There is always something new and exciting happening across the world. No matter the event or occasion it is bound to get some level of media coverage. If your business operates in a related industry to a specific breaking news story or event you may be able to capitalize on that event and attract more website traffic through newsjacking.
What Is Newsjacking?
Newsjacking is an effective SEO tactic in any marketing strategy for increasing website traffic and growing your audience by giving you more keywords to rank for and taking advantage of the “first come first served” philosophy. To put it simply, newsjacking is writing a keyword-rich piece of content that meets all the criteria necessary to rank highly in search engines as fast as possible and be one of, if not the first website to have content regarding a new topic, event, or news story.
Related: How to do keyword research
Breaking news stories like when a celebrity makes an announcement or a big event occurs, being the first website to write about it gives you an advantage over slower reporting websites that aren’t taking advantage of the sudden interest in a topic. It also allows you to publish your article to social media before other publishing companies letting you get more social media engagement and sometimes free media coverage.
As interest in the topic rises and begins to trend, more people will be aware of the event through their news alerts which will lead to an increase in the search volume for that particular event or topic presenting an SEO opportunity for newsjacking. Search engines like Google also are more likely to choose your website’s article as the featured snippet for some search terms due to less competition covering related relevant news.
Related: User Generated Content In Your SEO Strategy
Newsjacking is All About Timing
Obviously, newsjacking requires very good timing in order to reach the highest number of people possible. Newsjacking is most effective when you are able to publish content to your website before the story peaks in interest. If you plan to have newsjacking efforts as part of your content marketing strategy it is imperative to monitor trending stories and stay up to date with how those stories are developing.
Trending stories have a short lifespan so your marketing team needs to be fast in creating quality content covering the event. The longer you wait to publish your own content covering an event or topic the more media attention it will gain until it reaches a plateau or another event takes its place in relevancy and importance.
Successful newsjacking has the potential to generate tons of website clicks and impressions and can get your website appearing in Google users’ news alerts without even requiring them to search.
What Are The SEO Benefits Of A Newsjacking Strategy
There are many SEO benefits to newsjacking for your website. In addition to the potential of gaining a new audience and temporarily increasing website traffic by optimizing for new high-volume keywords, newsjacking also creates a great opportunity to build backlinks for your website from other websites using your content as a reference for theirs. This can improve brand awareness and can be used as a small portion of your brand marketing strategy.
Each backlink you gain will increase your overall website domain authority which will help increase your organic search rankings across every page of your website.
Getting your website a featured snippet on Google or referenced by larger news outlets can provide you with a lot more traffic which you can then convert into leads. The primary goal of newsjacking is to attract as many new visitors to your website as possible by increasing the number of keywords you can rank for. With more traffic coming to your website, the more opportunity there will be to convert visitors into leads and increase your brand awareness.
Another advantage that newsjacking can provide is an increase in email newsletter signups which creates another opportunity to keep some visitors returning to your website long after the article’s relevancy fades and makes your website a source of information for current events, press releases, trending hashtags, and news-related content.
How To Find Newsjacking Opportunities To Write About For Your Blog
Finding trending news stories or a topic worth writing about before most mainstream media outlets pick it up can be a challenge. When it comes to newsjacking, speed is the most important factor to consider when publishing your article. There are a few useful tools and tricks you can use to find newsjacking opportunities before the competition. One of the most useful tools for finding newsjacking opportunities for your website’s blog is Google Alerts.
Google Alerts To Find Newsjacking Opportunities
To use Google Alerts, all you need to do is type the topic you want to follow, change your options to alert you about events as they happen, allow it to show all results for that topic, and send them directly to your email.
The entire process of setting up Google Alerts to email you takes less than a minute and is one of the best ways to find newsjacking opportunities for your website. However, we recommend making a separate email as Google Alerts will be sending you a lot of emails updating you about the topic in question.
Related: Title Tags, Meta Descriptions & URLs: SEO Basics
Google Trends To Find Newsjacking Opportunities
Another tool you can use to find and monitor potentially rewarding newsjacking opportunities is Google Trends. While this tool isn’t updated in real time, it is very useful for monitoring the growth and search volume of a topic over several days, weeks, months or even years. It can also be used to compare the popularity of 2 different topics when you are unsure which one to write about.
Something to remember when writing newsjacking articles is that the article needs to have a sufficient amount of search volume. There are some topics that may only be popular on social media platforms and have very little organic search volume.
Potential Drawbacks Of Newsjacking
While there are many clear advantages to newsjacking, it is important to understand that this SEO tactic does have some potential drawbacks and shouldn’t be the only tactic employed in your website’s SEO content strategy. The biggest drawback of newsjacking is that most newsjacking content is not evergreen content. Meaning that over time, as interest in that topic declines, so will your website traffic. The longer a trend lasts and stays relevant, the longer you can expect traffic to go to your post. Some trends can last only a few days while others can last several months. If you get your content out early, you will be far more likely to have your content indexed by search engines like Google and shown to a wider audience before most of the competition.
Newsjacking relies on the news being covered to be relevant at the time. A few examples of newsjacking would be an article about Google’s 2018 algorithm update will see very little search volume or interest from digital marketers or SEO specialists from 2019 onward or an article about new search features in 2020 would be outdated now in 2022.
Using newsjacking as part of your website’s content marketing strategy, you can expect a quick surge in website traffic and even a few backlinks to your website. Just remember that newsjacking content typically loses traffic over time and either needs to be replaced, removed, or updated in the future. If you want to learn more about newsjacking and other SEO tactics check out the rest of our blog.