Our-Hometown Inc. shares tips to improve results in webinar, SEO for Newspapers

Kate Decker

Feb 1, 2022

On Thursday, Jan. 27, NNA Allied Member Our-Hometown Inc. of Clifton Springs, New York, hosted a training webinar in partnership with the NNA and several state and regional press associations. CEO Matt Larson hosted Michael Cottam, SEO consultant for OzTech Inc., who explained several ways that newspaper staff can maximize traffic from networks and improve the newspaper’s ranking on Google — without having to pay Google.


1. Expand your platform: the more networks you have with the same company information increases your newspaper’s credibility. It also shows your have multiple ways to reach your audience.

“Google is definitely crawling all the Facebook timelines out there,” Cottam said. “If you are doing a lot of posting, that shows your website is popular. It affects your ranking.”

But make sure you are linking back to your website. “Without link, Google has no idea that post is popular,” Cottam explains.

2. Links to other sources improve your credibility. This goes both ways; if other websites are linking to your website, it increases your credibility.

3. Headlines and page titles are important. Google mostly looks at page titles; however, if the title is deemed inappropriate or non-descriptive, h1 or the headline, will be pulled.
“If you want an article on your site to rank, use the boring headline,” Cottam said. “Not very shareable … if you want to get clicked on and re-shared, you might change that headline in Facebook so it’s more click-bait like, interesting and catchy”

4. A Google Business Profile vastly affects your rankings. Create one at business.google.com/manage (https://bit.ly/3HkAPBy). This feature has been known by all these names: Google My Business, Google Places, Google+ Local and Google Local Business Center.

5. Audit your presence by visiting https://moz.com/products/local

Kate Decker is the managing editor of Publisher’s Auxiliary and associate director of the National Newspaper Association. Email her at kate@nna.org.