The Internet is making printed newspapers less and less popular. Now that you can get your current events online, what point is there in subscribing to a paper? News websites are the way of the future. And they can teach us a lot about content marketing, too. Here are three of the ways news sites are rocking content.
- Being Clear and Concise. News stories are typically written at around a sixth-grade reading level. They report on all sorts of topics, from politics to science to business. But each of their stories is written so that the average person can understand it. Your content should be the same. Don’t get too technical when you write. Don’t use a lot of jargon that the average person won’t get. If you do have to use technical terms, be sure to explain them for the benefit of those who don’t know. This way, your content will be accessible to a broader audience and can appeal to more people.
- QDF. Part of Google’s search algorithm model is called QDF: Query Deserves Freshness. When you search on Google, most times you’d prefer the result that was just posted an hour ago, rather than the post that’s six or seven years old. So the sites that have been updated most recently tend to gravitate toward the top of Google searches. News sites get updated frequently, sometimes up to every few minutes. Then when you search for a particular topic, if there are any current events related to it at the moment, chances are your top results will be news sites. While your content probably isn’t covering the events going on around the globe, nor are you updating it every few minutes, you can still use QDF to your advantage. Post new, fresh content as often as you can, to boost your search ranking. If a story comes up that’s related to your brand, or that your audience will find interesting, follow it. Provide regular updates on what’s going on, commentary, etc. as soon as you have access to the information. Keep on top of current events in your field, so that you can provide fresh and unique content on a regular basis and remain on the top of the proverbial food chain.
- Using Hub Pages. So you’ve got the most recent content on a particular subject, and people are clicking on it. What happens when that content becomes a few days, a few months or a few years old? Without the QDF factor, how do you maintain your edge in the search department so that people will still find and visit your posts? News sites make hub pages. They’ll gather all of their articles on a single topic together and put the list of links on one page. That way, people can find that link when they want a wider perspective on a particular topic. You can do the same. Categorize all of your blog posts by theme (based on important keywords), and create a page for each theme, which lists and links to all of those posts. These hub pages will have a high search result ranking and be frequently updated by additions of future blog posts.
There’s much more that news sites can teach us as well. They keep their audiences up-to-date with everything they need to know. They encourage discussion in their comments sections. And they project an air of immediate trustworthiness and respectability. Studying news sites can help us produce better, more effective content that really has an impact on the world.