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February 11, 2012

What Is SEO PR

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San Antonio News Express LogoWhat Is SEO PR And Why It Makes Us Happy
Search Engine Optimization press releases use a handful of tools and platforms such as PRweb and E-Releases to bundle “what is happening now” press releases into powerful content network marketing platforms creating positive search engine marketing cycle we’ve named “more and more, faster and faster, better and better” capable of generating high PR links into web sites, social media (though not sure why you would do that yet) and increasing chances for the magic WOM (word-of-mouth) elixir.

Here is a link to the San Antonio Express News post about our Content Curation Contest and thanks to the person at SAEN who pulled our release off the PRweb site:

Content Curation Contest post by San Antonio Express News

Finding The New News
You can still see it in old movies and indelibly marked in your memory if you are of a certain post-50 age. The smoke filled, chaotic newsroom with crazy deadline energy and unique personality. I mourn the passing of cool things. My beloved albums, tiny huge televisions with five channels and telephones on the wall in your kitchen join the smoke filled news room as memorabilia.

On the other hand, there are new cool things and SEO PR, press releases written for search engine benefit and to reach new contacts and “influencers” unreachable in any other way was a secret often used in my last position as Director of Ecommerce. SEO PR is less and less of a secret as are all my old SEO tricks are (inevitably) discovered and then overused. SEO Press Releases are popular and about to be more so because they work (at least for now).

Platforms Vs. Websites
One reason seo press works is the content is managed by smart curators. PRWeb and E-Releases were platforms and enjoying the benefits platforms generate long before I wrote Platforms vs. Websites last year. Yes these powerful platforms have the same issues as other social media (Facebook, Twitter). In order to move value to your digital properties links are need and, in this case, THEY control the links. Cost of poker in today’s search engine marketing (SEM) fueled world and worth table stakes.

How SEO PR Works
Write a press release, here is one of mine:

Content Curation Contest Seeks World’s Best Curators

Be mindful of keywords and there are a few formatting things such as the date and time stamp and pull quote that the platform managers will help you through. PRWeb is less generous with links. They used to allow 1 per 100 words. I had 4 links in my draft of the Content Curation Contest release and PRweb cut down to the single one at the bottom driving to our blog instead of our landing page.

Content Curation Contest Landing Page

Content Curation Contest at Atlantic BT link Why would PRweb make such a change? Probably because Atlantic BT’s landing page is new and not as content rich or well linked and SEO friendly as the blog post selected. What you link TO is as important as that you link. Wish PRweb told me prior to distribution since links on the several week old blog post selected weren’t up-to-date. We got ‘er done and that is the main thing, but their choosing links for me is frustrating and patronizing. I understand their need to protect the impressive Google Juice they’ve created, but a little notice would have been nice (just saying).  NONE is how much traffic from content you don’t write, so we are willing to put up with a single poorly registered link.

Benefits of SEO Press Releases
I can’t reach out to the San Antonio Express-News myself for two good reasons. First life is short and I have about five minutes a day to eat, sleep and go back to work (like most of us). Second, and this is the real reason, any influencer wants to FIND cool stuff. Finding cool stuff is what the Oprahs of the world live for so frustrating an influencers’ strong hunter instinct only hurts.  I love it when someone says, “We will get Oprah to talk about us.” You might win the lottery too but I wouldn’t put it in a marketing plan.

When I co-founded Found Objects there was a difficult challenge – how to get talked about when we had NO MONEY. I wrote a letter to editors from the major media outlets that impacted our space such as Oprah’s magazine, Elle Decor and Redbook. The letter came from the President of Found Objects (my ex), was about 500 words long, let the editors know of about our biggest hit – Magnetic Poetry Kit – and offered our help when they were on deadline and needed something cool.

I attached the letter to a large calendar a famous designer made featuring fonts (forgot his name), stamped FoundObjects.com on the calendar’s top with a $20 rubber stamp and FedExed the letter and calendar in an over sized tube (expensive but worth the “these guys are for real points” I figured since this was back before you could know everything about our company with Google). We got calls and full page features in several critical publications including Elle Decor and O Oprah’s magazine (and remind me to tell the why you never disappoint Oprah’s producers story).

