Updated: Nov 27, 2019
Search engine optimisation. If you’re in the world of digital, you’ve probably heard the term SEO hundreds of times. And you kind of get it. You know that SEO means optimising your website so that ideally it ranks on the first page of Google. Cool. We’re on the same page (page one we hope). But how do media releases effect your SEO? Well, we’re here to explain.
What is a media release?
A media release is an official announcement and it should cover something exciting! It could be a new store opening, a new product release, an upcoming event (ahem like Opera at Twilight), a new addition to your company (we’re talking boss level) or maybe you’ve hit Wall Street.
When the media was covering Uber’s entrance to Wall Street, what gained traction with the public wasn’t that they were a company that could now be invested in. No, the focus was on who would ring the bell signifying that they were open for public investment. The reason this was big news? It wasn’t one of the co-founders or current CEO but a longstanding employee (Uber’s fourth hire) who had initially started out as an intern, Austin Geidt.
When you’re drafting your media release, remember to think of an angle that is going to interest your target audience and the wider public. You want to create shareable content. This is what media outlets will pick up on and why they would even begin to backlink to your site.
What is a backlink and what does it have to do with SEO?
A backlink is a link to your website from another. When your website gets linked to from another source your site gets some points. Woo! If the site linking to your site is popular and well established, you get even more points. Woo again!
But it gets a little more complicated. Back in the day (10 years ago) backlinks were abused. Google wasn’t looking at the quality of where these backlinks were coming from. The web was filled with spam and it was CHAOS. Fast forward to 2012 and Google introduced an algorithm to deal with the problem. The Penguin algorithm.
What? That’s what it’s actually called?
Yes, we’re not lying. There’s a penguin algorithm, a Panda algorithmand a whole bunch of other algorithms with animal names which make them seem much less scary when you’re trying to understand what the F they even mean. Right now, the Penguin algorithm is the one you want to be learning about. Because it was specifically created to watch backlinks and keywords. Yeah, you’re going to want to stay on Penguin’s good side.
Why you shouldn’t be scared of Penguin
Ok so the Penguin algorithm might seem scary, but it’s actually amazing news if you want to do business honestly. Why? Well it means that you can no longer buy your way to page one of Google (unless you are buying Ad words). It’s now a quality over quantity world on Google. You can’t have links coming back to you from just anywhere now without repercussions. Quality backlinks don’t have to come from big names. A quality backlink could come from a website in the same niche as you (relevant) or you could be in the same geographical location (holla if you’re from Perth).
Are you following me?
We know what we said. “You can’t have links coming back to you from just anywhere without repercussions.”That’s not entirely true. You can choose to use a no follow link. This means that when you link to your website, you aren’t going to get any points when people follow that link to it. Whereas if you use a follow link, you’re getting all those points. And more points equal better SEO ranking.
Why would I use a no follow link?
No follow links are useful because they are still able to drive people to your website. Maybe you want to publish your media release on a few third-party websites as well as approaching journalists. No follow links can be a safer option.
It’s good to be prepared
So you’ve decided to reach out and see if you can get your media release in the public eye. That’s great. But what happens if it works? Traffic will start flowing to your site. What are they going to see?
Say it with us. It’s good to be prepared. Optimise your site. Make it a beautiful, rich user experience. You want people to leave with a good perception of your brand. Think of it like a first date. Show your best self.
Media releases do and will continue to affect your SEO ranking into the foreseeable future. They are worth investing some time in as they are a low-cost way of getting your brand out into the public eye. When your media release is picked up by well-known agencies it has the added benefit of not only scoring those SEO points for your website but increasing trust for your brand. And that’s always going to be a good thing.