SEO Tip Jar: Getting the Most Out Of Your Links

December 3, 2009

seotipjar-header-v11
Looking to learn more about the art and science of Search Engine Optimization? Join Joseph Miller, EON Product Manager, for a new batch of tips from his SEO Tip Jar.

In the age of Google, links truly make the world go round and your press releases are no exception.  Every press release is an opportunity to push your story out to the world and influence how your company is seen, not only by people but search engines as well.

In the previous edition of SEO Tip Jar, I went into the why behind the benefit of links.  This article will cover some success stories and techniques on how to get more benefit from your links.

Search engines consider hundreds of factors in determining their ever-changing search rankings for pages across the web, but chief among them is link text from other sites.  Consider a site such as NBA.com, the official site of the National Basketball League.   Using an analysis tool, I can see that some of the most popular keywords linking to nba.com are: NBA, NBA.com, National Basketball Association, NBA Official Site, Basketball, and NBA Basketball.

All these keywords linking to them reinforce both the brand name and the site’s strong relevance to basketball, so it’s no surprise that NBA.com is the top result in search.

Your company or organization may not have the wide consumer reach of the NBA, but you still need to build awareness regardless of your industry or niche.  Every press release you put out is an easy opportunity to build more links and generate long-term SEO advantages for your site.

Read the rest of this entry »


Aristotle on Twitter, Mom Knows Best, and Other Lessons from SXSWi 2009

March 23, 2009
Is Aristotle on Twitter

If Aristotle were on Twitter, he'd be a big retweeter.

Getting attention in a cluttered content universe was just one hot topic at South by Southwest Interactive this year, and the question, “Do you give good URL?” aimed to address the point in a delightful panel of  University of Texas at Austin academics.

Maybe my background as an American Studies graduate from UT predisposed me to this panel, but I found it was one of my favorites in the five-day new media conference of more than 6,000 attendees.

The discussion, “Is Aristotle on Twitter?” revisited the great philosopher and addressed the struggle many of us face online–deciphering style from substance. Giving good URL–that is, supplying readers with useful, relevant content via helpful links–indicates BOTH, say the academics.

Generous, appropriate Link Love not only shows your style, but reflects your judgement.  You wouldn’t knowingly pass along something you didn’t find valuable–would you?

While last year Twitter was oft discussed in the context of the horrendous Sarah Lacy/Mark Zuckerberg interview, in 2009 Twitter tips were ubiquitous, as attendees filled conference halls, laptops opened, Tweetdeck loaded.    Example: Retweeting may be the sincerest form of flattery and is strongly encouraged, say the academics.   “Retweeting creates judgement, while tweeting creates familiarity.” 

Other great takeaways:

1. Every cell phone is a media outlet.
2. Retweeting makes readers see through you; tweeting makes readers see you. Both are important.
3. Social media will provide the data helping determine the five things you SHOULD be doing rather than the 50 things you COULD be doing.
4. “Being better is its own word-of-mouth,” Kathy Sierra.
5. Distinguish the urgent from the important, as in don’t respond to “urgent” emails at the expense of those that are important.
6.  The humble “telephone is one of the best branding tools out there, despite being low-tech,” Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappo’s.
7.  The organization chart of the future will have customers at the top, CEOs at the bottom.
8.  When it comes to social media, it’s just as important to be interested as it is to be interesting.
9.  When hiring, chemistry is MORE IMPORTANT than skills.
10.  When you find yourself in the echo chamber, call your mom for a reality check on ideas. Mom frequently DOES know best.

As a mom, I concur.


Calling All Reporters: How do you use new media tools?

September 5, 2008
Middleberg Communications and the Society for New Communications Research have teamed up to try and answer that always vexing question: what do reporters want?

In the way of new media tools, that is.

