Groups are incredibly important in Chorus. They power landing pages, RSS feeds, breakers, site taxonomies, recirculation features, and more.
Along with helping you highlight and curate content for audiences, groups are an important part of optimizing your site for search engines:
- Groups help search engines find, index, and rank content quickly.
- Links between stories and groups can count as “votes” for authoritative content.
- Groups themselves can become authoritative pages over time and drive traffic for broad topics (e.g., reviews, events, sports).
Our search team recommends creating a group for any annual or recurring topics that are part of your ongoing editorial strategy. For shorter-term coverage, consider creating a stream, which you can add to any relevant groups.
These tips apply to groups with audience-facing pages, and are less relevant for internal groups. Let’s look at some ways to optimize a group for audiences and search engines.
Use popular, broad keywords for the group name. Google Trends is a great tool for researching keywords and comparing traffic data (e.g., “marijuana” to “cannabis“, “covid-19“ to “coronavirus“). Aim for something evergreen, but you can include the year if it’s a popular search term (e.g., “Election 2020”).
While the group name is important for search, the SEO name is not meant to display on your site and can be optimized even further. For example, a news site covering Colorado might have "Education" as a group’s name on the public page, but "Colorado education news" as the search name.
Keep it short (e.g., “education” or “soccer“). Use the most popular keyword related to the group topic to give search engines a clear signal.
Do not include the year in the slug. Age can be an important factor in building search authority. Leaving the year out allows you to update the group name on a yearly basis without redirecting the URL from years past.
Include a summary of what the group is about. For coupled Chorus, this will display on the group page. Aim for around 150 characters, including relevant keywords.
The SEO description will not display on your site, and can be optimized for audiences who find your content in search engines. The SEO description does not influence rankings as much as the search name, but it is an opportunity to draw in potential audiences.
Curate, curate, curate
Update your groups regularly, particularly as an event nears or demand increases for the topic. Search engines crawl group pages based on demand, so adding new content will improve the authority of the group while highlighting related stories. Add stories to the group before publishing for best results.
Update the layout
If the group is in high demand or particularly impactful, consider turning it into a hub so you can place and pin stories in the layout. As long as you’re keeping your curation fresh, it’s worth the extra time it takes to feature stories for audiences and search engines alike.