News websites are typically considered by Google to be authoritative, and obtaining a link or even brand mention from one or more of these sites can significantly boost your standing in Google rankings. Additionally, having a news outlet showcase your company in a positive light can do wonders for your business as it boosts name recognition and increases trust. Following are some tried and proven tips for getting local and national news websites to give you a link (or at least mention your company name and/or products).
Create or Be Part of Newsworthy Events
News outlets want to find interesting, “out of the ordinary” news stories. Creating a new product, offering a new service or even providing special discounts won't make the news so don't bother to advertise these events to local news outlets. Instead, look for ways to create or be part of an unusual happening in your local area.
Get Engaged in Volunteer Work
Look for local volunteer projects that you can start up or join. Ideally, you will want to find opportunities to serve that go along with the nature of your business. For instance, a local HVAC company could repair or replace HVAC units free of charge for poor individuals in the city. A lawyer may want to offer free services to needy town residents while a grocery store may want to provide low-cost food to residents who are short on cash.
Local news websites commonly cover “out of the ordinary” volunteer or charitable projects. If you are out at the forefront of such a project, then you are likely to get at least a name mention in a local news article. You may even get a link from the company's online news site if you ask for one. (Plus you get to help someone in need!)
Network in the Industry
Take part in industry events such as local, state-wide and national expos and trade fairs. Make your spot stands out by offering freebies or providing eye-catching visuals.
Leverage New Branch Openings
It is not uncommon for local news websites to cover the opening of new businesses in a particular area. This is particularly true if your new business is providing services not previously available to residents of that area.
Get in Touch with News Websites
Don't wait for news websites to come knocking on your door. You can get in touch with them yourself using the following tactics.
Use press releases to tell news outlets about new developments in your business. If these releases are well written and stand out from the norm, they may be featured on Google News. Many news outlets pick up news from Google's news service, making it possible for your release to gain national coverage.
Sign up to Google as a Local or National News Website
Google has detailed guidelines you must follow if you want to sign up as a news service; however, a business can meet these guidelines by having a blog posts that provides regular, current updates and industry news. If you meet the right criteria, you may find yourself regularly featured on Google's well known news page on a regular basis.
HARO stands for Help a Reporter Out. Once you sign up for this program, you will receive free notifications if reporters are looking for information related to your area of expertise. Take advantage of every single request to help out, even if it comes from a relatively small news outlet. You should also be sure to provide your full business name, business website address and other, relevant information.
Pick up the Phone
Sometimes you will simply need to pick up the phone and make a call. Talk to the reporter that covers news related to your industry and offer him or her your story ideas.
Reporters are busy people so keep your pitch short and to the point. Ideally, you should call in the morning when reporters start looking for the next day's stories. If you are calling about an event you intend to hold in the near future, give the reporters a few days' advance notice.
Google currently holds news websites in high regard, a trend that is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. If you want to build top quality links that will help you gain first page placement on Google's search engine, then targeting news outlets and getting brand mentions and links is the way to go.
Thankfully, you do not have to do this alone. If you need help with this or other aspects of link building, get in touch with us to get started. Brandgy specializes in offsite marketing and can offer the professional advance and services you need in order to reach more customers than ever before.