Want to know a dirty little marketing secret?
PR has been affecting SEO for a long, long time.
The days of overloading content with bloated keywords and nearly-nonsensical copy in hopes that Google will notice are well behind us. After years of debate and reviewing the data, the truth came to us via the content marketing revolution and it’s fairly obvious: People engage positively with relevant original content online, boosting your brand’s reputation and creating favorable, organic natural backlinks that search engines love.
PR is no longer an isolated department, but an integral part to successful SEO strategy — and it’s time they become best friends. Let’s examine how this relationship works and review 6 tips for employing “digital” PR.
How does this work?
According to the article Why PR Should Be Talking To SEO on PR Daily, “creating positive brand mentions on media publications ultimately influences what consumers see when they Google the brand’s name.” The rest is simply a numbers game. The more positive reviews and testimonials your business has received, the more likely someone will take a chance on your brand and buy. The more positive reviews that surface (thanks to the efforts of your PR department) the further down negative reviews are pushed into search results.
The exciting results of a PR and SEO partnership are especially evident on social networks, which are digital playgrounds for SEO opportunities, establishing your brand’s narrative and managing your brand’s reputation. An article entitled Surveying PR and SEO’s Human Connection, explains it best: “As on-page content and social have risen in importance for Google algorithms, one thing has been made clear — PR campaigns and SEO strategy won’t succeed without making real connections with real people.”
This highlights the vital areas in which social media platforms allow SEO and PR to work their magic as a team. Social media is one of the most important ways a business can conduct damage control, provide star quality customer service and develop more impactful influencer relationships. SEO and PR are working toward the same goal: using reputation and engagement to wave down a search engine’s attention and build relationships with industry leaders and experts that were previously unreachable.
This is a dream come true for your SEO team. PR opens doors to media outlets and influential websites that SEO experts could only fantasize about accessing in the past. For PR, SEO offers the ability to accurately measure public relations efforts, find out what works, what draws in more business, more website traffic and, perhaps most importantly, where to stop wasting time. For the first time PR has the valuable ability to directly affect search rankings, web traffic and measure themselves against the end goal: sales. In fact, when done correctly, this strategy can provide more value than paid advertising. Thanks to SEO, every move is accounted for and tracked. If you are in the public relations field, now is the time to start exercising your abilities to increase website traffic and positively affect your brand’s SEO. If you’re not communicating that your PR services are available to your SEO team, you’re missing out. Big time.
How Do I Begin SEO-Based PR?
If you’re still making the switch and integrating these two arenas, you may feel a bit unsure as to where to start. Here are six easy ways to start the integration process by evaluating your PR with an SEO state of mind.
1) Start With Assessing Your Social
How’s your engagement? How many clients of yours found you via Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? What about another social site? On Facebook, how many fans are you reaching? Is your company message stifled, or is it being shouted from the rooftops? Does your analytics demonstrate data that is in alignment with your KPIs and business goals? If not, then you probably need to make changes by working with your PR team.
2) Watch Your Traffic
Are you steadily increasing visitors to your website, or are the numbers dwindling?
3) Google Yourself
..and do it regularly! You need to see where you stand in relation to your competition. How have your rankings changed? What happens when you Google your brand? Do “head” terms and long-tail keywords work for you?
4) Evaluate Your Content Creation
How’s your content looking these days? Is it original? Relevant? Are you posting regularly? Does the content express your brand’s narrative and relate to your target audience? If your content feels stiff, predictable, dated and more about keywords than engaging conversation, it’s time for a rewrite.
5) Sit Down and Stay Awhile
Are you an inviting host? When it comes to your website, how long do visitors typically stay? Do they linger? Or make a mad dash for the exit? If they don’t want to stay awhile, review your analytics and begin to make changes to your content and landing pages to convert more visitors to leads and lower your bounce rates according to your KPIs and business goals.
6) Be The Authority (or at least rub shoulders with one)
Are you well connected on social media with your fellow industry leaders? If not, get to know them. One of the best ways you can launch a new PR/SEO strategy is by guest blogging or contributing content to other related sites. What does this mean? Fresh, new content for them and link authority for you. It’s a win win!
These six tips offer a practical, easy way to jumpstart the process of strategically merging your PR and SEO efforts by exposing what works and what doesn’t through data. In the past, PR experts couldn’t get such an up-close read on their marketing efforts, and SEO experts weren’t privy to another avenue of acquiring content-based, organic back links. Thanks to this new partnering, precision is possible for both sides, making them a formidable and comprehensive marketing force. By taking full of advantage of this perfect pairing you can expand your business to the front page of Google and beyond!
Need help bringing your SEO team and your digital media relations teams into harmony?
A close relationship between these two teams reaps huge benefits for your brand. Digital Current can show you how to bring them together into a lasting partnership.