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Campbell

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How to Effectively Integrate PR with SEO and Content Marketing

Posted on 3rd February 2014 , by Kunle Campbell in PR & New Media, Traffic

Socialpr1

Over the last few years, outreach SEO (or Link Building) and PR have witnessed a digital convergence.  The wild open ranges of old style grey and black hat SEO have to a significant extent been fenced off by Google updates intended to cut down on spammy sites that add little or no value (or even make sense); those black hats have mostly been hung up, and the few survivors are in their Butch Cassidy years.  PRs, meanwhile, are learning their way around SEO (link building in particular) and adding SEO outreach to their list of services. Whilst I still believe that there is still a place for Technical SEO as a discipline in its own right, it is becoming increasingly obvious in short, that the Outreach SEO strand of SEO and Digital PR are not only heading in the same direction but also coming to resemble each other.  The analysis and tools may differ but the objectives remain somewhat identical.

The question is, how should a business manage Digital PR and Outreach SEO?  Accepting that PR and SEO work best when they’re integrated, what are the best ways to integrate them? 

1:  Leverage social media

Social media offers great opportunities to get conversations that are about your space already turn into conversations about your brand.  Here’s where SEOs can trust their experience; PRs need to trust their instincts to see that using social media channels as channels for shameless self-promotion is doomed to failure.  What works is providing meaningful information and content that is actually valuable to your audience, fans and followers.  PRs as well as SEOs need to use the social edge of social media to it fullest use; rather that just dumping content with the hope it does something.

Getting social on social media involves talking to other organizations, companies, individuals, potential customers, bloggers, the media, readers – with anyone who’ll talk to you about your space.  In the process, you build your social network improve engagement and viral reach, and pull readers to your site or blog.  But what might be more familiar to PRs is that it’s also an opportunity to build real relationships with people in your space.  It’s also an ideal opportunity to try small form content ideas and get some feedback before you put all the effort into writing full articles or blog posts.

 

2: Syndicate through relevant media

Look for active, relevant subject matter blogs with great content and audiences aligned with yours.  If they’re talking to the same people you want to talk to, they want to hear from you because guest bloggers are a winner for blog owners too.  Look for every contributed content opportunity that’s valuable, and nurture it.  Engage in the comment area and conversations that your articles promote, return the favour by inviting guest bloggers to your own blog and website and, again work on that old-fashioned PR skill of building relationships with professionals in your space that are mutually beneficial.

 

3:  Make your material compelling

Titles are the first thing journalists or readers see.  If your media pitches are not catchy enough, it would be the only part of your article they’ll see.  Great, attention-grabbing headlines should lead readers into well-constructed stories or articles with well-chosen topics that are already relevant and interesting to your readers.  Brainstorm with customers and readers – and on your social networks – to find out what ideas will fly.

 

4:  Set up Google+ authorship

Google’s ranking algorithm may be shifting its dependence on the predominant use links in favour of a content driven algorithm based on an internal Author rank system based on Google+ Authorship.

Google+ Authorship helps Google establish your identity and credibility too.  One way it does this is to look at the number of Circles you belong to on Google+, but the methodology Google uses is less important than the fact that it’s Google doing it.  Google wants people to use Google+, so get on there and build a profile and build an audience there.  In particular, it’s a good idea to link your publications and your site to your Google+ profile.  Learn how to put authorship tags on your articles and link websites that you contribute to on your Google+ profile.

 

5:  Get credible PR coverage – with backlinks, if possible

First, let’s define what we mean by credible.  You want backlinks to material that’s relevant, true and, crucially, non-promotional.  You find it in a credible or reputable location.  What you’re looking for here isn’t another coat of gloss, but something substantive; the kind of thing you’d want a friend to know before they made a decision about something in your space – what you’d want them to know about the housing market before they bought a house, for instance, if you’re a realtor.

You can get coverage from customers who are willing to tell a story, as long as it’s meaningful and genuine, and would be of use to others, but you do need to avoid testimonials.    The opinion of a respected blogger or journalist generally passes muster as credible, but other professionals might not be – if they’re talking up their own products, who is going to believe they’re disinterested?

As far as guest blog posts go, their credibility depends mainly on their content and their author – it’s not the post per se that decides it.

It’s also a good idea to remember that coverage and links from media with great content that’s strongly relevant to your own work and is closely targeted to your own space is worth any amount of links from general sources that will channel people to your site that don’t really want to be there.

 

6: Track your outreach efforts

Your media and blogger outreach efforts should be managed and tracked using media outreach tools. There are a plethora of media outreach tools available to both SEO and PR professionals. PR tools tend to be industry specific and hence their subscriptions command a premium. Try PR tools like Vocus and Cison.

The top SEO outreach tools I recommend are Buzzstream, GroupHigh and InkyBee. Also use media request platforms like HARO and MuckRack where journalists and bloggers requests for stories from businesses

 

7: Make use of social media monitoring

Social media monitoring can allow you see conversations and mentions of personal or corporate brand on social media and blogs. Aside from Google Alerts, social media monitoring tools to help monitor brand mentions on social media are Topsy, Social Mention, Viral Heat and Twilert.

Also watch out for Google’s autosuggests, and pay attention to what they’re telling you about a company or an individual too.  If you type in, ‘Joh’ and Google offers ‘John Smith court case fraud,’ for instance, maybe you should do a little digging before you do business with Mr Smith.  If you are Mr Smith, you might want to engage in a little reputation management at this point.

 

8:  Work with brand advocates

Paid tools are available to help you identify and work with brand advocates, but in most cases it’s simpler than that.  You can usually find out who your brand advocates are through simple customer response surveys.  When you find out who your strongest advocates are, look for ways to engage and reward them further by inviting them to become more involved in your PR and Content Marketing campaigns.  Ask them to share their stories and reviews on the sites your prospective customers visit most frequently.

 

9: Be Convinced about the real value of great content, but watch out for where that approach falls short

Companies report that the most expensive part of their online efforts is web design and build – but the biggest client demand is content creation.  As companies increasingly see the value in Content Marketing, PRs as well as SEOs are seeing that content marketing pull away from other forms of online marketing.

What they – and we – need to watch out for is an overreliance on content alone, ignoring the links between professionals, and between us and our customers, that do so much to help get that content seen.  Those networking skills are a classic part of traditional PR skillsets and they’re coming into their own online.

 

10: Use effective site structure – and measure how effective it is

As much as content is a key part of a winning digital marketing strategy, it’s also vital to optimize its engagement and user experience with a well designed and structured website.

Measure key web analytics metrics such as bounce rate, time on site and ‘depth’ (the number of pages a visitor views).

It’s obviously better to draw in 100 people who read every word, clicked through to sales pages, subscribe, and comment on the blog and forum, than to get 10, 000 visitors that spend an average of six seconds on your site, most of which is spent wondering what they’re doing there.

Monitoring User experience in analytics lets you gauge to some extent how effective your site is.

 

11: Embrace Visual Content – Infographics, illustrations, photographs, etc

The promotion of Infographics and visuals in outreach campaigns are vital to both digital PR and SEO. Start to build your visual asset library that can comprise of photographs, concepts, charts and graphs that illustrate the numbers behind a story, visuals that illustrate a concept, processes or even comical pieces.

 

12:  Collaborate with experts

Connect, discuss and create with other industry providers, experts and leaders; either reflect and cite their comments, making sure that you attribute, link or both; plagiarism, even when it’s accidental, doesn’t win friends.  If you disagree with something that someone with a voice in your space says, don’t stay quiet – and don’t get loud.  Instead, disagree in a way that’ about the subject, not the person, and leaves room for constructive dialogue.  You should be looking for a way to take the conversation toward agreement – ideally, you should both be learning.

 

13: Be an expert others want to collaborate with

Give your readers relevant information that serves their interests.  Develop a publishing schedule,  and build the content that serves your marketplace, keeping your eye on keyword research.  Develop an editorial calendar with the right content for you and your space, and write with that purpose in mind.  Don’t write with visibility in mind: get that in other ways.  Write with quality in mind; trying to create content that people will love when they see it.  Solid, well-researched, well written and relevant content is what we’re after here!

About the author:

Kunle Campbell

An ecommerce advisor to ambitious, agile online retailers and funded ecommerce startups seeking exponentially sales growth through scalable customer acquisition, retention, conversion optimisation, product/market fit optimisation and customer referrals.

