You already know that your content marketing strategy needs to include online magazines. As we mentioned before, they offer many benefits to businesses, marketers and their customers including:
- Providing information and entertainment for customers.
- Making a marketing appointment with them.
- Offering the chance to tell your story your way.
- And building trust with customers and analytics.
But before you can gain any of these benefits your customers need to be able to find your online magazines. That’s where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in.
SEO optimizes web content so search engines can index it easily and people can find it faster. In the last couple of years Google – the main search engine that most people use and care about – has made a lot of changes to its search algorithms. With the advent of Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird old-style SEO tactics have gone out the window. Google’s updates have demoted:
- Keyword stuffed content.
- Irrelevant links and links to bad neighborhoods.
- Low quality content.
That’s bad news if you’re into black hat SEO, but great news for people who are publishing quality content in online magazines. The new search algorithms favor:
- High-quality, in-depth and long form content.
- Mobile-friendly content.
- Content optimized for semantic search and voice search.
All of this has the aim of helping people find relevant, original content that they can use to answer their immediate questions. And it’s why you need to make sure your online magazines are search engine optimized so both Google and your potential readers can easily recognize the relevance of your online magazine content to the information they are searching for. There are several areas to address to make this happen.
1. Optimizing Titles and Descriptions
Keywords may be passé, but great titles still rock when it comes to hooking readers. Like their print counterparts, online magazines need titles to attract eyeballs and inform readers about the content of the magazine. These titles can also appear in search engine listings. Both the magazine and individual articles also need good descriptions to encourage those who don’t already read your magazine to read and subscribe.
While you’re at it, get comfortable with schema markup which helps search engines to understand your content better. This is what helps to produce the rich snippets that you see in search engine listings. The schema markup describes different types of content (such as articles or reviews, for example) and helps Google determine what content to show when people search. Koozai has a good guide to this.
2. Mobile SEO
If you have great content, great descriptions and great titles, you also need to make it easy for mobile device users to access your content – and that includes online magazines. One of the areas to focus on with your magazine is how quickly it loads on mobile devices, as Google has stated explicitly that it will look at mobile page load times as an SEO metric.
It is also important to optimize for semantic search where users ask questions and expect your content to provide the answers. This is also common with mobile device users, many of whom search by voice. Google’s recent integration of voice search into its Chrome browser for desktops shows that this kind of optimization will become more important.
3. Local SEO
Local SEO is also crucial. This growing sector of the search market is particularly important for the increasing number of mobile device users, many of whom search for local information they can act on immediately. Including a map and address details as well as getting your magazine listed in local directories are a good starting point for this type of SEO.
4. Building Authority
There’s one final thing that you can do to optimize your magazines. The new paradigm in SEO is about building authority. All Google’s changes have been geared towards identifying which content is authoritative and relevant and which is not. Obviously, you want your online magazines to fall into the first category. That means taking care of other optimization activities such as internal linking within your magazine and to your blog content, using your content to lay the groundwork for link building (people always want to link to authoritative content), and optimizing it for social sharing which is another marker of relevance for Google. An online magazine publishing solution which makes your content mobile friendly, findable and readable is the best way to tick all the boxes for online magazine SEO.