SEO Tips for Digital Publishing Companies

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Lightning Media Partners’ main client group — digital publishers — demands a specialized approach to SEO. Unlike small businesses that have niche industries and tight keyword lists, digital publishers can target thousands of keywords each year depending on their industry. 

With the sheer volume of content publishing companies create each day, digital publishers have to approach SEO differently. These SEO tips for digital publishing companies will help you adapt your company’s strategies to modern industry trends.

Why is SEO important again?

If you’re reading this, chances are you work in publishing and already have a tight grasp on SEO. But in case you need a refresher, here are some of the basics: 

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an online marketing strategy where a website’s content is optimized for search engines using keyword analytics and key phrases. The better a website’s SEO hygiene is, the greater its chances are of landing one of the top spots on a search engine like Google.

As your company publishes content, search engines crawl each page looking for relevant keywords and data that could assist a user in their search. The exact process is much more complicated but, in a nutshell, this determines the rank of the page when a user enters a search query. 

Modern digital publishing companies often have entire teams of SEO specialists vying for the top spots in search engine result pages (SERPs). To get these top spots, publishers educate, inform, or entertain their reader base. 

7 SEO tips for digital publishing companies

1. Watch for unusable keywords

When writing SEO-friendly content, using optimized keywords is the secret sauce to ranking higher on search engines. While finding the right keywords is critical, it’s even more important to keep an eye out for keywords that may be deemed unusable. 

“Keyword aggregation services pull keywords from the entire Internet worth of articles about any given topic,” explained Jennifer Post, a freelance SEO writer. “If you’re a digital publisher with a tone akin to Wikipedia, keywords from blogs with very casual storytelling language aren’t usable for writers. It might be hard to pass SEO ranking scores if too many of the keywords are unusable.”

2. Plan out valuable, unique content

The best way to stay at the forefront and continually obtain organic traffic from your target audience is to consistently pump out unique content that adds value to your audience’s life. 

“Digital publishing companies who are trying to improve their SEO should remember who their audience is,” said Kaitlyn Blosser, founder of Blosser Marketing Group. “Once they have grasped their audience, look at the data — what queries are readers searching [for] and what pages have the highest engagement?”

“For content, use that data to answer the series of questions that follow the topic of interest,” Blosser continued. “Once you’ve determined the perfect topic, ask yourself … ‘Does this topic speak to my audience in the way they are searching for answers online, and does it provide answers to questions that may arise next?’”

3. Trust your writers

Once you’ve outlined your SEO strategy and curated a content calendar, the next step is to begin writing. If you’ve outsourced this process or have an internal team, it’s crucial to trust your writers, said Post.

“Writers do what they do for a reason,” she said. “Trust their judgment when it comes to SEO writing because they’re working with about four things, all playing against each other. As an SEO writer, I have to think about the reader and how easy my articles are to understand. I also have to think about each publisher’s individual style guide, meeting SEO scores, and also personally being happy with what I’m putting out there.”

4. Fully cover topic clusters

Writing content around topic clusters helps inform search engines about the content on your website and to find what’s most relevant. The most important thing is to be flexible, advised Post.

“Some elements of SEO are more important than others,” said Post. “The focus should be on putting out quality, correct information over using certain buzzwords that might not fit in with the desired style of writing the publisher wants to put out.”

5. Update content that performs well

There’s nothing worse than opening up an article that provides outdated information, forcing you to search elsewhere. SEO practices are critical to have in place for optimized content that keeps your audience on your page. Do you have an article performing well in your SEO efforts? Remember to take time to update any outdated statistics or facts, add new material, revisit the introduction and outro, and rewrite the call to action (CTA).

6. Audit the master keyword map

Understanding and tracking what pages rank for specific keywords will help inform your company’s future SEO strategies. This will also help ensure you are not cannibalizing content. Your keyword map should be able to guide your website navigation and make the best decisions to benefit your readers. Keep content fresh by doing an audit of your master keyword map to ensure keywords are still relevant even months later.

7. Share content with cross-channel promotion

Promoting your content across multiple platforms, including social media channels, apps, and email, can drive more traffic to your website. Use cross-channel promotion as a way to find out where your audience prefers to connect with your business. Then, use these touchpoints to develop a clear strategy that promotes website traffic.

Are you a digital publisher whose content team needs help scaling high-volume content creation? We’d love to talk about how our team can support yours. Request a discovery call or shoot us a message on our contact page.

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