SEO and PR: They Go Together Like Peanut Butter and Jelly

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The current age of online marketing is showing a need for integrating public relation strategies with those of your SEO campaign.  Studies have made it increasingly clear why these two fields should coordinate together.  One of the core goals for your marketing strategy should be to continually build and nurture relationships throughout your community, and this is precisely what a well thought out plan that incorporates the best from both these worlds will do.   Understanding how to maximize these efforts together is the key to a holistic approach to marketing.

The Human Element

Engaging_social_audienceAs a recent Forbes article points out, content has become the glue that binds search engine optimization and public relations together. The best pieces online are those that are clearly designed for people and not computers. The goal is to engage your audience through a story that develops a connection. However, if you’ve done the right research, the practices of SEO can influence the likelihood it is viewed and then shared across the web.

Many problems of digital marketing can be solved through the efforts of public relations.  For example, an important determinant for SEO is identifying the target audience and creating an online persona for the product or brand being advertised.  Traditional methods of public relations can be used to create this online persona, through online and offline research, surveys and CRM databases.  PR professionals are skilled in market research and can thus provide the human element, the yin to the SEO yang.

Authority and Trust

Google’s algorithm for ranking websites is rewarding sites that are trusted sources within their niches.  That’s why SEO experts are giving more attention to analytical metrics such as Domain Authority and Trust Flow when developing their content calendars.  Since an important part of link building relies on professional outreach, those well versed in public relations will have more success in seeking out relationships with those leaders of influence.

A Symbiotic Cycle

seo-drawingThe process can work like this:

  1. Preplanning: Use SEO techniques to identify trusted and well ranked sources to promote your content. Incorporate PR to reach out to professionals, publishers, bloggers, and others it will take to accomplish your goals.
  2. Content Development: In creating content, use SEO to identify important keywords, anchor text, surrounding text that should be placed organically in the piece. Use research from PR to bring the human element forward in the content, identify the story, the tone, what will be the connection to the reader.  Your content should be tailored made to fit into where it will be published.  Show publishers you’re not just interested in using them for the link juice they’ll provide, but that you want this to be an ongoing relationship that benefits both parties mutually.
  3. Promotion: By building a positive relationship with your publisher you are creating a strong ally in your efforts to have your content go as viral as possible. Not only will you have your audience to spread the message to, but if you have nurtured the partnership properly, they will join you in promotion, multiplying the extent of your reach.

PR campaigns are given valuable feedback from SEO research which provides concrete details to otherwise ambiguous outcomes that can be used to inform future projects.

Social Media

154067314-about-us1Since links are shared organically through various social media channels, Google is slowly but surely looking at social media as an indicator of trust.  You can use SEO to identify which channels are most appropriate for your audience, and focus your PR efforts around that knowledge.

The goals of SEO and PR are similar, in that their strategies revolve around gaining and maintaining attention on the brand.  Social Media is the perfect place for these discussions to take place.  SEO experts can help determine how your online audience interacts within your industry and community, while your Public Relations team monitors and advises the actual communication.

For instance, it’s become increasingly popular for apologies to be handled through social media. Sports pundit Jim Rome is a noted antagonist whose abrasive manner actually led to an athlete attempting to attack him during an interview, and he recently came under fire for this tweet:

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Band members fought back on Twitter, eventually surfacing hashtags such as #marchonrome and #dorkswin. Rome has over a million Twitter followers, and it is the social media platform he engages in most with his audience.  He quickly deleted the tweet once bombarded by messages from upset followers and issued this apology:

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The lesson here, is when controversy develops, the best PR response can be to speak directly to your audience through the most appropriate social media channel, which your SEO manager can identify through research on their end.  Remember, the foundation to SEO and PR is establishing trust, and people are more likely to respond well to a sincere apology outside of the filter that comes with speaking through traditional media. In this instance, Rome found a way to control the message, ended up winning some respect for his response, and ultimately put the flames out on a potential growing fire.

 

So now that you understand the shared interests between SEO and PR, it’s time to make sure that the left hand knows what the right hand is doing.  Create meetings each week where both groups are involved in project planning, and look for ideas on how each side can contribute to the other’s efforts.   When it comes to planning events, PR stunts, or arranging your long range content calendar, you’re doing yourself a great disservice if you’re not asking yourself a vital question, how can SEO compliment my PR campaign, and vice versa.

