Why You Rank Where You Rank: New Report from SEOMoz.org

August 31, 2009

To create the latest edition of their now biannual Search Engine Ranking Factors report, SEOMoz.org conducted a survey of more than seventy top SEO experts from around the world and compiled the results on a single information rich webpage.  The report is an essential read for anyone even slightly concerned with how their company’s sites rank and where they should focus their efforts to improve performance and I highly recommend reading it.

Interestingly enough, three of the top five factors from 2007 have simply bounced around this year’s top five.  Perhaps things don’t move quite as fast we think they do in the world of search?  Of 2007’s top factors, only domain age has dropped off the map in terms of importance, moving from the top five to barely a factor at all, with the more sophisticated measure of trustworthiness taking up the slack.

Here’s how the top five shape up:

1. Keyword Focused Anchor Text from External Links (#3 in 2007)

While Google’s official opinion of SEO practitioners seems to range from ambivalence to antipathy, optimized anchor text is clearly a more important factor than ever.  Descriptive anchor text (think “free press release podcast” rather than “click here“) acts as a signpost to readers and robots indicating what they should expect at the tail end of each link.  There’s no time like the present to start being more mindful in the words you choose for your hyperlinks.  In the case of press releases, Business Wire clients can use our keyword tool within the Press Release Builder to discover and optimize for relevant and frequently searched keywords in news searches.  Other popular tools include the Google AdWords keyword tool.

2. External Link Popularity (#2 in 2007)
3. Diversity of Link Sources

The more links the better!  Building links from a wide range of quality sites can be very effective to help you climb the search mountain and outrank competitors.  This is a marathon, not a sprint.  A sustained linkbuilding effort may not always pay immediate dividends, but should reap rewards over time.  A periodic press release distribution can be a key component of your campaigns.

4. Keyword Use Anywhere in the Title Tag (#1 in 2007)Much like anchor text, page titles benefit greatly from the inclusion of keywords and phrases that are important to your company.  Though not mentioned specifically in this section of the report, it’s widely considered a best practice to ensure your keywords are also within the first 60 or so characters of your page titles to ensure they show up to readers on Google, Google News, Yahoo!, Bing and elsewhere.  Also worth mentioning is that your release’s headline will also serve as your page title in the world of press releases.

 

5. Trustworthiness of the Domain

Trustworthiness refers to a site’s mozRank, which is a “10-point measure of global link authority or popularity . . . very similar in purpose to the measures . . . used by the search engines.”  The trustworthiness of a domain casts a wide net of influence across its rankings instead of a narrow range of search keywords.

Personally, my main takeaway from the report is that how you link and where you get links are as important as ever in helping you to achieve your search goals.  As always, press release distribution can be an essential component of your marketing-pr mix.  Where else can you create compelling and keyword rich webpages, links with custom anchor text, and push your message out to a broad mix of authoritative sites?


Should my Small Business use Press Releases?

August 28, 2009

While it’s true that we count some very large companies among our clients, we are also mindful of the needs of startups and small businesses and provide press release distribution tools and services that can fit almost any budget.

EON: Enhanced Online News, one of our press release platforms, facilitates your news being discovered in a number of ways:

-An optimization tool which we call the Press Release Builder that helps you create or optimize your release for search engine performance,
-Distribution in Google News, targeted RSS feeds, and Docstoc.com
-Social sharing links that facilitate your release getting into the social sphere
-Multimedia galleries providing assets such as photos and video in multiple formats to interested journalists, bloggers, and consumers for easy redistribution.

Beyond that, EON enables you to embed images within your release, include active hyperlinks with anchor text of your choosing, and a website preview window with any website of your choosing embedded.

EON starts from $295 for lifetime release hosting.  Multimedia assets are $100 for the first and $50 for each additional.  Here’s two examples of EON releases which really get the most out of the platform:

Candle Lovers’ Dream Come True

Bluetooth Technology Gets Faster with Bluetooth 3.0

…and here’s a coupon for $100 off your first release.  EON releases can be ordered directly from our website.  Simply create an account at http://eon.businesswire.com .

Our metro wire circuits are also very affordable, starting at only $210 for a release under 400 words.  Take a look at your options and get in touch with a Business Wire representative near you (we have over 20 offices) if you have any questions or would like to get started.

