The search landscape is changing so fast that half of what we knew a year ago about search engine optimization and marketing is now obsolete, reports Greg Jarboe in his SEO-PR Newsblog. Jarboe is a regular presenter at the Search Engine Strategies (SES) conference and web search versus vertical search (in search areas like news) was one of the new search trends featured at the San Jose SES.
The growth of the news search has only come about in the last few years. According to Nielsen/Net ratings, in June 2004 CNN.com was still the #1 online news source with Yahoo not too far behind. By January 2005 Yahoo rose to #1 with 23 million readers a month and by June 2005 they were pulling out in front with 29 million readers a month, dominating the online news ratings.
News search is playing a bigger and bigger role in online marketing. Google has a news search section, as does AOL, MSN and Alta Vista. Sites like Topix are drawing viewers looking for great local news. Recent studies show that 77 percent of Internet users get their news online and it’s the number one choice for news in the 18 – 54 year old age group. People go online and search the news engines by topic and keyword capsdoc.com. The LA Times reported on the trend, saying that veteran journalists are looking to the PR field for work, now that so many readers are reading their news online.
When there is a relevant and timely article in Google News, Google will serve you up that news item in the Google ‘One-Box’ above the #1 position when you do a web search on a keyword or phrase. Yahoo News now indexes blog posts in response to the clear trend that early adopters look to blogs for news. Getting your message out in the news search has emerged as an essential part of your search engine optimization and marketing strategy.
Optimizing press releases and news articles is no longer a ‘nice-to-do one day’ idea or ‘something we should try.’ It’s a proven strategy you should be implementing right now. Put these articles into an RSS feed and you’ll start to show up in the most unexpected places!
It’s well known that the search engines are suckers for fresh content. Sites that are updated regularly fare better than those that remain static over long periods of time. This has always posed a problem for us store owners, because simply adding a few new products each month just isn’t going to suffice in competitive markets. Nor is shuffling the featured products around on our home pages every now and again!
Thankfully blogging goes a long way toward solving this dilemma. Get into the habit of making frequent, regular posts to a blog and sites soon take on that fresh, organic quality the search engines love.
Of course, as well as helping rankings, blogs are also great way of interacting with clients. Sharing views and news with visitors and allowing them to comment on posts creates a sense of community around a store. This does wonders for conversion rates.
So blogs and ecommerce are a healthy combination – but what about the writing itself? It’s vital that a blog is kept ticking over but posting fresh material every few days can soon become taxing! So here a few tips and ideas for when you run out of inspiration.
The arrival of new product lines should always be announced on your blog. If nothing else it provides an ideal opportunity to get keywords into action, so use them in the titles of your posts as well as the body. Similarly you can also use your blog to inform customers when a particular item is back in stock.