In Paul Granger’s blog post, titled “A London SEO Expert Success Story You’ll Never Believe”, he outlines how he managed to secure top positions for his online business on Google, by using examples from an expert in the field.
It’s comprehensive in that it covers all the basic SEO and content plays. One of the tactics which stood out was how one particular SEO, Richard Marriott, in order to gain backlinks, had put together a “big content” piece. To create this blog post, Richard sent over 100 emails to various SEO experts and bloggers, to ask them for tips on their three most coveted and essential SEO tools –to which he had over 50 instant replies. This is an understated method of link building and because of its lengthy process, people are afraid to use it to its full potential.
The example above is created for an online search business, but let’s say you are in the insurance business. To create an interesting piece, you can probably do more than a few things:
- You can reach out to legal experts who have worked on “unreal claims” and create a humorous/informative post. Or, you can reach out to your customers on Twitter and Facebook to build a different kind of list.
- You can approach a specific area within insurance, say auto, and reach out to third party sites such as Go Compare to ask for tips on how to avoid getting bad insurance policies or what to look out for in an insurance policy. You want to create something that will be helpful to your customers. Helpful enough for people to link to.
This is a fairly new term in search, however, people have been using it since data began. Data Journalism, or Precision Journalism uses numerical insights to build a story –a meaningful story, which these days explores topical subjects, including those which are political.
It involves starting off with a large set of data, either internal, or externally led, which marketers need to analyse and sort to create bite-sized pieces of informative insight. Your story should be the heart and soul and the data should support the story you need to tell. A tip is to start off with a subject, then collect the data, then create the story because, you don’t want to manipulate the data. Once you have finished, you can create a PR and send it off to your local newspaper or one of the nationals. If you have a big story, offering an exclusive to one the nationals will help to secure websites such as The BBC or The Guardian. Once they feature it, the smaller papers are most likely to syndicate the content. For more visibility, you can use a visually-led graphic which pinpoints the importance of your datasets. These are easy to digest and share.
Have a look at Google Fusion Tables to help gather real-time data and create beautiful visualisations.
Believe it or not, this tactic still works. However, it’s important to be a little more strategic with your approach. You want to approach authoritative websites such as Entrepreneur, Forbes, The Guardian, and to look at what kind of content they work on, rather than approach hundreds of small blogger websites, which may turn out to be part of a PBN (Private Blog Network). Once your team has a great piece they want to write about, approach their content editors or follow their submission guidelines to have it published. There are two ways to do this:
- If you are emailing an editor, send them a pitch or an excerpt of the article you wish to submit. Keep it simple, to the point. If your SEOs are not confident in writing/grammar, have a content editor to write the email.
- If you are submitting a full article, make sure to read and adhere to the full guidelines the website discloses. You’ll be surprised at what people miss out when they have deadlines to work towards.