Of course the world doesn’t revolve around Business Wire, and there are some great low cost or no cost ways of driving traffic to your site or blog include everything from actively twittering, participating in blogger communities such as BlogCatalog.com, writing guest posts through services like Bloggerlinkup.com, searching for PR opportunities on HARO (or our ExpertSource service), and studying up on everything SEO on sites and forums such as SEOMoz.org to name a few!


Turn Your Press Release into An Advisory: All Things Press Release Podcast

August 28, 2009

What’s the best way to publicize an event with a press release?

Turn it into an advisory.    That’s the advice of Business Wire’s Bill Mikulak, Senior News Editor out of our Los Angeles office.

Bill, who’s seen his share of news advisories, should know.  When not editing copy and advising clients at Business Wire, he sometimes teaches public relations at Los Angeles area colleges and universities.

Part of Bill’s reasoning for promoting advisories is that at Business Wire, advisories include a free reminder the day of the event, so you get two bangs for the buck.   Hear more in this edition of the All Things Press Release podcast:  Turn Your Press Release Into an Advisory.

Like what you hear?  Subscribe via RSS or iTunes.  You can hear our other podcasts by clicking on the All Things Press Release tab at the top of this page (third tab from left).

Have ideas for a future podcast?  Please let us know.  Email blog_group@businesswire.com or connect with us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/businesswire


Florida Experts Discuss PR Strategies and Trends in the US Latino Market

August 26, 2009

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Business Wire Florida hosted “Hispanic PR Strategies & Marketing Trends,” a media breakfast for Miami-area communicators on August 13. The event featured a panel discussion on communications efforts targeting the US Latino market.

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Seated: Arturo Duran (ImpreMedia), Mark Fauntleroy (Experian Simmons), Manny Garcia (El Nuevo Herald) Standing: Silvia Clarke (BW Florida Regional Manager), Pilar Portela ( BW - Media Relations Supervisor)

Gina Amaro Rudan of Genuine Insights moderated the panel, which included:

Among the key insights provided by the panel:

  • Mr. Fauntleroy notes that the Hispanic population in the US continues to grow (with a 3.2 percent increase in population last year and a projected population of 133 million by the year 2050) and that that population continues to show a steady increase in both education and income level. This group has also shown to index highly in brand loyalty and is very brand conscious overall. Spanish language advertising remains effective with them.
  • Mr. Garcia points out that the top draw to his paper’s website, ElNuevoHerald.com, is the photo gallery. He advises PR professionals pitching his paper to think beyond the written word: include multimedia content in pitches to increase your chance of coverage.
  • Mr. Duran says that social media is an incredible bridge for the Hispanic audience. ImpreMedia has someone Twittering every half hour. Another major trend is mobile marketing, as mobile accounts for ten percent of ImpreMedia’s online traffic. Mr. Duran notes that Hispanics over-index by more than twice the national average in using the Internet on their mobile devices.
  • Ms. Solano notes that, despite all the other channels discussed, television remains critical for reaching the Hispanic market. It still boasts the greatest reach of all media for the demographic, drawing both young and old.
  • Mr. Mercado says that, while first generation Hispanic Americans remains the primary target of Terra Networks, they cannot forget about second and third generation users. They have evolved with this group by providing English content on their site, which has grown by 186 percent since its launch last year.

Local Business Wire offices host several events each year on PR, IR, SEO & media topics.  Check out the Business Wire Events page to find upcoming events in your area.

Follow Business Wire events on Twitter! Hash tag #bwevents


Add Twitter to Your Press Release: All Things Press Release Podcast

August 24, 2009

Should you add Twitter to your press release?  A  better question might be:   why not?

How to do it is covered in today’s All Things Press Release podcast from Business Wire’s Global Operations Manager Michael Poirier, who joins us for this episode from our Boston office. Mike began his news delivery career in grade school as a paperboy and has been working and playing with new media ever since.

As the 13-year newsroom veteran points out, we’re seeing clients refer to Twitter in their press release efforts with increasing frequency.  So how do you add Twitter to your press release?

Take a listen and find out in this edition of the All Things Press Release podcast, Adding Twitter to your Press Release:

Like what you hear?  Subscribe via RSS or iTunes.

Have ideas for a future podcast?  Please let us know.

