With today's digital marketing landscape in a constant state of flux, businesses are tasked with finding newer, smarter ways of fostering and maintaining a strong online presence. Google's most recent algorithm updates have shown that in order to succeed in today's digital marketplace, websites need to shift their focus towards producing high quality content. This is exactly where the value of a skilled Public Relations team comes into play.
In the traditional sense of the phrase, "Public Relations" is a strategic communication process that sets out to build a mutually beneficial relationship between a brand, organization, or person, and an audience. In terms of digital marketing, PR professionals have a massive skillset that aligns perfectly with smart SEO tactics. From story creation to audience targeting and relationship building, PR is the next step for brands that want to increase organic traffic.
Crafting Relevant Content
In a world where content is rapidly becoming the go-to for SEO, PR professionals are perfect brand advocates and story tellers, capable of enhancing a site's ranking by getting stellar, keyword-rich content the attention it deserves. Savvy PR professionals work with reporters, bloggers, and industry influencers on a daily basis, and know how to create unique stories for any audience.
Google's more recent algorithm updates have brought PR practices to the forefront of SEO by emphasizing the meaning of quality onsite content. On the heels of these updates, pure link building is growing less and less viable and businesses need to shift their strategies from old link building tactics like submitting to directories to getting their brand mentioned in articles on highly authoritative sites.
From a PR standpoint, the most effective content includes pieces that are timely, easily digestible, visually enticing, and available for consumption on multiple devices for the modern, on-the-go reader. Content with clear messaging and a strong call to action will convert audiences from a passive viewer to an engaged brand advocate.
Identifying Your Audience
A good PR team already knows the secret to effective content is creating what your audience is searching for. On top of spinning relevant stories, PR pros possess an additional advantage when it comes to successful content creation: knowing what audiences to target, and how.
Strategic research identifies new opportunities to target the various demographics of a brand's audience, enabling a business to better determine what needs of their audience are not being met. Creating tailored content for these audiences will satisfy loyal brand ambassadors, while forging new relationships and creating new customers through viral content sharing.
Additionally, where a piece of content will see the most success needs to be considered before relevant outreach can begin. Understanding whether or not the content will be best consumed on Twitter, small but targeted blogs, or information-rich slide decks is an important first step to creating content that people will actually read and link to from their own sites. A good PR team knows that even if you have the most relevant piece of content for your target audience, if it's not presented in the right medium it will go unnoticed.
Social media, and Twitter in particular, is all about sustaining a relevant conversation with users and has become a key avenue for PR professionals to curate brand stories with bloggers, journalists, and everyone in-between, on a daily basis. Maintaining well-established relationships with key influencers enhances brand credibility with targeted audiences, and brings new viewers and potential clients to your website.
Building Strategic Relationships
PR professionals, similar to SEO experts, recognize the importance of building key relationships with relevant industry authorities. Such relationships, whether with reporters and bloggers, industry experts and tastemakers, or other businesses in the same field, help establish a brand as an authoritative source online. Once established as a credible source, links, whether permanent or temporary, are obtained with greater ease.
Earning high-quality links and placements for relevant content helps your site gain link equity and increase keyword rankings while staying within SEO best practices
. Implied links, otherwise known as brand mentions, are an equally important PR tactic in which a high authority domain links to your site without providing a link. Google's so-called Panda Patent, filed in early 2014, assures that branded mentions are now being taken into account when Google determines how authoritative a website is on a certain topic. While they lack the same SEO value as an actual link to a site, they can help your business rank for keywords that are relevant and drive qualified traffic to your website from search engines. This is what PR professionals have been doing for decades in print, and it's quickly gaining prominence in the digital world.
By building links and placing stories with a diverse set of relevant and authoritative sites, a good PR team will help position a brand as an authority in its field. With the proper PR outreach, your site will experience measurable traffic and sales increases while gaining a new level of brand loyalty from audiences.
Search engines are evolving away from old school SEO tactics
like blog comment spam and directory submissions, and as a result the value that PR brings to increasing organic traffic is steadily growing. With focus shifting from haphazard link building to quality content creation, brands now have the potential to build authority in their fields, engage in meaningful conversations with their target audiences, and encourage content sharing through social media and more traditional PR tactics.
From knowing what audiences to target with the proper content, to effective link building and story placing, a seasoned PR team will enhance the quality of your website's SEO, build your brand as an authority, and create awareness that generates new clients.
How does PR contribute to your SEO efforts? Let us know in the comments section below.