With the proliferation of information available to us on our computers, smart phones, and traditional media sources, one item remains in my Top 3 all-time must-follow rules of audience engagement: News must be new.
In a recent Press Association article, Google’s own Maile Ohye says that unique content will spur the search engine to drive more unique visitors to your site.
Interesting topics alone fail to capture interest. Compelling news alone fails to compel your readers to return. So your goal must always be to act as a true news source.
How to make your job easier
Start with Google. If you’ve chosen a subject, search Google for the latest coverage. Notice the dates of the pages Google returns. For example, as of this writing, a search of the term “triglycerides” returns pages dated June 19, 2009; March 22, 2011; June 11, 2008; and December 11, 2001 among others.
On the left sidebar of the search results page, Google gives you additional tools. You may have to expand the Search Tools link to see these options. When I click on “Latest,” I get at least three pages dated April 23, 2011 — today’s date as of this writing. You must actually read the articles to know if they contain quality information, and check the source as well. I am always disappointed when bloggers link to articles provided by dubious sources. If the list of recent articles provides nothing but garbage, click the next search tool option, “Past 24 hours.”
Check Social Media. Sites like Twitter will always provide a mixed bag, but be diligent in your research and you’ll definitely find valid resources. Searching Twitter for the term “triglycerides,” I just found seven posts that were tweeted in the last hour. One is from a doctor. Again, read the articles before you link to them.
BONUS TIP: Include an Expert. Always try to add an expert opinion. I tend to go right to the industry leaders. For our triglycerides example, I’d search sites like WebMD, the Mayo Clinic, etc. Quoting authorities gives your article additional credibility that wins over your readers.
So keep the “new” in your news. It takes a little more effort, but your reward will be quality followers who care about your content, are more likely to come back to you and link back to your pages.