 The First Annual Middleberg/SNCR Global Survey of Media in the Wired World is a reincarnation of the highly regarded Middleberg-Ross Survey, which PR veteran Don Middleberg previously conducted with Steven Ross, formerly with the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.  The survey has always been a valued resource for PR pros, chronicling journalists embrace–or not–of the Internet.

The new study will include an updated online survey as well as detailed case studies based on interviews with journalists from around the world. The research team will examine the effects of new media, social media, and citizen journalism on journalists and journalism.

Journalists and editors of all shapes and stripes are encouraged to take this survey , which should only help professional communicators reach them in the fashion they most prefer.  The survey takes 10 minutes.

Participants will receive a free copy of the executive summary of the survey results and a special discount to attend the 2008 Society for New Communications Research Symposium, which will be held on Friday, November 14, 2008 at the Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge, Mass., where the initial findings will be shared.


Web 2.0 Acronyms Gone Wild: Some Will Stick, More Will Fade

July 14, 2008

JUST as we’re mastering an explanation of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and its importance to press releases for our clients, an email is forwarded, touting the virtues of DAO, digital asset optimization, as one of the niftiest twists in the Web 2.0 evolution.

In breathless text and two–count ‘em!–videos, DAO is championed as the key strategy for achieving “effective visibility across multiple platforms” for press release videos, graphics and otherAcronyms Gone Wild digital assets.

So does DAO make SEO seem DOA?  Just ask your BW AE for the DL on EON and SNR and find out ASAP!

If you’re getting indigestion from this overdose of alphabet soup, you’re not alone.  Even those of us who make a living trying to keep up are getting nauseous.   Seems like at least once a month, Web 2.0 pontificators invent a new acronym to hang their hats on.    Uh…didn’t we just go through this with the SMPR?

Just this week, a blog post at Video Insider introduced a grand new acronym for our collection:  the iGRP,  Internet Gross Rating Point.   Blogger Todd Sacerdoti introduces a new method of measuring online video viewership. 

Will iGRP catch on?   How about DAO?  Only time will tell.  In the meantime, confusion reigns as we sift through the jargon.

Staking out a new acronym doesn’t automatically imbue its letters with meaning.  Well, maybe if you’re Steven Colbert.   Colbert, star of the Colbert Report, shown most weeknights on Comedy Central, champions truthiness, the modern notion that just because you say or believe something, that makes it true.

The rest of us have to let our acronyms play out.    Sometimes they stick and assume real meaning.   More often, they fade into the rear view mirror.

Business Wire has been doing digital asset optimization since 1998 when we introduced our Smart News Release (we even earned an acronym:  SNR).   To see how we optimize digital assets, check out our news with multimedia.  And for a free education in text optimization, watch our archived webcasts on how to be an SEO hero.


The Knot Makes Case for Hybrid Media At Business Wire Event

June 26, 2008

More than 150 professional communicators gathered at the 3 West Club in Manhattan earlier this week for Business Wire’s panel discussion, “A Social Media Conversation: How PR, IR & Marketing Professionals Can Engage and Participate in the Social Web.”

Peter Himler, President of Publicity Club of New York and founder of Flatiron Communications moderated the panel which included Melissa Bauer, Senior PR Manager of The Knot, Ryan Block, Editor-in-Chief, Engadget, Josh Cohen, Senior Business Product Manager for Google News, Peter Hershberg, Managing Partner, Reprise Media, Rob Key, CEO & Founder, Converseon, and Jim Nail, Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer, TNS/Cymfony.  PRNewswer did a nice recap and you can also listen to the webcast.

The Knot\'s Interactive Press Releases Deliver Hits and Views

The Knot’s case study in utilizing many of the new tools and strategies discussed seemed to strike a chord with attendees. Bauer’s slidedeck demonstrated in detail how the company uses ALL types of media–from Facebook, video-on-demand and interactive press releases to traditional media pitches and hard copy national and local magazines.

Let’s hear it for hybrid media.


