Came in a bit late...
Greg Jarboe from SEO-PR is on the podium talking about how many fixate on Google News and ignore Yahoo News and AOL News. Now Yahoo! news is number one! Yahoo! news is number one. SEOs and PR people need to focus less on outputs and more on outcomes. Getting high rankings helps, if searchers read your release. Having searchers read your release helps, if it enhances your brand awareness. Enhancing your brand awareness helps, if it drives traffic to your site. Driving traffic to your site helps, if it generates leads. Generating leads helps, if they convert into sales. Optimizing press releases activity varies by industry from 1% to 18%. The number one industry catching on to SEO PR releases is the computer/electronics industry. Sports PR releases are only optimized 1% of the time. 62% have PR releases optimized inhouse, 14% do it by an agency. Copywriting for SEO used by 31% of marketers and 13% of agencies. Copywriting for SEO used by 35% of B2B marketers, 17% of agencies. 44% use site traffic and 41% use press mentions as success metrics. B2B Case Study: Jeanne Hopkins, directory of outbound marketing, Symmetricom. Even search term, atomic, clock, was too broad of a keyword phrase for Symmetricom. They optimized the release for "chip scale atomic clock" and other very niche terms ("portable precision timing"). One lead turned into 200 million dollars or something, from a lead they would have never anticipated, but that was only one of the eight leads. C2C Case Study: Linda Rutherford, VP PR, Southwest Airlines. The initial attempt to optimize a press release ran into turbulence. They used the word "Cheap" in the title and it went to the chairman and he was upset. But Linda showed the keyword research for the "cheap" keyword and he changed his mind. The next effort mixed optimization with prices as low as $29 one-way. So a combination of search terms in headlines and marketing verbiage is critical. Release generated over $80,000 in revenue from that release. Southwest made four big announcements on July 15, 2004 and sold 1 million dollars with a competing PR release, about the CEO leaving. The other news release about the CEO brought in more views on the other release! There are writing a book with Anne Holland at MarketingSherpa on PR SEO, if you have case studies, send it to greg.jarboe AT seo-pr.com.
Nan Dawkins from RedBoots Consulting next up. They targeted journalists to get the word to Washington. Blogs content appears in all types of search engines (news, normal web search, rss search, etc.). How does new search deal with blog content? Google says "no blogs" in Google news, but they kinda do as we all know (but not my blog). Yahoo! separates out blogs in news search. MSN gets blogs from Moreover. AOL does not have blog content mixed in. Which blogs are included in Google? Only two of the top 10 blogs are included in Google News. But Google does have lots of small blogs in Google news (she mocks one specific example). Yahoo! puts all blogs into their blog search results, including lots of spam. Blogs are listed on right hand side. Tips: Establish a blog outreach program. Make contact/develop relationships just as you would with journalists. Send your release to trusted bloggers prior to releasing it through wire service. Send bloggers the optimized press release. Pay attention to images. Dont skip the wire service!
Sally Falkow from Expansion+ is now up, the final speaker. She comes from the traditional PR background. Publicity is seen as third party endorsement. An article in the media has more perceived value than material that comes directly from the company. Building trust and credibility is the basis for PR. Media placement building trust and credibility. TrustRank - links from trusted media sites can influence your organic search results. (side note: She is talking about devaluation of links and how press releases help, its like listening to my mother talk about links, im like "what!!!!") Traditional media relations: company -> wire service -> reporter -> target audience. Now we have online news, we know where it is coming from, we can track it. Also, we have our trusted media source, in these online media locations, and now we again are trackable. Keyword strategy: find the best head and long tail words. Write newsworthy, optimized articles based on these words. Editors are looking for excellent content. What is newsworthy? new research, stats, tie into a current news item, money, harm or damage, and timely info. Find sites that get picked up in Yahoo! news for your keyword. News search and rss: use rss feeds! She shows Google BlogSearch. Resources: expansionplus.com, falkow.blogsite.com, press-feed.com.
Lee Oden from Top Rank is on the Q&A panel.