Using Press Releases For More Than SEO

Many search engine optimization companies use press releases in their real estate SEO campaigns, but I would say an overwhelming majority do not get anywhere near the full benefit of their press releases for their clients. That’s because most real estate SEO companies using press releases have no experience in what’s called “earned media.” All they know is “pay-to-play” media, because that’s the easiest kind to get. You pay for press release distribution, you get your press release…well, distributed. Simple, right?

The real power of press releases, however, is far more than just the SEO benefit. Yes, SEO is important. We have to know how to optimize press releases using keywords in order to pull off a successful “newsjacking” (a powerful public relations strategy for earned media taken to the online world where search engines help shape the news cycle). For the average SEO company, however, that is simply outside their area of expertise or training. We SEO’s need to approach press release as an opportunity to share real newsworthy information with real journalists who might want to write real articles. Be smart about keyword optimization, and you’ll get the SEO benefit as a side-effect.

To get the most impact from a press release, and to land real-world interviews with reporters who can quote you as the authoritative expert in your real estate market, it takes at least a basic understanding of how “news” works. Most real estate agents don’t think they have anything “newsworthy” to offer a journalist. Maybe they’re right. But chances are good that with a little creativity and strategy, those same agents who were bland and boring yesterday (in terms of newsworthiness, at least) could be tomorrow’s media rock star.

You see, getting interviewed for a newspaper, magazine, or trade journal article is not a matter of luck. Yes, there is some luck involved, because you can never write a press release or pitch a story with a guarantee that it will get traction and get published. It takes creativity, hard work and persistence to land an interview for a feature story. First, let’s start with the creativity part, and start locally. Brainstorm a list of publications in your area that you think might cover any aspect of your business its in normal news cycle. The newspaper is an obvious choice, but it can also be the local business journal, your Realtor association newsletter, or anything else you can think of. Now expand that list to statewide and national publications.

The creativity comes in as you think of every possible angle on the news that’s currently happening to come up with some way of “inserting yourself” into the story. Think of neighborhoods you specialize in, current inventory in your market, real estate trends in the region or the national marketplace, etc. What unique insight might you have to offer?

Everyone has something unique they can offer. I believe that, even if you don’t. You just haven’t devoted enough time and creativity to finding what your “unique selling proposition” is when it comes to the media. You might have a U.S.P. for sellers, or for buyers, but do you have one for the media? Now’s the time to brainstorm what you have to offer and develop one.

Are you an expert in short sales on the buying end? How about helping sellers get out of a burdensome mortgage they can no longer afford, and avoiding foreclosure in the process? Or finding “screaming deals” on luxury homes for your clients. Or helping a well-known corporation with a high-level executive relocation? These are all subjects you may be able to insert yourself into with a quote, or other information that may help the reporter write a good story.

Now comes the hard work and persistence. Once you have identified a niche area of expertise that you can talk with some knowledge and authority about, you need to write a press release and/or pitch a story idea directly to a reporter or editor on your brainstormed list of publications. This involves either coming up with a newsworthy announcement (a report you’re releasing, or comments you’re making on the subject, etc.) or contacting a reporter with a story “pitch.” That means you’re not just writing a press release, but writing to a reporter suggesting a particular story idea for their consideration.

I know I’ve oversimplified this. You’re probably saying “Easier said than done.” Yes, you’re absolutely right. That’s why it’s called hard work. It’s not easy. But let me assure you, it’s worth it. Every time you’re quoted in a publication as an expert, it makes it easier for journalists to find you and talk to you for another one.

Getting quoted in a story in the local newspaper will make you a rock star in the minds of your colleagues and your current and future clients. I had a client get called by a journalists for an interview for what turned into front page article in his local newspaper a few days later. His broker gave him kudos and called him a rock star, and better yet, he got a call from a buyer with a $1.2 million budget for a home.

Did his website jump in rankings as a result? You bet it did!

Moving from a press-release-as-SEO-strategy to press-release-as-earned-media-strategy is not going to happen for most SEO companies, though. The SEO industry is too stuck in a rut of producing mindless content for the sake of online publication, with little view toward human consumption of the material. I could be just a bit biased, but I believe it’s far better to start with an SEO company that understands how to get real earned media coverage for its clients. A good local company is not that hard to find if you do your due diligence, but if you are still having problems finding a good search engine optimization agency to work with then feel free to give us at Serp Doc a call and hire our MN SEO firm We work with businesses all across the United States. IF you would like to know more about or company then you can check out our short video below describing our services or contact us on LinkedIn: Serp Doc of Minneapolis

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