PR Maven(R), CEO and Founder, Marshall Communications, Creation and implementation of marketing/PR/personal branding strategies.
In today’s digital world, Google Search is almost everything. Google processes an average of over 3.5 billion searches per day and over 1.2 trillion searches per year. This equates to over 40,000 queries per second.
And it’s not just searches for ‘cooking recipes’ and ‘how to change a tire’ that make Google the world’s most powerful search engine. It’s essentially a one-stop-shop for everything.
With that in mind, brands should make Google SEO, or where they appear in search results, a top priority. There is a way. This makes your brand appear more authoritative and credible to searchers.
With hundreds of millions of consumers using Google Search, results on pages 1, 2, and 3 are real estate that matters. The higher your rank, the greater your presence in the global market and the more clients and customers you can attract.
Google Ads can capture the attention of brands, but the most creative business leaders can also leverage public relations to boost their SEO. In fact, earned media (that is, news coverage generated through media outreach) is often registered as a first page search result because it comes from trusted third parties.
Many people don’t think of PR as a powerful SEO tool, but that’s exactly what it is. PR is a profession as old as PT Barnum announced his circus was coming to town.SEO he’s only been around for 10 or 20 years, but today PR is all about improving SEO. Surprisingly the best way he has found is one.
Here are 10 ways you can use PR to improve your SEO.
1. Understand the keywords that searchers might use to find you and generate website and social media content based on those keywords. Stick to scripts and use keywords repeatedly. Google also has a tool (keyword planner). Helps determine the best keywords. However, avoid keyword stuffing. Google’s algorithms will be penalized for doing this.
2. Create a “media room” for your website and post all press releases and news articles about your brand in this room. You should also publish downloadable logos and photos to make it easier for journalists to grab images and write articles about your brand.
3. Write a press release every time you hire a new person, win an award, speak at a conference, or do something you deem newsworthy. Send those press releases to the media and place them in the media room.
4. Become a newsworthy resource for journalists in your area. If you are an expert in something, whether it is architecture, history, or anything else, write an expert source letter to a local reporter covering your particular area of expertise. This letter introduces you and shares details about your background and professional qualifications. I would also like to include three bullet points about my areas of expertise. That way, when you’re writing an article and need a citation, the reporter is more likely to reach out.
5. Use Twitter to connect with journalists and send them direct messages with your story ideas. Gain a competitive edge by following the hashtags #JournoRequest or #PRRequest that journalists use to find sources. You’ll also receive an email from Twitter when you see a hashtag combination that might be of interest to you.
6. Publish editorial columns in local, regional and national news outlets. Not only does this generate links to news websites, but it also establishes you as an authority on a particular subject. If you are a thought leader, Google will eventually recognize and reward you.
7. Use LinkedIn to Your Advantage. Make sure your LinkedIn profile has a robust overview section with all your keywords. Having a wide range of people, especially a large following, and connecting with people in your area of expertise can also help build your credibility.
8. Never underestimate the power of offline connections and experiences. Provide product samples to journalists and encourage them to write product reviews. Inviting journalists on press trips can also be a great help if you want them to cover corporate headquarters or tourist destinations.
9. Ask for speaking engagements. These are effective ways to generate positive news coverage. Chambers of commerce, Rotary groups, and other professional organizations are always looking for speakers on relevant topics. You can even give presentations via Zoom without having to travel during the pandemic.
10. Self-publish a book. I just published his second book and have found that publication has definitely helped him establish himself as a leader of sorts in the world of PR. Publishing also gives the press the opportunity to send his releases or request a talk on the book. For example, the library often hosts Book His Talks. I recently spoke at two of his, and I plan to give many more this year.
All of these options can ultimately generate backlinks to your website or other resources, leading potential clients and customers to your doorstep. Increase inbound traffic and increase brand awareness. Moreover, being displayed in search engine results can highlight the problems that a particular product or service can solve.
Put yourself in the shoes of a Google searcher and plan accordingly.
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