In the past, the most effective way to get the attention of journalists was though press releases. Nowadays, however, you can connect with them directly on social media.
While they're found on all such sites, they seem to be most accessible on Twitter. (They love Linkedin as well, but they're on there more to connect with peers and potential employers rather than the general population.) So anyone with a website should make a point of using Twitter to seek out journos in their niche -- preferably ones from their own country -- and build rapport with them.
Journalists are always on the lookout for knowledgeable and interesting people who can supply them with compelling content. And if you've gotten on their radar by tweeting and impressed them with your expertise, there's a good chance they'll ask to interview you at some stage. If you can get them to mention your website when they do so it will help you enormously, even if you don't get a backlink from it.
Speaking of backlinks: Remember also that many journos maintain blogs hosted on their employers' sites. Getting a backlink from a highly ranked, frequently indexed website like News Ltd. or Fairfax is very powerful. It's like getting a .edu link.
So keep an eye out for these blogging journos. Engage with them on Twitter and comment thoughtfully on their blogs. From time to time you can send them links to your own blog posts that they might find interesting. Sometimes they'll like your blog post enough to quote it, along with a link. But even if you haven't blogged about something yourself and merely point them to something interesting, they will often include a "hat-tip" link to you as a mark of appreciation.
I know this works from several years experience of writing political blogs. Over that time I have received many links back to various blog posts from big name bloggers such as Andrew Bolt and Tim Blair. They've helped enormously with traffic and SEO. (While both of these particular blogging journos aren't actually on Twitter, plenty more are. And it's clearly the easiest way to connect with them.)
I wrote earlier about how you should apply keyword selection principles to social media
. I've often seen how this works. For example, if I tweet a lot about a a particular subject and those tweets contains certain keywords (often with hash tags, of course) I'll see a surge of new followers that have accounts closely related to them. It's pretty clear that they have been using Twitter as a search engine and have found me via those keywords. The correlation is too strong for anything else to be occurring. And here's another little example: I've only recently started a Facebook Page for this site, SEO Tips Australia. I just gained a new fan. I looked at his likes and saw that he was liking lots of pages with the words "SEO" and "Australia" in the title. So he must have found mine by searches for those keywords. That's actually a very popular search on Google, so it makes sense that someone would be searching within Facebook for it also.So, there's confirmation that it's worth using Google's free keyword tool to get some ideas about the best keywords to target on Facebook. Then you should put those in the name of your Page. And you should also be mindful of keywords when writing updates, because people do search for them in public posts. Sure, the FB search engine is pretty unsophisticated right now. But it's sure to improve over time. And people will use it more and more to find pages to connect with. So those SEO principles are definitely worth keeping in mind whenever you are using the site.
The Weebly blogging tool, which I'm using right now, is pretty good. But there's one downside that has been present pretty much the whole time I've been using it. And that is that it tends to take a while for posts to get indexed by Google. The blogs that I have on Blogger, on the other hand, get indexed pretty much immediately. (The conventional wisdom is that this is because the search giant owns that platform now.)
In any case, I've noticed a heartening trend lately. Ever since I've been sharing my Weebly blog posts on Google Plus they seem to end up in search results much quicker than before.
This might not be the actual cause, of course. Perhaps it's because I've been posting more frequently and have "trained" the search engine spiders to be quicker off the mark! Or perhaps this is a general phenomenon related to all Weebly blogs ...
Still, I think my hunch is correct. If it is then it's yet another good reason to join Google Plus and share blog posts, particularly if they are topical in nature and benefit from quick indexing.
For a long while I focused on getting search engine traffic to my blogs and websites and simply didn't consider social media -- with the exception of Twitter, which I've been using for a couple of years now. I have finally started regularly using the other main platforms such as Facebook, Linkedin and Google Plus.They are all great sites that help bring website visitors directly via clicks. Then there's the effect that the "social media signal" has on your general search engine rankings.But the greatest SEO benefits come from social media when you use it to put your content in front of other bloggers and webmasters in your niche. By doing this you hugely increase the odds of garnering quality one way links to it.All the sites mentioned above can deliver this effect. But I think the best one of the lot is Googe Plus. Sure, it's not anywhere near Facebook in size, reach and activity yet. But it's growing apace.There are several SEO benefits that accrue when you're active on the site. Perhaps the most obvious is that getting those "plus ones" on your articles helps lift them in the SERPs. Sharing them on this social network obviously increases their number. So it's a very good idea to join this site now, get active on it and and start to build your network
. Seeing the direction it is taking -- it's already a sophisticated melding of social network and search engine -- I suspect that there will be many more such benefits to membership coming down the track. It's one site that I'm going to focus on and I urge anyone with a website or blog to do the same.You can connect with me on Google Plus here.
