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Fishin' for tips: SEO and general Web site optimization

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If there are any Web developers on the network willing to drop me their two cents, I swear I’ll give that person’s site a few hits. Not because I’m desperate; because I find myself hungry for input on the issues of SEO and Web site optimization (re: getting tons of hits) on a daily basis.

I started a new job about a month ago as a kind of Web developer/manager. In a nutshell, the company I work for owns about 30 newspapers, each of which has its own Web site, each of which feeds content into an aggregate site. I manage content on everything, meaning I try to make things look good and increase our Web traffic.

Like I said, I crave input on a daily basis and I regularly tear up the Internet in search of it.

I’ve yet to discuss this on Wired Journalists, though, so I thought I’d throw out a few topic headings that most relate to what I’m doing:

• Headline writing: I was a reporter prior to this gig and was educated as one in college, but I realize that headline writing on the Web is a different beast. I found copyblogger to be a handy resource; is anyone willing to share any little tricks they use for Web headlines?

• Stuff people hate: Our sites are pretty new and we haven’t added things like blogs or reader comment sections yet (soon). As such, we don’t have a ton of feedback on what people do/don’t like. Anyone encounter anything in particular that people seem to love/hate?

• Outside help: Another thing I’m working on is how to best use the Web to promote our sites. I recently re-activated my Facebook account, signed up for Twitter and would like to see our paper join Facebook, much like the New York Times. Admittedly, past what the Times has done, I’m a little puzzled over how best to proceed here.

I’m sure I could think of a thousand other things to fit into bullet points, but I’ll keep it short. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

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