Running a news website is much more arduous than some people might think. These companies have to pump out large amounts of articles every day, which can be extremely stressful for their content teams. Besides having to be precise in their writing and editing, the reporters also need time to research and pursue a quality news story.

However, it doesn’t stop there. News portals also have to think about SEO and how their pieces will be delivered to search engines. Having too much content can lead to issues with navigation and duplicate content, ultimately affecting the overall user experience. Things are especially rough for a new news website that has to match the quality of other portals.

Often, the reason why a news portal has a low number of visitors can be directly attributed to poor search engine performance. Luckily, this is something that the MiroMind team can help with. In this article, we talk about the best practices of news brands and how they can present website content in the right way.

Why is SEO important for news sites?

Even if you’re a long-time reporter with sizable followership, there’s a chance your brand-new site will struggle to break out. Besides the competitive nature of the news industry, you also have to think about technical details surrounding your platform. For example, if you can’t reach people in Google News, you’ll never be able to scale your business.

This is where SEO strategies come into play. Digital marketing experts can make numerous improvements to your news site, allowing it to rank higher within search results. On top of that, they can make various improvements to your platforms, ensuring that casual readers become long-term followers.

What are the best SEO strategies for news sites?

If we set aside the usual things, such as link building and keyword research, there are lots of practices that can make your platform search engine-friendly:

1. Improve website architecture

Due to the sheer size of news websites, it’s crucial that you spend some time improving your sitemaps and browsing. These portals consist of an enormous number of pages and are constantly publishing new content. That being said, the ability to find specific articles is crucial for gaining and retaining readers.

Here are the few main things you can do to improve their browsing experience:

  • Adding a news XML sitemap is crucial for large sites. It allows crawlers to go through your content and present it within the search engine results pages.
  • Make sure to have a simple architecture. While news sites are notorious for having complex layouts, as they cover numerous topics, you should try to reduce the number of categories as best as you can. Ideally, a person should be able to reach any news article on your site in just three clicks.
  • Having solid pagination and classifying pieces on a per-page basis is another important consideration. As users will struggle to browse through all this content, you need to allow better browsing of subcategories.
  • Search bars are also important if a person is looking for a specific topic.
  • Linking articles to each other is a fantastic SEO strategy, which can improve user experience and, thus, your Google search engine placement.

Your main task is to help people out while they’re using your site. Having a wonky architecture can be off-putting, which can prevent you from building a stable reader base. Furthermore, search engines take note of user experience when ranking pieces, which further stifle your growth.

2. Improve technical aspects

Browsing is the basis of news SEO. However, we can’t neglect other best practices meant to improve site functionality and user experience. If you wish to address these errors, we suggest you start using Google Search Console, Screaming Frog, and a few other nifty tools.

Loading speed

If you want people to read your news articles, you need to have a fast loading speed. Large and complex sites with lots of visuals often struggle to open quickly. Luckily, most news portals already have good optimization in place that would allow the loading of numerous images and website elements.

Anyway, here are the main things you should pay attention to:

  • Image optimization
  • Reducing page code
  • Avoiding redirects
  • Using fast server

If you’re struggling with loading speed, there are a few tools you can use to analyze performance and improve it.


News companies require a responsive mobile site to succeed in the modern world. Given that the majority of readers access your news stories via phones, you can’t neglect this segment of the population.

The best way to optimize mobile pages is by using a responsive design. This technology modifies page structure according to the size of a screen allowing your articles to be properly seen on desktops and mobile devices. It’s also not a bad idea to reduce the number of elements, pop-ups, and menus on your pages.

Using accelerated mobile pages or AMP can also help out. It removes complex formatting from your pages, making them load much faster. Lastly, make sure to use a large font (16+) and add space between text paragraphs, lines, and other page elements.

Duplicate content

Duplicate content is a major issue for search engine optimization. Unfortunately, web shops and news portals are sites that struggle the most with this issue. Duplicate pages are considered plagiarized content by Google search engine and can get you in a lot of trouble.

Luckily, there are a few things you can do to address this issue. Aside from making your pages unique, you should also use redirects pointing to the original piece. However, perhaps the best solution is using rel=”canonical,” which will tell web crawlers which article was the original.

Of course, you can also avoid this problem by simply not posting duplicates in the first place.

3. Optimize for Google News

Unlike the traditional sites that are mostly reliant on organic Google searches, these platforms gain more from being featured in Google News. When you publish news on your site, you can get featured snippets resulting in an influx of massive organic traffic.

Here are a few tricks that will allow your site to reach the top spots in Google News:

  • Start by submitting your platform to Google News and verify that you’re the owner.
  • To be eligible, your URLs need to be very descriptive. Furthermore, make sure your articles are placed in the correct category, with the URL reflecting that.
  • Furthermore, make sure all published news has impeccable grammar and formatting.
  • Ideally, your site should focus on breaking news in your own country. Like traditional search, Google gives an advantage to local platforms that cater to their local audience.
  • It’s expected from news sites to have lots of relevant images. While a hero picture usually does the trick, it’s much better to have several other images made by your reporters on the field.
  • Videos can also help you out. Besides catering to search engines, multimedia can also improve the experience of the visitors, helping you gain more exposure in traditional organic search on top of Google News.
  • Your business website should always adhere to Google’s Quality and Content Guidelines. In other words, you should be careful when posting hateful, violent, or illegal content.
  • If you wish to get a featured snippet, you need to implement structured data for your site. Schema markup is necessary for news sites, adding a code to every news you publish.
  • Lastly, make sure to implement all other tips mentioned in the previous section.

