The BBC Internet Blog has a post on search engine optimisation in BBC News.
Martin Asser, senior product manager, news & knowledge, BBC Future Media, shares advice that he gives BBC journalists.
I have given colleagues a four-point checklist for their headlines as the most effective way of making that happen. (As long as they follow the basic principles of journalistic storytelling, the rest should take care of itself.)
The points are:
1. Use words that people would use in search in order to find the information being provided
2. Avoid words that people would never use in search to find that content
3. Put the most searchable elements at the front
4. Proper names are often used in search, so – following rules 1 and 3 – names should be included in the headline and if appropriate at the front.
It is worth reading the full post, which expands on the points. It is also interesting to note the maximum length of a BBC headline is 55 characters.
Journalists are given 55 characters (including spaces) to express their creativity, a length chosen because it equates to the space allocated for the page title on a Google search results page.
And it’s worth reading to the bottom of the post for the hedgehog headline.
Also see our guide on how to write headlines for SEO.
Journalism.co.uk runs a one-day course in SEO. Details are at this link.
If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at Journalism.co.uk email us using this link.
- Five tips for writing an effective press release
- Newmediabytes: How to write web headlines that catch search engine spiders
- Bloggasm: How much original reporting on HuffPo’s front page?
- NYT: Will an obsession with SEO kill off the clever headline?
- The LA Times on the role of its SEO chief – ‘the key is feedback’