Whenever a local reporter calls because they need help with an article about SEO or online marketing I am almost always willing to answer their questions. A half hour on the phone or a quick email answering 4 or 5 questions is well worth my time, even if it’s an extra busy day, because I know that helping a reporter with their story can be a huge boon to my company’s SEO and brand building efforts.
Here are three ways that helping a reporter can help your SEO:
If you’re being quoted as a source, be sure to ask the reporter to link back to your website. Getting a link on a local or national news site can be a huge boost to your link profile and SEO. Not only are most news sites incredibly trusted by the search engines, there’s the chance that a handful of smaller news sites might pick up the story and republish is on their own sites. Suddenly your one link becomes ½ a dozen on several websites. If those stories then get shared on social networking sites (either on the newspaper’s accounts or by their readers) the links can keep on coming! That’s the beauty of quality link building—one link usually leads to more because of the great source it comes from. Chances are one link on a low-quality article site is never going to be worth much more than one link on a low-quality article site. Helping a reporter out could seriously impact your link building for the better!
Helping a reporter out with a story can be really beneficial if you are trying to build a local presence, especially if your business exists to serve a very specific community. Each newspaper targets certain neighborhoods, towns or communities, which means they reach your target audience! A story about your business, or even a story where you are quoted or thanked as a source, can help improve your local presence and introduce your company to more local customers. You can link to those stories/articles from your site, which can help boost your reputation.
Think about it like this—the food columnist for your local newspaper wants to write about traditional Mexican cuisine (the real deal, not Taco Bell); you happen to run a Mexican restaurant and are an expert on traditional Mexican cooking. You even make your tortillas by hand! You are exactly the kind of source this reporter needs. When the article runs your restaurant gets to shine and hopefully people that never visited your restaurant (but still live in the neighborhood) will come to you the next time they are craving enchiladas.
Most local newspapers have their own social profiles, or maybe even community sites, that they promote their content through. Every time a piece of content is shared on a social site it produces a social signal which tells the search engines that this piece of content is valuable. The more valuable the piece of content the more valuable the links inside it are—and those are links to your website! Helping a reporter out can help introduce your brand to both their loyal followers as well as the online social community of your town at large. It’s a great way to meet and get engaged with potential customers and eventually drive foot traffic into your business.