Search Engine Optimization for PublishersIt’s 2021, and whoever hasn’t heard of search engine optimization (SEO) has been living under a rock for a decade. However, there’s a significant percentage of people who have heard the term and don’t really know what it means.

“It’s something related to Google, right?” “It’s about making your website more visible.”

You’ll hear lots of answers like these, and some might even be somewhat correct, but there’s no fundamental understanding of what they truly mean. Luckily for you, we’ve put together this guide to Search Engine Optimization guide for Publishers which reviews the fundamentals of SEO for publishers.

We can start by saying that SEO is like filling in your profile for a dating site. By providing exact information about yourself, it’ll be able to match you more efficiently with someone compatible. In the same way, SEO matches your issues and articles with people who are interested in them.
Unpacking search engine optimization for publishers
The practice of SEO is essentially about inserting crucial keyword phrases and accurate descriptions within your content and in specific places of your website. By using these keyword phrases, you are making your content more easily “readable” for search engines. That allows them to index it correctly, determine its relevance, and show it to those looking for the information you provide.

The better your website’s SEO, the bigger the chance of your content getting in front of the right person. But there’s a lot more to this process. In fact, keyword research and selection is a complex and intricate process. It’s not just about picking words related to your content; you also have to assess which of those terms are most popular and which have a lot of competing websites or articles. By doing a little research, you’ll be able to pick the optimal keywords that hit the sweet spot: very relevant, high search volume, and not overly contested.

Learn more about how to find the perfect keywords.
The real importance of SEO

The number of publishers going partially or fully digital increases every day, saturating the online marketplace. Magazines can now offer their content internationally to millions of readers, but also end up with many more competitors.

That’s why being highly visible is a must for success. If your content isn’t readily available to a potential customer or reader, it simply won’t get seen. Also, the more accurate your keywords are, the more likely it is for your page to reach those who are genuinely interested in it. This is the magic of SEO!

There are things that can be done both inside and outside of your website to improve your ranking. These actions and practices are divided into two categories. Those aspects you can modify within your site, like keywords and meta descriptions are called “On-page SEO.”

But there are also actions that happen outside your website that can improve your ranking, and they are called “Off-page SEO.” Some examples of the latter are referral links to your site, promotions, social media mentions, etc. In this article, we’ll focus on the on-page SEO items only, which are those things you can do yourself within your articles to improve your visibility.
Writing for visibility

As we’ve mentioned before, infusing your content with the right keywords and phrases can make the most significant impact on your SEO. Google is already pretty good at understanding the texts on your website and connecting them to similar topics, but there’s a lot you can do to help it do it even better. These are some of the ways in which you can use keywords to improve your website’s ranking:

1. Write a solid title: What is referred to as a title (or title tag) is the clickable headline of a website, page, or blog post that appears on the search engine results page. If your title doesn't match what a reader is looking for, they won’t click on it. Titles also appear in other places like the browser tab, external websites, and social media reshares. Therefore, it’s crucial to learn how to write titles that are clear, relevant, and spark curiosity. However, the most crucial SEO practice related to titles is to insert your primary keyword in it ALWAYS.

Learn more about writing titles that work

2. Polish your URL: a URL is the “address” of a specific online content. It’s the cluster of words you see at the top of your browser when you enter a page. The shortest URL is a website’s main address, like “www.magloft.com.” The deeper into a website a specific page or article is located, the longer the URL will become, but always starting with the main residential URL for the site that hosts it.

There are several best practices you can apply to build better URLs. Some of the most common ones are to include your main keyword and to avoid using dates. Another essential aspect to keep in mind is that, ideally, you don’t want to change a page’s URL once it’s online as it can have a negative impact on all your SEO efforts.

Here is a complete list of best practices for URL optimization.

3. Write powerful meta description: meta descriptions are the short summaries of a website/page content that you can read on a search engine results page, right below the title and URL. Because it is the first bit of content users will read related to your website, it can be a decisive factor of whether they’ll go in or not.

Adding your main keyword in the meta description is a must, but you should do it in an organic way that doesn’t feel forced or unnatural. Your meta description should be short, concise, and act as a pitch for the content inside the page.

Learn the best tips and tricks to write a good Meta description here.

4. Use header tags: breaking up your content into sections using clear, well-written subtitles is a good way of giving your content structure while giving search engines more useful keywords to index your page. The main header tags are labeled H1 and H2.

Your main headline would be H1, and the sub-headlines used to divide your article into subtopics would be H2s. Always add your main keyword to your headline, and try to include it in some of your H2s along with some other variants of keywords.

Here’s an insightful article about how to use the different header tag hierarchies optimally.

5. Up your game with internal linking: this less popular strategy is actually a great way to boost your SEO efforts. It consists of creating links within pages of your own website. This helps search engines understand your site’s structure better, and also helps users find information more efficiently, and spend more time consuming your content.

More about internal linking here.
There are several other factors that can help structure your content and optimize your issues and articles:

  • Watch out for duplicate content: 45% of websites have pages with duplicate content. This signals search engines that your website doesn’t have value and its content is not high-quality.
  • Keep your page speedy: your page loading speed can be a determining factor of whether a user stays or leaves; even an extra millisecond can be a deal-breaker. For this reason, search engines consider your page loading speed a determining factor for how valuable your content is to them and, ultimately, to the user.
  • Make sure it’s crawlable: search engine crawlers are bots used to follow links into websites. They save the HTML version of it in a vast database called the index. Whenever a crawler goes into your website and finds an updated version of it, the index gets updated. For improved crawlability, make sure that you have no broken links, add plenty of internal links, and have a clear sitemap.
  • Prioritize mobile-friendliness: with the time spent on mobiles increasing by the minute, search engines give a high priority to mobile-friendly pages. Making your page responsive (a.k.a. mobile-friendly) tends to take some extra effort and costs, but it’s worth it.
  • Watch your content-length: there is not one single answer to what your page’s or content length should be, as it depends on many things. But there are studies that have shown what a reader’s attention span is and the (relative) ideal lengths for blog posts, educational pages, about pages, etc. So once you’ve established what the purpose of a specific piece of content should be, do some research on ideal lengths for that type of content.

MagLoft’s Universal App improves Search Engine Optimization for Publishers

Whether you are a magazine publisher or an e-commerce business owner, thorough search engine optimization is a must. It’s the most critical practice to boost your site’s visibility and ranking. Here at MagLoft we practice what we preach and you reading this guide on Search Engine Optimization for Publishers is very likely a result of the effort we have put in to SEO.

At MagLoft, we’ve spent a fair amount of time and energy creating a solution that supports search engine optimization for publishers. Our Universal App offers complete interactive on-page SEO optimization feedback. It also offers a reporting tool that will evaluate your overall SEO for each piece of content or page, detect issues and weaknesses, and help you improve your rating.

  1. On top of that, MagLoft has an entire team dedicated to optimizing our Universal App code so that it loads super fast and includes all the bells and whistles search engines like Google love.
Are you ready to give MagLoft a try? For only $1, you can get two weeks of full access to explore our magazine builder and other cool features. Plus, you get to try our PDF to HTML conversion solution with some of your existing material for free!

Click here to get started.
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