Email blog_group@businesswire.com or connect with us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/businesswire


Upcoming Business Wire Events – August 20 Edition

August 20, 2009

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Join Business Wire experts in your area for media breakfasts, panel discussions and other insightful events. We bring local media members and industry thought leaders to your market to discuss today’s most relevant topics, from writing for SEO to marketing with social media. Best of all, Business Wire events are usually free of charge. Check out some of our upcoming events in your area:

The Future of How Global News Is Delivered and the Rise of the Fractured Communications Class

Hosted by Business Wire Denver

With all the talk about social media and the decline of traditional media, it is clear that we have more communication vehicles than ever and consumers are absorbing their information from multiple niche sources, rather than a few primary ones. With the pressing need to keep our conversations meaningful, can we still reach mass audiences and demonstrating ROI? Joe Hodas, Senior Vice President, Brand Communications at Vladimir Jones, moderates a panel including: Steve Snyder, Director, Corporate Communications, Frontier Airlines; Michael Booth, Anchor Team Writer, The Denver Post; Eric Elkins, CEO and ePR/Social Media/Marketing Strategist, WideFoc.us; Jack Maher, Executive Producer, 9News; and Sandi Garcia, Communications and Public Affairs Director, The Kempe Foundation, Kempe Children’s Center. This event is free for Business Wire members and $20 for non-members.

Thursday, August 27 at 8am MDT
Denver Athletic Club
1325 Glenarm Place, Denver, CO 80206
To register: Please RSVP by Monday, August 24th to JoAnne Hirsch at joanne.hirsch@businesswire.com

Transparency in Financial Reporting and Media Communications

Hosted by Business Wire Silicon Valley

It has become increasingly difficult for the public, investors and regulators to understand how public companies report their corporate stories. With the recent financial crisis, there is a greater need than ever for transparency in reporting financial performance, as well as meeting corporate disclosure and accountability standards. Join Business Wire Silicon Valley and an expert panel for a discussion on corporate transparency, media communications, best practices and experiences in covering financial news from the larger tech companies in the Bay Area. Business Wire and the Tech Museum of Innovation will host the panel, which will be moderated by Steve Trousdale, Business Editor, San Jose Mercury News and will include Aaron Ricadela, Business and Tech Writer for Business Week, Shana Lynch, Associate Editor for the Silicon Valley Business Journal and Michael Liedtke, Tech Reporter, The Associated Press. This event is free for Business Wire members and $15 for non-members.

Thursday, September 3 at 8:30am PST
The Tech Museum of Innovation
201 South Market Street, San Jose, CA 95113
To register: Please RSVP to Eric Baker at Eric.Baker@businesswire.com or call 408.970.4550 by Tuesday, Sept. 1 with the subject line: “Media Breakfast: Transparency in Financial Reporting and Media Communications”

For more upcoming local Business Wire events or to see what’s coming up in our award-winning webinar series, visit http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/business-wire-events.

Follow Business Wire events on Twitter! Hash tag #bwevents


Become A Media Resource: All Things Press Release Podcast

August 20, 2009

In today’s All Things Press Release podcast, Business Wire editor Lori Bailey in our Miami newsroom  gives the ‘thumbs’ up’ to becoming a “true media resource” in your press releases.

Lori, who pretty much fits the mold of Business Wire editor with a history as first runner-up in her Troy, Pennsylvania, junior high spelling bee, is starting her second year as an editor.    She suggests ways to get on the radar screen of reporters and news consumers so that you and your organization are perceived as an information source.

Here’s Lori’s All Things Press  Release podcast tip:  Become a True Media Resource.

This podcast is the third in the All Things Press Release series of press release tips offered by our newsroom editors.

Like what you hear?  Subscribe via RSS or iTunes.

Have ideas for a future podcast?  Please let us know.

Email blog_group@businesswire.com or connect with us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/businesswire


Orange County Editors Discuss Business Trends and Online Tools

August 18, 2009

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On August 12, Business Wire Newport Beach hosted a media breakfast on business trends and online tools enhancing local news publications and their websites. Business Wire Senior Vice President of Marketing Tom Becktold kicked off the discussion with a presentation on the new PR toolbox: how social media and other emerging strategies are affecting how brands communicate with their audiences.

