More On Press Releases And SEO

We’ve been discussing in our previous post about search engine optimization training. Specifically that SEO training as should include press release optimisation and submissions.

Part 2 will give readers an idea of possible distribution networks, and how to optimise on your digital assets for PR submissions.

Step 2: Distribution

Many companies offer varying levels of service for distribution. I’ll outline a few:

1) Business Wire.

The leading source for press releases, photos, multimedia, and regulatory filings from companies and groups throughout the world, and suited for businesses of all sizes. Pricing for their optimised releases is currently $225 per release with a Business Wire circuit, and $295 if ordered standalone (a free membership to Business Wire is required). These releases via EON (Enhanced Online News) offer the use of anchor text and links, trackbacks, Web site preview, and customisation of the permanent URL. This is also great for targeting long tail terms.

2) PRNewswire.

More than just an online network, they’ll distribute through the traditional and interactive outlets. Hyperlinks are often removed from online releases, although the releases can rank well in the organic results. The newsline you select and the length of your news release determine the distribution cost. Each newsline covers a specific geographical area: local, regional, national, and international. Their optimised releases are included in US1 releases for $680 or can be added to any other release for an additional $255. Membership is $195 annually and releases start at $180 depending on the location you’re targeting.

3) PRWeb.

Great for small to medium-sized businesses, PRWeb is a leader in online news and press release distribution:

Standard Visibility: Basic submission, inclusion on Google and Yahoo News, two-day distribution, $80.

Social Media: Basic plus social bookmarking links for increased Web 2.0 distribution (tagging, etc), $140.

SEO Visibility: Allows for controlling anchor text of links in the release, next day distribution, and advanced SEO statistics (keywords referring traffic to the release, etc.), $200.

Media Visibility: Guaranteed distribution through the AP and top U.S. newspapers, addition of embedded video, $360.

4) PRLeap.

This is one of the newest and least expensive outlet. Has the fewest press releases being submitted on a daily basis, and is great for smaller businesses. My company has successfully distributed press releases through this channel into Google’s universal results.

Basic: Google and Ask News inclusion, text links, inclusion in PRLeap RSS feed (600 word limit), $49.

Plus: Basic plus AP and UPI distribution, social media tagging/bookmarking, allows for one media attachment, and next day service (1,000 word limit), $99.

Premium: Plus benefits and allows for five media attachments (2,000 word limit), $149.

The amount of press release sites are vast. I’ve given you guys a little taster but obviously budget plays its part.

Step 3: Publish Press Releases on Your own Web Site

While you’re going through the trouble of creating and submitting all of these press releases for distribution, don’t forget to publish all of your press releases on your own Web site to aid your SEO efforts. The search engines love sites that add keyword-rich pages on a regular basis. The more pages, the better. And, if you can organise your press releases by category (similar to how you might organise blog posts), all the better.

One other note: if your press releases are posted correctly (i.e., a unique title tag, header, and other content), this will avoid duplicate content issues with the release that exists on the distribution partner’s Web site. There can be issues with other syndicators of this content (they may not go through the trouble of creating unique title tags, headers, etc.), but the good ones will rank.

Let me know your thoughts

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Keep visitors engaged with Site-Search

Some websites do tend to be more difficult for visitors to find what they’re looking for!

Perhaps it’s because things don’t always fit neatly into more intuitive consumer categories. Perhaps it’s because B2B sites are often filled with so much diverse information. While site owners can engineer enhanced usability, better optimise and structure content, or create better organic landing pages, none of these options is a quick fix.

I’ve worked with a large knowledge management company, who’s product involved extracting information from vast online content and bringing the desired relevant information to the forefront. This technology was extremely expensive but created massive efficiencies for clients.

Google’s Site Search offers a quick, inexpensive way to keep visitors engaged and (hopefully) get them quickly to their destination on your site.

With SEO PPC, we’ve all clicked on promising organic search results and been quickly disappointed that the landing page doesn’t contain what we’re looking for. In many cases I’ll often land at a site I’m fairly certain contains what I want, so I’ll take a few clicks through the site’s navigation. But if I don’t find what I want in a few clicks, I don’t have the patience to keep searching. I’ll go to another site. All of us see these visits in our analytics, too. A four-page, 20-second visit. Then, they’re gone.

Site search functionality offers a way to keep visitors engaged a while longer. If visitors don’t quickly find what they want through navigation, they may try the site’s search tool. Many B2B visitors will go to the site’s search tool right away as an alternative to navigating to find an answer.

While many larger sites have already have site search functions, more often than not I’ve been disappointed with their search results. When I’m looking for a specific product or service, I’ll get hundreds of search results, but the first 30 results will be investor news releases or obscure technical articles. The results aren’t relevant to my quest. Not only do I leave without my desired answer, I’ve also formed some negative perceptions of the company and its website.

But then I tested Google Site Search. I think it’s a good answer for many B2B sites. It doesn’t cost much. Pricing depends on the number of pages indexed and the number of annual queries. For a site with less than 5,000 pages and less than 250,000 annual search queries, the cost is $100 per year. Pretty reasonable.

Getting all of your content indexed by Google can be a challenge, especially with large B2B sites. Google Site Search offers the opportunity of deeper site indexing for site-specific search. While this deeper site indexing won’t get more pages indexed by Google or help you in your Google rankings for web searches at Google.com, it will help you ensure all of your pages are reflected in the index of your site’s Google Site Search. This means searchers will get different (and likely better) results using Google’s Site Search on your site than if they used Google.com to search for information on your site (e.g., incorporating site:www.yoursite.com into the Google query).

