Newsjacking: What it is and Why it matters in SEO

June 19, 2024
Newsjacking | Cover Image

What Does Newsjacking Mean?

Newsjacking is a marketing strategy where businesses capitalize on recent news or trends to promote their brand or products. By creating related content or advertisements, they can attract attention and enhance engagement with their audience.


Where Does Newsjacking Fit Into The Broader SEO Landscape?

Newsjacking is a strategy where marketers and SEO professionals capitalize on the momentum of trending news stories to increase their brand’s exposure and potentially enhance their website’s search engine rankings. This tactic involves creating content that relates to a current news story, aiming to capture some of the search traffic associated with the topic. The inclusion of relevant keywords from the news topic can help the content appear in search results, thus attracting more visitors to the site. Furthermore, since newsjacking content is timely and topical, it can improve the likelihood of earning links from other sites discussing the news, which enhances domain authority and can positively impact SEO performance overall. Additionally, because search engines like Google give preference to fresh, relevant content in search results, newsjacking can help a website gain visibility for queries related to the trending topic for that brief period while it remains in the public focus.


Real Life Analogies or Metaphors to Explain Newsjacking

1. Surfing: Newsjacking is like surfing. As a surfer waits for the perfect wave, leveraging its power and momentum for an exhilarating ride, so too does newsjacking involve riding the wave of a trending news story, using its popularity and energy to boost your own content into the spotlight.

2. Drafting in Racing: In auto racing, drivers often practice drafting, where they closely follow another car to benefit from reduced air resistance. Similarly, newsjacking involves aligning your content closely behind a breaking news story, allowing your content to move forward with less effort by riding in the slipstream of the news story’s reach and velocity.

3. Gardening: Think of newsjacking like planting seeds in a freshly tilled field. If a farmer plants seeds right after the field is plowed, they take full advantage of the fertile soil. In much the same way, newsjacking plants your ideas into the conversation when a news story breaks, maximizing the nutrients of public interest for rapid growth.

4. Fireworks Display: Imagine using a high-powered spotlight during a fireworks display to draw attention to a specific area. Newsjacking works in a similar way; it uses the flare of breaking news to illuminate your content, making it more visible when there’s already a lot of eyes looking up.

5. Hitchhiking: Newsjacking is akin to hitchhiking. When you hitchhike, you catch a ride with passing vehicles headed in the direction you want to go. Similarly, by newsjacking, you attach your content to a news story that’s already headed toward wide visibility and engagement, helping you travel further without much additional effort.


How the Newsjacking Functions or is Implemented?

1. Monitor Trends and News: Use tools like Google Alerts, Twitter, and RSS feeds to stay on top of current events, trending topics, and breaking news relevant to your niche.

2. Quick Response: Once a relevant event is identified, quickly gather your team to brainstorm how you can tie your brand to the story. Speed is critical in newsjacking to ensure your content is timely.

3. Create Content: Develop content that ties your brand to the news story. This could be a blog post, a social media update, a video, or even a press release. Ensure the content is relevant, insightful, and adds value to the conversation.

4. Optimize for Keywords: Research and include relevant keywords that people are likely to use when searching for news on the topic. This step is crucial for SEO to ensure your content ranks well in search engine results.

5. Publish and Promote: Release your content as quickly as possible. Then, promote it through your social media channels, email newsletters, and other platforms. Engaging with other posts or threads discussing the news can also increase visibility.

6. Engage with the Audience: As your content gains traction, engage with readers and viewers through comments, shares, and direct replies. This interaction can help maintain momentum and increase reach.

7. Measure Results: Use analytics tools to track the performance of your newsjacking efforts. Look at metrics like website traffic, engagement rates, and conversion metrics. This data will help you refine your newsjacking strategy over time.


Impact Newsjacking has on SEO

Newsjacking can significantly impact a website’s SEO performance and rankings by leveraging trending topics to enhance visibility and attract more visitors. By creating content that aligns with current news, websites can increase their relevance and authority, which are important factors in search engine algorithms. This relevance boost can lead to higher rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs) when users search for news-related keywords.

