In this every-click-counts era, marketers are constantly looking for new and cost-effective ways to drive website traffic. The online media room, once a lonely cul-de-sac populated by press releases meant for reporters and investors, has now taken on a completely new role and mission. Rich with content as well as relevant keywords and search-friendly assets (videos, images, audio clips, RSS feeds and blogs), today’s media rooms have become efficient engines capable of managing corporate reputation and generating search rankings and traffic.
But this engine won’t run without proper architecture and the right technology to allow your content to be found by the search spiders. Here are a few tips to make sure yours runs on all cylinders.
- Place each piece of unique content on its own URL so search engine spiders can index each asset (press release, blog entry, video, etc) individually.
- Because search engines can only extract content that’s within HTML, make sure all body copy is in HTML (and not in an image or flash). Include video and audio transcripts or summaries whenever possible.
- Use unique Meta tags on each page to tell search engines what your content is about.
- Use a sitemap file to direct spiders to your assets and make sure to include a basic text link to each page of content. If a Google Webmaster Tools account is set up for your site, make sure to submit the sitemap through it as well.
- Leverage channels that have a direct feed into engines for additional crawling. YouTube and many news outlets have a direct feed into Google, so place content on these sites as well to get additional search engine crawls.
- Keep media rooms on your existing domain. To give your content the best chance to quickly rank high for searches, it’s best to keep any new assets on an existing domain.
- Finally, if setting up a dedicated media room is too demanding, make use of a third-party service, like PitchEngine, where you can build one to host your press releases and related content.
By following these steps and adding SEO-friendly features to your media room, you’ll be on your way to ensuring your most valuable and relevant company news and messaging works even harder for you.
Nick Papagiannis is associate director of interactive/search for marketing and communications firm Cramer-Krasselt.