3 ways to improve Sydney Morning Herald’s coronavirus story

In this blog post, I will provide three ways the Sydney Morning Herald could improve the online delivery of, ‘Australia bans travellers from Italy‘.

The Sydney Morning Herald failed to use a key SEO term: ‘coronavirus’. (Credit: Sydney Morning Herald)

1. SEO

Based on Google Trends, this headline is not search engine optimised. According to Google, the major search terms associated with ‘italy’ are ‘coronavirus’, ‘italy’ and other variations all using ‘coronavirus’. The Herald failed to capitalise on that huge key word.

2. Links

The entire article contains only one hyperlink. Readers could have benefitted from hyperlinks to a coronavirus explainer (the article gives little information on the disease) and to previous Herald stories reporting news on Italy. This would provide context, such as when the country announced it was going into lockdown.

3. Images and video

The article contains just one small image in the lower half, which does not have a clear connection to Italy. In order to hold a reader’s attention, it would have been more eye-catching to include a picture of people in Italy closer to the top of the page.

The article lacks a sentence to foreshadow the content of the video of the prime minister speaking. While there is a caption underneath the video, it fails to say who features in it. The video autoplays, so readers could miss the prime minister’s opening title card. Further, knowing this information earlier, people may want to avoid the video entirely.


About Jennifer Bisset 1 Article
Jennifer Bisset is a postgraduate student at the University of Sydney. Her main interests are film and TV.

1 Comment

  1. Effective use of subheadings, in particular the use of heading tags to enhance SEO. Your blog post is written with brevity in mind, featuring short paragraphs and lots of while space. Altogether it’s scannable and easy to read.
    Using Google Trends to analyse the SEO of the headline is good – in this case the story is in a ‘coronavirus’ category (Coronavirus Pandemic), ‘coronavirus’ is used frequently on the page, and ‘coronavirus’ is used as a keyword tag, all of which will enhance SEO.
    Your link to story is embedded, but should open in another tab to keep users from leaving your post.
    Good use of screenshot with appropriate caption and attribution.
    Reference could be made within your analysis to Bradshaw or other readings.

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