Tips for getting the most out of the SEO value of your PR placements

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The role of public relations is evolving rapidly, especially in digital channels. A welcome change for public relations, if communicators can speak the language of SEO.

SEO is a zero-sum game: 88% of clicks on non-advertising (organic) results are directed to those on the first page of search results. 90% of all sites receive no organic clicks.

Typically, public relations professionals emphasize the long-term value of their work for branding and positioning. In addition, they tout short term leads and impressions. But there is another source of long-term value that PR professionals can create and gain credit for: SEO value.

How does public relations improve search engine rankings?

There are many factors that go into the ranking of sites for a query. These include: site authority, how its content aligns with the query, how pages relate to each other, page titles and descriptions, and whether the site uses (sometimes inadvertently) tactics that “spam” sites employ.
The factor weights differ for each query and for each country. AI solutions can help you understand what drives the results for each query. It helps focus your SEO efforts. There really are a thousand things you can do. These include:
  • adjust the titles and descriptions of each page of the site
  • work on backlinks to each page of the site
  • adjust content depth and word balance on each page
  • sculpt the internal link structures of the site
  • repair links from broken or poorly structured sites and
  • cleaning up a myriad of potential page penalties
One of the SEO referral needs of many sites is the links from other high authority sites. Successful public relations campaigns can achieve just that. But, you need to take the right steps to optimize placements, signings or the like for SEO. This Frahm Digital case study shows the types of sites you want to link from and the integrated nature of a full-fledged SEO campaign.

How Can I Create SEO Value?

Here are the practices to use:

  • Know the keywords that matter: Some search terms are more important than others, depending on their volume, the ranking of the business and their suitability for its business. Use these keywords in your signed articles. Use SEMRush for keyword research.
  • Fight for the links: Without links to the business site, SEO value is lost. Negotiate the links from the placement when you can and bond if possible. For example, add value to an article with links to surveys, white papers, and other informative resources.
  • Weigh exclusivity versus scope: Often times, we trade our reach for better positioning in a top publication. But for SEO, this approach needs to be weighed against your article’s wider distribution. Again, with links.

  • Answer in the form of questions / answers / FAQ: Some real estate searches contain answers to the FAQ. Include questions and answers in your signed articles. Publish the articles on your site. Tools like Frase can help.
  • Drive onsite PR traffic to revenue driven site pages: Make sure your business adds internal links to releases on their site and tracks activity.
  • Track customer rankings: Use tools like SEMRush, Ahrefs or STAT to track your company’s position in searches. Once you know, analyze their progress. Search engine rankings can take up to 2 months to adjust, so be patient.
  • Do what you’ve always done, Produce quality content: In June, Google released a regular kernel update, by adjusting the underlying code of its search engine. But Google reiterated that its search engine is great content, the following EAT the basics.

Finally, if you haven’t started to think of content marketing as an extension of the practice, now is the time. The skills required for public relations and content marketing are similar and the value to the companies you represent is multiplied.

If you’re using the same old SEO practices, take the blinders off. Expand your awareness. That’s what it takes to win the race.

Jonathan epstein is CEO of Brewco


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