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An in-depth look at three of Orange County’s major media outlets followed, presented by a panel of editors, including (left to right):

Among the tips and key points brought up by the panel:

  • Ms. Allen says that the Register is very much focused on the web first. Its reporters post breaking news and updates on stories as it happens online, then the print team pulls from those stories at the end of the day to craft the story for the newspaper itself. Since it began this strategy, OCRegister.com has doubled its page views year over year.
  • Ms. Allen also pointed out that, because of the focus on online, the OC Register has become very multimedia-oriented. Its photo desk is much more open to accepting photos and video from the public than it has been in the past, because while the paper has its team of photographers, they don’t produce enough photos for online use.
  • Ms. Borgatta presented some do’s and don’ts for pitching editors. Her don’ts included:
    • Don’t cold call an editor and launch directly into a pitch.
    • Don’t pitch an editor a story that has no relevance to the publication. Spin the story with an angle that may work with the publication.
    • Don’t, whatever you do, call an editor or publication by the wrong name.
  • Her do’s included:
    • Do start off a phone pitch by asking if the editor is on deadline.
    • Do be direct & to-the-point, whether it’s an email or phone pitch.
    • Do be a hero to the editor. If an editor needs to fill a hole, become someone they can count on to give them everything they need to supply a last minute story.
  • Mr. Lyster says that the OC Business Journal think of themselves like the Wall Street Journal of the Orange County area. They run similarly, with the largest companies based in the area receiving most of the coverage in the front pages.
  • Mr. Lyster notes that the OC Business Journal has found that, interestingly, the reason why local executives and CEOs is because they look at the Business Journal sort of like a community newspaper. While they can get their industry news from the national papers, trade publications and market research, they like to keep up with their fellow local company executives that live and work where they are. It almost feels like a high school newspaper, where the students are the CEOs and other executives.

Here are some audio clips from the event:

Rebecca Allen: “The OC Register is very web-focused.”

Michael Lyster: “Local executives look at the Business Journal like a community newspaper.”

Click here to download a complete audio recording of Tom Becktold’s talk on the new PR toolbox and here for a recording of the panel discussion.

Local Business Wire offices host several events each year on PR, IR, SEO & media topics.  Check out the Business Wire Events page to find upcoming events in your area.

Follow Business Wire events on Twitter! Hash tag #bwevents


Adding Multimedia to Your Press Release: Press Release Tips from the All Things Press Release Podcast

August 14, 2009

The All Things Press Release podcast continues with press release tips suggested and presented by Business Wire’s highly trained newsroom editors.

Business Wire employs more than 200 editors worldwide.  Each editor receives an average three months’  training before “flying solo” in prepping and processing the 1000+ press releases that flood our news queue each work day.

From Paris and Frankfurt to New York, Phoenix and L.A., our newsroom crew is on the front lines of the press release process–so who better to ask for press release tips?

Cindy Cantu, an editor in our San Antonio office, offers today’s Press Release Tip:  Adding Multimedia to Your Press Release.

Like what you hear?  Subscribe via RSS or iTunes.

Have ideas for a future podcast?  Please let us know.  Email blog_group@businesswire.com or connect with us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/businesswire


Miami-Area Expert Panel to Discuss Hispanic PR Strategies and Marketing Trends

August 11, 2009

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Join Business Wire experts in your area for media breakfasts, panel discussions and other insightful events. We bring local media members and industry thought leaders to your market to discuss today’s most relevant topics, from writing for SEO to marketing with social media. Best of all, Business Wire events are usually free of charge. Check out this upcoming local Business Wire event:

Hispanic PR Strategy and Marketing Trends

Hosted by Business Wire Miami

Despite recession, companies are targeting Latino market. With the buying power of over $713 billion it is more important than ever to reach this powerful and growing community of consumers and influential decision makers. This Thursday, Business Wire Miami is hosting “Hispanic PR Strategies and Marketing Trends,” a free media breakfast that will explore how to target communications efforts to the US Hispanic Market.

Gina Amaro Rudan of Genuine Insights will moderate the panel, which will also feature:

This event is FREE for all attendees.

Thursday, August 13 at 8:30am ET
Florida International University
School of Journalism & Mass Communication
Biscayne Bay Campus, ACII 115, 3000 N.E. 151st. St., North Miami, FL 33181

To register: Please RSVP to Claudia Perez-Bonilla at claudia.perez@businesswire.com or call 954-474-8833.

For more upcoming local Business Wire events or to see what’s coming up in our award-winning webinar series, visit http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/business-wire-events.

Follow Business Wire events on Twitter! Hash tag #bwevents


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