Tips For Optimizing Your Next International Press Release

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Hola, nǐ hǎo, Bonjour, Salute, Ciao, Kaixo, Salud, Hallo

The time has come! Your company landed that big project in Europe, you opened a brand new office in South America, or you’ve partnered with a new vendor in Asia. But now what? Wait for people to find you? Not if you partner with Big Footprint!

International press releases are an effective way to publicize your new venture and ensure your news is discovered by your industry (and search engines). In general, content does not rank overnight. Leveraging a press release service will help your news get in front of a larger audience by utilizing the industry partners of each service. These partners will share your information and link back to your website, providing valuable earned links.

An added benefit of an online press release is that it helps to monopolize a search engine’s results page for targeted keywords. Indexation of the release on PR Web, PR Newswire, BusinessWire, or other services will expand your digital footprint. By taking up more “real estate” you make it more difficult for your digital competition to rank as well.

Here are a few tips for optimizing your next international press release:

International Press Release OptimizationSelecting a Service: Becoming a “member” of some wire services can be free and instantaneous, while others can take up to 24 hours to process and approve a paid application. Some services that we utilize here at Big Footprint are:

  • PR Web: A great outlet for distributions in the United States. It is not expensive (and can be even cheaper if you buy press releases in bulk). However, they do not have international targeting options. You can also attach content. See an example.
  • BusinessWire: While BusinessWire does not have a membership fee, you do need to apply to become a member. International press releases have an extra $85 fee on top of your rate for the first 400 words, so the costs can add up.
  • PR Newswire: Annual membership is required for PR Newswire. While they state their membership is $249, you can negotiate the price down. This might seem expensive, but if you are doing multiple international releases a year, the cost will be worth it. International targeting is easy and you can hyper target your desired market or region. Also, there is a $50 discount for pre-translating your release (if you can).

If you are an agency, you may need to have your client(s) email the distribution service to grant permission to distribute a release on their behalf. Make sure you allocate time and budget for this!

400 Words: Write a press release in English that is around 400 words. Most services charge a fee (as much as $300!) for each additional 100 words after 400. When calculating the cost, word count is based on the English version of a release.

Targeting: Select the countries you need to target, but also look at region packages of different countries. Many times selecting specific countries is more expensive than a region. For example, a client now offers services in Spanish and they want to target South America… pick a package that is targeted for only Spanish speaking countries in South America.

Translate: Leverage your employees to translate your press release, if you can. This will save you a translation fee from the press release service and give you peace of mind that the translation is correct and uses local vernacular.

Rich Media: When sending out your release you can improve your SEO by attaching assets to your press release. Optimized assets, like a PDF with meta data and links, will be distributed and picked up by different syndications when the release goes out. For international releases, these assets should be translated into the native language of your target market.

Add to Your Blog: Finally, once you have distributed your release, talk about it on your blog and your optimized social channels. This will help to give your release more longevity and more opportunities to earn links. In your blog you can utilize internal linking to provide resources to other translated language pages and also provide a link to read the official press release.

If you have any questions on international press releases or want more information on how they benefit SEO, leave a comment below or contact us!

Google Partners With Facebook… Wait, What?

Written by . Posted in Paid Search, SEO Blog

Google and Facebook Partner

I’m filing this one in my “never saw that coming” folder. Last Friday Facebook and Google announced that they will be partnering to bring Facebook’s retargeting platform, Facebook Exchange, to Google’s Doubleclick. Google describes Doubleclick as an “Ad technology foundation to create, transact, and manage digital advertising for the world’s buyers,” and it gives its users the ability to place and manage retargeting ads from multiple well-known ad exchanges. This partnership will strengthen Google’s placement in the market, and allow advertisers to buy Facebook ads who would have previously had to go through the Exchange, or just not bought Facebook ads at all.

In an afternoon blog post, Doubleclick’s Senior Project Manager Payam Shodjai stated, “Partnership has been key to Google’s success as a rising tide lifts all boats. So we’re excited to announce a new way to help our clients succeed by working with Facebook to participate in FBX, their real-time bidding exchange… …starting in a few months, clients will be able to buy inventory on FBX via DoubleClick Bid Manager.”

On the face of it this seems to indicate relations between these two Internet titans are starting to thaw, which is incredibly exciting news for agencies like Big Footprint. Now the only question is, WHEN will these two make Facebook ads manageable through Doubleclick Search? Doubleclick Search is a bit different than Doubleclick proper in that it allows advertisers to directly manage Paid Search accounts from multiple engines in one interface. It’s an invaluable tool for us at Big Footprint, and its bid-management and bulk operation capabilities make it something I can’t imagine managing clients without. So while Facebook and Google get warmed up with this retargeting partnership, I’ll just be over here dreaming.

LinkedIn Sponsored Updates Allow for Hyper-Targeted B2B Content Amplification

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What could put a smile on the faces of content marketers on a blistering hot Denver summer afternoon (besides ice cream)?

LinkedIn Sponsored Updates

A new way to distribute content! Today, LinkedIn announced a new product: Sponsored Updates.

Sponsored Updates are similar to Facebook “Promoted Posts.” They allow a company with a LinkedIn page to pay for visibility by sharing a post in the newsfeed of certain targeted users on LinkedIn, effectively amplifying the reach of that content.

As far as how the updates are displayed with this new functionality, LinkedIn said, “…sponsored updates can be seen on desktop, smartphone and tablet devices and will clearly be marked “sponsored,” appearing in the member’s homepage feed along with the organic posts from their network and the companies they follow. Members will have the option to “Follow” the sponsoring company as well as “Like,” “Comment,” and “Share” posts with their network.”

This is a great tool for B2B marketers seeking to drive visibility for their latest white paper, blog, press release, or webinar within their target market(s). With Sponsored Updates you can place specific content efforts directly in front of a CEO, specific company, or a lead that is halfway through the sales funnel.

The specificity of targeting not only allows you to connect the right content with the audience you need, but the niche population and narrow targeting will keep media costs down. Some of the targeting parameters that you can control are:

  • Type of followers that see a certain post (Everyone, non-followers, your company’s followers)
  • Geo-targeting by location
  • Specific companies (or companies to exclude) and their size
  • Job Function/Seniority Levels
  • Skills, Background, Education, etc.

LinkedIn’s video below, albeit a little cheesey, does a good job of showing how these sponsored updates work.

As of right now, Sponsored Updates are only available to customers with a LinkedIn account representative. However, we tried to sign up and were notified that every company will have access starting July 29, 2013, meaning you won’t have to wait too long to test this out for yourselves.

We can’t wait to leverage these Sponsored Updates and see what type of impact they have on the world of social content distribution. What do you think, will you pay to promote your content on LinkedIn? Contact Carlo Ritschl with questions about getting started with LinkedIn if you haven’t already.

What Facebook’s Mobile Update Means for Local Search

Written by . Posted in SEO Blog, Social Media

Facebook recently rolled out a new update to its mobile platform for local businesses. While platform updates in the world of Social Media are frequent and many times minor, this one stood out to me.

SEO Ninja

This update to mobile local pages is like a ninja surrounded by a group of bad guys. Facebook is surrounded by thousands of social sites that are gradually edging closer and closer. This update a direct karate chop to the face of other location-based social sites like Yelp and Foursquare and a roundhouse kick in the gut to Google+ Local.

Don’t get me wrong; this is not eliminating any of those sites. They will get up and fight harder. However, Facebook has counter-attacked for the moment.

If the layout and usability of these new pages catches on with the consumer, you might see more and more traffic shift away from sites like Yelp for a review, and go straight to Facebook.

Tech Crunch had some screen shots of the new layout.

