What Role does SEO play in the Media?

Whilst technology has certainly shaped how news is reported and shared with the world, throughout history the main objective of the Media has stayed the same. The biggest media channels compete to get the most viewers or the most readers, whether that is through more newspaper sales or websites receiving higher volumes of traffic. With so much of our media channels now being online, media outlets not only have to worry about getting the best, exclusive stories out first, they have many online marketing factors to consider as well.

Here are the Top 3 Role does SEO play in the Media


Catchy headlines are still important in getting viewing rates/increased traffic but so too is the use of keywords within headlines. Search Engine Optimisation and other online marketing practices have transformed how the Media operate.

You may have heard about click-bait headlines for example, where journalists have created an often misleading headline that attracts more attention than the article is actually worthy of. They might manipulate a quote to make it more sensational than it is when shown in the true context of a full article.


SEO on the other hand is intended to bring users the most relevant information that suits their search keywords or phrases. For example, if you wanted to find out about the history of Jack the Ripper and get the most relevant information to this, see this page for the kind of page that would feature high in the results due to how relevant it is.

The great thing about using Google is that it has a sophisticated algorithm that will search the whole of the internet to bring back the most relevant information within split seconds. Just a bit easier than getting the old encyclopaedia out!

How Media use SEO

As we mentioned before, the Media are still looking to achieve those high viewing rates now that the large proportion of it is through online communications, so they will now need to incorporate key SEO principles. As an example, following the Royal Wedding there have been so many different media outlets clamouring for people to read their articles. And with so many people using search engines to find information about the big event, only those articles that contain the keywords that people search for will appear highest up amongst the other results.

So they have SEO experts that will research the best keywords to use within the article. In essence, the quality of the article is still very important so the bigger media companies will have a journalist write up the article and then their SEO team will tweak it to make it more SEO friendly.

Readability has always been important in media like newspapers, which is why text is broken up into chunks rather than one long page of text. Online articles will often contain sub headings and images to further enhance the readability and engagement with the page. Sub headings, meta descriptions and alt text are some of the parts of the page that should include keywords for better search results. Again, the SEO team will enter these bits once the article has been produced by adding them into the content management system that they use for their website.

Some website platforms such as WordPress have plugins such as Yoast that will analyse content and flag the parts of the website that are not well optimised for SEO so that the content publisher can make the necessary tweaks. Whatever the size of the media company, they need to utilise SEO if they are going to stay relevant in today’s data driven, digitally centric world!

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