How to Measure Your Online PR Success Rate in a Digital Age

Press Release Metrics and Performance tracking.

Press Release Metrics and Performance tracking.

With our focus firmly being around online PR and the press release distribution of news, at 24-7 Press Release Newswire,  we keep a close eye on ways in which our clients can increase the reach and measurement of the success of their online PR.  In this day and age, creating a successful campaign is a must because of so much competition and noise.

And with that in mind, we came across a really interesting article here, which examines different ways to measure the success of PR campaigns delivered across the internet.

The article discusses traditional methods of measuring PR, newer tools and techniques for calculating the reach of online PR, as well as highlighting how the use of Indexing is becoming more popular for digital marketers. For those in the food industry there is an excellent example of what needs to be considered for a magazine type ad.  That being said, the same considerations are applicable to almost any industry.

For us, there are three key elements to increasing online PR success:

  1. Get the message right – make sure that your PR content is strong, with useful content, and interesting information for your readership.
  2. Get the medium right – make sure that your online PR is being delivered to the right audience at the right time, in a way they want to receive it.
  3. Get the messenger right – make sure that your online PR distribution hits the largest number of relevant readers. Using a service like ours guarantees this.

The article is well worth a read, and contains some great ways to consider the effective measurement of your online press release distribution efforts.  By not having the right information and contacting the right individuals could potentially be damaging.

We found it a fascinating read – we hope you do, too!

If you have any queries or questions about our ranges of press release distribution services, please feel free to get in touch here.

Metrics and Tracking Your Press Release Performance Online Part 3

Tracking Your Press ReleaseIn Part 1 of this blog series we discussed how to analyze the statistics provided to you by your press release distribution service after your release was disseminated over the newswire, and in Part 2 we talked about using a clipping or media monitoring service to see what mentions your company is getting in both online and print media.

The problem with a clipping service is the price – it can be very costly, due to the time involved to scour through the various news outlets and find news relating to your own company.

So with this post we want to present to you an alternative way of tracking your release performance online that is free, quick and simple, though obviously not as thorough or extensive as a clipping service.

Simply Google your headline in quotation marks to isolate the results to only your release. This will give you an idea of how many online outlets picked up your release. It will not include mentions of your company or release subject in print media outlets, but as a general rule, if print journalists wanted to write about your company based on something they read in one of your press releases, they would contact the person listed on the release as media contact. The only other instance is if a journalist decided to reduce what your release said into a ‘filler’ item, where they need a couple of inches filled within the newspaper and can get all the information they need for that from the release. In that instance you would not be contacted, but coverage would have gone out about your company. That would be difficult to find out about, however, without the use of a media monitoring service.

Combined with Parts 1 and 2, these three blog posts have outlined your options for tracking your metrics after using press release distribution. However, in closing it is important to emphasize that obsessively tracking your release’s performance after each press release is really not that necessary. The key is to use press release distribution regularly and consistently and over time you should see an increase in traffic to your website and interest in your company. It just may take a while to pay off. That kind of result cannot be shown in the metrics of just one release, no matter how extensively you track them.

Metrics and Tracking Your Press Release Performance Part 2

Press Release Metrics and Performance tracking.

Press Release Metrics and Performance tracking.

So you’ve distributed a press release – well done! That’s the first step to utilizing online press release distribution services for your online marketing purposes.

Now you want to see how your press release performed, right?

Most press release services cannot offer you metrics for tracking your release’s performance beyond how it performed on that service’s own website. The reason for this is that their newswires – hopefully – are extensive and far-reaching, a combination of online outlets and print media outlets – and therefore it is very difficult to keep track of one release when it is sent to so many hundreds or thousands of places.

We previously blogged about how to decipher the statistics provided by the press release service itself, using examples from 24-7 Press Release Newswire’s own service. Now we will talk about some ways to track the performance of your release on the wire at large.

The best and most comprehensive way to track your release’s performance is to use a clipping service (also known nowadays as a media monitoring service). The very purpose of these services is that they spend the time scouring the web and media outlets for mentions of your company, your release and your news and come up with a fairly comprehensive snapshot of where your release or company is being discussed on the web.

This service can be costly, however, so may not be feasible – they can be several hundred dollars per release, which can equal or exceed the cost of writing and distributing the release!

If you are looking instead for a free and easy option for tracking your press release performance online, check back soon for Part 3 which discusses just that.