From IROs to Engineers: Grappling with the Groundswell

June 17, 2008

The Groundswell, by Charlene Li and Josh BernoffLast week I spoke at two panels in California. The topic: new media. At the National Investor Relations Institute Conference in San Diego, my friend Rob Williams at Dell assembled a robust panel on blogging for investor relations officers (IROs).   At the Design Automation Conference two days later in Anaheim, Scott Sandler of Springsoft organized a session for engineers on navigating new media. A 90-minute train ride separated these two disparate audiences, but what struck me besides the glorious California coastline was how both groups are grappling with the Groundswell.

The Groundswell, written by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff of Forrester Research, is the best book to date written on social media. Rich in case studies, data, and readable prose, the authors decipher the social web’s tools, technologies and tactics in terms that nongeeks can understand. Read this book!

Its most relevant thesis for professional communicators is that people are looking TO EACH OTHER for news and information, rather than to traditional institutions like corporations. While this is no surprise, what distinguishes Li and Bernoff’s work from others is how it convincingly presents Web 2.0 as an opportunity, not a threat.

Is it alot of extra work to understand the Groundswell? You bet. One of the best quotes of the DAC panel was a frustrated marketing exec who groused: “Great, so we’re all publishers…now we have to do that, too!” This marketer longed for the days when a print ad in an engineering trade publication accomplished the task of getting a software firm’s message out.

Is the Groundswell scary?  As Li and Bernoff point out, “It isn’t comfortable at first.”   For IROs and others trained to control the flow of their company’s information to Wall Street and elsewhere, giving up control to gain influence is counter cultural.  And yet the IROs who attended our panel were open to the change.

Many would argue control has always been a delusion–all the more reason to invest in understanding.


Press Release 2.0: Writing and Content Matter More than Tech Tricks

February 20, 2008

Tactics, the newsletter of the Public Relations Society of America , devoted its February issue to writing, and that’s good news.

PRSA Public Relations Society of AmericaWhy? Because in the contest to appear more-social-media-savvy-than-thou, some industry pros are losing sight of what matters most when it comes to press releases: good writing and valuable content. After that, appropriate delivery gets your message heard.

Judging from the roiling conversation around the “social media release,” you might think that press release results are all about the technology–that sharing chicklets, trackbacks, multimedia and tags are a PR panacea.

We at Business Wire and EON: Enhanced Online News don’t buy that. We believe a well-written story, distributed through appropriate channels, gets your message across.

That DOES NOT MEAN press release content shoved inappropriately into social media networks and two-way conversations. Crashing the party and interrupting conversations has never worked for me in the past…how ’bout you?

In our webinars, we educate attendees on how new media tools apply to press releases, reminding them that tapping into social networks requires time, energy and understanding. That’s why it’s called “networking,” which applies online just as it does in person.

At a PRSA meeting, you wouldn’t barge into a group of people you don’t know, shouting “Have you seen our new product?!? It’s really great! You should buy it!”

You wouldn’t.

Rather, you’d listen, find common ground, start a conversation, develop rapport, cultivate a relationship…and maybe, just maybe…hours, days or weeks later, propose some sort of contact.

Making releases more web friendly can increase a release’s Web traction, no doubt about it. And surely you won’t be surprised to learn that IMHO Business Wire and EON: Enhanced Online News offer the best tools on the planet for delivering press releases to their appropriate audiences.

That said, even OUR superior technology is incidental to the content and the writing.


How the Testy Topic of Tags Applies to Press Releases

January 30, 2008

What are tags and Why do I want them? Our first webinar of the year, Lost in MySpace?, hit a chord with clients. Almost 500 people showed up last Friday…and we’re STILL answering questions for those who attended.

The 45-minute presentation targeted those inexperienced in Web 2.0 and while we made some progress, it’s clear our clients are hungry for as much enlightenment as we can provide on how this organic landscape applies to press releases.

