What a nice surprise to see on the front page of the Los Angeles Times today a story that features how important SEO is to web sites.
It’s Web 101 for this experienced intern covers how a former magazine editor, Lois Draegin, has entered a new life of online editing after losing her job with TV Guide. She now works as an unpaid intern for women’s site wow0wow.
As part of her new job, she’s discovered that how people search — and maintaining a search friendly web site — is an essential part of the content process. From the opening of the story:
In a search for a new job in the media, she had suddenly found herself techno-challenged. She didn’t know a URL from SEO.
It wasn’t until she was teamed up with Randi Bernfeld at WOW that she understood the obsession with terms such as search engine optimization (a method to increase traffic to a website) or used Google Trends to pick story topics and write a uniform resource locater (Web address).
And further in:
Arriving before 8 one day, her immediate task was to look for story ideas and mash together information from other websites into a brief news item for the “Wow Watch” column. Finding topics was easy enough — Draegin fits WOW’s demographic and instinctively understands the interests of its savvy readers.
But she repeatedly had to check her gut instincts against that all-important tool — Google Trends — to make sure her ideas would attract readers to the website. That morning, she chose to put yet another angle on a story about the California mother of octuplets who has been omnipresent on the Web.
In the past, she hadn’t bothered to learn such skills as writing tags and URLs because she was paid to think globally about the direction of her magazine. Now she had to think globally not only about each topic but about every word she wrote in the URL, headline, subhead, tag and links in the story.
Everything had to be crafted to draw readers.
“It’s really a challenge to do all of that at once,” Draegin said.