Guest post by Emily Goodyear, PR & Marketing Manager at WRM-Media
As PR & marketing manager for online marketing specialists WRM-Media, I’ve found - unsurprisingly - that a huge amount of my time and resources is spent establishing a positive online presence. This has involved developing a breadth of understanding around search engine optimisation as it becomes more accepted that: The future of SEO is PR and the future of PR is SEO.
Whether you’re ready to agree with this or not, the fact is that search engines (ssh.. *Google*) can make the difference between your website getting visitors or not, and in turn whether you can establish customer relations and ultimately, generate sales.
This monopoly on search engine results means that you absolutely cannot afford to ignore SEO. It should be an integral part of any online PR strategy. With that in mind, here are a few techniques that I implement to make the most of WRM-Media’s online presence and reputation.
Optimise or die
Firstly, ensure that your website is as optimised as it can be for your product/services. This might be something that you look to outsource and includes keyword-rich written content (research what your keywords are, don’t guess!), web page layout, HTML tagging and crucially, inbound links from reputable sources that suggest you are offering useful content.
Build those links
The last of these can be extremely time consuming but is where the PR know-how comes in. As a PR specialist, you know better than anyone what message you want to portray about your company. Almost gone are the days when you had to beg traditional media to print your story, only to find your press release rehashed and the message lost.
The web offers a plethora of content-driven sites that enable you to place yourself as a front runner in your industry. Start your own blog (with SEO in mind) that discusses company news, industry developments and anything else of interest - then link it back to your website regularly. Once you’ve got to grips with blogging, offer to write posts for other relevant blog owners - this is a common way of establishing some good quality links back to your site.
Give your content more clout
Publishing content on a platform like Mynewsdesk brings the benefit of huge clout with Google (I noticed that Mynewsdesk has a Google 'page rank' of 7), while also enabling your content to go out via various distribution channels, such as Press Association and to your media lists. Mynewsdesk also provides a hub for managing all of your social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, WordPress, etc) - a responsibility that is becoming increasingly time-consuming for marcoms professionals.
Know your channels
Aggregate all of your online content and give yourself a platform to shout about it by utilising social media. Facebook is renowned for success with B2C relationships, whereas Twitter tends to be more geared towards B2B, as does LinkedIn. Post links to your external content, encouraging consumers, competitors and employees to interact. Don’t get complacent however; each channel has a different purpose and posting the same content across all mediums is unlikely to get a loyal band of followers across all of them.
Do it for the right reasons
The crucial thing about online PR is to recognise the need for all of these channels to be engaging in some way. If you have a Facebook page just to keep up with the Joneses, then you’re already failing to do so. Finally, all of your online content should have a value to SEO – increasing the potential for people to find you is just going to improve your chances of growth and revenue generation.