Search Engine Optimization

SEO = Search Engine Optimization.

Journalists optimize search engine results by putting the best keywords in headlines, the body of an article, and websites. SEO is becoming increasingly important to understand and use correctly. SEO can be complex, but you can easily improve your articles, blogs and social posts just by wording your headlines correctly.

As a journalist, you want your articles to be found by your readers. If people search for a topic on Google, you want Google to find those keywords and put your article high enough to make it on the first page of search result pages (SERPs). Most people never click past the first page of results, so good SEO is crucial to get more readers.

One of the difficult things about really mastering SEO is that it evolves quickly. Google changes its search algorithm hundreds of times a year. Even if you don’t delve into the details, you should still understand how and why search algorithms change. Take a look at the history of Google’s algorithm changes.

Your SEO improves when another person includes a link to your site or article on their page. This tells Google that your work is credible and that people want to share it. Linking to your own work is also helpful. For example, I wrote this SEO blog post on my website for broadcast news. If I were to tell readers on this page to check out my other article on blogging and web writing, then the backlink in the words “blogging and web writing” helps improve my SEO rating for this website.

Here are a few helpful articles to get you started so your social and digital content can be seen by a bigger audience:

Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

A Web crawler is an Internet bot which systematically browses the World Wide Web, typically for the purpose of Web indexing. Web search engines and some other sites use Web crawling or spidering software to update their web content or indexes of others sites’ web content.

(also called HTTP over TLS, HTTP over SSL, and HTTP Secure) is a protocol for secure communication over a computer network which is widely used on the Internet. HTTPS consists of communication over Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) within a connection encrypted by Transport Layer Security or its predecessor, Secure Sockets Layer.

Cloaking is a search engine optimization (SEO) technique in which the content presented to the search engine spider is different from that presented to the user’s browser. This is done by delivering content based on the IP addresses or the User-Agent HTTP header of the user requesting the page.

A meta description tag is a snippet of HTML code in a web page header that summarizes the content that is on the web page. The meta description is usually placed after the title tag and before the meta keywords tag.

Structured data refers to kinds of data with a high level of organization, such as information in a relational database. When information is highly structured and predictable, search engines can more easily organize and display it in creative ways. If you’re interested in web design, you can test your coding using Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool.

This is what header tags look like:
Screen Shot 2016-10-30 at 12.46.47 PM.png

To become more familiar with web coding, switch your WordPress view to HTLM and compare it to your visual setting so see how it’s made.

To learn more about HTML go to

How to pick which keywords you should use in your headline and social

  1. Pick relevant and specific words that won’t mislead your reader.
  2. Deliver on your promise. Make sure your article includes the keywords in your headline.
  3. Understand which keywords are trending and take advantage of trends

One way to find the best keywords is Google AdWords. You can use this tool to find which keywords people are using to search for specific content.



Published by JeanetteAbrahamsen

I am an instructional designer and TV news instructor at the University of South Florida. My passion for innovating learning led me to pursue my PhD in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Instructional Technology. I love creating media to enhance eLearning and foster online engagement. I teach students to create multimedia stories for broadcast, web and social media platforms. I lead the Florida Focus class where students produce daily news shows that air on Tampa's PBS station. My reporting classes collaborated with Tampa's NPR station to produce award-winning stories. I am an Emmy Award-winning journalist. I produced thousands of hours of TV news in some of America's largest media markets at Tampa's NBC station, San Diego's ABC station and the San Diego Union-Tribune. I also produced immersive 360-degree virtual tours at the University of South Florida and reported for Hashtag Our Stories.

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