BBC Invests In Search Engine Optimisation

Minie Ng

BBC announced in November last year that the headlines on the BBC News website will be optimised so that it is easier for users to find story pages via search engines.

BBC Changing Headlines

Image: BBC Editor's Blog

In Steve Herrmann’s blog post to the BBC News users, he states:

“The new longer headlines will be up to 55 characters (with spaces) and will aim to include any key words which we might expect a search engine user to type in when searching for news about that particular topic.”

The editor of the BBC News website explained that it will “allow us to spell out in more detail what and who the story is about”, and therefore enhance users to look for stories more easily.

An example provided by Steve Hermann to illustrate the difference: instead of writing “Possible counter-bid for Cadbury” to “Ferrero and Hershey in possible counter-bid for Cadbury”, highlighting the optimised headline that includes keywords a user might use to look for that story.

With this new emphasis, journalists writing for the BBC News website may have to adopt some SEO copywriting practices into their copywriting style.

Here, I’ll share a few quick tips on SEO copywriting that one can consider when writing for the online media.

SEO copywriting – does it mean compromising on content quality for search engine appeasing content?

The true aim of SEO copywriting is to make sure that your audience can find content more easily.  Sadly, many copywriters took it the wrong way and end up believing that keyword spamming is the essence of SEO copywriting.

Search engine optimisation when done correctly, it should not affect the quality of your content.  As mentioned above, it should only make the content easier to be found by search engines, hence more likely to be read by users.

Search engines use the page title as one of the factors qualifying the relevance of your content to a user’s search.  Try to include keywords in your page titles.  Point to note: do not spam your page titles with keywords.  It could backfire and Google may penalise your website for that.

A good way to attract inbound links to your site or to get your articles retweeted or shared on social media sites: write list-type articles.  The web audience laps up on list-type articles like “top ten twitter trends in 2010”, “top 100 universities in the world”, etc.  These articles are more likely to be shared.  Such lists also allow you to include sub-headings and since search engines pay much attention to sub-headings as well, it will give your keywords an extra boost.

Search engines also look at the hyperlinked anchor text to quality relevance to a search query.  When providing links, avoid using generic text such as “click here for more information”.  Use relevant keywords when you do linking.  It’ll not only give the readers a better idea what to expect, it’ll also give your links an extra boost as well.

I am sure there are loads more  SEO copywriting tips out there.  If you’ve got more tips to share, I’ll like to hear from you! (:

No comments

You must be logged in to post a comment.