Online news providers would do well to take notice of the benefits of search engine optimisation (SEO) and SEO services when it comes to web traffic, it has been advised.

According to an article by communities editor Shane Richmond in the present issue of the British Journalism Review journal, journalists should move away from the perception of SEO as writing purely for search engines.

Rather, SEO can make articles more relevant to target audiences and help both readers and search engines find what they are specifically looking for, he commented.

For news sites, the most important element of SEO is keywords, which should be placed as high up in the article as possible, Mr Richmond recommended.

"We are writing to be read and these days that increasingly means ensuring that our stories are found by search engines. Readership patterns are changing," he remarked.

A growing number of businesses are using SEO as part of their online press release submissions to boost website traffic, according to a study conducted by Clemson University earlier this year.

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