Marketing is changing, and fast, so who the heck forgot to tell the higher-ups?
It wouldn’t surprise us to learn your bosses scoff at SEO as nothing but stargazing, yet the sales potential of Search Marketing isn’t just some random act of speculative fiction: digital marketing channels are cost-effective, efficient, and just plain work, but try telling them that.
‘What’s an SEO again? Can we do one of those?’
As for a budget for this task? Let’s just say you’d be lucky to get a good amount you can work around efficiently.
You’d be counting your lucky stars if they left you with anything more than scraps in order to rustle up some kind of success out of ye olde’ search engines.
All of this while your bosses sit atop large Public Relations retainers as if they’re dragons hoarding gold.
Dare you tempt fate and get burnt?
That’s no way to achieve great search results without taking risks.
Thankfully, we have some good news!
Public Relations & SEO: A Match Made In Marketing Heaven
Your boss’s way of thinking may be stuck in the early 30’s where public relations first found its footing, but this traditional method for developing client relationships has evolved considerably in the intervening years.
You see when SEO entered the scene in the 90’s and early 2000s, these two marketing methods couldn’t have been more different. Nowadays, they’re converging on the border where digital, content-focused, search satisfying content meets.
It’s a match made in marketing heaven, is what it is.
It’s also your ticket to search success.
That’s great and all…but how?
While your PR budget may set any search engine expert to swooning, nowadays good PR is also good SEO and vice versa.
It’s that simple.
This means you can keep your higher-ups happy while delivering great SEO results, all without spending an extra cent. All you need to do is make like a modern-day Robin Hood and steal from the Public Relations rich to give to the poor…search marketing team who don’t quite have the budget to achieve the results you require.
Let’s explore how:
1. Optimize Press Releases with key terms aka Keywords
Ah, the humble press release.
Or should that be not-so-humble?
You see, over the years this form of communication has grown increasingly closer to news copy.
It has also become the cornerstone of any good public relations campaign.
In fact, you’re probably privy to more than a few ‘FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE!’ in your inbox every day.
Writing a press release is one thing, and if your PR team are worth half as much as your bosses think they are then they’re likely damn good at it too. Countless hours, studies, and A / B testing have gone into crafting the perfect message, of that there’s no doubt.
Instead, we’re wanting to work on the phrasing used during the writing process itself.
Doing something as simple as ensuring keywords – that cornerstone of any good search marketing campaign – are used effectively throughout your press release won’t just boost your site’s search relevancy, it’ll also ensure they’re as relevant to your target audience as they can be.
TL;DR: They’ll be found more often, and so will you and your site.
It’s a win / win all ‘round!
Lacking keyword confidence? Try this 3-point checklist
- Spend five minutes with keyword research tools like KeywordTool.io or AnswerThePublic to uncover terms that relate to your topic.
- Use the most relevant term within the title of your Press Release.
- Scatter relevant and related terms throughout the rest of your copy, including any headings.
Tip: Keyword usage is great, but keyword stuffing can have an adverse effect. Like any seasoning, less is more!
2. Link your Press Releases to your site’s search success (literally)
You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again:
Links make the world wide web go ‘round.
Without links, you couldn’t invite someone to ‘Click here to read more’, make an inquiry, or even purchase a product. The web really wouldn’t exist without links.
Come to think of it, neither should your Press Releases.
How so? Because links are a major ranking factor for search engines like Google when they’re considering which sites sit where. SEO experts know this, but Google also knows that they know it…
…tongue-twister aside, this means it’s increasingly difficult to land worthwhile links with reputable sites.
Press Releases provide an exciting new avenue through which to build relationships and land these links that many sites still fail to capitalize on. They aren’t just links, either, they’re powerful contextual links at some of the most influential sites across the web.
Many sites would kill for this kind of opportunity.
Thankfully, you don’t need to.
Landing these links is as simple as ensuring they’re included in your Press Release before hitting send.
This will ensure you’re guiding both traffic and authority in your site’s direction.
Not in the loop with links? Follow these 3 steps
- Find opportunities within the body of your press release to naturally link back to a major page on your site.
- Use the closing sections to provide additional information including additional links to relevant pages.
- If and where possible, use keyword relevant anchor text for a bonus search boost.
Tip: Anchor text links are great, but overusing your major keywords can have the opposite effect. Variety is key, so use a mix of words within your anchor text links.
3. Write on relevant topics to boost brand (and search) awareness
Once upon a time, just any old piece of content would do.
You could ramble about almost anything and the internet would give you a pat on the back.
Nowadays? Things have changed.
Users and search engines alike are looking for more from their content, and the sites that put in the work to research and write clearly on relevant topics are duly rewarded.
In fact, content and press releases have both undergone marked transformations since their limited, sparse beginnings to become powerful tools for building relationships, boosting your brand awareness, and talking directly to curious customers.
The customers that convert well into leads, inquiries, and possible sales.
Using PR and SEO in tandem boosts your chances of doing just this, and creating a reliable source of consistent leads.
The creation of worthwhile content and then outreach in order to promote it has been a mainstay of successful SEO for years now, and what does PR do best? It informs readers of something new or interest…such as a new piece of content, perhaps?
The key to success is ensuring you’re not just writing on the right topics.
Or creating great content.
But promoting this via outreach to the right sites. The sites that want to know about it.
If SEO uses content to convince and convert, then it’s PR that breaks the ice and strikes up the conversation.
If you’re doing one, you may as well be doing the other.
It makes financial and business sense.
Plus, it’s just plain easy!
Unsure of who to strike up a conversation with? Give these 3 ideas a go
- Use keywords to find and compile a list of relevant outreach prospects within your industry or niche.
- Compose a press release that talks about a topic that you know this site will be interested in.
- Use this opportunity to naturally mention or promote content that you’re proud of.
Tip: As we explored above, don’t forget to include the link!
If nothing else, today’s post should highlight that PR and SEO are no longer different, disparate disciplines. If you’re doing one the right way – then you’re also doing the other.
Once you realize this, you open up your business or site to a multitude of new opportunities to boost your site’s search, nurture relationships, and land those all important sales. You’ll maximize your return on both, without adding a single cent to your budget.
How’s that for sneaky search success?