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Pitching stories to reporters is hard.

More often than not they will say no, even if you think it’s important. However, the difference between what you think is news and newsworthiness is vast.

For example, there are 33m people with HIV however it’s not important to report today. However, if we find a cure for it today, then that’s important.

It’s important to understand that reporters want a newsworthy story and want an angle they see worthy of a place in the paper or on their site.

There tend to be 11 different elements that can help you create this newsworthiness that will get you some good local coverage – here they are.

  • Conflict – this is newsworthy. People prefer an argument than people getting on
  • Local – the more local, the more likely people will be interested as it impacts on them
  • Incident – if it goes wrong or is bad news it’s more likely to be news
  • Extremes – if it’s the biggest, best, worst or smallest – it’s more likely to be included
  • News – news needs to be new – remember this
  • Big vs. Small – A small company overcoming a Goliath tends to get people’s interest. People love the little guy
  • Timely – stories that are timely and work around a big event are more likely to be covered.
  • Scandals – if it’s newsworthy it often will invoke some sort of scandal. People love gossip.
  • Incompetence – if people showcase stupidity it draws attention from the critical
  • Hook – a surprising hook gets interest. Reporters love if something surprising happens – the more shocking the better.
  • Hypocrites – Anti gun lobbyist shoots lover dead – that’s a pretty good story and one that’s delicious to a reporter.

Good newsworthy angles are a big part of link building and SEO and can help land you some great links. Understanding how to get them is important and these tips are there to help.

If you want help with your SEO then contact us for details.

 

Of all the many and varied link schemes across the history of the Internet, none is so close to, and yet so far from, a legitimate strategy as the private blog network. What is a PBN, how does one work and how can you tell if a blog is part of one?

marketing consultant in LondonWhat is a Private Blog Network?

A private blog network is a network of blogs all owned by one person or a small group of people working together. These blogs can run from autoblog-style low quality drivel to high-quality, high PageRank sites with valuable content. They all work together to point value at other sites owned by the owner of the PBN.

This is, in a sense, a black hat link scheme. The reason is because all of the blogs are used by the same person to promote one site, similar to how a link pyramid or link wheel directs power to a single money site. The other reason is because PBNs are often used to game the search results, giving link juice to a target blog that wasn’t earned legitimately.

There’s a very thin line between a high quality PBN and a legitimate network of blogs working together. After all, if you and three friends each own three blogs, those twelve blogs have reason to support each other and aren’t really attempting to game the system. It’s only when the quality of those blogs drops that the technique becomes more firmly black hat.

The key to running a long-lived and successful private blog network is the first word; private. The fact that the blogs are owned by the same person and are all used to promote a target site is necessarily going to be kept secret. The blogs can’t all have the same WHOIS information, the same IP addresses, the same content, layout or anything else. The more diverse and robust the blogs, the easier it is to get away with running a PBN.

Generally, the way a PBN comes to life is from an expired domain auction. The webmaster will swoop in and buy domains that have expired, typically for a low fee. These domains are typically free of link penalties and have a history of being cared for by their previous owners. Why was the site abandoned and the domain put up for sale? The world may never know. The fact is, the PBN owner buys it while it’s still fresh and the existing PageRank hasn’t dissipated.

Typically, the PBN owner will acquire as many of these domains as necessary and sets up a quick block on each one. Again, the web host, IP address and other configuration options need to be different enough that you can’t tell, at a glance, that they’re owned by the same person.

Each blog is populated with some content, taking advantage of incoming links whenever possible. Low quality PBNs throw up a half-dozen articles in the first day and leave it at that.High-quality PBNs take longer to create more original content. Whenever possible, it’s a good idea to identify incoming links and use those URLs to create new posts in the vein of whatever old post was there, to maintain more SEO power.

Online travel firms are two a penny, and with more people seeking a good deal on a holiday booked via the internet there is a huge amount of potential to make a lot of money. In fact, according to accountants Wilkins Kennedy LLP, there was a 45% rise in the number of bricks and mortar travel companies that went bust in the year to March 2014, something they link directly to the growing trend for booking holidays online.

“The need to consult with a travel agent is rapidly disappearing,” a spokesman for the firm told the Daily Mail. This, the firm contends, is leading people to book their own ‘DIY’ breaks online. Research is of course always  open to debate (doubly so when it’s reported by the Mail) but followed logically, this argument suggests that there is the potential for online travel firms to make many extra millions of pounds by moving into the void filled by these capsized traditional travel companies.

There are of course many competitors out there eager to scoop up their slice of the travel pie, but even for small fish surrounded by leviathans of the online travel world there are things that you can do to secure a substantial share of the booty. Sweeping that wonderful array of mixed metaphors aside for a moment, let’s take a look at some of the things you can do to potentially, but literally, make extra millions of pounds a year.

Polish your content

Any online travel business is only ever as good as the content it produces. Even with the best deals and fantastically low prices, you’re unlikely to convince anyone to trust you with their hard-earned holiday (and money) if your content is slapdash or lacklustre.

Taking just the price point as an example, when a visitor to your site encounters a low price they can perceive it in one of two ways: they can either see it as an unbeatable bargain, or they can see it as something that’s of low value, ‘cheap’ and undesirable. If you have highly polished content that really sells what’s great about the holiday then they’re likely to believe the former, while if it’s dull, badly written and/or full of errors, they’re going to see it as cheap and nasty.

So, the quality of your content can directly lead to hundreds if not thousands of extra sales, or not, your choice.

Optimise to convert

Just as travel reps undergo training to help them sell holidays to consumers, travel copywriters need to be trained to optimise your content for conversion. This means:

  • Snappy, concise content
  • Content that contains appealing imagery
  • Compelling, concrete calls to action
  • Content that grows your brand and maintains your brand voice
  • Content that takes into account the way people read and digest information online

If your content is currently underperforming then it may be time to carry out an audit to determine if it fulfils these five criteria. If it’s not then you could be losing out on a substantial number of sales, and it may be time to revisit your blueprint for content production and optimise your webpage content for conversions.

Maximise your output

If you’ve been running an online travel business for any length of time, chances are good that your content isn’t awful and you’re doing at least a few things right. But as a business with finite resources, there is inevitably a limit to how much you can do to market your business on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. And that’s a shame, because the more high quality content you produce, the greater the potential for extra sales and a higher turnover.

There are many types of content that travel businesses can produce in their marketing efforts, including:

  • Destination guides
  • Travel e-books
  • Blogs and guest blogs
  • Helpful holiday tips articles

Producing these consistently over a period of time can substantially grow your business for a number of reasons. Firstly, generating additional high quality content should improve your ranking within the search results, leading to a higher number of click-throughs. Secondly, it will increase your brand exposure and potentially be shared with even more people. And thirdly, it will help you to portray yourself as a trusted, well-established and knowledgeable travel brand.

Obviously your marketing department is going to be limited in its content production by the number of content copywriters in the office, particularly during the summer months when your own staff may be, ironically, on holiday. You can boost your travel content production to whatever level you desire though, by outsourcing some of your requirements to a travel copywriting agency with a team of dedicated online content copywriters.

 

 

 

There are times in life when good things happen to good people and this 160 page PDF from Canuck SEO on how Google determines the quality of a site is one of those.

Take a look at this comprehensive document and see for yourself and share.

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