[Approximate Reading Time : 4 mins]
Guest Post – Amanda Peterson
Digital publishers have more platforms, opportunities and tools available to them than ever before. The digital publishing industry has taken on a much more tech-driven form in recent years as technology has become an essential component of our everyday lives.
From SEO-focused strategies, to voice-search optimized content, the trends in the digital publishing world are largely dependent on technology. This post will explore the top four most important trends to consider adapting into your content plans moving forward.
In a survey of over 120 publishers, more than half cited SEO as their highest priority going into 2019. That being said, digital publishers should be focusing their efforts on optimizing their content for search engines. Though doing so may seem like a daunting task, it is not as difficult as it comes across. In order to optimize your content, you need to follow a few simple rules:
Figure out which keywords you want to rank for and then create keyword-relevant content.
- Include that word or set of words in your URL, meta description, H1 and H2 title tags, and within your content where it makes the most sense.
- Include keywords in image descriptions as well — Google will only know what your images are if you tell it.
Focus on creating original content and writing for the web.
- No one wants to read the same press releases or copied content over and over. Readers want to see things they wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else.
- Content should be broken up into short sentences and paragraphs, and separated out by title tags or bullet points.
- Include links to other posts and pages on your site, a practice known as “interlinking”, so when search engines crawl the content, they can access your other pages as well.
Pay attention to crawl speed.
- Google regularly crawls every page on the web, assessing it for rankings.
- This past summer, they made an update to their algorithm that puts a heavy emphasis on page speed — make sure nothing is slowing down the load speed on your pages.
Mobile-first content refers to content that’s formatted to work best on a phone screen, most often in a vertical format. On average, people spend nearly 3 hours per day on mobile phones. If you’re not optimizing your content to be viewed there, you’re going to fall behind your competitors.
Google has actually switched to mobile-first indexing, meaning their rankings depend on the mobile version of a site, rather than the desktop version. That means mobile-friendly content is more likely to rank higher.
Not only does vertical content rank higher, it is also more effective and costs less. Vertical videos in particular, have proven to be 58 percent more effective than their horizontal, desktop-focused counterparts. Additionally, the cost-per-impression is lower for vertical content at 52 cents as compared to horizontal’s 85 cents.
According to Comscore, voice search is projected to make up 50 percent of all searches by 2020. 600 million people are already using voice-activated assistants at least once per week. In order to be found, you need to optimize your digital content to match voice-search needs.
Answer the “who, what, when, where and why”
When it comes to voice search, it’s important to remember people will be speaking their queries, rather than typing them into a search engine. Think of your keywords in terms of how they would sound as an answer to a question spoken out loud and format your content accordingly.
- Provide content in the form of an answer.
- Create pages with headlines that ask common questions and provide a succinct, keyword-optimized answer shortly below.
- Long-tailed keywords work best.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is making its way into more aspects of our everyday lives and publishing is no exception. AI is impacting the way digital publishers create, organize and market their content from automated reporting to smart tagging technologies.
Many new outlets have opted to use AI to create basic news stories. AI uses machine learning to create logical, information based pieces that are now advanced enough to pass for human. The technology is based heavily on a templated format and forms stories based on collected data. Though it can produce accurate articles, the software still lacks the ability to form opinions or think critically.
In addition to creating content, AI also has the ability to automatically curate content. AI technology auto-shares relevant content from other sites, blogs or social media channels. This allows for interaction between your site and other digital publishers, blogs and platforms in the same space, both fostering meaningful connections and expanding your audience.
Smart tagging and translation
After digital content is created, accurately tagging the piece is critical. Many people follow trending hashtags or search for information based on keywords and tags. That means if you want your work found, you need to be tagging it correctly. AI tools provide the ability to scan an article and create tags based on the content for optimal visibility.
Another useful AI tool is content translation. Through AI technology, your posts can be automatically translated into hundreds of languages. That way, your content can get in front of the largest audience possible on a global scale.
SEO, mobile-first strategies, voice-search optimization and AI are all major trends moving into the digital publishing market. In order to keep up, you need to ensure you’re implementing these into your content strategies.