Publishing a city or regional magazine comes with a unique set of challenges. An advanced SEO strategy is necessary for online magazines to compete with news sites and tourism bureaus for high-value keywords.
While the fundamentals of SEO always remain the same, city and regional magazines are treated very differently by search engines like Google and Bing. Beating out the competition in Google rankings means having a solid base of both top stories and evergreen content. These two types of content—top stories and evergreen articles—are treated differently by the search algorithms, however they are both important from an SEO perspective.
City and regional magazines that want to rank on the first page of Google results should consider the following advanced strategies for optimal SEO performance:
The best SEO strategy for city and regional magazine publishers looks very different from the strategy we would recommend for a community news website. However, there is some overlap, and top stories would fall into that category.
Whether you’re an online magazine publisher or a local news publisher, you’ll want to make sure to publish a regular stream of top stories to keep your website relevant and get on the first page of Google search results.
Top stories require a fast turnaround. That doesn’t mean they should be low quality, but the turnaround time should be faster than with long-form content. These stories will quickly rise to the top of Google search and then quickly fall as the topic becomes less relevant. As part of a broader SEO strategy, magazine publishers should want their top stories to rank for just a few days, before dropping off the first page of search results.
Evergreen content is content that doesn’t have an expiration date. Consider tutorials, how-to articles, listicles, and long-form stories about broad markets.
For the purposes of SEO strategy, we want evergreen pages to live on one URL. The content in evergreen articles should be updated regularly as new information becomes available, but the URL should remain the same.
Internal linking is the key to keeping top stories and evergreen content ranking for the long-term. Because we don’t want top stories to rank for longer than a few days or weeks, we do not recommend linking to top stories within evergreen content. Instead, editors should be linking to the evergreen stories that are related. That’s the best way to build up a solid internal linking structure over time.
Having a roster of smaller syndication partners is one way that city and regional magazines can build authority with Google. Many of these smaller publications will want to pick up top stories content, but for SEO purposes, publishers should be actively working to promote long-form, evergreen content, as well.
Syndication partners should be using no follow links, as that is the best way to build a natural looking link portfolio.
City and regional magazines have the tendency to write about the same few concepts over and over. That’s normal and expected. Restaurant reviews, local government updates, and profiles of business leaders all seem to do well in Google’s algorithms. The only concern here from an SEO perspective is avoiding cannibalization at scale.
When you cover similar topics on a regular basis, those article pages can knock out or compete with evergreen pages in search results. The only way to deal with this is through cannibalization clean up.
Publishers should only concern themselves with cleaning up cannibalization if they are seeing pages ranking in the top 20 for keywords they care about, and when those pages have been ranking for 90 days or longer. If top stories content is crowding out evergreen content, then the best way to handle that is with a clear cut decision tree. Sometimes these issues are easy to clean up, such as if there is internal linking on the cannibalizing piece that can be changed. If that works, then the publisher doesn’t have to kill the old article. If that doesn’t work, then the top stories content that’s cannibalizing the evergreen content may have to be removed.
Redirecting content is another way to handle cannibalization, however redirecting links should be done with care.
Internal linking, redirection, and syndication are all considered advanced SEO tactics. Online magazine publishers should always consult with their developers or agencies before making any large-scale changes to their existing SEO strategies.
To learn more about best practices for search optimization, reach out to the SEO experts at Web Publisher PRO.