The way journalists work is rapidly changing. Gone are the days of simply reporting on a topic, journalists now need to be familiar with search engine optimisation (SEO/search) best practice in order to ensure they hit the top results on search engines, day in and day out. While news organisations work hard to narrow the gap between search and editorial teams, how are innovative workflow tools paving the way to collaborative new ways of working?
A new challenge for publishing organisations
It’s unsurprising that many journalists are hesitant when it comes to associating their work with the term search. After all, surely their focus should remain where their talents lie? High-quality journalism calls for getting to the heart of a story, fast, and delivering trustworthy, factual information audiences need to read, not just click-worthy articles audiences want to read.
But as more and more readers consume news online, publishers can’t afford to fall short when it comes to ranking well on search engines – they must adapt.
The most successful articles are not only those written in-line with the principles of high-quality journalism, but those optimised to reach the widest audience possible on the internet. Search is now integral to the functioning of digital-first publishers in terms of driving readership, reaching potential new subscribers and boosting revenue.
However, understanding Google’s ever-evolving algorithms requires technical skills many journalists lack training in. And optimising articles to a competitive standard takes time many journalists simply don’t have. This is why many news organisations are building out in-house teams of technical search experts with the aim of championing the importance of search across the organisation and placing a solid strategy at the core of their business.
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From heads of audience growth, responsible for owning the overall search strategy, goals and objectives of the organisation, to search editors who ensure that all content is optimised for search to the highest possible standard before publishing, new roles are fast-emerging to support the daily work of editorial teams and promote technical knowledge.
But, despite the positive steps towards building more resilient digital-first businesses, many publishers still face a challenge when it comes to creating successful and agile communication channels across teams.
There is still a noticeable disconnect between the way journalists and editors work and the input of search professionals on how to best optimise articles before they go live. For example:
- Identifying key ways to improve internal linking and external linking within articles and how to discover the most powerful links to improve search engine rankings.
- Highlighting which evergreen articles should be optimised to maintain high traffic to a publisher’s site.
- Training journalists in how to optimise headlines and amending from print to digital.
- Sharing how best to build out topic clusters to support a publication’s search strategy.
- The importance of maintaining a well-structured sitemap and how new content must be linked to this.
- How to optimise author bio to improve an article’s ”Expertise, Authoritative, and Trustworthiness” (E-A-T) score on Google.
These are just a few of the key areas search experts are working with editorial teams to enhance the content output of publications.
Fortunately, with editorial teams working at a fast pace, powerful new tools are emerging to improve the flow of information and strengthen collaboration between search experts and content creators, enabling them to work in tandem.
Powering team collaboration through technology
Online collaboration tools and software are opening up new ways to work. Publishers are increasingly harnessing the power and affordability of software as a service (SaaS) tools – for example, Slack, Otter.ai and Trello – to improve collaboration within their teams and speed up workflows.
Here at LOYAL, we’re aware of the value held for publishers in editorial and search teams working together to deliver highly-optimised articles. This is why we’ve built upon the functionality of LOYAL Boards – a powerful feature designed to save and order your favourite articles so you can view them at ease.
With Shared Boards, team members can now make the most of a collaborative platform which enables search professionals to quickly and easily share articles with editorial teams.
We know that planning articles that include high-quality internal and external links can be a challenging task for editorial teams. When sources are scattered across open tabs, buried in bookmarks or lost in email trails, it can be hard to pin down links with high search authority.
Both teams can now work collaboratively to build out articles with the highest quality internal and external links. Search teams can also easily draw a journalist or editor’s attention to evergreen content that would benefit from optimisation.
A search editor, for example, could simply save key articles to a shared board, along with editors and journalists, enabling them to be involved right from the initial ideation phase of writing an article to optimising before publishing.
Our AI-driven tools are opening up new and exciting collaborative ways of working for editorial teams of all sizes. Jump on board to find out how!
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