The Press Release takes on a new role in Search Engine Marketing - How candles helped one hotelier see the power of Content Syndication.
I was speaking with a client the other day reviewing his online Content Syndication
plan for 2007, when he asked me a very valid question. "I think understand how distributing Press releases and articles can help my rankings with search engines," he said, "But what do I have to write about that is newsworthy? I mean, I am just a little hotel, and not much changes around here. I can see sending out a press release the first month saying ‘We're here!' but what about the next month? Do I send one out that says ‘We are STILL here!'?
Even though his question made me laugh, he was presenting a valid point. What actually does make something newsworthy? And more importantly, how is a Press Release that has traditionally been released on the newswire when an organization had something to say; now going to help search engine placement
So the idea is to take content – such as the traditional press release or article - write them for both a consumer and media audience, and then push them out, or "syndicate" them online to drive traffic back to your website.
I told him about a client we had outside of the hospitality industry whose business was selling candles online. We were faced with the same challenge - how much can you write about candles and who wants to read it? Before I could share with him the content distribution plan we had developed, I could sense his excitement.
"Why there is a lot you can write about candles!" my client suggested, "There are seasonal candles, wedding candles, religious candles, candle gifts, in fact you could even have a candle recall! I mean who has ever heard of candles being recalled for having the wrong scent! Imagine how newsworthy that would be!"
Without realizing it he was able to clearly identify numerous interesting topics about something he knew nothing about – and yet was stuck when it came to ideas about his own hotel. Once you begin to see there are endless topics to write about, the question becomes – why write the content?
Everybody loves content, stories, and words! Consumers and Search Engines alike embrace the news daily. I don't know about you, but I read at least one article and scan 20-25 headlines a day.
Let's bring it back to the beginning, when I am talking about "Content Syndication," I am not referring to the traditional way you send out a Press Release when something newsworthy happens with the hopes that it will get picked up by the media. In fact maybe we should rename this little known, yet growing e-marketing phenomenon as Optimized Content Distribution.
A properly optimized and distributed Press Release or Article (the content) can be indexed in Google and Yahoo News – which encourages search engine spiders to index not only the press release, but the website the press release refers to as well! Proper optimization of both the website and the press release is required, but carefully planned and pushed out content can generate large volumes of "back links" to your website and encourage better search engine saturation
and of course – traffic!
But if there is so much new content being fed into the internet pipelines everyday, how do you stand out and what do you write about? Similar to website optimization
, you want to write and optimize content for two main audiences; the reader (whether that be the media or the consumer) and the search engines.
This starts with identifying your top keywords and phrases that are relevant to your content and your website. There is a real art of ‘blending" your keywords and adding them as text links to the appropriate pages on your website or press release without compromising the purpose of your written message. In fact the roles of writing and optimizing do not always have to be done by the same person.
With many of our optimization projects, we work with copy writers who capture the essence of story, and our role is to edit and optimize the content so a search engine can index the release for the proper keywords. It is kind of like translating the consumer friendly content for the search engines.
Once you have the "Optimized Content" or the Press Release that is written for the media, consumers and the search engines in mind - the next step is proper distribution of the release.
The internet has changed the way Press releases and Articles can be submitted and distributed. Although distribution on the newswire may still be necessary for media attention, if your goal is to use your content for better search engine saturation, this is not the way to get picked up Google.
There are many agencies out there that specialize in "Optimized Content Distribution." Press Releases and articles are distributed via RSS feeds
(the pipeline) and websites that publish feeds and then syndicate the feeds to other sites.
There are rules to follow for posting this material which include; using a limited number of text hyperlinks based on word count, tagging the keywords, and different fee structure levels for wider distribution. I recommend pushing out content with an agency that offers reporting of measurable results as simply posting releases online will not automatically get the release indexed in the search engines.
It may seem like a lot of trouble, yet the benefits a website can reap from Optimized Content Distribution are amazing. This content can become indexed very quickly and unlike traditional advertising or Pay per Click, once indexed – it never disappears! Each release creates quality inbound links to your website, helping your natural search engine rankings.
Finally, with a strategic content distribution plan, you can own the entire first page of search engine real estate organically from a search with the keywords you have been targeting. (This means that your competitor will not occupy the 2nd
result in a search for your own name!).
See content syndication at work by doing a search for "a couple of chicks" and you will see pages of content that has been indexed relating to e-marketing
with A Couple of Chicks (and not what you might be thinking should be there!)
After the Candle analogy and thrilled to have an understanding of not only what to write - but why write it, my client started spilling over with story ideas. Hotel specials, area events, unique package offerings. Go ahead – start telling your stories – it may just give you those first place rankings you have been trying to achieve! About A Couple of Chicks:
Patricia Brusha is the co-founder of "A Couple of Chicks," a non-intimidating approach to Internet Marketing, e-Distribution & Revenue/Campaign Measurement. The "Chicks" specialize in using Creative, Distribution and Technology together to bring clarity to marketing on-line.
To find out more about A Couple of Chicks Marketing and the tools and services, or to inquire about e-marketing workshops and online marketing consultation, visit www.acoupleofchicks.com