Tech Crunch Facebook Mobile Examples

With that said, suddenly Graph Search just became a little more important. Graph Search is still in beta (you can get on a list to try it out), but with this update, Facebook has added a couple pieces to the puzzle that will make it a more complete and powerful local search engine.

What does this mean for local businesses?

You’ll need to start thinking of Facebook as a search engine. It’s still early, but as users learn about this tool and begin using it, it could have a dramatic impact on them finding your business and deciding whether to spend their dollars with you. Social media and SEO are blending closer and closer, and this emerging overlap is just another step in the direction of social search.

This is what Facebook has told businesses:

  • FILL OUT YOUR PAGE with basic information: like page categories and an about section. If you have a local business with a location, update your Page with your address, store hours, phone number, and other business info. Ultimately, add depth and don’t leave any fields blank if you can help it.
  • Download the Pages Manager app from the App Store to make it easy to manage your Pages on the go.

In order to serve up the best results for its users, Facebook will look at recommendations and star reviews as factors in its algorithm. If you have a page already set up, you should be promoting that you have one and also informing people that they can leave recommendations there. One recommendation can set you apart from a competitor that has none!

As with everything online, things will shift and change regularly, but as a digital marketer this is one change that I would want to act on sooner rather than later.

Effective Online Marketing for Small Business Owners

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As a small business owner, your time is finite, and often feels even more strained when you think about marketing. You must choose how to effectively utilize time, energy, and budget to drive the most impact for your business. So, how should you invest that limited amount of time? Where should you focus your online marketing efforts?

For starters, you probably have a website or a blog where you post new content. Consider your website the “hub” of your online presence. At the end of the day, your goal is to leverage this hub to drive new customers. To do that, your focus needs to be on expanding connections to the hub, not the size of the hub itself.

In the last two years, Google made changes to its algorithm allowing small businesses to outrank larger national players. It is possible, with your limited time, to improve your search traffic, but you need to focus your efforts.

Too often, small business owners are told, “You need to blog on a weekly basis to be successful online” or “You need to create more pages about every service you offer on your website.” The problem with this advice is that increasing the size of your hub (based on textual content) doesn’t necessarily mean people are going to find it. We consider blogging important, but it’s a strategy you should emphasize as a lower priority with your “spare” online marketing time.

Consider the following scenario:

You can choose between two options to increase the number of customers coming to your store:

Option 1

Double the size of your store so that when people arrive you can conduct more business.

Option 2

Double the number of signs near your location telling potential customers you are nearby.

While increasing the size of your store may allow you to do more business, it won’t necessarily bring you more business.

If you have a limited amount of time to market your business online, focus on expanding the breadth of your online presence. Here are 5 specific tactics you can leverage:

1. Build contacts with your local press.

Try to create a newsworthy event with your business every 3 months and notify your press contacts of the news.  Ask them to run a story on their website about the event.  What’s a newsworthy event?  Partnering with a local charity, school or library is a great way to be noticed – get involved with your local community in a positive way.

2. Review your local online directories.

Ensure these websites have your contact information posted correctly with a link to your website.  If they don’t, find out how to get your information on their site. During your review, make sure to address Yellow Pages and other websites with local focus.

3. Ask Your Customers for Testimonials.

Direct your clients to post their testimonials on a site other than your own, such as Yelp! or your Google listings.  Building content outside your store page will help to drive awareness about your business.

4. Monitor & Engage In Social Media.

Don’t just post on Facebook, instead monitor conversations and groups on Linkedin, and other social sites looking for opportunities to jump in with comments and suggestions that illustrate your expertise.  Being helpful in the social space creates a huge opportunity to build your presence.

5. Offer Web-Based Coupons

Create coupons that can only be obtained from the web.  Post them on your social profiles and link to them from comments and articles – just get them out on the web as much as possible.  This can grab a lot of attention online.

Whatever strategies you decide to leverage, don’t fall into the trap of only focusing on increasing the size of your digital hub.  You could build a super store, but without proper signage and exposure no one will find you!