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Optimized Press Releases
Press releases that are optimized to appear when certain terms are typed into news search engines are an excellent way to build name recognition and credibility. If someone is taking time to look for news related to your industry, he or she is probably either in your business, learning about your market, or writing a piece about your industry. The last category is especially significant since a recent study* indicates that 98% of journalists go online daily, 92% use Internet for article research, and 73% use it to find press releases. Whatever motivation a person has when he or she searches for news related to your industry, you want your company represented in results.
Another great way to promote your expertise and business is to write expert articles and submit them to leading online publications in your field. At least one person in your company is almost certainly an expert in your field – why not let everyone know that? A person that reads an expert article published on an industry portal, and who subsequently clicks through to website (from link in expert’s bio) is extremely targeted and already has a favorable impression of your company. Moreover, same study cited above found that 76% of journalists go online to seek news sources or experts. When your company has demonstrated that you have experts on staff by publishing articles in credible, non-biased forums, phone invariably starts to ring. Your experts will be asked to provide their opinions, quotes, or experiences for feature articles, often in prestigious industry publications. The benefits of this, of course, do not need explanation. A side benefit to both of strategies above is thatthey increase number of inbound links to your website and, therefore, can help greatly enhance your search engine rankings – which might be primary reason you looked into SEO in first place.
Direct mail was once considered a marketer’s dream – but email newsletters can be much more effective. Imagine a direct mail list with a low delivery cost, where every single person on list has shown an interest in receiving such mailings. Such is nature of opt-in email newsletters. People have shown enough interest in your company, or, at least, in what your company has to say, to invite you to communicate with them on a regular basis. They are essentially giving you permission to keep yourself “first in mind” whenever they are considering your products or services. Such opportunities are rare in marketing world. By combining conversion principles you have applied to your website to your email newsletters, you can also get people to take an action that puts them into your sales pipeline without worrying about getting them to your website itself.
These are only a few of additional ways to expand an online initiative beyond a misdirected ranking-centric approach. Weblogs (or blogs) are often considered another new frontier in online marketing, and we haven’t even touched on paid media opportunities such as banner ads or pay-per-click marketing. However, three components mentioned above are important elements of a complete and successful online marketing initiative. An SEO campaign launched without considering them is like driving a four-cylinder car with only one cylinder firing – it will move, but you’d definitely reach your destination more quickly – and more smoothly – with all four.
Scott Buresh is managing partner of Medium Blue Search Engine Marketing (www.mediumblue.com). His articles have appeared in numerous publications, including ZDNet, WebProNews, MarketingProfs, DarwinMag, SiteProNews, and Search Engine Guide. He also contributed to Building Your Business with Google For Dummies (Wiley, 2004). Medium Blue is an Atlanta search engine optimization company whose clients include DuPont and Boston Scientific.