GOOD ONLINE PRESS CENTERS: key to getting a reporters' attentionWritten by Barry Forward
A successful Web site needs to create interest, maintain customer attention and generate desire to purchase a product or service, motivating customers to follow through with an order. An online press center or virtual newsroom -- where you inform users about new products and announce events -- allows journalists and your customers to see that you're a professional in your industry. It will also help deal with emergencies and offer you opportunities to lend your voice to issue that affect your business.
A virtual newsroom is a must for small businesses who want to raise their profile and build their reputation. Journalists often use Internet to source stories and conduct research into a news story. If your Web site comes up as an authority on an issue, journalist will check out your Web site and be impressed if there is an online press center that contains information needed to write a story. It also establishes your business reputation if you take time to build an online press center, because not only journalists will access it.
There are several key things to consider when your setting up online press center section of your website. Your online press center should at very least include following elements: * News release(s) * Photos and illustrations * Fact sheets * Backgrounders * Biographies
Biographies provide a quick summary of relevant background of an individual, with objective of building credibility.
Visuals that might be included in an online press center include a downloadable logo -- identity of your business -- and downloadable online photographs of your key executives. Photographs are especially useful as they put a picture to a name and can be used by press to accompany a news story.
The Search Engine BluesWritten by Jennifer Durocher
There's no easy way to talk about this without getting frustrated…getting your site known on net these days is a most difficult task. Search engines are picky and their rules change everyday, getting a top ten listing is almost impossible, all those "submit to 5000 sites" are bull and other mediums are just too expensive for small businessman. It's a difficult process to drive customers to your site but it can be done. It is a question of getting someone on top of it - now. There are lots of options available, it just depends on what you're looking to accomplish. The single most important aspect to consider in promotion and positioning of this nature is to make sure that your website is functional. There is no use in having a website at all if it just does not work. That is probably worst possible press out there - if word gets out that your site has broken links all over place and that images are constantly missing, it does not look favorably on you or your business. So make sure that all links are working, all form submissions do not return errors and all files are there in their proper order. There should probably be minimum one person in your team who does this check at least once a week. Next, consider META tag & keyword side of things. We've all heard horror stories about people abusing them to try and get high rankings on search engines. That is, obviously, not such a good idea. There is no easy solution to search engine blues, but consider using them, far too many people continue to ignore them. Any web page generator program usually does not include creation of such tags but they are not that hard to do. A META tag is what "talks" to search engine robots that index your site. For most part, you need to include them if you want any indexing at all. The two most important tags are: & . The description of your site should be no more than 15 - 20 words, it should be accurate and it should contain at least some of your keywords. Keywords should have relevance. For example, attempting to use word "sex" 50, 000 times will not win you love of search engines. Instead, think carefully about what you think people would type in to find your services. Now use those as your keywords. Do not worry…they'll change over time to better suit your site's changing services, and as you get better with it you'll know exactly what words work best.