Key Principles

  1. Use H2 tags for subheadings
  2. Include a meta description
  3. Link to relevant, high-quality pages
    1. A good rule of thumb is 2 links per 1000 words.
    2. Where possible, link to trusted sites like Aljazeera, Wikipedia, the BBC etc.
  4. Link internally to relevant pages, such as related stories or research.
    1. Rule of thumb is 2-3 per post.
    2. Make sure the page is properly categorised by country/issue so that links your page can be found other relevant pages on your site.
    3. Where possible, link to Amnesty evergreen pages – such as issue or country pages.
  5. Use SEO-friendly URLs. is better than
    1. Avoid number strings or illogical hierarchies
    2. Keep the URL as short as possible – is better than
    3. Try to use your keyword in your URL (more info on keywords below)
  6. Fill in Alt Text for your header image
  7. Use multimedia if you think it will stop people clicking away, make them stay longer on the site, or take an action you want them to take. 
  8. Write long where appropriate. 1900 words or more is ideal for SEO.
  9. (i.e. press releases). This will help generate backlinks, which help improve our Google rankings.

Picking a keyword

Your keyword should be the word or phrase you think readers might search before landing on your page.

When picking a keyword, think about how you’d get to your article through Google. What question would you be asking? What overall topic might you be browsing?

When brainstorming your keyword, you could try:

  • Typing your topic into Google and seeing what it suggests
  • Typing your topic into Google and checking the related searches at the bottom of the page
  • Typing your topic in Google News to check the phrases other news channels are using.
  • Typing the topic of your article into Google Trends and check “related queries” to see which keywords are trending.
  • You can also use Google Trends to see how similar keywords compare. Keep in mind that Google is getting much better at identifying the relationship between synonymous words or spelling variations,

Using keywords 

  1. Have 3-5 target keywords in mind when drafting your text. These words should not be synonyms/translations of each other and should collectively summarize what your page is about while also thinking about what keywords people use to find content on search engines. 
  2. Include your keyword in your header – preferably at the start.
    1. If appropriate, go for long-tail version of same keyword (e.g. Death Penalty Facts 2019 would target both “death penalty”, “death penalty facts” and “death penalty facts 2019”)
    1. If using a keyword will ruin your headline, use the ‘Page Title’ field under the SEO tab in Umbraco, and write a Google-specific title that uses your keyword.
  3. Include your keyword in your meta description and URL
    1. Meta descriptions should be around 150+ characters in length
  4. Use your keyword within your first 100 words
  5. Use your keyword in all image file names and Alt Text
  6. Don’t overstuff with keywords. Google will penalise the page if it feels you’re using the same phrase unnaturally often.