The important point is people who curate, write and influence for a living don’t want you to tell them what to do. Journalists, reporters and bloggers (influencers) need to find you, learn about you and want to be involved. Frustrate the drive and curiosity that defines journalists, reporters and writers lives and livelihood and good luck with that. Don’t shout build relationships.

SEO Press Releases – You Are Drowning And Can’t Get Up
I mix two metaphors in the title for this paragraph on purpose. SEO PR’s value proposition is to put your news where influence go so they might care. Influencers care when your message, company, product or brand is supportive or helpful to them. Influencers must curate an increasingly insane amount of information. According to Google CEO Eric Schmidt we create as much content every two days as from the beginning of time to 2003. Imagine what is going to happen when Moore’s Law of squaring circuit power while cutting integrated costs REALLY gets going?

You (the royal YOU meaning US) are NOT the only people feeling information overload – influencers feel it too and maybe most acute. Becoming a valuable resource for original or shared content and a mutually beneficial relationship may develop. You need their help, they need your help so life is good.

Care Don’t Manipulate
I’ve written, tweeted and blogged about cool writing and content for a long time. I comment, share and provide KUDOS frequently. I love curation and enjoy being involved and supportive. Hitting fifty helped create the sudden and surprising realization life isn’t all about me all the time. I began to reject Satre’s idea that hell is other people (except in airports) and started to live a NonZero life (shameless plug for one of my favorite books and authors).

My consistent involvement on many fronts (ScentTrail Marketing blog, @ScentTrail and Curation Revolution on Scoop.it) means any story pitch is sincere and based on core values – a real love of curation and people when we aren’t on a plane. My story pitch may or may not land, but the general sense of walking my personal talk and being authentic, caring and real comes from the reputation economics we all do.

We are a little CIA-like now. We check a Facebook page, Google and Klout scores (Atlantic BT’s is up lately THANKS). It is not that people don’t trust or accept at face value, but, driven by natural curiosity, people want to know stuff. Knowing stuff about other people is what drives the world. Our natural curiosity is Darwinian and what, in the end, life may be about. Some may think people don’t trust, are suspicious and uncaring, but such an assertion is unsupported by anything except anecdotal evidence.

Robert Wright’s NonZero and Mind of the Market by leading skeptic Michael Shermer and The Selfish Gene by Dawkins all confirm our innate genetic desire to help each another. Influencers are simultaneously helpful and furious watchdogs about their reputations (they have to be). If you read Seth Godin or Malcolm Gladwell you know influencers create influence by being real, honest and caring.

If influencers shill too much their ability to influence goes down. If they are viewed as mean or uncaring their influencer ratings go down. People who influence our culture and actions must protect their brand while being extremely open to the next cool idea, person or meme.

THEY are the pros YOU the amateur. Don’t do anything except be honest, caring, sharing, helpful and humble. Care don’t manipulate is another one of those post-50, post-cancer lessons. In Gilbert’s book Stumbling On Happiness he shares our somnambulist wanders mostly in the dark about where personal happiness comes from. Most of the time we have no clue. Worse, we construct serendipity to explain the wrong thing in the wrong way. People think THINGS and SUCCESS is where happiness lives.  Not so much Gilbert points out.

SEO PR is like a bit of a wander in the dark too. We want Oprah to call our company firing her magic silver bullet, the bullet sure to make us able to walk in moonlight without fear of getting all hairy and fanged. Problem is, as Gilbert, Wright and Shermer point out, happiness is a process not a destination, an idea not a thing. Approach your life, company and brand with these wise author’s human truths,

  • Help others as much as possible since it is really the best way to help yourself
  • Authenticity comes from consistent actions over time
  • Give first, worry about everything else second and when in doubt return to the first part of this bullet
  • Reputation comes from what others think and content Google indexes
  • Use a SEO PR engine to build relationships with cool new influencers like the San Antonio Express-News
  • Be humble and say Thank You since any connection is a gift

Thanks SAEN, you guys rock.

Martin

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