Metrics and Tracking Your Press Release Performance Part 1

MetricsThis subject is a popular one among customers at 24-7 Press Release Newswire, understandably. You have submitted your press release, it’s gone out over the wire and you have received a proof of distribution report to show some of the places your release was sent to. What next?

This is a three-part blog series and in this first part we will discuss how to analyze and use the metrics provided to you by the press release service you use. Part 2 will discuss how to track your release’s performance on the wire through the use of a clipping service, and Part 3 will talk about cheaper (even free!) and easy ways to track your release online.

In this first post we will explain how to decipher the statistics provided to you by the distribution service itself. Most distribution services will vary their terminology and statistics offered slightly, so for the purposes of simplicity, throughout this blog post, we will refer to the statistics 24-7 Press Release Newswire offers its clients.

The main statistics to take note of are the number of views your release got and the number of times it was emailed to a friend.

The “Email to a Friend” statistic encompasses the number of times someone used the email tool on the website to share your press release with someone, as well as how many times the distribution system emailed the release to a subscriber journalist who expressed interest in the genre or industry your press relates to.

The number of views your release got refers to the amount of times someone clicked on your headline to read your full release, so it is a good gauge of the level of interest our press release drew in from only the headline.

Those are the two primary statistics that really reflect the effectiveness of a press release on the average consumer. Join us in Part 2 to find out how to understand how the use of a clipping service can help you to track release performance on the wire.

Using Google Webmaster Tools to Maximize Your SEO

Webmaster Tools(June 17, 2013) I came across an excellent article from Jayson DeMers dated June 10th 2013 about the best ways to use Google Webmaster tools to enhance or boost your campaign for SEO.

I personally don’t like the word SEO, as it now may give a negative connotation in light of recent search engine updates.

His article carries on to advise about different tools for ones SEO arsenal including the known Google Analytics.  If you are not already familiar with Google Analytics, you may want to start paying attention as this will help the most basic user comprehend and increase traffic for their website.

Google Analytics and Webmaster tools are not just for the inexperienced, however definitely for experienced users as well.

The article delves into the background of Google Webmaster tools, features that you should be using (which I found quite interesting), and becoming familiar with some of the search queries.  He further explains about Finding optimization with top pages, refining your page level strategy and about Author stats.

It is definitely worth a read. The article may be found at: http://tinyurl.com/mt7pcp8

 

White Hat SEO Guidelines to Follow

When it comes to SEO, there are two ways to approach it.  The first approach is called a “white hat” approach, meaning that whoever is responsible for executing SEO activities on behalf of a website, whether it is an in house SEO Specialist, an SEO agency, an SEO consultant, a marketing team member, etc., implements SEO tactics that are deemed appropriate in the eyes of the search engines.  The search engines publicly state what approved practices are and which practices are frowned upon and could result in a penalty or dip in ranking.  The second approach is called a “black hat” approach.  Black hatters use these practices that are frowned upon.  And why would they do that?  Well, black hat tactics can sometimes result in a quick improvement in rank and SERP (search engine results page) presence.  However, since the search algorithms continue to get more sophisticated, these black hat SEO activities will catch up with a site owner sooner or later which is why white hat SEO is the best option to protect your site in the long run. 

Follow these 3 crucial guidelines of white hat SEO for long term success:

Focus on link quality over link quantity

In the old days of SEO, nearly any link that you could get that pointed back to your site held some kind of value.  That’s no longer the case as the Google Penguin update made it clear that not all links are created equal and there is in fact a big difference between good links and bad links.  Links that are considered to be “unnatural” are bad and include links from unrelated websites, link exchanges, hidden links, and more.  A white hat approach means only going after quality links from trusted sources that in addition to improving a link portfolio, will also result in generating traffic from target audience members. 

Avoid keyword anchor text overuse

Sites that relied too heavily on exact match anchor text were also victims of the Google Penguin update.  If your site is using the same keyword anchor text over and over, it’s not a natural way to link.  Think about how a visitor might link to your content.  They probably wouldn’t link using one of your top keywords.  They would be more likely to use the anchor text “click here” or link to the name of your business or brand or might not even include anchor text at all and simply include the full URL.  Vary the anchor text so that it includes branded keywords, some priority keywords, and many long-tail variations so that it doesn’t look like you are trying to manipulate the search results for a particular phrase. 

