As with other practices encompassed by Public Relations, SEO once existed as a separate silo in the general marketing community. However, the two disciplines now go hand in hand, as one helps to drive the other. Public relations experts use communications skills to know what keywords and trigger words to associate with a brand.
When distributed throughout the online community, these keywords help boost traffic to the brand’s content on the company website or other mediums, which is essentially search engine optimization (SEO). This boosts visibility, and better positions the brand to reach its target market.
Using Search Engine Optimization to Boost Visibility
Even the best products and services do little for a company if the target market doesn’t know of its existence. To boost awareness PR experts create engaging content to inform the public and foster a relationship with the target market. However, if no one sees this content, then there is no return on the time and money invested in boosting visibility.
As a result, public relations experts must conduct their activities to boost SEO driving traffic to the brand’s content. Here’s how.
Write like a Journalist
Many public relations specialists began their careers in journalism. But for others, some special thought needs to go into optimizing press releases and other content for journalists.
This means optimizing the content to match certain keywords journalists would search for, instead of just the brand’s name. Also, provide contact information to make it easy for journalists to clarify details or request permission if needed. And finally, remember to use quotes from executives or other key personnel in the company, where applicable. Journalists love to re-use quotes to validate a story or add a personal touch.
This helps boost SEO by spreading the brand’s message while re-associating the brand with certain keywords used by both the journalist and the PR team. The power of association is a strong one. There’s a reason Apple is associated with style and Android with tech-geeks.
Think like a Millennial
Along with factoring in the needs of a journalist, brands should also consider the needs of millennials who increasingly use smartphones to access the internet. This is made even more important by the mobile-friendliness of websites affecting rankings online. Ensure your content is optimized for smaller screens or prepare for Google to leave you behind.
Capitalize on Trends
Trending topics refer to issues online searched excessively during a timeframe. For example, Lemons is now a trending topic online due to Beyonce’s new album of the same title, just a few short months after her Super Bowl 50 performance also trended online.
Companies can capitalize on trends by producing content which refers to or discusses that particular trend. This boosts SEO because when people search for content on the trending topics, the company or brand stands a chance of popping up with expert advice, products, and services solving the problem, or just a humorous take on the issue.
There are many ways public relations can help drive SEO, but keeping key influencers and the audience in mind when creating and distributing content is most important. Knowing how to use already popular content to your advantage can also prove useful, so long as experts are careful not to blunder through hot topics to release information quickly before the trend passes.
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