With Google’s emphasis on content driven SEO, the door to online has been opened for PR professionals; they are naturally content savvy with excellent networking skills, what better networking strategy can you think of in today’s digital age than a social media strategy? The emphasis on content driven SEO has provided PR with online, strategic opportunities as well as a channel for obtaining measurable results.
There is a lot of confusion about how to use SEO for an effective online PR strategy. The first thing to remember is that content is the key to success, however, it is vital that content is optimized using a keyword strategy. Keyword’s will ensure your content reaches your users. Picking 3-5 keywords to begin with that relate to your content is a good place to start. The difficulty lies in walking the fine line between relevance and competition. You don’t want one of your keywords to be ‘PR’ for example, especially if you are a small business, you will be competing with every other PR agency on the web; try and define your agency or client in more specific terms.
Another important factor to consider is whether you want to optimize your content purely to increase search engine rankings or to increase inbound links. On-page SEO activity such as, meta-tagging and writing keyword relevant content is all well and good but the most effective SEO PR strategy will use optimized content to drive traffic towards a product or a campaign landing page. SEO activity becomes SEO strategy when on-page and off-page elements creatively combine. Original, keyword relevant content, should ideally act as an anchor, directing relevant users towards optimized landing pages on a client’s website providing the opportunity for PR agencies to direct users instead of simply targeting them. Directing users towards optimized landing pages will create an opportunity for monitoring conversion rates. Creating effective calls to action at the end of blog posts or within press releases will all go towards helping you create an ongoing online marketing strategy.
Turning SEO activity into an SEO strategy then, is the difference between optimizing content purely for Google and optimizing content for a user. It is not enough, in today’s online market, to simply deploy on-page SEO tactics; writing with the user in mind will ensure your strategy continually defines itself. There is no end result when it comes to online marketing, it is a process that continually redefines its own processes. Hence it is not so much a case of creating an online marketing strategy as it is of finding one.
Creating platforms for users to find and interact with content creates a stronger connection between brand and audience. This is where a carefully considered social media strategy can be invaluable in defining brand identity; in allowing users to interact with a brand in real time, they both define and embody the ‘target audience’. Hence, the key to a successful online PR strategy, lies in ensuring the effective integration between various online channels – an effective social media strategy goes hand in hand with an engaging content strategy - blogs and social media rely on one another for successful brand amplification and development. With this in mind, keywords shouldn’t be the only factor you consider when creating content; it also requires a prime location where it will inadvertently generate new content. Linking blogs and press releases back to your social media sites will create a channel for discussion and will help to continually define your audience and by extension your strategy.
It is this integration between on and off-page elements that will ensure effective brand management. Using SEO techniques together with PR initiatives will enable agencies to directly target content towards specific users, amplifying creation and circulation of content, resulting in an increase in brand awareness. SEO PR allows the identification of methods and content that generate the greatest levels of engagement amongst the people that matter- the users. Users are dynamic and interactive and PR needs to follow suit, creating static content for a static market is not and has never been, realistic- the digital age has provided a unique opportunity for live engagement with a fully reactive audience.