My Interview On Press And SEO With Will Scott

Will Scott, Search Influence
Will Scott, Search Influence
Every once in a while I have the good fortune of meeting someone that turns out to be a pretty good friend, and during SMX West 2009 I had the opportunity of meeting Will Scott (Search Influence), an amazing individual who I now consider a great friend! Will and I talked about a number of things related to Internet marketing and life, and we soon found out that we had a lot in common.  At one point we had such an interesting chat about Press and SEO that it made me want to interview him, and share it with all.  What an amazing industry that allows us to meet so many interesting people from all over!  I really hope my readers will take just as much away from this info as I did.  Sometimes I often overlook the power of press, and Will did a great job bringing it back up to one of the most important categories of marketing for me! Before I begin, there are two things about our industry that are just way to cool to go unmentioned here:
  1. A marketer from Arizona, and a marketer from New Orleans could meet at a conference in California and end up being good friends…Again, I love this industry!
  2. You can do interviews via chat, on your Hotel balcony, looking over such an amazing view (see picture below)
This interview WAS conducted over an instant messenger chat program, so I will do my best to separate it out, and make it easy to read. Me: First of all I appreciate you taking the time to answer some questions for me.  When we met at SMX West I instantly knew we were going to be great friends! We were having a chat about SEO and Press and you shared some insights that I thought were amazing. So the first thing I would like to ask, or have you share is how you figured out how to make Press work so well with SEO?
Will: Just tweeted you a twitpic of my Interview location:
Me: very cool – I will make sure and add it!
Will: For the longest time I’ve been hearing people talk about the value of PR, and so we started doing some testing with PR sites.
Me: And the main reason I ask this is because I was amazed at some of the things you were showing me – things that I have just never ventured much into.
Will: We tried some of the free services and then started walking up the cost structure at PRWeb. What we finally concluded was that the massive distribution plus some of the advanced features were worth the added cost. The ability to embed video and images and the impact of that inclusion on universal search makes it well worth $360 / pop.
Me: And that is one of the areas that I was doing it wrong – I was all about the FREE … silly me! so with these added features what kind of results were/are you guys seeing?
Will: It’s an SEO given, the more difficult a link is to acquire the more more likely it is to have an impact. We did a series of releases for one of our clients in which we focused on the phrase “New Jersey Plastic Surgeon”.  When we started he was on page 3, within 8 weeks or so he was on page 1 and had has continued to climb. Clearly a money phrase and ROI of 4 X 360 is easy to calculate when you look at the value per procedure.
Me: very true! You don’t have to share any specifics here, but what kind of an increase in traffic/sales did this person see because of these efforts?
Will: And then there were the surprise benefits in things like image search.  By tagging images in PRWeb they are a near shoo-in for image search.
Me: ooooh yes, I LOVE IMAGE SEARCH!!!
Will: We’ve done a lot more, but just in round numbers plastic surgery was down 12% as an industry last year.  These guys were up 5% (ref: quicksprout “Flat Is The New Up).  And, the internet as a percentage of revenue was up 40%. Yes, we’re seeing much more traffic from Image Search. I wish it was more trackable to keywords.
Me: that is truly amazing  – especially in the kind of economy we are in right now.  I imagine plastic surgery as a luxury item, so for it to be increasing at all is great! And what do the clients have to say about all this?  They are still with you … so I am assuming they are liking the results!  haha
Will Absolutely!  We have near zero attrition.  Among plastic surgeons zero for results and only one  couple for economic reasons.
Me: That is great! So, what would you recommend for the person who has never done anything with PRWeb, or press releases in general to get started with? In other words, what are some steps you would give them to help them out?
Will 1st, don’t forget that real reporters look at these sometimes.  In the best cases you might find yourself picked up by real media. 2nd. take full advantage of the ability to link.  Deep links with targeted link-text work! 3rd, include images – lots of images.  They definitely show up in Google image search and may show up in universal. 4th, keep it brief.  Tell the story as quickly as you can and include quotes from the principals. There are lots of resources available to tell you how to write a good press release but don’t forget keywords. I can’t think of any more off the top of my head.
Me: So do you feel including your keywords in the press release still helps out with the rankings??
Will OMG Yes!
Me: haha had to ask!
Will Sorry, didn’t mean to be so enthusiastic but gosh, ignore keywords and waste $360.
Me: See this is great and I agree with you, but the reason I asked is because many in SEO are trying to say that places like PRWeb and press in general does not help out the SEO factor… I say, go ahead and let them think that, and we will just keep ranking our clients sites huh?
Will Yeah, they also tell you that Articles and Directory submissions don’t work any more either, hehehe.
Me: let them keep thinking that!
Will I say let them keep saying it.  Keep the playing field clear for the rest of us.
Me: very cool! Well again, I thank you for taking some time to answer these questions is there anything last minute you want to add?
Will Thanks man.  I live by the rule of the purple dinosaur: Sharing is caring. As a parting thought, I think the main thing to remember is that links are good, some are better and the more focused and deep the better still.  And, if you get really lucky you’ll earn some real media exposure which will drive both search and human interest.
Me: I could not agree more, and a great note to leave off with! Thanks again, and best of luck to you!
Will Thank you Matt.  I am so glad we met in real-time and that I now count you among my good friends.
Me: I feel the same way!  Thanks again for taking the time, and I hope to see you soon! More about Will Scott: Will Scott (follow him on Twitter)- Founder and President – Search Influence. Will Scott has been helping small businesses get online since 1994 – that’s right, 1994 – before most people even knew there was an Internet. Since then, Will has been focused on making information more accessible online. In the classroom teaching technology to professionals or in the boardroom presenting the value of online business to fortune 1000 companies, Will is passionate about the impact of the Internet on business. As technical and production lead for, Will oversaw the production of 10’s of thousands of small business web sites. With WebBoss will worked collaboratively with small business owners helping them realize their vision online. At YPsolutions, now Local Matters Inc., Will was responsible for creating systems which enabled the production of thousands of online phone directories. While at YPsolutions Will also got to demonstrate the importance of small business success to yellow pages publishers as they sought to provide leads to small business. At Search Influence, Scott leads sales, strategy and execution. Will works one-on-one with small business owners and marketers everyday to leverage search for sales.  Some of their more recent projects include getting the word out on how to Twitter, an in depth guide how local and small business can succeed with Twitter.

