Earned Media & SEO
Earned media is attention your company, brand or site - or a combination - receives for no payment. Thus, it is "earned." It can also be thought of as organic promotion - not paid for, but gotten through various third parties. It definitely helps your search engine optimization efforts.
Since you can't buy earned media (that's known as paid media, which will be another post), what is it, and how can you get the ball rolling to help your SEO?
What Types Of Earned Media Can You Get?
The different types of earned media you can garner for better online visibility are these:
- Mentions - perhaps you or your business did something newsworthy, and it's noticed by a third party. That outlet mentions you or your site, but they don't link back to any of your profiles or website. That's OK. It's still valuable and helps you build your brand and online reputation.
- Shares - if you've created some fantastic content that gets shared on other websites or social media platforms, you've "earned" those shares because you busted your butt making something that must have gone above and beyond what would normally have been published on the topic. Congratulations!
- Reposts - different from shares in that your entire content was copied, pasted and you were given the proper credit as the content source. If this is the case, you created a very powerful, attention-getting article that must have resonated deeply with others.
- Reviews - believe it or not, you have earn reviews, good or bad. Hopefully all of your reviews will be positive! Reviews typically are given freely, without asking or encouragement, but that could happen. However you get reviews, you've earned them!
- Recommendations - much like testimonials, recommendations are powerful. Think about it - we do business with others we trust, and if someone we respect, admire, like or love recommends someone, we are going to pay close attention to her, and contact that business or person first, aren't we? Sure we are, as long as the recommendation is positive!
- Free publicity - perhaps you or your business was involved in something newsworthy, and a local media outlet contacted you to do an interview. This is great, as long as what you did was positive. If you every have this opportunity, do not pass it up - drop whatever you are doing and make it a priority to give the news media a great story to publish!
How Does Earned Media Help My SEO?
Great question! Merely getting mentions, citations or affiliations, as they are called, all still can count for ranking better in search results. Should you also get links back from websites that have strong domain authority, like news outlets or easily recognized websites, these are strong, positive inbound backlinks that count for better ranking.
Remember, building your brand online is as much about search engine optimization as is getting known for keyword phrases that are associated with your products and services.
How Else Can I Get Earned Media?
Glad you asked! Using social media tools, start cultivating influential people in your industry. Develop relationships with them and engage in dialogue. You have to earn their trust and respect. Find ways beyond your profession to connect. I'm a sailor and a student pilot. I'll always talk the ears off anyone who wants to chat about sailing and flying!
Attend networking events and meet people face to face. Believe it or not, it's still really effective, because again, we do business with people we trust. We can't trust people if we don't talk to them. Attend trade shows. Learn what others in your industry are doing, what their particular frustrations and heartburn involves, and learn things to boost your own knowledge and credibility.
If your social media followers reach out to you, answer back! For the most part, social media is not about directly making money from tweets, posts and pictures. You're trying to establish relationships. It's not a fast process, but it can work.
I hope this little introduction to earned media is helpful. Want to learn more about SEO, and how to engage influencers, get better links to your site and higher search engine visibility for your site? Take an SEO training class with Invenio SEO - contact me to learn more.
We also have online SEO training available!
Until we meet again, stay safely between the ditches.
All the very best to you,
Image courtesy of MR LIGHTMAN at FreeDigitalPhotos.net