Guest Post by Fiona Minett
Boss Your PR
PR expert, PR coach and a top UK PR adviser
SEO and PR – a winning combination for leads
I’m guessing that having an SEO supremo such as Elaine in your corner will mean that you probably already know your stuff when it comes to the basics of SEO, however, have you considered PR in the SEO equation?
PR and SEO are very much interlinked in terms of raising your visibility and sharing your brand ethos and story.
Both are about trust:
- PR is about nurturing trust with journalists and your target audience.
- SEO is about nurturing trust with search engines and your target audience.
Both are about visibility and attracting your ideal audience to you.
Both are about sharing your messages, driving traffic and increasing sales.
Where PR and SEO really intertwine, is in content. Content really is KING and let’s consider the power of owned content as well as earned content in order to take the most comprehensive approach to the content part of the SEO puzzle.
- Owned Media is your content.
- Earned Media is PR coverage, guest blog posts etc.
Of central importance with all owned media is to optimise your content for your reader as well as for search engines. You can do this by creating interesting, engaging and relevant content that gives answers or insight to your audience.
- Brainstorm your starting points:
- What is your audience looking for?
- What elements of your offer need to be communicated with your audience?
- What pain points need solving for them?
- What topics are they already engaging with across your social media?
Think also about how you approach your content in order to relate it to what people might be searching for. An example may be that when making an announcement, be it an award win, a new collection or a new service, think about what people might be searching for in order for your content to be relevant.
Perhaps you’ve won a Mums in Business award. Your target customer is not going to be searching for ‘mums in business winners’, but they might be searching for what you do: ‘award winning paraben free candles’ for example.
Whatever long tail and body keywords you choose, use it/a couple of them a few times through your text and through the meta descriptions, tags, URLs and craft your content around them. Any keywords used in your content should always flow naturally for the reader as part of your wider text.
Regularly updating your blog with great content like this that is compelling to read and encourages engagement and sharing, will boost your SEO visibility as well.
You will get even more value from this content by ensuring that your website and owned content is optimised in multiple ways. Have you set up social media plugins for the main platforms? Connecting this ‘share’ function to the likes of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest, will naturally encourage your readers to share your content which will in turn generate backlinks and kudos for you.
Optimising your content and website for mobile is crucial to maximising the value of your owned media; increasing your website’s usability in all ways will increase the favourability with search engines as well as users. Also, think about how you can optimise your web content visually.
Great imagery and videos serve as another way of engaging your audience; however, be sure to alt tag your visuals so that they can be easily referenced by search engines and do ensure a swift load time on any graphics.
You’re probably all familiar with owned media, as above, if not already writing blogs, regularly updating your website and so on. However, earned media is also an important SEO tool to have at your disposal.
SEO insight and knowledge when it comes to keywords and audience understanding for example, informs your PR. Your PR then earns you media coverage. This earned media coverage then offers SEO power by providing backlinks, social engagement and increased traffic. The cycle then repeats, improving your SEO and your PR again and again.
Earned media can come from any element of PR activity; sharing your story, sharing your expertise and sharing what you do across the media from magazines to online to podcasts to speaking opportunities and more.
With SEO in mind, you may focus more on online platforms to win this juicy, valuable earned media and expand your online presence and digital footprint:
- Guest blogging
- Working with influencers
- Winning placements in online/digital magazines
- Take part in virtual events and conferences
- Deliver webinar sessions for online networks
These are a few online specific avenues, however, all media coverage has the potential to drive traffic to your site, which, if you are effective in then keeping people engaged and moving through your site, will benefit your SEO even without a direct hyperlink.
How to achieve earned media:
Here are my top 6 tips…
- Connect with journalists across social media
- Pitch to the right people in the right sector and writing the right content for you
- Respond to media requests – keep tabs on activity on the #journorequests hashtag on Twitter and LinkedIn for media opportunities
- Reach out to platforms that you can guest blog for – this might be like-minded businesses, collaborators or online networks for example
- Encourage social sharing of your content at every opportunity
- Understand the media your target audience consume and use this as your starting point for where to proactively look for PR opportunities
As with any aspect of SEO, nothing works in isolation. Look at your content marketing strategy with owned content and earned content in mind. Cover your bases, build habits and make connections and this activity will start becoming second nature.
Find out more about PR and how it could work for you by trialling the Boss Your PR membership, The PR Collective, with 50% off your first month using the code PICKLEDGINGER.
There is no minimum commitment and no notice period.