There are always new and innovative ideas being developed in the world of search engine optimization. One of the latest inventions is termed “newsjacking” and involves a sort of bait-and-switch to increase traffic and hopefully conversions as well. It essentially involves taking a hot topic news item that many people are interested in and searching for and using that topic to bridge to what content you are really trying to push. For example, it could be news about a sports team winning a championship that you can then use to get to your primary content- selling memorabilia.
Newsjacking is effective because it helps increase the number of absolute visitors to your site as they are coming to hear about the much more popular newsjacked topic than whatever it is you are actually selling or writing about. Having an increase in absolute traffic that is relatively targeted will alone increase number of sales over the long run. But even further, if you write these articles strategically and really embrace this strategy it is possible to actually build a following for yours “news” that then leads to a loyal base of visitors and potential customers. This is somewhat parallel with the growing television and movie strategy of product placement within the actual content as opposite to separate advertisements.
Another advantage of newsjacking in SEO strategy is that it feeds into the huge and ever-growing demand for news from the public. With the 24-hour news cycle, there are always hot topics out there. If you can stay tuned to what is happening out there and how it is relevant to your true content, you can effectively produce pieces that plug into this demand for whatever is the hot topic at the moment. When things trend, people tend to search for them and that may be where your newsjacked article(s) come in. Using websites like Twitter and Facebook can be great tools in this strategy in staying tuned to what is hot at the moment. Google trends gives specific data on what is being searched for at any given time as well. With some practice you will likely be able to foresee future topics as well and that is really where you can have a large impact by putting out content before most others do. This works for many cyclical trends (such as annual events).
While newsjacking can be tremendously effective if carried out appropriately, it can also fail if not implemented with the right detail. It is important to stay in-tune with public sentiment and to understand that what is an acceptable stretch and what is just absurd (tying the European debt crisis to selling children’s toys likely won’t work). It is important to try to keep your content as natural as possible and this will happen when the news stories you are covering really tie in with your true pitch.
It might take some practice to effectively employ this new SEO strategy, but the payoff can be very large. Go try it out for yourself and see what happens!