With SMADD (Social Media Attention Deficit Disorder) now at plague proportions, how often do you bother to click to the next page when you’re searching? It’s much more likely that you’ve clicked somewhere on page 1, even if you didn’t find exactly what you were looking for, and now you’re off down some other rabbit hole.
You are lost as a potential customer to the poor beggar who came 12th.
The SEO insider joke also served as a reminder of the cut-throat business of search. Google is forever tweaking its Penguin algorithm to weed out repeat and low-quality content, making it more and more difficult for mere mortals to keep up with the pace of change.
Adelaide tech guru Dave Sag, who wears “SEO expert” among his many hats, gives this advice: “Just make sure your website has proper open graph meta tags, keywords, description, a sitemap.xml file, and twitter:card tags and that your content comes before the navigation in the site's source code.”
Now that’s all very well and I’m not knocking it at all – but you will need someone like Dave to help you do it.
The rest of us can still achieve high visibility simply by increasing the amount of valuable content about our brands being shared and talked about in social media networks, blogs, press release services and online news sites. These are the places that Google and the other major search engines think are important. Not that algorithms think, but they do come close.
Take the humble press release. In just 400 words or less, you can attract media coverage, which increases your influence and credibility in ways that the PR industry itself finds difficult to measure. Your coverage and the press release can be used to kickstart conversations in your Facebook, LinkedIn, GooglePlus business page and Twitter profiles (you do have these, don’t you?).
Best of all for people who understand how to combine great PR with SEO, an original press release posted to a Google News-endorsed site will almost certainly turn up on page 1 of Google.
How long for, I hear you ask? Usually 1-2 weeks. So what do you do then? Rinse and repeat.
Following are some simple tips for leveraging your press releases across social media and search. The video below shows you how important press releases and Online Newsrooms can be.
- 1. Write and distribute press releases with strong keywords in the headline and first paragraph. Convert your blog into a press release by writing in the third person: see this slideshow for tips on press release writing: http://www.slideshare.net/newsgal/pressreleasewriting
- 2. Include backlinks in your text – this means using your web address or landing page URL embedded in your most important keywords.
- 3. Include images with meaningful names, not just codes, that also reflect your keywords.
- 4. Share your press coverage. Chances are, if you write a newsworthy press release and send it to relevant journalists or bloggers, it will get picked up somewhere. Make sure you and your team “talk it up” in every feasible way.
- 5. Don’t be annoying – it’s ok to write press releases as above, as long as you keep it relevant. Write for specific, niche audiences. The broader your target, the less likely your message will hit home.
- 6. Become an expert – I have seen some people with the thinnest of expertise suddenly become the “designated spokesperson” just by constantly telling us they are! It helps if you have friends in the media too.
- 7. Develop a calendar to fit round all the special days of the year. Don’t let Mother’s Day and Easter slip through your fingers – and when the World Cup is being talked about, be sure you are writing about the World Cup (or whatever event works for you).
- 8. Do more thinking. That’s right – you can’t become a thought leader without having a purpose. People will soon see right through you. Think ahead of the curve not behind it.
- 9. Ask your customers for their opinions – people, and therefore media, like nothing better than surveys and research showing trends and new developments.
- 10. Lastly, respond to others in the industry you’re trying to reach – make relevant comments on their blogs and LinkedIn groups, or any media coverage you see – Google Alerts is still your best friend when it comes to monitoring what’s going on with your own and competitive brands. This powerful monitoring tool is completely free.
Author: This blog was written by Leila Henderson, who specializes in press release distribution and social media marketing. Leila operates the LinkedIn Group Social Media Australia: