There is nothing better than Free Software that helps professionals solve real problems. One major problem for PR professionals is finding relevant influencers including: journalists, websites, businesses, news sources and others to contact “pitch” a product or service.
Free SEO Research Tool Review: WhereToPitch
Cision, a PR company recently released a Free SEO Research Tool called WhereToPitch. WhereToPitch is meant to help PR professionals find trusted websites to pitch their product/services. According to Cision:
Every good story has a beginning. And yours starts with researching the right outlets and contacts to pitch it to. Cision’s WhereToPitch SEO research tool delivers a quick list of media outlets that cover specific topics and boosts SEO. Results are based on analyses of billions of Internet searches each month so you can pitch those sites that are at the top of search results pages. Not coincidentally, they also happen to get the most traffic. And isn’t that exactly where you want to be? For more robust listings, check out CisionPoint. CisionPoint delivers access to over 1 million media contacts and outlets around the globe, including in-depth profiles on publications, websites and individuals. You gain invaluable insight into how, when and where to pitch that helps you create custom lists, plan the perfect campaign and make stronger pitches.
I decided to take the tool for a test drive and share some early thoughts on the tool.
I started with a simple search for “SEO” as you can see above. Below are the WhereToPitch search results:
A simple search for “SEO” on the WhereToPitch Free SEO Tool resulted with some highly relevant SEO websites. Search Engine Round Table, Graywolf’s SEO Blog, and SEOBook.com are all excellent SEO Blogs. One thing that concerns me is that journalist websites like SearchEngineLand.com, SearchEngineWatch.com, SearchEngineJournal.com are not mentioned. Those three websites are really where most of the highest quality, and most recent SEO content is published. In fact, SearchEngineLand had approximately 202,000 unique visitors in October 2010, SearchEngineWatch.com had roughly 161,000 unique visitors in October 2010, and SearchEngineJournal.com had approximately 337,000 unique visitors in October 2010. See the graph below for the unique visitor data from compete.com:
How about a very trusted and authoritative company called SEOmoz? They only got about 12,000 unique visitors in October 2010, according to complete, but SEOmoz is on the cutting edge of everything related to SEO and is the industry leader in SEO knowledge.
Please don’t misunderstand my point. Free SEO Tools are great and can add some value. Very much like HubSpot’s Free websitegrader where anyone that has a website can get free feedback on the marketing effectiveness of their website. But, we all must understand that free tools can add incremental value, will get tons of press, inbound links (i fell for it), and probably generate leads and eventually sales.
Why use the word “Pitch?” The Concept of “Pitching” Is DEAD
In a recent company meeting, HubSpot’s co-founder Dharmesh Shah made it abundantly clear that “Marketing is broken.” Dharmesh continued on to say that HubSpot’s value is derived from helping helping business owners and marketers transition from traditional broken marketing techniques and help them grow their business through new marketing techniques called inbound marketing.
When I see the word “pitch” in a free SEO tool, I think that the decision makers at Cision who named the free SEO tool is confused and perhaps struggling with the concept of traditional marketing methods being broken. “Pitching” companies in 2010, soon to be 2011, is inefficient. Identifying quality and relevant influencers including: journalists, bloggers, companies, etc online is very helpful. In my opinion, after you identify these influencers, the next step should NOT be to “pitch” them. The next step should be to connect with them in social media networks, blog about them and link to them, comment on their blogs and add some value to conversations related to your business, and really start an engaging online dialogue in a non-pitchy way. The result of your inbound marketing and “non-pitchy” efforts will be unparallelled from a thought leadership perspective, communications, inbound links (SEO!!) and ultimately yield quality results. For this reason, I think Cision’s marketing message with their free seo tool is not optimal.
If you disagree with me, I would love to hear your thoughts. Before you comment, please ask yourself a few questions:
- When was the last time you retured a call from a voicemail left by a sales rep/PR professional “pitching” you something?
- When was the last time you replied to an email from a sales rep/PR professional “pitching” you something?