SEM PR – SearchFest 2009

11:05am in the Vista room


Doug Hay – Expansion Plus
Dustin Woodard – Wetpaint
Todd Freisen – PositionTech


Todd Mintz – S.R. Clarke

Session Details

Doug was the first speaker. Notes follow below:

Keywords: you need to choose one main keyword or phrase and one or two minor keywords to optimize your press release around. Include them in the title of your press release.

Google indexes 65 characters; Yahoo indexes 85 for PR titles.

Social media press releases (Marketwire provides this service) allows you to add video, “share this page”-type content, etc.

Syndicating your content should be used as a PR marketing tool. Send out your content and take advantage of RSS. Put your content in an RSS feed before actually sending it out to the wires. Make it easy for search engines to collect your content by putting it into an RSS feed.

Use resources like Digg that offer different categories. Don’t think that the typical audience for these social media sites will make or break how successful your content will be on the site.

Video is popular these days. President Obama successfully used YouTube and social media in general to really help his cause.

Dustin was the next speaker. Notes follow below:

Dustin’s presentation is centered around building relationships for SEO success.

It’s easier now than ever to reach out to specific press individuals via social media. Twitter and LinkedIn were two examples. But don’t count out using email; lots of press folks do respond to emails if the email is created in good intentions.

When you do start a discussion, don’t push your own agenda. Lead them down the path that will lead them to the message you wish to convey. For example, if you have an SEO tool, don’t contact Danny Sullivan and say, “Hey, check out our cool new tool.” Perhaps write a message about the newest search engine update and ask what his thoughts are.

Don’t overlook bloggers. TechCrunch, for example, can bring you a lot of traffic.

Summarizing the benefits:

  • You’ll get repeat coverage
  • Ensure SEO by fixing links (i.e. press release doesn’t include link when mentioning your brand; email them and let them know about it)
  • Relationship extends beyond current publication

Build relationships wih the public as well. 2/3rds of internet population visits social networking sites. So build a presence, connect with people and respond to any inquiries or comments quickly.

You can also build your own community that embraces fans and supports user-driven content. One example being a FOX Terminator community where users can change page content (like Wikipedia) and share stories.

Social media benefits for being the top resource and “hangout” around your topic:

  • More press = more traffic to your resource
  • SEO benefits – more links going to your community which helps your search rankings get higher in the SERPs
  • Crafting content – you don’t have to write it all. Users can create it for you.
  • Community – drive adoption, engagement and visit frequency

Todd was the last speaker. His notes are below:

Todd’s presentation was M.I.A. so he took some time to get it downloaded from his email. Filler included some questions:

  1. Wiki development. What does Dustin use? His business actually just hosts that functionality.
  2. ShareThis functionality. Would you use this plugin or would you rather just include links? The answer was to provide a simple tool for users to use. ShareThis is easy to insert into RSS as well as a press release.
  3. Submitting articles and press releases to article directories do have great benefits. “Article sites have come back to life.” Create content, syndicate it via RSS feed, and select some article sites and add to there.

After some time, Todd’s presentation was good to go.

“Everybody is trying to get involved” with online PR. Meaning: there’s a lot of volume there. 91% of people use standard search (i.e. Google query) to find articles or research in the middle of a sales cycle. You want to be found.

There are a lot of channels that are behind press release resources. Push it out everywhere you can. Get out on Delicious and other bookmarking services and bookmark your press releases.

“The first instance of a bookmark on Delicious is a followed link. All other are a nofollow.”

Don’t forget paid search. When you’re pushing out specific news, it’s “hyper-long tail.” So go buy those keywords for super cheap per click. Yahoo! Search Submit Pro is 25 / 30% of cost of Adwords. It’s a Yahoo organic solution.

Questions included:

  • Delicious. There are do-follow links on Delicious. Raven Tools’ blog has an article about this.
  • Put out the press release content on the RSS feed first so you can get credit as the “original” source
  • Effectiveness of PR Newswire and other release services. Doug said Marketwire “is the best internet distribution in my mind.”
  • An example of a PR initiative. Doug said that blogging is great and the result of that was to be invited to speak at conferences and the result of that was that they got bigger clients.
  • Success stories about universal search. Google universal search can index several different media. “For one client, we ended up with four page one results by using multimedia.”
  • Attendee wants to know how they can provide snippets and guidelines how to discuss our products. How do you get that out to traditional / online press? The answer was – writers don’t want to be told how to write. Look into how press members would like to be contacted as well as whether or not they write about your industry. Don’t waste your time – do some research.
  • How do you approach an editor online compared to traditional PR? Sharing stories and such that’s not about you is the safest way to start a relationship.

This session’s details were compiled by Senior Account Executive Christian Bullock of Amplify Interactive.

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