Is online PR the ultimate link building technique?
I often spend Saturday mornings browsing the New York Times, CNN and other big media, looking at how they cover small businesses. Here’s a great story Your Photos, Off the Shelf at Last (you need to be a registered member of NYTimes.com to see it) about a company, ScanMyPhotos.com, set up by Mitch Goldstone. As you can see Goldstone is rightly proud of the coverage he’s received:
This coverage brings real business benefits and if you work hard at it, you too could be one of hundreds of small businesses that get such coverage.
So what benefit does such publicity bring?
1) You’ll get lots of direct traffic as a result of media coverage in mainstream media. Get your website mentioned in the paper edition and people who are interested will enter your URL into their browser or if the story doesn’t give your URL they will search for your company or brand name.
Even better, get yourself a link in the story online and people will click on it to go directly to your site.
The business you get from such coverage can be substantial.
2) Bloggers who comment on your industry scan the news to find good stories to comment on or direct their readers to. So if you do get featured, then you can be sure bloggers will pick the story up and either link to the article or your website when they write. In my experience, just one good piece of online coverage can result in scores, even hundreds of further mentions.
For example the unclutterer blog picked up the ScanMyPhotos.com story from the New York Times, and provided a link to the company website as well:
This additional coverage, often accompanied by a link, is a great way to get links without having to ask for them.
3) It’s not only journalists and bloggers who can spread your story. It can also be spread by the army of people who use bookmarking and recommendation sites such as Digg.com:
Get enough traction on your stories and you could end up on the front page of Digg and other social media sites. This can bring a huge number of visitors to your site.
4) Other journalists are more likely to write about you if you’ve already been featured. Journalists are always a little wary of writing about a small business for the first time. Can they be sure that what they read in your press release is true? But if you’ve already been covered in the New York Times, they’ll trust you more and will be more likely to write about you.
No journalist looking at ScanMyPhotos.com could doubt their pedigree:
And remember that journalists who are considering writing about you will check you out on Google or Google News.
Have a look at how well ScanMyPhotos appear – 89 mentions on Google News:
And over 1,700 references of Google Blog search:
5) Any links that you get as a result of media coverage will help your search engine rankings.
Google is likely to consider such links ‘authority links’, because they’re likely to be checked out by the journalist or by an editor. Again this adds to your credibility.
6) The final benefit is that you’ll get bragging rights. For a small business, it’s great to be able to put, “as featured in the New York Times” on the front page of your websi
How can you get big media coverage?
The easiest way is to hire a public relations professional. Their expertise and range of contacts can be invaluable, but make sure to check out their experience of online campaigns.
However, using an expert might be outside your budget so you’ll have to do put the work in yourself. It’s entirely possible to learn how to do your own PR effectively.
ScanMyPhotos.com use PRWeb.com to distribute their news releases. Here’s a recent example: