How Readers Find Your Stories
Did we mention that 95% of your traffic comes from these search engines? You should know the keyword(s) so don't assume that people will find your article from the homepage, from a link on your blog, or because they have hours to surf the site. Assume that your readers want to find what you're posting, but they want to be sure that you're going to "do what it says on the tin", ie that the story matches the title, the inside matches the outside.
If there are relevant terms in Google Trends your life is easy, target those. If there are no apparent trending terms you will need to do a little research before you type a word.
Finding Trending Keywords
How do you know which keywords are strong? There are tools to help you find out what terms are being searched for at any given moment, the related terms being used, and which keywords are seeing the biggest spikes in traffic volume. One reliable and free tool you can use is Google Insights for Search, which has a section called Breakout that lists terms with a 1000% increase in the last 24 hours. This is the "pulse" of the Internet and essentially tells you what is getting its heart racing, raising its temperature, and generally causing a fuss. We don't want you to chase stories you know nothing about, or to follow the crowds for the sake of it, but if you have expertise to share on a topic that is gathering speed, weigh in and use the words the crowds are using to discuss the story.
Also take a look on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and in a variety of search engines (Google, MSN, Yahoo, Answers.com) to see how your story is being described. What words are people using when they reference links? How are bloggers reporting the events? Do a Google News search and look at how various news agencies are structuring their headlines. Recombine those headlines to build something unique that takes advantage of the stronger keywords being used.
Try to determine the highest trafficked but least competitive terms that are relevant to your story. The best way to do this is to enter 3-5 main keywords and see what shows up under “Breakout” terms in Google Insights. These are the terms that have seen the largest spike in queries in the past 24 hours and will likely be the most relevant to your news story.