One of the most important factors in drawing search engine traffic to pages is keyword selection. It is always a good idea to be mindful of this aspect when writing blog posts, for example -- particularly when it comes to the titles. While best results can be gained after using various free keyword tools for research, you can still benefit from acting on keyword hunches
. The whole concept is also important in social media. This is because people are forever using the search functions in sites like Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. So you should always make a point of sprinkling relevant and popular keywords throughout your writing on these sites. Do that and you will be more findable by those searching within these sites for people to connect with. And because they are also indexed by Google, you might get some views via the search giant as well.Linkedin in particular is loved by Google. So you should really take advantage of this and insert as many traffic drawing keywords in the various sections of your profile as spossible (without keyword stuffing, of course).
Social media is going absolutely gangbusters these days, and is very useful for anyone with a website or blog. The more people you connect with online in your niche, the more you learn, and the greater the likelihood of getting those valuable, natural one way links to your URL.But you shouldn't forget offline social networking. (You know, the real world activities people used to engage in during the olden days before the internet completely took over our lives!
)Of course, you can use the big social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin to find get-togethers in the real world. However they do lend themselves much more to online networking.One site that is much more focused on offline activities is Meetup. Joining this site could be a really good move for anyone with a locally oriented business website or blog. For those in Perth, where I live, there's this group. I might even go there myself some day.I'm surprised that there aren't many other sites like Meetup. But Zenergo looks like a new and promising social networking site with more of an offline focus. Of course there are plenty of other ways to network with locals in your niche. I just did a search for "meet bloggers in Perth" and several seemingly independently organized events popped up (mostly mentioned on blogs -- funny, that!). You could even organize and promote such a gathering yourself. Not only would the event itself be a great way of making valuable contacts in your locality and niche, but just the act of writing about it on a blog could actually be good linkbait.Firstly, you might get some bloggers linking to the details about when and where it will be held. Then if you took some photos and/or videos at the actual get-together and posted them afterwards, that content could generate still more links down the track.
People are increasingly using search engines to find local information and websites. One thing that will help a locally oriented business site get more of this quality traffic is if it can get some one way links from other blogs and news sites targeting the area. Links from news sites are particularly beneficial because they are generally well regarded by Google. Say you had a Perth based website and scored a mention in an article in the West Australian. If it were included as a dofollow link it would be gold SEO-wise. But even if just the name of it were mentioned it would help. Lots of people would find the site and have a look. As a result you'd have a good chance of scoring one or more links from local bloggers or even other news sites.But getting that kind of free publicity would be difficult unless you had an already well known business in a niche that lent itself to such coverage such as entertainment or event management. You'd probably have better luck with smaller, local newspapers such as those published by the Community Newspaper Group. A link from
one of their online editions would would be very valuable.The trick would be to make what you do newsworthy somehow. Say you had a cafe. You could hold some sort of event in it such as a coffee appreciation class. You could teach people about different blends, and give away some freebies. That's just the kind of thing a local, community journo might find interesting.You could just e-mail the editor to try and get the paper's interest. Or you could use Twitter. Considering how much journos love to tweet you could jot down some of their names from your local
paper and search for them on the site. You'd be sure to find a few sooner or later.After building some rapport with them you could
mention or even direct message them about your idea. (But I wouldn't DM them too early. They'd probably just ignore you if they didn't know who you were.) Even if they didn't go for your first attempt, you would have made connections that may well bear fruit further down the track.
The more I get into social media, the more I realize just how important it is to anyone with a website or blog. That's why I'm using Twitter a lot now. (That said, I haven't really looked into Facebook. I know some people swear by it for drawing traffic. But I just can't get into it.)
Twitter is really focused and targeted. And you can use its search function to find members according to various criteria. Say you want to find people to connect with in your city. You can go to the advanced search form and specify a location along with other criteria.
Or you can just use the basic search function and type in one location keyword and another one or more keywords and you'll get some good results. One search that works well is a city name along with "recommend". You'll get a whole bunch of people who are obviously presently in a particular location and hoping for some good advice on which are the best local bars, cafes and restaurants, etc.
This gives you an opportunity to tweet about your location. And those particular tweets can get found by others seeking local tweeps to follow. Needless to say, those people who are asking for the advice will appreciate it, too. Do this regularly and you'll get some local click-throughs.
You can also use Twitter search with website search engine optimization in mind. If you do a location search along with keywords like "blog", "blogger", "webmaster", and "website" you'll find people with a strong online presence. You can interact with them and build up a bit of a rapport. Eventually this is sure to generate the odd link back to your website or blog. These links are doubly powerful because not only are they one way, they are also very geo-targeted.
I occasionally tweet about Perth, and these tweets get retweeted comparatively often. They also get included every now and then in Twitter "newspapers" like this one
.There are clearly a lot of people on Twitter interested in information related to their location. And not just at the city level; they tweet and retweet about their suburbs, too. Take this feed, which is devoted primarily to things happening in (or at least related to) Wanneroo.This is a goldmine for any business person keen to service a particular geographical area. You can get your products and services well known through Twitter for free.
As well as the direct geo-targeted traffic it can attract, remember that lots of tweeps are also bloggers and webmasters, so you're bound to get a few local backlinks as well.The key is to just to keep cranking out geo-specific tweets, and be sure to use the hash tags with the locations you cite.