12 thoughts on “My Interview On Press And SEO With Will Scott

  1. Will Scott says:

    OK, that’s my new favorite description “the most outgoing guy in SEO” – I’m having my business cards reprinted.

    Thank you Matt for taking the time to interview me in the first place. I’m always honored to be asked to share some knowledge. Hopefully others will find it useful as well.

    And Alex, than you pal. You, sir, are the reason for my positive impression of your company.

    Thanks again Matt – glad to have your friendship and tutelage.


    Will Scott’s last blog post..2009 Local Search Ranking Factors

  2. Olivier Amar says:

    Hi Matt!
    It seems we all met at SMX West back in February and we were both blown away with how great Will was. Will and I share a common theory that sharing is the key to success and no question both our success’s in the field represent it. In this case, you guys are doing a great job of reminding everyone (that reads this) that PR’s are still a very important tool in SEO today and that proper optimization through images and keywords in the right PR tool can be a big contributor to your clients.
    Keep up the great work and reporting.

    Olivier Amar’s last blog post..Meet Compucall at Affilicon 2009 booth 413

  3. Pingback: Posts about Small Business as of June 2, 2009 |

  4. Nathan Driver says:

    Great interview – I hope to be apart of these ‘elite’ in the coming years. Hitting the rss subscription and the twitter follow for sure.

    Thanks Matt for the write up and Will for the insight.

    Nathan Driver’s last blog post..Back From Vacation

  5. Mat Siltala says:

    @Nathan Driver
    The first SEO I ever had a chat with was Aaron Wall, and seeing how easy he was to talk to and his willingness to teach has made me want to do the same! We all started out somewhere! Thanks for dropping by

  6. Design Soft Studios says:

    SEO is a vast field.But i think internet marketing and SEO are two different field.I always try to search new ways of internet marketing.If any one of you has ideas about internet marketing, please share with me.Thanks

  7. Pingback: Maximizing that Press Release Link - Janet Meiners Thaeler | Website Promotion is Not Voodoo