Have you thought about using tactics typically reserved for PR in SEO? For years now, people have focused on the differences between PR and SEO — you’re either an expert in one or the other. But recently we have seen the line between these two industries blur and a common thread emerge. When SEO PR service professionals incorporate PR tactics into their SEO strategy, we see an uptick in positive results.
This should come as no huge surprise — after all, SEO and PR work toward many of the same goals, including brand awareness and credibility.
SEO has also evolved by leaps and bounds since it was first created in the early days of Google. It makes sense that as social media networks and other online tools advance, these technologies would play a larger role in a site’s SEO. And these just happen to be specialties for many PR professionals.
For example, as we will discuss in more detail below, Google is incorporating brand mentions into its algorithms. This means that when someone mentions your company positively on a review site or on social media, it boosts your site’s SEO score. A few years ago, brand mentions were strictly seen as a public relations tool, but we now see the growing importance of it in our SEO PR service.
Top SEO Priorities
According to one study from Clutch and Ignite Visibility, companies, when asked about their top SEO priorities for 2018, cited social media marketing, on-site optimization, and content creation as their top three. These are the very same areas where PR professionals excel.
There ‘s no doubt about: If companies want to succeed with their SEO goals, they need to incorporate PR tactics. Let’s get into just how many of the practices used by PR professionals can work to positively impact SEO results.
4 Tactics That Leverage B2B PR in SEO for Great Results
1. Creating Link-Worthy Content
Links have been an important part of SEO since its early days. But Google’s rules have changed a lot regarding what links boost SEO. Previously, Google didn’t care where you got your links from — the only rule was “the more the better.” This led to many link-stuffing practices that were, shall we say, not on the up-and-up. People got links from anywhere — including sites that had little to no traffic or authority.
Now, however, Google has specified what links make the cut. Links are rated based on quality, user experience, user intent, and the amount of authority that a site has. This means that your cousin’s hobby site for model airplanes is going to have a lot less link value than a highly renowned news site.
How to do it…
So, how do companies get high-quality links back to their site? This is where the skills and tactics of public relations professionals come into play.
A lot of what is involved in getting high-quality links is to first create high-quality content. Craft content that high-authority sites will be happy to post and link back to you, because they know their readers will enjoy it. To do this, you will need content that answers a vital need within your audience. Consult with others within your business to find out what questions potential customers are asking. Once you have a pool of ideas, start creating top-notch content.
Once you have your content ready, and you’re sure that it is a unique piece that fills a need within your industry, it’s time to pitch it to other sites. A key to this process is to provide a clear benefit. Show how your content can help their audience and attract more views.
Once you get your content onto one high-authority site, you can leverage that status with others. Your past exposure offers social proof — if this high-quality site published your content, then it must be worthwhile.
These are steps that B2B PR people take every day to put their clients on the map. From creating stellar content that audiences want to read, to writing the ideal pitch, to securing buy-in from high authority sites, PR pros know how it’s done.
2. Engaging Influencers
Influencers are those with a large following on social media. Their audiences often look to them for advice and insight into industry matters.
How can influencers help your SEO? Because of their deep connection to their audience, they have the power to boost both your brand’s visibility and engagement. As your brand garners more attention and your target audience takes notice, both traffic to your website and links back to your site will increase.
How to do it…
There are two principle ways that you can use influencers effectively to boost your SEO. The first way is to have an influencer include a link back to your site within his or her content. The downside to this is that influencers are required to disclose any sponsored links. This could detract from the value of the link if it is sponsored. However, if your content is compelling and benefits the B2B influencer’s audience, the influencer may very well do so without compensation.
The second way is to work with an influencer on a content campaign that will interest their audience. Because their audience is their bread and butter, they often know better than anyone what their audience wants and needs. Create a campaign that fills those needs and builds a bridge back to your brand.
You may also want to check out micro-influencers — individuals who have a smaller following than traditional influencers on social media, with audiences in the 15,000 to 25,000 range. Don’t let their smaller audience size fool you. At times, micro influencers can be much more effective than traditional influencers. This is because their audiences tend to be more engaged (i.e., they comment and share content more).
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Note, however, that influencers should never be used as a one-time fix. Cultivate long-term relationships with influencers that will allow you to work collaboratively with them in the future. PR pros are seasoned at nurturing and maintaining these relationships.
Just imagine what potential benefits you can reap from influencers. If even half of their audience reshares your content or visits your site, it will boost traffic and engagement and lead to stronger SEO.
3. Using Social Media
Social media has risen in the ranks as a must-have element of SEO. As you create valuable content that your audience loves — and most importantly, shares — that creates backlinks to your site and builds up your SEO status.
Google recognizes the power of social proof in people’s lives and in a website’s authority, making it a component of its SEO algorithms.
How to do it…
How can you amp up your SEO even more with social media? A lot of this goes back to content creation. Craft content on your site that is extremely valuable to your audience — this will ensure that people will want to share it on social media.
Another part of your SEO includes your social media presence itself. Beef up your profiles on social media to represent your brand. This builds brand awareness so that when people see your branded content again, they’ll be more likely to recognize and trust it.
Among the social media networks not to underestimate is YouTube. This powerful network puts video at your viewers’ fingertips and is a great boon to SEO. For example, in this very visual world, video helps to keep viewers engaged and on your site longer — giving them ample chance to bond with your brand. YouTube, which has with one of the largest search engines on the internet, can direct new audiences to your videos.
Let’s focus on video for a moment longer. There has been a steady uptick in video use over the years, which has made video into a highly prized tactic across all industries and audiences. You can use it on YouTube, post it to social media, embed it as content on your website, and even incorporate it into your press releases — all of which adds to the power of your SEO.
4. Acquiring Brand Mentions
While the link-strengthening practices mentioned above are a powerful part of using PR in SEO, it’s important to note that brand mentions are also very important.
As Gary Illyes, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, mentioned at Brighton SEO in September of 2017, “If you publish high-quality content that is highly cited on the internet — and I’m not talking about just links, but also mentions on social networks and people talking about your branding, crap like that. Then you are doing great.”
It is obvious that as we move forward, brand mentions are poised to play a major part in SEO best practices.
While in the past we thought that actual links held the most power, we now see that even the simple action of mentioning your brand on another site can also boost SEO. And it’s not just any mention that will do. Google has made it clear that within its algorithm, sentiment matters — positive mentions will boost SEO scores and negative mentions and reviews will harm SEO scores.
How to do it…
What can help you to get mentioned positively on other sites?
One of the top B2B PR tactics to use is thought leadership. As others recognize your authority and expertise, they will want to talk more about you. Different thought leadership activities, such as speaking at industry events or publishing a book, can also put your brand in the spotlight.
Another way to boost brand mentions is to encourage happy customers to review your brand and share their experiences. Set up your social media networks for customer care — to take care of customer complaints and resolve any issues that come along. This open channel of communication can bolster positive mentions of your brand.
PR professionals also have other ways of positively positioning your brand. From crisis management to product launches, they know how to make your brand look its best and neutralize negative attention.
All of these PR strategies and tactics create positive brand awareness that makes you stand out in your industry. Among other positive results, this leads to more brand mentions and a boost in brand authority, all of which strengthens your SEO.
Key Points to Remember…
Create valuable and informative content that other sites will want to share and link back to you.
Influencer marketing is a great way to reach new audiences and build many links back your site.
Share your content on social media and spruce up your profiles to attract people to your brand and share your content.
Don’t forget the powerful impact that positive brand mentions can have on your SEO.
It is time for PR and SEO to put away their differences and work together toward a common goal: a rockin’ SEO score.