One of the thorniest issues seems to be user generated tags–NOT metatags, which are the coding on a webpage that helps search engines categorize the content for serving up to searchers. We had dozens of questions on tags.

What are tags and why should PR practitioners, marketers and even savvy small businesses care about them?

Fact is, Web 2.0 presents huge opportunities for your press releases to be shared, re-purposed, reformatted and reused–in other words seen and read–by the billions of people surfing and searching the Web. The more you embrace tools like tags, the more you facilitate that sharing and re-purposing, therefore increasing the chances of your press release being seen and your message communicated.

Tags help by making it easier for people to find, share and read the copy you so painstakingly have put together. Think of the Internet as this big, fat filing cabinet. In it are billions of documents or web pages. Consider your press release a web page–because that’s exactly what it is, once it slips from being a Word or Mac document to an interactive webpage hosted by Business Wire, EON Enhanced Online News, or posted on your website.

Continuing the filing cabinet metaphor, the press release is the document you’re going to file. How should you label it so you can find it later? How will others interested in that document find it? And, Mom was right: you’re judged by the company you keep. Think about the kind of content with which you want to be associated, because it will also come up when tagged like yours.

The tag is the the label you put on the page to facilitate finding, storing, and sharing of the content. The tag helps give your press release a life BEYOND that first news spike, since it facilitates the saving and sharing of it later.

For more press release tips, check out our delicious page. Also, leave us a comment with your take on tags.


Yahoo! Finance Debuts Business Wire XHTML Feed

October 19, 2007

Today is a very satisfying day for many of us at Business Wire and we think it’s also a good day for investor relations. After several years of development and more than a year of working with our downstream partners, Business Wire’s XHTML feed is now being carried on Yahoo! Finance.

Why is this important? XHTML (eXtensible HyperText Markup Language) enables us and IR professionals to break a decades-long limitation in how earnings tables are transmitted, presented and re-utilized. Limitations in data feeds and ANPA and ASCII languages and technology have meant that tables could be no longer than 70 characters in width, could not support underlines, bold text or bulleted lists. This means tables are often difficult for humans to read and harder for computers to parse in today’s automated times.

Earnings Tables that are Easier for Humans and Computers

Enter XHTML. With XHTML, we present tables that closely mirror how they appear in their original spread sheet format. Wider, with underlined headers and numbers. And they are more easily readable by humans and electronic systems. For humans, the benefits are obvious.

Look at these two examples of tables:

Each element of the Business Wire NewsML press release in XHTML is tagged – the content within the headline, body copy, tables, contact information, etc. so that systems can find and utilize the exact data they need. This ultimately helps news organizations to speed the reporting of earnings results and further levels the playing field for access to corporate financial data.

This is a very big “next step” in our ongoing efforts to change the way media, syndicates, financial information services and consumer sites handle content. Our patented Internet “NX” delivery system is the backbone for this system. We have spent countless development hours and invested millions of dollars in building a smarter system to simultaneously deliver rich content to end users. We’re working on getting more systems online with XHTML in the near future.


The Press Release 2.0: A Users Guide

September 20, 2007

Since 1996 when we first posted press releases on the Internet, we’ve been encouraging clients to write them with an eye to both journalists and consumers and to include photos and interactive elements. We thought we’d share the real-world application of what you can do today with the Business Wire platform.

Check out this sample press release from Business Wire that we put together for an author’s upcoming book on PR. You’ll notice that we enable you to present your press release using many of the style guidelines you build into your original document, including bold, underlines, bulleted text and hyperlinked keywords. All of these can help enhance the search engine visibility of your press release, not to mention improve the readiblity and interactivity of your communications.

We provide easy access to your photos and multimedia, translated versions of your press release, a company information center, your contact information, social media icons, measurement reports and more. Earnings tables are also more attractive and readable. And, these style elements are pushed out over our network to recipients via XHTML and RSS on our patented NX distribution platform.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 38,099 other followers

%d bloggers like this: