How do journalists compete in a large media market?

“Your title tag and description are your first impression to attract potential audience” said Monica Wright. “You capture new online readership by setting yourself apart with useful and engaging tags.”

Building an audience online also includes:

  • tracking your content
  • web analytics
  • search engine optimization (SEO)
  • effective headline writing for the Web
  • distribution through social media

What should you be tracking? Anything that is able to be tracked! Start by using the baker’s dozen list below:

  • total news stories per day
  • news stories by topic or section
  • total blog posts per day
  • blog posts by specific blog
  • slide shows per week
  • video stories per week
  • podcasts or other audio stories
  • news updates
  • breaking news e-mail alerts
  • SMS or other mobile network alerts
  • e-mail news letters that are not sent automatically
  • Twitter, Facebook or other social network posts
  • user-generated content

By using web analytics, you will be able to track your audiences in order to learn what your audience is consuming. Web analytics softwares allow you to identify key data points, such as:

  • pageviews
  • visits and unique visitors compared
  • engagement and referrers

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) assist in driving more audience to ideas that people are excited about. SEO’s perform three main functions:

  • spiders and robots: small computer programs that are sent out by search engines line Google and Bing to “crawl” the Internet and track and record the information found on Web pages
  • indexing: take the information sent from the spiders and robots and build large database files with references to all the content connected to the right links
  • queries: takes the keywords you’ve searched to look in the index for the most relevant results — it then returns and presents those results on Web pages for you to explore

When creating a headline, be sure to write for readers and robots. In order to make headlines better:

  • use keywords
  • user conversational language
  • don’t be afraid to inject a little attitude

Social media is great at distributing information to many channels. Mark Briggs suggests: