Believe it or not, the news can be a search engine optimizer’s best friend. By keeping up with the latest news, trends, or “buzz” in your industry, you can bring more visitors to your website which ultimately will lead to repeat visitors or increased sales.

No matter what industry you’re in, at some time or another there’s going to be news that will impact your business or industry. When someone hears about a topic in the news they frequently turn to a search engine to learn more about it. If your website is ranked well for terms related to that news item, you’ll get valuable traffic to your website, which frequently will mean more sales.

Recently, while browsing some telecom news sites for the latest news and industry trends, I noticed that the FCC here in the USA was going to announce a key decision and new policy that could potentially affect all of the telecommunications companies in the United States. The FCC was, in fact, going to announce that decision on a particular date, and they frequently published their decision online. Since one of the websites that I was working on sold products that would be of interest to telecommunications companies in the USA, I quickly created new content on that website that mentioned the FCC decision. I also speculated on some of the keywords that people would search for if they wanted information about that FCC decision.

Luckily, after searching at Google, Yahoo!, and MSN, I was able to determine that there were currently under a dozen web pages that mentioned the upcoming FCC decision—which meant that as an SEO there wasn’t going to be much ‘competition’ for search engine rankings related to those keyword phrases. To make a long story short, I created the content, targeted certain keyword phrases relating to that FCC decision, and got some links to my new web pages. When that FCC decision was announced, everyone in the telecommunications industry turned to the search engines for more information—and they easily found the website I was working on, which helped to brand the company’s telecommunications products. Within a matter of weeks, the company’s sales soared to new levels.

By creating content related to news and events that a company’s potential customers would search for, you can get more visitors to the website. And you can frequently get great search engine rankings because not many other websites will feature information about that topic. The best way to take advantage of this is to speculate about news or events that might happen, or be very quick—as soon as news breaks put up a web page about the subject—you can always remove the page or update it as necessary later.

Press releases can bring a website or business media attention. When a website or company is mentioned in the news, people turn to search engines. The only drawback is that in order to issue a press release or get mentioned you really have to have some news to report. In any case, if you issue a press release make sure that you include links to your website as well as links to the most important pages on your site—many online media outlets will include those links in articles as long as they know about them. Qualified visitors are also a bonus, especially when someone reads an article about a product and the company’s website is mentioned. So, whenever you issue a press release, make sure that you’re ready for the extra surge in traffic your website will receive.

You don’t have to be a reporter or journalist. And you don’t necessarily need to update your website with all of your industry’s news—leave that up to the media or to industry trade journals. However, you should be aware of major events going on in your industry—and don’t be afraid to update your website with news or information about these industry events.

Having a blog is sometimes a good option for a website, although it’s not good to have a stale blog (one that’s not updated on a regular basis). So, if you’re not into blogging or don’t have someone who can update it at least a few times a week then blogging is probably not for you. But just because you don’t have a blog doesn’t mean that you can follow the industry trends—and create website content that’s timely, newsworthy, and “fresh”.

I’m sure we’re all aware of the catastrophic events related to Hurricane Katrina. If your business wasn’t directly impacted by the hurricane, you still would be able to take advantage of the news event. If your website sells computers or hard drives, your potential customers might be interested in knowing about how they can protect their computer or hard drive in the event that a hurricane or flood is going to affect the area where they live. This is a drastic example, but nonetheless it would be an opportunity to create additional timely content on your website.

As a website owner or someone who optimizes a website, the news can be a great inspiration for adding valuable content. And adding valuable content that’s timely will certainly lead to being found for more keyword phrases related to your website’s topic. Oftentimes, adding timely content quickly will allow your website to get those new web pages in the search engine’s index before the competition does. Less competition means that it’s easier to get top search engine rankings. In many cases, if you’re one of the first to feature that new timely information, other websites looking to create web pages about that subject will naturally link to the information on your site—which means more links and better search engine rankings in the future.

Discuss this article in the Small Business Ideas forum.
September 16, 2005

Bill Hartzer currently runs a Strategic Online Marketing Consultancy that includes services such as search engine optimization, social media marketing, and online reputation management.

Bill Hartzer formerly managed the Search Engine Marketing division of Vizion Interactive and MarketNet, leading interactive marketing and website design firms in the Dallas, Texas area.

Hartzer is a successful writer, blogger, search engine marketing, and social media marketing expert. During the past fifteen years, some of his many accomplishments include: Search Engine Marketing Manager, Vizion Interactive, Search Engine Marketing Manager, MarketNet, Search Engine Optimization Strategist, Intec Telecom Systems PLC, Webmaster, Intec Telecom Systems PLC, Founder, Dallas/Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Association, Owner/Author, Corporate Web Site Marketing, Administrator, Search Engine Forums, Frequent Speaker, Search Engine Strategies Conferences, Frequent Speaker, WebmasterWorld's PubCon Search Engine and Internet Marketing Conference.

Search Engine Guide > Bill Hartzer > Leverage the News for Search Engine Success