As soon as you submit your site, Google will review your pages. Basically, as soon as you follow the previously mentioned practices, you shouldn’t have any trouble getting included.

4. Optimize and diversify your content

In a perfect world, you could simply create great posts and get massive traffic based on their quality. Unfortunately, this rarely happens in the real world.

News sites are especially tricky as most of their publications have a short life cycle and are short themselves. So, if you’re a brand new company, you should consider implementing several different methods to increase your followership during the first years. Here are a few tips on how to do just that:

Keyword research

New sites should have a similar approach to keyword optimization as other platforms. In other words, you should examine search trends in your country of origin and focus on relevant keywords. By providing people with what they want, you can gain a steady influx of traffic over time.

Most notably, make sure to create fresh news content all the time. Given that these posts have short cycles and people browse based on the latest publications, you have the chance to snatch some traffic from larger portals.

Evergreen content

Now that you have explored the most traffic-heavy keywords in your country, you might consider creating some evergreen content. Of course, these posts should be a small percentage of your overall articles.

The main benefit of having evergreen content is that it allows you to gain visitors even when you’re not able to rank breaking news. It gives some stability to your traffic, which can be important for advertisers. Furthermore, if you create a good internal links strategy, you might even get secondary benefits from these articles, spreading traffic across the site.


Whether you’re a news portal or some other type of website, you should always try to optimize your photos. Most people don’t realize, but this content gets lots of traffic over time, so it would be a shame to miss out on it.

In the case of certain events, people might focus more on photos than on articles. This would help convey the atmosphere of a sports game, music event, or political protest. Still, that doesn’t mean you should overdo it; like all other content, images have to be well-optimized to provide maximum benefits:

  • Add a description to every image so you’re eligible for rankings.
  • Try to compress them as much as possible so they don’t stifle the performance of the original article.
  • Find the right format, and adjust their size so they properly fit the page.
  • If necessary, merge several images together to save space.

Naturally, as you’re running a news outlet, people expect to see something they can’t see elsewhere. Avoiding stock photos and hiring professionals can go a long way in building your reputation and followership.

5. Build links

News agencies aren’t that different from regular websites when it comes to optimization. They still need external links and lots of quality signals to improve their overall relevancy in Google. This is especially true for evergreen content and other posts that have a longer life cycle.

Here are a few techniques you might consider implementing:

Guest posting

Like with any other platform, guest posting remains the simplest way to get quality links from other sources. Nowadays, most website owners require monetary compensation for this kind of service, but the investment will pay off in the long run.

Aside from linking to your homepage, you might also consider getting links to some of your evergreen content. Articles with short life cycles aren’t ideal targets for links, as they’ll quickly lose their relevancy for readers and, thus, search engines.


As a news outlet, you should definitely consider using HARO or Help A Reporter Out. This platform connects journalists with news sources, allowing larger news websites to feature other people’s stories on their sites.

While this might not sound like a good exchange, both sides are getting precisely what they need. Although the larger site will eventually overshadow your traffic, you’re still getting a valuable link that will serve you well in the future. On the other hand, the publisher gets a cool story without having to invest in research.

No-follow links

To build a healthy brand, you need to get as many quality links as possible from websites related to your industry. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from other types of links. In a nutshell, every hyperlink pointing to your blog might provide direct or indirect benefits. So, don’t shy from links you receive from forums, directories, and social media.

According to experts, it’s normal for a site to have at least 20% of no-follow links, which you get from previously mentioned sources. By getting links from various places, you can diversify your profile, making it look more natural to search engines. Besides that, they can provide some nice non-organic traffic.

6. Rely on social media

In the last few years, there has been a major shift in how optimization experts perceive social media. Back in the day, professionals would often disregard the potential benefits of these platforms, focusing on websites and their content. However, this mindset has changed with the changes to Google’s algorithms.

To be precise, user experience signals have now become crucial for assessing the quality of content. Search engines assess how visitors interact with the site, how long they stay on pages, and if they read more than one piece.

That being said, while increasing traffic via social media might not provide direct benefits, it might still help boost your search engine placements. Even if it weren’t for this specific benefit, the MiroMind team recommends that you always use these platforms as a secondary source of traffic.

Platform focus

In theory, you’d like to post your content on as many social media as possible and try to diversify your presence. Unfortunately, this type of task requires a large marketing team, and most new sites don’t have money to acquire one. Because of that, it’s much better to focus on a single platform.

Although Facebook has been slowing down for quite a while, it remains one of the better platforms for sharing news. This is especially true if you don’t specialize in any industry. Twitter is another great choice, as it allows you to make quick posts and share links.

On the other hand, industry-specific outlets might try platforms such as TikTok, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube. Your ideal choice of outlet might vary based on your situation, so get acquainted with social media basic before opting for one of these platforms.

Perfect posting time

Ideally, you should post breaking news as soon as they happen. If you wait for too long, some other outlet might take your lightning. However, when tackling stories, you need to find a perfect posting time for that specific social media and your audience.

Sticking to these schedules is crucial as it would allow your posts to go viral. And if your social media post goes viral, you can rest assured that the article will also get enormous traction.

Social media buttons

Lastly, we need to mention social media buttons. By installing certain plug-ins, you can add these buttons to your site, making it easier for visitors to follow and share your news. While visitors rarely use them, there are also those who love sharing certain types of news with their friends.

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