Write content for the reader first, search spider second

Content is a necessary component of an SEO campaign today.  Content that includes targeted keywords is what gets noticed by the search engine spiders.  However, it’s important to keep in mind that the search engine spiders aren’t the primary target of content, the primary target are actual human Internet users.  If your content is stuffed with keywords, it’s clear that it wasn’t created with the end user in mind and will be rejected by the search spiders. 

About the Author:

Nick Stamoulis is the President of Brick Marketing, a search marketing company that provides B2B SEO services.  For more information call 781-999-1222 or visit http://www.brickmarketing.com

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Suggestions to Maintain Website Visitor Growth

What’s frustrating about SEO and online marketing in general is that it often takes time to see an improvement in website traffic.  However, as time goes on and the site has been optimized, a link building strategy has been created and implemented, and social media activity remains consistent there should be a gradual increase in traffic.  The goal is for the traffic volume to continue to improve steadily.  If you find that your website traffic has hit a wall and traffic has reached a plateau, that’s when it’s time to step out of your comfort zone and try some new strategies.  Writing blog posts and press releases and sharing them in social media can really only get you so far. 

Here are 4 additional ways to continue to improve traffic efforts:

Look for guest blog posting opportunities

Blogging is a great online marketing strategy for many reasons.  Not only do business blog posts provide potential customers/clients with valuable information about your company and industry but they also serve an important SEO function.  Blog posts provide the opportunity to inner link to other pages of the site.  They are also valuable from a social media sharing perspective.  In order to improve your social signals for search purposes it’s necessary to share content in social media that is worthy of sharing.  A great blog post will get shared, re-tweeted, promoted, etc.  Writing for your own web property is a great start, but it’s suggested to branch out and look for writing opportunities on other related industry sites.  In addition to generating quality links back to your site that improve search engine trust, it can also improve visibility among target audience members and the links can generate direct traffic back to the site. 

Try new content formats

While blogging is an important component of online marketing today, it is really only one content outlet.  People like to consume content in various formats, so creating content in various formats is a great way to improve exposure.  Don’t be afraid to try something new.  Experiment with webinars, eBooks, infographics, videos, white papers, etc.  Each of these pieces of content has the potential to gain attention from target audience members and get them to convert.  A good strategy is to use your previous blog posts as inspiration.  Repurpose blog post content and turn it into one of these different formats. 

Email marketing

No matter what you’ve heard, email marketing is still an effective tactic as long as it’s implemented properly.  People are always checking their email and if you can provide them with something of value, it will get opened.  While it can be difficult to generate a quality opt in list of subscribers, it’s worth the effort because you know that the recipients are interested in what you have to say.  If you already are active in email marketing, take a look at the data and see what the open rate is.  Maybe you need to make a few minor tweaks. 

Online advertising

If your website traffic has hit a wall one option to look into is online advertising.  Banner advertising is usually hit or miss depending on the niche.  The better option is usually to invest in PPC.  PPC can be expensive depending on the keywords that you are targeting but it can generate visitors.  It also helps achieve organic traffic in an indirect way.  If a searcher sees your brand in both the organic and paid section of a search engine results page it qualifies that your site has what they are looking for. 

About the Author:

Nick Stamoulis is the President of Brick Marketing, a B2B SEO firm.  For more information call 781-999-1222 or visit http://www.brickmarketing.com.

The Power of Blogging, Part 3

The folks at Prompt Proofing, a copywriting, editing and proofreading service that also offers blogging services, finish off their 3-part guest post on the power of blogging:

We have talked about two major benefits of business blogging in Part 1 and Part 2 of this blog series. We have discussed how a blog allows you to have your own voice on the world wide web, and how you have the opportunity to become known as an expert in your field through informative and interesting blog posts. Today we finish up with a major benefit of business blogging – this benefit is the main reason many businesses start a blog in the first place:

INCREASE TRAFFIC TO YOUR SITE

That’s right, that elusive Google ranking can start creeping up without the expense of an SEO consultant or a huge marketing campaign. It could be as simple as keeping a blog. How does that work?

