Every day, hundreds of articles appear in the media. On average, Belgians spend 5.58 hours per day watching TV, listening to the radio, and reading newspapers and magazines. What if one of the topics discussed is also your company’s favourite topic? If so, you normally ask a PR specialist how you can best join in the conversation. But often you don’t need to look far. Once you are aware that Google processes 40,000 new search requests every second, SEO and SEA are also suitable ways to respond to the news.

One Friday morning, not so long ago, Pedro Brugada, the country’s most famous cardiologist with an international reputation as a top doctor, appeared in every newspaper with the plea: “Attach a defibrillator to every church. The Netherlands has 100,000 defibrillators, while Belgium has barely 8,000. Scandalous”. This point of view was shared by client CardioService, a business that rents out and sells AED devices and defibrillators. What does that have to do with SEO and SEA? Simple: we used this story to create extra awareness for the importance of AEDs, and to generate new leads via SEO and SEA.

How do you do this? You can respond to the news through these 4 steps.


Step 1: Identify the trending topics

Identify themes in the media that are related to your business and highlight the strengths of your product. Have you spotted an opportunity in the media? Then first do some research to check if it is worth considering a campaign. In the case of CardioService, we had no hesitation: ‘Pedro Brugada’ delivered 41,700 search results on Google. So it was a good trending topic: check!

Step 2: Write a blog focused on conversion

Next, it is very important to have the right content to respond to the trending topic. And more importantly: ensure that it can be found on your channels, such as your website and social media. It typically means writing blog posts on this theme and trying to convert visitors.

Before you write your blog post, define a long-tail keyword based on the trending topic. Ensure that this appears in your title, URL, body text, sub-headings and image alt-text. Don’t forget to add a CTA at the end to get visitors to take the required action. Finally, get the copy proofread and publish the blog post on your website. Also think about SEO, for example by making sure you have the right meta-description. Use these blog tips from Hubspot when you are writing your blog post.

Why? That’s why an AED device is important (Waarom? Daarom is een AED-toestel belangrijk)’ is the blog post that we published on CardioService’s website. The post focuses on the shortage of AEDs and, using figures, it argues why in an ideal world an AED would be attached to every church, as Brugada was calling for. At the bottom, we added as CTA: ‘discover your AED in 6 steps’. This button leads to a questionnaire, which will tell you which defibrillator is best suited to your environment. In order to finish this questionnaire, you are asked to fill in your name, business or organisation, job, region and telephone number. This is a lead: double check!


Step 3: Set up a campaign in Adwords

There is nothing better than SEA (Search Engine Advertising) to attract visitors in a subtle way, right at the moment that they have typed in a particular search item around the trending topic.

This is how you make a good SEA campaign in Adwords:

  1. Determine your most important keywords: define which keywords you want to be found through. To do this, you can use the keyword planner from Adwords. Then you get something like this:
  2. Per theme, delineate different ad groups: on the basis of the overall themes, determine your keyword ad groups. It is important to create different ad groups because you are going to write and set up adverts. The best option is to focus each ad group on just 1 theme.
  3. Write some powerful ads for each ad group: for each ad group, write some good, powerful adverts that trigger potential visitors to click on the link. Focus on the keywords that belong to this ad group. This is the advert for the ‘Brugada’ set:
  4. Determine your budget: set the maximum you want to spend each day. For CardioService that was €15/day.

SEA campaign, triple check!


Step 4: Continually analyse your campaign

The final step is actually the easiest, yet the most important. At this point you only need to analyse, analyse and analyse once again. Monitor your SEA campaign a number of times over the course of the day and make adjustments where necessary. You can do the following to optimise your campaign:

  • Deactivate keywords that do not generate many clicks. This ensures that your budget is spent on keywords that do deliver clicks.
  • Potentially, add new keywords to your ad groups.
  • Adjust the bids per keyword. The bids determine how often, in comparison with your competitors, your advert will be shown with a specific keyword.
  • Possibly write new adverts for ad groups that are not working so well, and also be brave enough to stop adverts that have generated few or no clicks.

When you notice that the number of page views on your website and the conversion has dropped, it is time to think about ending your Adwords campaign. The campaign around Brugada was stopped after 2 weeks.

The results from CardioService, a successful campaign
  • 21% CTR (This is the average of the 3 ad groups)
  • 415 blog views
  • 8 leads

For €200, we generated 8 new leads in 2 weeks. So the campaign was undoubtedly a success. Would you like advice about running a similar campaign? Then don’t hesitate to contact us.

What is a ‘Trending Topic’?

A Trending Topic is a theme or subject that is very topical for a certain period of time, such as ‘Black Friday’ or ‘Entrepreneurship Day’. These topics (also known as ‘top topicals’) were originally launched in 1992 by the Belgian Association of Newspaper Publishers (Belgische Vereniging van Dagbladuitgevers), which used newspaper adverts to respond to news stories.