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How To Generate Links Through Media Relations

One of the tactics I use to generate new links is to review a site’s stats and create a media promotion based on the trends I find. This strategy is not an easy, turn-key linking program but if you’re serious about growing your business as well as your links, it’s one of the best ways to attract authority links.

Recently when working on a client’s website, I noticed a consistent spike in traffic from several European countries;  I tracked the numbers from Germany, Spain and the Netherlands over the course of six weeks and watched them climb steadily. My client couldn’t explain the increase, no special promotion or public relations program had been implemented, no new European advertising had been launched. Since the  report showed most of the search terms used were “standard”  keyword phrases and Google was the largest referrer, I concluded our European visitors were probably using Google Translate to find what they were looking for.

If you’re not familiar with Google Translate, here’s the official line on what it does:

…”What is Translated Search? Sometimes the best results for your search query may not be in your language. Translated Search is your window into the multilingual web. This feature of Google Search allows you to type queries in your own language and view results from around the world translated back to your language.”

The bold is mine. Once  I had a good idea of where the new traffic was coming from and why they were landing on my client’s site, I developed a media and public relations campaign focused on attracting links and tapping new potential. I did this in three stages:

1.  Content Development

2.  Public Relations Blitz

3.  Media Relations Outreach

Content development

Since the English based content on my client’s site was drawing attention on it own, I decided to take advantage of its popularity and translate most of it into German, Dutch and Spanish. We created new sections on the homepage and labeled each by country, everything on these pages was done in the native tongue or in the case of the videos, in subtitles. My client had spent considerable time and money creating articles and white papers as link attraction tools so I used them plus his videos and translated everything, nothing new was created. Once the translations were complete, I had it  double-checked for accuracy and uploaded to his website. After letting it sit for a couple weeks, we were ready to start promoting our new offerings to the public.

Public relations blitz

I used a European news distribution service and blasted releases written in Spanish, German and Dutch through it. I also launched a release in English saying the site had added European sections. The foreign language releases and the English release garnered a lot of buzz, our story was featured in both European and American newspapers, trade journals and blogs. The mentions in the trade journals led to a couple of interviews and guest blog spots. All in all the promotion was successful, attracted links and a lot of attention.  But best of all, the public relations blitz provided me with names and details I could use to launch the last step of our program, the media campaign.

Media relations outreach

A lot of people use the terms “public relations” and “media relations” interchangeably when in fact they are very different campaigns. Like the name implies, public relations is an awareness program focused on getting information to the public whereas “media relations” targets specific members or sections of the media.

Using the names of the journalists who contacted us through the public relations blitz, I did a little digging and created a valuable list of names and sites they wrote for, contributed to and had featured previously. Armed with a new more targeted list, I tweaked and relaunched my European releases for a second round of media and blogging links.

If you have cultivated media lists you don’t typically need to launch a public relations program but in my case, I had to since I didn’t have the media resources and my client didn’t want to buy them. In the end I’m glad we did, as the public relations campaign drew a lot of attention since what we were doing (translating technical content) was unique to the industry we were working in. Like I’ve said before, sometimes it’s all about being first.

This entire campaign took almost three months, we implemented each stage thoughtfully, didn’t go too fast and tried not to overlook new opportunities which came along. At the end of the promotion, the client had increased the content on his site by adding three European sections, launched a successful public and media relations campaign to announce those new sections, developed a kick-ass database of journalists for future use and created revenue, link and traffic streams to a new audience of people.

And best of all,  now that the new content is in place, it continues to attract links on its own. Woo-hoo! I don’t know about you, but I love attracting links while I sleep so they can work to increase my link popularity and insulate my site from changes made to a search algorithm.

Before I sign off, a personal note:

Eric Ward and I are doing the Link Building Basics session at SMX East next month and I’m also part of the Show Me The Links panel with  Arnie, Chris, Gil and Roger on day three. If you’re going to SMX East, stop by one of the link sessions and say hello, we’d  like to meet you!


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.


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