Google’s site search also gives site owners the opportunity to “bias” the search results in a couple ways. For sites in which new content is typically more important, site owners can ensure search results are more heavily weighted to newer site content. Site owners can also bias search results to reflect certain sections of the site more than others, e.g., product-related pages more than company-information pages. This can help drive searchers more quickly to revenue-generating pages. This has been so impressive, under our search engine optimization training, we recommend this for our e-commerce customers.

If you don’t have search capabilities on your B2B site, it makes sense to spend £100 to try it. There’s not much you can do for $100 these days. So try it out. Then watch your analytics. Notice what visitors search for. That alone is great information. Also, see if your bounce rates decline, or if the average time on your site goes up materially. And watch your conversion rates.

If you already have search functionality on your site, you still may want to test out Google Site Search. Set it up and do some comparative searches. See if you think the search results are more relevant or if the user experience is better. I’m not sure if Google’s Site Search will be better than what you already have (and I’m not trying to sell Google’s Site Search), but again, for $100, it’s worth a test.

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Adwords Quality Score Help Part 3

The progressive conversation on relevancy:

With the onset of Quality Score, relevancy is much more scientific than most SEO packages will let you believe… if you want to approach it properly. The conversation has been going on for quite a while. I am going to focus specifically on the landing page and the collaboration that needs to occur to get this right.

Relevancy: what it used to mean, you had this bucket of keywords that you’d created during your search engine optimization training. You had the same titles and descriptions for everything on your list. Maybe you categorised them in Excel, started to map keywords, either way it used to be extremely manual. Then, the tools started to get better, standards started to raise, and relevancy became increasingly part of the conversation when it came to do quality search marketing.

We got more aggressive on bidding strategy, handling text ad methods, titles and descriptions, keyword landing page, and getting more serious about what we wanted the consumer to do.

Landing page: we have always been delivering this to deliver on consumer demand. Where you land on the page is one thing but now there are many more things to look at. You want to look at the account history, content and layout, usability and navigation and load time.

If Quality Score is well handled, it will force the tightening of relevancy to occur earlier on. We want to deliver on relevancy.

Guidance: When it comes to content, content rich strategies in search have always been wise. Use tags when necessary and be descriptive.

Usability: It should be useful, relevant, and deliver.

Navigation: Direct connection to what is sought. Make it clear how to get there. Ease of passage.

Transparency: Make sure the nature of your business is crystal clear.

Load time: this can be smooth with the right kind of collaboration. Minimize the number of redirects and come up with creative workarounds of slow servers.

Conclusion: If you are serious about relevancy, you need to take Quality Score seriously. It does I believe represent an opportunity to hang your interests on. As you go about making site modifications and dealing with all the other factors, understand what the threshold is and what your efforts should be. Know that your efforts are going to be re-evaluated by the engines over time, and will get better and better.

Summit for all your online marketing consulting

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How to Create a Social Media Storm

At Summit Online Marketing we’re frequently asked as part of our Search Engine Optimization Training the same question. It usually starts with… “we’ve really good content that we want to get thousands of visitors to, how do we do it”?

This short guide should come in useful.

With social media optimisation (SMO), it helps an awful lot if you either know the right people or are active in the places where you are looking to target. Once you do or are it is fairly easy. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your good content and your SMO campaign, for once you find your feet:

Forget Digg: I know it has been said many times, but it is even more true then ever now. For nine out of ten sites Digg is a big waste of time and getting any kind of e-commerce site on the homepage is virtually impossible. The only people who look in the upcoming section are the digg staff and fellow marketers. Spend 30 seconds getting your free link and then move on.

Planning is Everything: Make a list of all of the social media websites you are going to submit your content to and then work out roughly how long you think it is going to take for your content to go popular on each site. For example with Reddit you can be fairly sure that if your content is going to go popular, it will do within and hour or two. With Mixx it will normally take a good 6 hours and with Stumbleupon you just can’t tell, so you leave that out of the equation.

Once you have done this you need to choose a time for when you are going to plan to have all of your submissions go popular. You might say to yourself, I want all of my submissions to be going popular 7 hours from now at 11.00pm. Then you add the time you need to submit next to each social media site on your list.

Go to work and do everything as planned. If you have submitted to all of the major social sites and if all of the elements are in the equation, then when the time comes you should be able to make it into the top 10 on popurls and you should be getting a load of traffic from JimmyR.com. I have had over 3,000 uniques from popurls.com and I have had over 2,500 uniques from JimmyR.com. If you make it into the top 10 on popurls you have won and you will generally receive over 50,000 unique visitors in a short space of time and lots of trackbacks.

Once you have started to go popular on some of the social media sites our SEO training has shown us that you can make your content go a lot further by dealing with negative comments. There are lots of different ways to do this and trying to talk to the negative commenter(s) isn’t always the best one, here are a few ideas:

* Have all of your friends down vote the negative comments heavily
* Take the mick out of the negative commenter(s) or their comments
* If they have a good point, you might want to think about possibly changing your content

With good SEO SEM planning you can consistently get content to go popular on the social media sites, generate buzz and generate trackbacks.

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