Amine is a tech entrepreneur and writer. he is currently legal assets and CEO of IronMonk Solutions.
Gone are the days when you could publish a blog post full of keywords and rank for it overnight. These days, a successful SEO strategy needs to go one step further by building genuine inbound links from great sources. Publishing valuable content is not always enough. We also want to have reputable domains cite us.
There are two ways to generate inbound links to your content. Paid link building (which is considered “black hat SEO” and deserves to be punished) and earned media exposure. As the founder of two digital marketing agencies with decades of experience in SEO, I always recommend the latter to my clients.
The problem is that some website owners think that getting links just by paying for them isn’t worth the effort. Not only is paying for links a bad idea in and of itself, getting links is easier than you think. In this article, I will explain how to do that and comment on why I believe earned media is the cornerstone of his successful SEO strategy.
Earned Media 101
Earned media is the opposite of paid media (technically, it’s also the opposite of owned media, but that’s beyond the scope of this article). Below are the differences between each.
• Paid Media is content that you pay an outlet to publish on your behalf.
• Owned media refers to content that you publish on your own platform.
• Earned media refers to content freely published by other platforms (such as news reports and bylines).
In the early days of SEO, many small domains were pushed to the top by paid media strategies, but these days it’s a big deal. Today, paid backlinks are often seen as a manipulative marketing tactic as they usually try to disguise themselves as free quotes.
As we have written before, buying links through private link building networks is considered a black hat SEO technique that imposes high Google PageRank penalties. It is always recommended to earn backlinks by creating really interesting and useful content without spending money to avoid negative ranking positions.
How to get media backlinks for your website
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but these are some core strategies we employ when earning backlinks earned for our clients.
1. Provide expert commentary for journalists
This is the easiest of the three to get media citations as it generally requires the least effort and time. This method uses online reporter source networks such as HARO (“Help a Reporter Out”) and Qwoted to provide expert commentary on news articles.
These platforms are home to hundreds of journalists who need external sources to provide thoughtful comments and testimonials about their stories. Then it’s your turn. Find a journalist who specializes in your website’s niche and provide a paragraph or two in support of the story they’re currently working on.
For example, if your website is dedicated to finance, as many of my clients do, you should filter out journalists in this niche. Do your research and provide thoughtful and insightful commentary. If this works, you may be rewarded with a citation in their article.
If they decide to use your quote, politely ask them to include a link to your web property.
2. Publish press releases for events, surveys and announcements
If you want to make news, you have to make newsworthy stuff. For some, this could be an innovative product launch or a partnership with an established brand. If you are trying to
• PR newswires.
These services are paid and publish press releases and announcements to the Newswire service. If your release announces something interesting or newsworthy, journalists interested in covering your story may pick it up.
Upcoming major events (e.g. charity fundraising) or provocative survey data (e.g. “20% of Americans are saving nothing for retirement, survey show”) are excellent press release materials. will be A simple hack I use to generate interesting press releases is to use an online survey tool to conduct a nationwide survey and publish the resulting data in the form of a press release.
3. Become a (skillful) social media superstar
No one appreciates when someone ruthlessly self-promotes themselves on social media. However, promoting your content on social media can get interesting media coverage if you do it in a tasteful and respectful way.
The key is to find dedicated forums, groups, and community networks dedicated to your website’s niche. Then join these groups to provide helpful advice, support, or information to other community members. Claim yourself as an authoritative source of support and knowledge in your niche without any obnoxious self-promotion.
For example, some of my clients are in the alternative investment space, so I often share some of my original content if I truly believe it will be useful to the community. I find branded infographics and videos especially useful as they lend themselves well to viral peer-to-peer sharing on social media.
The Importance of Earned Media in SEO
Earned Media helps transfer “link equity” from authoritative websites to your own website. In fact, this is the only legitimate way. Paying for links can hurt your ranking if Google finds and penalizes them.
This means that rankings can be a problem if reputable websites don’t refer to your content. But you can’t (at least legally) generate those all-important backlinks without implementing an earned media strategy and avoiding paid black hat tactics. Incorporating his three pillars of my earned media strategy into his SEO campaign will increase your chances of getting these important backlinks and ranking higher than your competitors.
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