Content Outreach and PR
In the modern world of search engine optimisation, outdated methods of linkbuilding are liable to earn your site a penalty, but without links and shares, how are people ever supposed to find your content to link and share it, and without links how can your site rank in Google?
The resolution to this paradox lies in building relationships, producing content people want and understanding how to sell a story. In other words it looks a lot like building communities and doing public relations.
A Brief History of Links
Once upon a time, a famous search engine invented an algorithm that used links as votes in order to help it rank webpages in order of importance.
The algorithm was quite clever, because it recognised that sites that had lots of links pointing to them from important sites must be more important than those with just a few links from less important sites.
From this simple and very effective way of determining relevance, an entire industry developed built around links and acquiring them.
The problem was that many of the techniques used to acquire links were designed solely to manipulate the search engine’s algorithm.
One by one these techniques were identified and then penalised so that they became ineffective, or even harmful to sites making use of them.
Directory spam, link networks, paid links, sitewide footer links and comment spam have all been abused and penalised by Google.
Breaking a record always grabs attention.
Even techniques that started out with good intentions, like guest blogging and infographic production, developed into spam tactics because they were scalable.
But Google always wins eventually, and over time the algorithm has been tweaked, and updated so that it now considers many hundreds of factors when choosing how to rank a page, and underhand tactics are unlikely to work for very long, if at all.
So how do you acquire links in a way that Google won’t penalise your efforts?
Like many other areas of content marketing, to find the answer we have to go back to the future…
Public Relations and Online Outreach
It’s easy to forget sometimes that good quality links don’t come from websites at all, they come from people. Sites with strong editorial oversight won’t let just anyone plaster a link into their hard-wrought copy, and so these kind of endorsements are extremely trustworthy.
So whether they come from a newspaper or blog, commercial website, charity or social channel, it’s more important than ever to get key influencers to mention and link to your content.
Coincidentally this is exactly what public relations practitioners have always done for brands, placing news stories and articles into the hands of journalists, but, crucially, making sure they are actually meet the criteria that will persuade a newspaper to run the story.
That symbiosis between the press who need content to fill column inches and publicists who need to promote their clients is exactly the kind of relationship that now exists between site owners of all kinds and content marketers.
By building relationships with bloggers, niche interest sites and news sources, we can work with them to deliver the kind of content they need in an easily shareable package, and we can also surprise and delight them with content we think they will love.
Media Change; People Don’t
The old media are still important, of course, but today niche communities exist in all sorts of places online, from social networks to forums, specialist blogs to chatrooms.
In an age when a well targeted social post or YouTube video can outdo the reach of a national daily newspaper or many TV channels, it does not pay to underestimate the power of the ‘long tail’ when it comes to online cliques.
We work with our clients to understand their customers and find the places where they hang out so we can build up friendships and contacts.
By making content targeted to their interests, and placing it into the hands of key influencers, we can greatly increase the likelihood of shares, links and mentions.
And with interactions comes exposure, with exposure comes interest and increased search engine positions.
Talk to us for Public Relations and Content Outreach Advice
With experienced backgrounds in journalism, public relations and advertising, our colleagues here at To The End know what journalists, bloggers and site owners are looking for. We have longstanding relationships with many sites and media owners and the contacts and experience to develop working partnerships and cut through the clutter of the crowded inbox.
With high quality content pieces to promote, it’s always easier to get buy in, and if you want to discuss your next content project, enter some details below, or call us on 020 3036 0733.