Additionally, newsjacking can improve user engagement and interaction. When visitors find content that is timely and relevant, they are more likely to stay longer on the site, reducing bounce rates. Increased user engagement signals to search engines that the website offers valuable content, potentially boosting its rankings.

Moreover, newsjacking can enhance backlink opportunities. Other sites are more likely to link to content that discusses current events, which can improve the site’s domain authority and subsequently, its SEO performance. However, if not implemented with care, newsjacking can lead to negative impacts, such as being perceived as insensitive or irrelevant if the association with the news topic isn’t strong or appropriate.


SEO Best Practices For Newsjacking

1. Identify Trending Topics: Use tools like Google Trends, Twitter Trends, and news aggregators to find real-time topics that are gaining popularity and relate to your niche.

2. Content Creation: Quickly create relevant, high-quality content that ties your brand or product to the trending topic. Ensure it provides unique perspectives or value.

3. Optimize for Keywords: Incorporate relevant keywords related to the trending topic into your content including headlines, subheadings, and the body to ensure visibility in search engines.

4. SEO Basics: Ensure your content follows SEO best practices such as using meta tags, mobile optimization, fast loading times, and structured data where applicable.

5. Publish Quickly: Time is of the essence in newsjacking. Publish your content as quickly as possible to ride the wave of the trending topic.

6. Social Media Promotion: Immediately share your content across all social media platforms. Use hashtags related to the trending topic to increase reach.

7. Engage in the Conversation: Participate in discussions related to the trending topic on platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and relevant forums, and link back to your content where appropriate.

8. Monitor Performance: Use analytics tools to track the performance of your content. Pay attention to metrics like traffic, engagement, and conversions.

9. Update Content: As the story develops, keep your content updated with new information or insights to maintain relevance and boost visibility.

10. Leverage Influencers: Reach out to influencers and thought leaders within your niche to share or comment on your content to broaden its reach further.


Common Mistakes To Avoid

1. Irrelevance to Brand Identity: Newsjacking content that does not align with the brand’s core values or identity can confuse the audience or diminish brand integrity. _Avoidance Tip_: Always assess whether the news aligns with your brand’s ethos before jumping on it.

2. Timing Issues: Being too late in the news cycle can render newsjacking ineffective or make it seem like an afterthought. _Avoidance Tip_: Monitor news regularly and act swiftly, ensuring your content is timely and relevant.

3. Insensitive Commentary: Newsjacking sensitive topics or crises can appear opportunistic or insensitive, damaging brand reputation. _Avoidance Tip_: Avoid controversial or tragic topics and exercise empathy and respect in all communications.

4. Poor Execution: Hasty content creation under time pressures can lead to errors or low-quality posts. _Avoidance Tip_: Have a pre-approved template or guideline for rapid but quality content creation.

5. Legal Issues: Using copyrighted material (e.g., images, video clips) without proper permissions can lead to legal consequences. _Avoidance Tip_: Always use royalty-free or owned images, and check copyright laws before using third-party content.

6. Overuse: Frequent newsjacking can make content seem gimmicky or cause audience fatigue. _Avoidance Tip_: Be selective and strategic about the news stories you choose to engage with, ensuring they are impactful and relevant.

7. Neglecting SEO: Failing to optimize newsjacking content for search engines can result in missed organic traffic opportunities. _Avoidance Tip_: Incorporate relevant keywords and follow SEO best practices to enhance visibility and reach.

8. Lack of Originality: Simply echoing what is already being said can make your brand seem like a follower rather than a leader. _Avoidance Tip_: Add unique perspectives or insights that can differentiate your brand’s voice from the rest.

9. Ignoring Audience Sentiment: Not considering how your audience feels about certain news can lead to backlash or alienation. _Avoidance Tip_: Use social listening tools to gauge public opinion before crafting content.

10. Forgetting Follow-Up: Treating newsjacking as a one-off without follow-up or further engagement can squander potential benefits. _Avoidance Tip_: Plan ahead for follow-up posts or ongoing dialogue to keep the audience engaged.

June 19, 2024

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