There are several factors to improving your SEO rank, and here are a few:

  • Increase the number of quality ‘backlinks’ to your site (backlinks are other sites linking to your website)
  • Get your website indexed by Google and other major search engines (this means they will ‘spider’ or ‘crawl’ your website and log your individual web pages as results to potential searches in their search engine)
  • Refresh your content regularly – new content leads to an increase in indexing, which leads to an improvement in your SEO ranking as websites whose content never changes tend to get pushed down in relevance by search engines

How can blogging help? Well, congratulations if you thought that the last bulletpoint above is the most important benefit of blogging. If you have a professional, attractive-looking business website, it probably took you some time to put it together. You may have used a website copywriting service (which Prompt Proofing offers) to ensure your content was word-perfect, and that’s a great idea. But that means you don’t want to change it much once it is posted. Therefore, your content is not going to be regularly updated, meaning you will miss out on that crucial benefit to SEO ranking. The search engines will continue to push your website down the rankings until it barely even factors anymore.

Well, simply add a blog page to your site. Update it once a week or – at the very least – once a month, and bingo! Your website is suddenly being regularly refreshed with new content and will start to crawl its way back up the search engine rankings.

As for the first two bulletpoints above, the statistics below will help show how blogging helps out with these.

The statistics below are courtesy of Janet Meiners Thaeler, an SEO consultant who provided them in her article, Blogging: The Best SEO Tool for Small Businesses:

Bloggers see:

  • 55% more visitors to their websites (people will be finding your site who wouldn’t have before because they are looking for the information provided in your latest blog post – as discussed in Part 1)
  • 97% more links to their website (people will link back to your blog if they think it’s worth a read)
  • 434% more indexed pages (more blog posts means more pages for the search engines to crawl and index!)

You can’t fight statistics! Get blogging now to see a huge improvement in your business website’s performance.

The Power of Blogging, Part 2

Continuing their guest post series is Prompt Proofing, a copywriting, editing and proofreading service that also offers blogging services for business:

In Part 1 of this series, we talked about the fact that a blog provides you with the unique opportunity of having your own voice, speaking directly to customers, Internet readers, other business owners and more. This week’s benefit elaborates on this. Not only does a blog provide you with a unique opportunity to show off your own style of communication and, therefore, business, but it also gives you a forum through which to educate your readers. Therefore, this week’s benefit of business blogging:

BECOME KNOWN AS AN EXPERT IN YOUR FIELD

If you are in business, chances are it is because you have specialized knowledge in one or more areas. For example, if you are in trades, then you have specialized knowledge in the area of plumbing, welding, bricklaying, electrics, etc. This is knowledge that John Doe walking down the street doesn’t have. If you’re an accountant, you know how to balance books and handle complex financial information. If you’re a lawyer, you know the letter of the law inside and out – or at least you know how to find it out! If you’re a hairstylist, you know what you’re doing with a pair of scissors close to a head of hair.

You get the point. You have something to offer; a niche (however small) to fill. That’s why you are in business. Use this knowledge and exhibit it in your blog and there’s a good chance you could become known as an expert in your field. So what, you ask? Well, here are just a few of the results that could come from being recognized for your specialized knowledge:

  1. Your blog could develop a following of people who want inspiration, information and education in a certain area.
  2. Through this following, your presence on social media is bound to increase as people spread the word and share your blog. This is the best form of advertising: FREE and reliable for the customer (people trust word-of-mouth referrals far more than any paid business advertisement).
  3. You could even become a consultant for a journalist. Journalists often have a ‘beat’ that they cover, meaning that they tend to focus on writing stories on one type of news, such as finance, travel, entertainment or sports. Generally, each journalist will have a list of experts they can consult for quotes and background information on issues they need to write about. Yet again, more advertising that is respected and FREE!

These benefits certainly help to outweigh the cons that many business owners fear – if I give away my secrets, how will I have a business anymore? Well, I promise that by giving some DIY tips to a home owner looking to do some renovations, you won’t be put out of business. If anything it will save you working on small, poorly-paying jobs, and will instead give you the promotion to land larger jobs where no one will attempt DIY, even if they have read your blog for advice! Just choose what you blog on carefully. For example, a hairstylist can blog about ideas for styling hair or updos, or can post photos of great colours or cuts that the reader can then take to her hairstylist to replicate. That doesn’t mean people will stop getting their hair cut professionally. An accountant can provide information on how to keep a personal budget and good tools to use to manage your personal finances. This doesn’t mean businesses will stop requiring accountants to balance their books throughout the fiscal year.

Blogs create a win-win situation for everyone, especially the small business owner. Take advantage of this!