With digital completely transforming the customer journey, it’s paramount to establish a holistic, integrated approach in your communications that encompasses all marketing functions. This includes the SEO and PR domains, which to some may seem worlds apart, but have to operate side by side to grow and amplify your company’s online presence.
The good news is PR specialists are already well positioned to support your organization’s SEO strategy. Articles, interviews and features, which come as a result of their continuous work with the media, drive relevant traffic to your website. These visitors are familiar with your company, products or services and interested to learn more. In addition, earned media—and especially backlinks from high-authority online publications—are extremely valuable, as they help you boost your website rankings and perform better with organic search results.
Ready to tap into the SEO potential of your PR activities? You can begin by following these three easy-to-implement tips:
Once a set of key words that are important to your brand is selected, you should start developing relevant content. In addition to leveraging your blog and social media channels, explore relevant media outlets that publish expert content contributions.
Having a by-lined article with your keywords featured in a reputable web-based publication, or securing a commentary placement linking back to your website, will not only position you as an authority in the field, but will also help Google associate you with the right terms and phrases. However, don’t risk hindering the quality of your content by using too many keywords. Remember that in order to be published and read your content needs to be newsworthy, interesting, thought provoking and clear (easy to understand). Search engine algorithms, on the other hand, have become very good at identifying keyword stuffing, which may even lead to being blacklisted from Google results.
Coverage in leading publications such as The WSJ, The New York Times and The Guardian to name a few, is particularly hard to nail down. However, it may have tremendous impact on your brand visibility, lead campaign or even your sales. For example, TOMS, a California-based company that originally started out by producing shoes and donating one pair to underprivileged children for each pair sold, managed to reach 2,200 sales in a day thanks to a positive publication in Los Angeles Times.
So, when your PR team manages to secure this long-awaited coverage, don’t miss out on the opportunity to have a link pointing back to your website. Some publications may impose a “no backlinks” policy, but this is surely not the case with all of them. Providing additional valuable insight, such as interesting survey findings, a well-written whitepaper or creative infographic, will greatly increase your chances of getting that link published.
To fully capitalize on the opportunity, make sure you are driving people to a landing page, which is well optimized for search engines and provides a superior user experience across mobile and web. Using a web content management system such as Sitefinity CMS will help you boost your SEO results and will give you full control over webpage and URL creation, with no assistance required from your IT team.
Gone are the days when PR was measured only by media hits. Organizations can now track the tangible impact PR has on their business by leveraging various solutions such as: tracking tools (Google Campaign URL Builder), analytics systems (Google Analytics, Sitefinity Insight), lead generation forms and marketing automation solutions. While these powerful tools provide a plethora of data you can gather and analyze, you should probably start with the basics. How much traffic comes from earned media? Which publications perform best and drive conversions? How many sales leads came as a result of the campaign? What other pages do visitors check out once they land on your website? How did your ranking change after the launch of your PR campaign?
Once you know which activities drive the most value, you will know where to focus your armory of people, time and efforts.
Do you implement any other PR tips to support your organization’s SEO strategy? Please share your ideas and approach in the comments below.
Ina Dobrilova is part of the Progress Global PR Team. A PR specialist by passion and a geek by heart, she is as equally fond of PR, digital marketing and storytelling, as of the latest technologies and Marvel movies.
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