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How to Effectively Integrate PR with SEO and Content Marketing

Posted on 3rd February 2014 , by Kunle Campbell in PR & New Media, Traffic

Socialpr1

Over the last few years, outreach SEO (or Link Building) and PR have witnessed a digital convergence.  The wild open ranges of old style grey and black hat SEO have to a significant extent been fenced off by Google updates intended to cut down on spammy sites that add little or no value (or even make sense); those black hats have mostly been hung up, and the few survivors are in their Butch Cassidy years.  PRs, meanwhile, are learning their way around SEO (link building in particular) and adding SEO outreach to their list of services. Whilst I still believe that there is still a place for Technical SEO as a discipline in its own right, it is becoming increasingly obvious in short, that the Outreach SEO strand of SEO and Digital PR are not only heading in the same direction but also coming to resemble each other.  The analysis and tools may differ but the objectives remain somewhat identical.

The question is, how should a business manage Digital PR and Outreach SEO?  Accepting that PR and SEO work best when they’re integrated, what are the best ways to integrate them? 

1:  Leverage social media

Social media offers great opportunities to get conversations that are about your space already turn into conversations about your brand.  Here’s where SEOs can trust their experience; PRs need to trust their instincts to see that using social media channels as channels for shameless self-promotion is doomed to failure.  What works is providing meaningful information and content that is actually valuable to your audience, fans and followers.  PRs as well as SEOs need to use the social edge of social media to it fullest use; rather that just dumping content with the hope it does something.

Getting social on social media involves talking to other organizations, companies, individuals, potential customers, bloggers, the media, readers – with anyone who’ll talk to you about your space.  In the process, you build your social network improve engagement and viral reach, and pull readers to your site or blog.  But what might be more familiar to PRs is that it’s also an opportunity to build real relationships with people in your space.  It’s also an ideal opportunity to try small form content ideas and get some feedback before you put all the effort into writing full articles or blog posts.

 

2: Syndicate through relevant media

Look for active, relevant subject matter blogs with great content and audiences aligned with yours.  If they’re talking to the same people you want to talk to, they want to hear from you because guest bloggers are a winner for blog owners too.  Look for every contributed content opportunity that’s valuable, and nurture it.  Engage in the comment area and conversations that your articles promote, return the favour by inviting guest bloggers to your own blog and website and, again work on that old-fashioned PR skill of building relationships with professionals in your space that are mutually beneficial.

 

3:  Make your material compelling

Titles are the first thing journalists or readers see.  If your media pitches are not catchy enough, it would be the only part of your article they’ll see.  Great, attention-grabbing headlines should lead readers into well-constructed stories or articles with well-chosen topics that are already relevant and interesting to your readers.  Brainstorm with customers and readers – and on your social networks – to find out what ideas will fly.

 

4:  Set up Google+ authorship

Google’s ranking algorithm may be shifting its dependence on the predominant use links in favour of a content driven algorithm based on an internal Author rank system based on Google+ Authorship.

Google+ Authorship helps Google establish your identity and credibility too.  One way it does this is to look at the number of Circles you belong to on Google+, but the methodology Google uses is less important than the fact that it’s Google doing it.  Google wants people to use Google+, so get on there and build a profile and build an audience there.  In particular, it’s a good idea to link your publications and your site to your Google+ profile.  Learn how to put authorship tags on your articles and link websites that you contribute to on your Google+ profile.

 

5:  Get credible PR coverage – with backlinks, if possible

First, let’s define what we mean by credible.  You want backlinks to material that’s relevant, true and, crucially, non-promotional.  You find it in a credible or reputable location.  What you’re looking for here isn’t another coat of gloss, but something substantive; the kind of thing you’d want a friend to know before they made a decision about something in your space – what you’d want them to know about the housing market before they bought a house, for instance, if you’re a realtor.

You can get coverage from customers who are willing to tell a story, as long as it’s meaningful and genuine, and would be of use to others, but you do need to avoid testimonials.    The opinion of a respected blogger or journalist generally passes muster as credible, but other professionals might not be – if they’re talking up their own products, who is going to believe they’re disinterested?

As far as guest blog posts go, their credibility depends mainly on their content and their author – it’s not the post per se that decides it.

It’s also a good idea to remember that coverage and links from media with great content that’s strongly relevant to your own work and is closely targeted to your own space is worth any amount of links from general sources that will channel people to your site that don’t really want to be there.

 

6: Track your outreach efforts

Your media and blogger outreach efforts should be managed and tracked using media outreach tools. There are a plethora of media outreach tools available to both SEO and PR professionals. PR tools tend to be industry specific and hence their subscriptions command a premium. Try PR tools like Vocus and Cison.

