Toolbox: Optimizing press releases for search engines, why you should translate e-commerce and more

How do you optimize press releases for search?
First, incorporate keywords, says Steven Kleber, president and founder of Kleber and Associates. “Brainstorm keywords used when searching for your product, service or company online,” he suggests, “Then, review the keywords for traffic potential and competition using low-cost and free research tools, such as those from Trellian, Google and Wordtracker’s. Incorporate no more than the top two or three keywords for which you’d like the release to be found.”

Third, “implement the keywords by using them in headlines and lead paragraphs, but no more than five times per page,” he continues. “Then, select a newswire service for press release distribution like PR Newswire or Business Wire. Last, analyze your Web site traffic and modify or maintain keywords based on the results.”

Should we translate our e-commerce site from English into other languages?
“Consumers prefer interacting in their language, even if they speak some English,” answers Don DePalma, chief research officer at Common Sense Advisory. “For more expensive purchases and things that are critical to their lifestyle — financial services, for example — content in their own language is critical. We’ve found that most business buyers will not give full consideration to a product unless it sports localized marketing materials that they can read and understand to the fullest.”

Survey data supports this, he adds: “Considering the entire purchase cycle, from marketing through usage through support, we found that more than 96% of our respondents preferred to purchase products for which all components have been translated and localized.”

How do I convince our company to engage in social media marketing without fear of negative feedback?
“This is one of the biggest challenges faced by companies thinking about social marketing, because PR and legal departments have stressed the importance of playing corporate cards close to the vest,” says Aaron Strout, CMO of social marketing firm Powered Inc. “While only you or your executive team know how much of an appetite you have for real dialogue with the outside world, this doesn’t mean you have to completely open up the kimono to participate in social marketing.”

He notes that Dell Inc. asked its customers and others to provide suggestions in its IdeaStorm tool and then allowed those same folks to rate and rank those ideas. “This not only created a tremendous amount of goodwill for the firm, but also gave it a slew of innovative new marketing and product ideas,” he says.

Is an infomercial a good investment in this economy?
Yes, says David Schwartz, president of Infomercial Solutions Inc. “While certainly the economic crisis has people watching their pennies, the public is still buying,” he explains. “The key is making sure you have the right infomercial product for the needs of your target audience. For today’s market, concentrate on general use, ‘high motivation’ items. When you have something that people want and can use daily, like an exercise product, people still order.”

He adds, “Media time is less expensive now with mainstream advertisers cutting back, so it’s an especially good time for infomercials. Remember, almost all infomercials are judged by how much product is ordered, not how much money is spent to air them.”

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