Practical Methods to Grow Your Business Online

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The Internet has completely changed the way businesses engage in marketing activities and reach their target audience. What used to be unidirectional monologues by companies have now turned into dialogues between businesses and customers. Additionally, the Internet has also leveled the playing field by bringing customers from across the globe to the doorsteps of small and large businesses alike. Companies stand to benefit greatly from the Internet if they adapt and learn to make the best use of it. It is the intention of this guide to help businesses understand the best techniques of growing your business online.

Website and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertisements
A website is an absolute necessity for any business. Even for those enterprises that do not have online services, it is a shame if they appear on Google Maps or Google+, and do not have a website to provide more information. Once a nice and engaging website is in place, the easiest and fastest way to catch the attention of potential customers in the short term is with Pay-Per-Click advertisements. Granted PPC is quite expensive, but the results are immediate and quantifiable.

Search Engine Optimization
SEO is a long term strategy and results in a lot less expenditure than PPC. SEO helps build an online reputation with different search engines and generates more leads. It is crucial to focus on a key product, service or even a unique selling point of the business on the website. This way it gets easier to build a large number of backlinks on a single topic to improve the page ranking and the trustworthiness of the site. After the implementation of an SEO strategy, a steady influx of customers is only a matter of time.

Social Media Strategy
Social Media is an important place to engage in conversations with the present and potential customers. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, etc. are great platforms to engage people in large numbers. Such platforms encourage community building, which turns loyal customers into brand advocates. The “share” feature on the social media generates high brand recognition and therefore more conversions.

Blogs
Blogs are not only intended to state the company`s advertisement objectives, but also to establish a communication channel between customers and the business. A blog is a tool for companies to showcase their expertise and draw more clients. Also, a blog is a medium for organizations to share their personal side – their vision, philosophy, personality and so on. This is a powerful way to earn a place in the customers` hearts as they get more comfortable and confident with the company, once they know them outside of a pure business transaction. Blogs can be used to obtain constructive feedback and reviews on the company`s products against those of the competitors. This provides a better understanding of the customer`s needs and specific expectations from those products. Email addresses can be solicited from customers asking for newsletter signups. These emails can be used to send customized offers and other promotional mails to them.

A successful online marketing strategy is a perfect amalgamation of an effective sales pitch and good customer relationships. PPC and SEO methods together constitute a powerful sales pitch. On the other hand, Social Media and Blogs are terrific systems to build long term customer relationships. Together, these elements provide excellent growth opportunities for businesses online.

How to Be a Successful Blogger – Hint, It Has a Lot to do with Content

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There is no mystery. The recipe for success in blogging is simple and involves forethought and solid execution.

First you need quality original content. Original means more than not copied.  If you are not bringing anything new to the table, there’s no need to repeat the thousands of articles on the subject.

The second step is therefore to promote your content. You can do this in several ways. You can make reach out to different groups or social networks like Facebook where you can make friends with other people. Maybe some of those people will become readers. Another idea is to comment on other blogs. Google can also be an important source of traffic. It’s vital to have a blog optimized for search engines (SEO).

Okay, step three is to make sure the reader doesn’t leave in a hurry. Here are some reasons why a reader might leave instantly from a blog:

  • It is full of ads, to the point you’re not even sure where the content is.
  • Your blog is full of breeze-broken, flashing lights, birds flying, music playing and the reader is unsure of where to close out and stop all the distractions.
  • The page is loading very sloow.
  • The layout of the blog is a mess, the colors are loud, or the background colors make the text difficult to read.

Here now are some reasons that make you want to come back to a blog:

  • The author is polite and replies to comments.
  • The author accepts adverse opinion and does not censor comments just because you think differently than him. It would be dull to think all the same, do not you think?
  • The author also follows your blog. It’s always smart to reciprocate.
  • Author posts a new article regularly.

No matter how good the article you just read is, if the writer doesn’t update their blog regularly then likely you will lose interest.  How often should you update your blog?  Ideally, an article a day. Of course not everyone can but it’s very important to have a constant, regular daily update for your audience.  It’s like having a car and leaving it in the garage, it makes no sense to have a valuable commodity just sitting doing nothing.

What matters is to have quality work that inspires readers to share your content with their community. Then write some more. And again bring in readers. And again. And again. Soon you will realize what techniques work for your niche market.  Becoming a successful blogger isn’t easy, but there are enough resources out there to make it a success.  Have fun with it!  Find people you connect with and ask them how they became successful, what obstacles they had to overcome, and see what else you can learn.  Again, there’s no secret to it, other than being consistently active, and making the extra effort to connect with you audience.  In time, you will develop a routine that works best for promoting your brand.