The top SEO outreach tools I recommend are Buzzstream, GroupHigh and InkyBee. Also use media request platforms like HARO and MuckRack where journalists and bloggers requests for stories from businesses

 

7: Make use of social media monitoring

Social media monitoring can allow you see conversations and mentions of personal or corporate brand on social media and blogs. Aside from Google Alerts, social media monitoring tools to help monitor brand mentions on social media are Topsy, Social Mention, Viral Heat and Twilert.

Also watch out for Google’s autosuggests, and pay attention to what they’re telling you about a company or an individual too.  If you type in, ‘Joh’ and Google offers ‘John Smith court case fraud,’ for instance, maybe you should do a little digging before you do business with Mr Smith.  If you are Mr Smith, you might want to engage in a little reputation management at this point.

 

8:  Work with brand advocates

Paid tools are available to help you identify and work with brand advocates, but in most cases it’s simpler than that.  You can usually find out who your brand advocates are through simple customer response surveys.  When you find out who your strongest advocates are, look for ways to engage and reward them further by inviting them to become more involved in your PR and Content Marketing campaigns.  Ask them to share their stories and reviews on the sites your prospective customers visit most frequently.

 

9: Be Convinced about the real value of great content, but watch out for where that approach falls short

Companies report that the most expensive part of their online efforts is web design and build – but the biggest client demand is content creation.  As companies increasingly see the value in Content Marketing, PRs as well as SEOs are seeing that content marketing pull away from other forms of online marketing.

What they – and we – need to watch out for is an overreliance on content alone, ignoring the links between professionals, and between us and our customers, that do so much to help get that content seen.  Those networking skills are a classic part of traditional PR skillsets and they’re coming into their own online.

 

10: Use effective site structure – and measure how effective it is

As much as content is a key part of a winning digital marketing strategy, it’s also vital to optimize its engagement and user experience with a well designed and structured website.

Measure key web analytics metrics such as bounce rate, time on site and ‘depth’ (the number of pages a visitor views).

It’s obviously better to draw in 100 people who read every word, clicked through to sales pages, subscribe, and comment on the blog and forum, than to get 10, 000 visitors that spend an average of six seconds on your site, most of which is spent wondering what they’re doing there.

Monitoring User experience in analytics lets you gauge to some extent how effective your site is.

 

11: Embrace Visual Content – Infographics, illustrations, photographs, etc

The promotion of Infographics and visuals in outreach campaigns are vital to both digital PR and SEO. Start to build your visual asset library that can comprise of photographs, concepts, charts and graphs that illustrate the numbers behind a story, visuals that illustrate a concept, processes or even comical pieces.

 

12:  Collaborate with experts

Connect, discuss and create with other industry providers, experts and leaders; either reflect and cite their comments, making sure that you attribute, link or both; plagiarism, even when it’s accidental, doesn’t win friends.  If you disagree with something that someone with a voice in your space says, don’t stay quiet – and don’t get loud.  Instead, disagree in a way that’ about the subject, not the person, and leaves room for constructive dialogue.  You should be looking for a way to take the conversation toward agreement – ideally, you should both be learning.

 

13: Be an expert others want to collaborate with

Give your readers relevant information that serves their interests.  Develop a publishing schedule,  and build the content that serves your marketplace, keeping your eye on keyword research.  Develop an editorial calendar with the right content for you and your space, and write with that purpose in mind.  Don’t write with visibility in mind: get that in other ways.  Write with quality in mind; trying to create content that people will love when they see it.  Solid, well-researched, well written and relevant content is what we’re after here!

About the author:

Kunle Campbell

An ecommerce advisor to ambitious, agile online retailers and funded ecommerce startups seeking exponentially sales growth through scalable customer acquisition, retention, conversion optimisation, product/market fit optimisation and customer referrals.

Did You Enjoy Reading this Article?

Get Free Email Updates by Signing Up Below:

eCommerce Marketing Growth Hacks 

UPCOMING WEBINAR:
November 21st 4:30pm GMT / 11:30am EST
with Kunle
Campbell

Facebook Funnels for Ecommerce that CONVERT

Register now

2X eCommerce Podcast

Kunle interviews Founders of Fast Growing 7-8 Figure Online Retail Business & E-commerce Marketing Experts

View podcasts

Download your free ebook

More

The eCommerce Marketing Blueprint