Public relations and SEO go hand in hand and always have. Since PR is about building relationships with key influential bodies to increase a company’s visibility, SEO can be looked at in the same light and also be used for that purpose. The only thing that’s different is that SEO is about the digital marketing sphere, and relationships can be measured with Google Analytics, links, social signals and other indicators. In the past, SEO marketing was built upon low quality information and spam to get company’s names, but search engine algorithms have changed all of that. In fact, it’s now punishable to promote low quality relationships and even bad for a company’s image to do so.
Now that search engines are smarter about determining the quality of content, intent of a page and relevance of a link, SEO strategies have to think about PR, too. You can no longer manufacture spam links or build links artificially, the SEO process has to be about natural human relationships and linking strategies. These will lead to more effective PR opportunities for businesses.
There are multiple ways to look at PR. The same techniques that PR professionals use to create positive images for their businesses are diverse. There are three areas where SEO and PR ultimately mix, and if you master these areas, businesses can improve SEO strategies immensely.
1. So, You’ve Heard of Content, Right?
Content is the buzzword for marketers lately. It’s everywhere, and whether you’re muttering the syllables in disdain or praising the glory of content, it’s content that is changing the way things are marketed today. If you can create content that is trendy, relevant, interesting and explosive, you can spark all kinds of interest with your target audience and let it go viral.
What types of content help you create the best opportunities for PR? These are just a few:
When planning content, you should always think about the opportunities that you’ll create for discussion and sharing with your target audience. This is key to being successful.
It’s also about the way that you present your content. There are various strategies for creating headlines these days, but the more interesting the better. Need some inspiration? Just look at BuzzFeed or ViralNova. These long headlines definitely are more than three words, but they spark curiosity and make you want to read what’s after the “More” link. In addition, the introduction of a piece has to be well-written. You shouldn’t start a reaction piece with “I read this article, and it got me thinking.” There are about 1,000 to 1,000,000 other articles online that have probably started this way. You want to excite a reader from the first sentence that you type. You can use the author’s name, link to the piece and liven up your language with something honest and unmerciful.
If you are writing a reaction or reply piece, it’s likely that the other author will comment and get involved, so be prepared to accept criticism or defend yourself properly. They might retweet an article, leave a comment or even post a reaction to your reaction. It’s important to maintain your PR composure and always think about your reply before typing. If you are able to gain visibility from another author, you’ve just automatically got PR, SEO and link building in one.
2. The Art of Pitching SEO
continues to the undead topic of the hour at Webspam headquarters in Google land. Google wants to eliminate the idea that you can optimize a site to artificially increase its rank. It’s true that it is difficult to do so in today’s algorithm-controlled world, but there are ways to enhance a site and drive traffic. It’s almost impossible not to with a billion other sites floating around in the virtual world. As algorithms continue to evolve, so will SEO, which means that you have to master the art of pitching SEO.
Part of building links to your site is by posting on other websites. It’s called a guest post. Typically, you find a site with a high PageRank that is relevant to your business. They will likely have guest post guidelines and then a form that you use to pitch your article. When you fill this out, you must absolutely forget that you are there to build links. You don’t want to mention this at all in your pitch. Of course, they know that you probably want to build links from their high PageRank site, but the best way to pitch a guest post is to focus on how your article is different yet similar and will make their readers happy. When you land the guest post, you’ll likely boost your author profile, drive up your site’s traffic and deliver some credible information to whoever reads your post.
If you write content that is interesting and original, more links and shares will follow and lift you up to the kingdom of high PageRank as well. You want to make it as easy as possible for guest blogs to accept you, so you should always have more than one idea to pitch. If you have only one article, then make sure it’s the absolute best version of the article before submitting.
The same idea can be applied to submitting press releases for syndication online. You have to follow all of the guidelines, create a high quality headline, provide a relevant image and show that you understand how to write a press release. This means that you have to have some news to promote, and it should be written well with no spelling or grammatical errors in sight. You should also be prepared with a press packet. This information includes the title of your company, information about your company, branding information and any photos that you have that illustrate your business or products.
3. Now Succeed in All Things SEO
Once you have written a great PR piece, it’s time to gain the success you so rightly deserve. With that in mind, you should be able to utilize professional connections that you’ve made on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ to share your piece. You should look for people of interest who would actually be interested in what you’ve written.
If you don’t know any persons of interest, then you can always build a relationship. you can find the name of a person to contact and engage with them before pitching. Retweets may be just the right way to get in with media professionals when you are trying to pitch a new article.
Most public relations professionals have been cultivating relationships long before the time when everyone was connected just by simply being online. They may have met media professionals face-to-face, talked on the phone or exchanged emails for years. That’s why it’s so important to engage first before pitching SEO and hoping for success. By learning from public relationships, SEO marketers can create a better position for their businesses in the future.