid content will guarantee an attraction of recurrent users. Also, the chance to position the content in Featured news. Mixing new information with old news. 

With this type of content, you can have topics with a constant search volume and explore new formats such as:

  • infographics
  • blogs
  • podcasts
  • live interviews
  • Mini-documentaries.
  1. Evaluate technical SEO

It is crucial to consider the technical aspects of the website. This SEO for media is also for the search engines, and that’s why we have to check the performance of our website periodically. For this, it’s essential to make an SEO audit in which we must visualize and review the following items:

  • The loading speed of the website
  • Structure and organization of the content.
  • The correct tracking and indexing of the website and the new content in search engines
  • Broken links and pages with errors 4xx
  1. Improve the user experience in mobile

It is not a secret that nowadays, most people are connected to the world by a cellphone. Actually, 59% of internet users browse through mobile devices. So the media need websites that respond to mobile devices bringing an optimal user experience. To improve this experience, the main recommendations are:

  • Have a responsive design for your website which adapts to the multiple sizes of the screens of mobile devices.

C . Where to appear after optimizing SEO news

Google has different spots to show the news content to the audience. The most important thing is relevant and quality content; after this, the second most important is the technical adjustments:

  • Google discover

Publish content of interest to the different target groups. Google Discover is an artificially intelligent application to personalize content based on interest and searches for each user. Creating content based on your audiences interest is essential, and a mobile-friendly experience is essential.

Some recommendations that can increase the probability of appearing in Google Discover:

  • Write creative titles that reflect the content of the news (avoiding Black Hat SEO);
  • Have content related to current topics of interest;
  • Produce content pages that offer a pleasant reading experience on mobile devices;
  • Include attractive, high-quality images that are at least 1200 pixels wide.

Google Search Console has a specific report on Discover, so it is recommended to keep an eye on it to see if your pages are already showing up in that section.

  • Feed news Google

With Google News, you find global trending stories, which means that you should appear if you decide to write about the most trending topics at the moment.

To take advantage of this traffic source, you must submit a request. Google explains your website’s content policies and technical guidelines to be included in Google News. You can submit the request with the Google Search Console if you have these requirements.

Once the website is accepted, you must work with the same SEO principles of organic search, except that you must mark your articles with the correct category to increase their chances of appearing in this section.

  • Top stories carousel

One of the most coveted spots for new publishers, Google’s top stories carousel means significant amounts of organic traffic; every newsroom is working with an SEO expert and their  editor’s team to appear at the first carousel. A highly optimized title for this spot is prone to appear in the top stories.

Using the correct content at the specific moment or a content cluster to cover an event that will not lack organic traffic in a particular news site. Moreover, ensure the technical SEO strategies are included to appear correctly in Google’s first positions. Use quality and relevant content to appear on Google in the shortest possible time. Last but not least, remember to work side by side with your SEO specialist. 

At Globant, we care about understanding and implementing one by one these media guidelines, making the final product to be successfully ranked in the different search engines. 

We consider a 360° digital marketing strategy where you will find skilled talent and the right tools to achieve objectives focused on the needs of each brand, from content creation to search engine optimization. 

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