Yesterday I reported on the filing of the Google TV Rank patent. I was among the first in this industry to do so (seemingly) and within a few hours of publishing the article it landed on Google Page One. It all started when I caught wind of the Google patent by following the blog of an industry authority on the matter (I’m not divulging my source on this one). I identified it as newsworthy information for the small to medium businesses (SMBs) that this blog serves to serve. I immediately searched to see if anyone else jumped on the story and found that Search Engine Land had, aptly referring to the patent as TV Rank. Catchy. I’ll take it. I wrote a comprehensive article on the SMB implications of the impending ranking signal with the limited information that was available, and quickly published it.
Today the article remains within the top search results on Google. Will it stay? Maybe, maybe not. The industry will soon be flooded with varying takes on the topic. However, by getting a head start the article will bring in a significant portion of the initial search traffic as businesses scramble for more information. Better yet, it helps establish this blog as a trusted resource for SMBs looking for help with their internet marketing strategies. I’m not writing today’s post to brag (again, the article can slip to Page Two by the end of the day), I simply want you as a business to understand that you too can do the same for your industry. Read further to find out how.
7 Steps to Ensure Your Online Business is Among the First to Deliver Customers Industry News – Content Marketing Strategy for SEO
1. Set Google Alerts with Great Care and Detail
Anyone looking to stay on top of industry news so that they can spread word to their own customer base will want to use Google Alerts. Avoid using general terms (e.g. “real estate”, “travel”, etc…), instead opting for longtail or localized variations (e.g. “commercial real estate trends”, “California state travel”). You don’t want your inbox is not inundated with broad information that will be of little use to your unique content marketing needs.
2. Bookmark Sites at the Top of the Information Funnel
Google Alerts are great but the thing there is that the news has already “broken” by the time it gets to you. At that point you can bet that many savvy competitors have beaten you to the publishing punch. As an authority in your business, you are hopefully well aware of where applicable (to your customers) news is born. For my industry, the Google patent authority I referenced is one of them. Another of course is the United States Patent and Trademark Office where Google files their patents. I try my best to find the root of every single source of news that relates to SMBs’ internet marketing needs so that I can deliver it to them before anyone else. Identify these sources for your industry and you can be the preeminent one to deliver important product/service information to your base.
3. Bookmark News Resources that You Do, or Aspire to, Compete With
You will also want to follow the blogs and online industry news resources of those both above and on your level. They may be direct competitors from within your locale or they may offer the same products/services in another region or on a broader scale. I have no delusions of attempting to take on the likes of Search Engine Land or Search Engine Journal but I do look at their authors as well-established industry peers. I reference their work on a daily basis to gauge their take on a topic and try to identify areas where they have not filled in the blanks enough to make it relevant to businesses. Your online peers will have missed something, some angle, that will take the news and make it more relevant to your customer base – jump all over it.
4. Drop Everything and Report the News when it Happens
Once that news piece has been identified perform keyword research to find a string of keywords that you can use within the title and headings and to craft semantically related text for the article. Stop everything that you are doing and write the article as quickly as possible with the limited information available on short notice, but without sacrificing quality. Publish it before you finish your AM coffee.
5. Distribute Your Content on Social Media Immediately after Publishing
Publishing isn’t enough. You want to squeeze every inch out of the online tools available to you, which means social media distribution. It will immediately increase the reach of the article and spark the social media signals that it needs to gain momentum. Start by indexing the article on your brand’s Google+ Page, share the post from your personal Google+ profile, and then follow these 5 post publishing steps for social media distribution.
6. Hit the Forums and Related Commentaries to Answer Questions
When news breaks, related industry forums come to life with questions, comments, and discussion. Identify ahead of time which forums your customer base resides on, join them, and lay in wait. As news comes down the line and you promptly deliver your content hit these forums to respond to prospective customer queries as they relate to the news, linking back to your content when opportunity strikes. By doing so, you further stamp your status as an authority. View more on best practices for using forums for internet marketing.
7. Follow-Up the Next Day with a More Detailed Follow-Up Story, and Repeat
As I stated at the start of this article, I jumped on my story early enough to score a Page One position but am well aware that others will start adding to search results as further news on the topic arrives. Industry authors will offer their own take, having more information available to them because they waited longer to gather it. To respond to this natural flow of content, it is important for you to follow-up the next day (or so) as a more complete picture unfolds. Your first article should serve as a summary of the product/service news, completed with a hint at updates to come. The second that you have that additional information (found by tapping into the first three resources detailed above) craft your follow-up piece for your audience and repeat steps 4 to 6. Your following will soon learn that they need not go anywhere else for news on consumer details relevant to them.
There you have it. Don’t worry, it’s not as daunting a task as it may sound. Important news about your product/service offering does not arrive every single day, or even week. But when it does come, get there first and you will quickly be deemed an authority by your customers and search engines alike.