Running a business in 2021 requires a lot more alignment of strategy than in years past. Many companies are recovering from the pandemic and are in need of strategies that create revenue. One of our main drivers for revenue at Calendar has been owning areas of our digital landscape through good PR and SEO.
Understanding how PR ties into the new digital world of business will keep your brand flying high. In fact, knowing what people are saying about your business and how to manage your image will help you avoid being a part of the 90% of startups that end up falling short of the mark.
This article will provide some tips so you can own your digital landscape through the implementation of an effective SEO PR strategy. You can also watch the webinar on how to own your industry through great PR and SEO for more tips.
How to start using SEO PR
Embrace SEO to stand out
For starters, it’s vital that you understand how intertwined public relations and search engine optimization are today.
PR is much different today than it was even 10 years ago. Much of PR management now involves directing how your brand is viewed across the web. This includes all written content, not just the press releases you can control.
SEO will put you in the driver’s seat of your digital public relations strategy. With proper crosslinking and keywords, you can move high-quality articles and web pages to the top of online searches.
If you can get your brand to rank high on competitive keywords, you’ll establish a reputation as a trusted leader in your industry. For example, my speaking career took off when people started typing in keywords around speaking and this sales speaker article kept coming up.
Sometimes people get hung up on only getting their own site to rank, but it’s also good to own things in the industry that are offsite. It helped my brand stand out by naturally showing up when people were educating themselves. That’s precisely why SEO PR matters.
Get into thought leadership
Thought leadership can be described as the content that places you or your brand in a trusted or influential position in your industry. Establishing your image in this way provides a long-term platform upon which to continue to build your business. In fact, a 2018 survey found that 55% of respondents looked at thought leadership as a way to gauge an organization they were considering doing business with.
An excellent example of thought leadership is Gary Vaynerchuk. Most people know him as a public speaker and social media influencer who talks about all things entrepreneurial. Behind the scenes, he’s operating incredibly successful businesses powered by his personal brand.
You don’t have to spend all your time trying to become an internet icon in order to pull off thought leadership. Rather, focus some efforts on developing content that positions you and your brand as leaders in your industry. You can do this through social content, bylined articles in publications, and speaking opportunities, such as being a guest on a podcast or a small business panel.
Partner with an evolved PR firm
As an entrepreneur, you’re well aware of how difficult it can be to wear many hats. That’s why it’s not a bad idea to hire a digital PR firm to help you out. Public relations can be stressful, especially if you feel out of your comfort zone. Trained, experienced professionals can turn your PR goals into reality without adding anything else to your plate.
When choosing a PR firm to work with, focus your attention on groups that understand the digital space and have a working knowledge of SEO PR practices. This way you know that your PR strategy will be focused across the web, not on efforts with limited scope.
One of the PR firms I advise is Relevance and they are very big on doing a CAS (Content Alignment Strategy) for clients. Years after I sold my last company, several firms approached me to advise. One of the reasons why I choose them is their commitment to owning industries for clients through a balance of thought leadership, SEO, and PR. If a PR firm doesn’t seem to align these things, I would keep looking for another firm.
Use sourced content
One of the best ways to boost your SEO PR is through sourced content. This is a content strategy that uses third-party publications to post brand mentions through articles on other sites. Sure, your blog will rave about your new products all day long, but you gain more authority when your audience members see similar claims on multiple web pages.
For example, let’s say you want to get the news out about a successful round of funding your company just had. You should certainly post this to your own company page, but why stop there?
Landing the news in top publications in your space will reach an entirely new audience wanting to learn more about your up-and-coming business. Additionally, publications are frequently looking for new content and will jump at the opportunity to cover a good story.
Create a content alignment strategy
A content alignment strategy will help you bring together everything we’ve talked about so far. SEO, thought leadership, and PR work best hand in hand instead of as separate campaigns.
Treat each of these three areas like they belong to the same Venn diagram:
- How can SEO practices help you develop thought leadership?
- What PR strategies should be included in your thought leadership goals?
- How will SEO impact how your public relations strategy is carried out?
Answering these questions will help you come up with a coherent SEO PR strategy and put your brand in the best possible position to succeed.
Then, by maintaining your brand image, you establish a foundation upon which your business can comfortably and effectively grow. Keep in mind that without a good SEO PR strategy, your brand is vulnerable to the attacks and general noise of the digital world. There’s simply no time to delay.
There are plenty of digital tools available to help you get started. Semrush, for example, has all the tools you need to learn and master SEO strategies and put them into practice. They also offer brand monitoring so you can see what people are saying about your business. Prowly, on the other hand, is PR and media relations software that helps you find media connections and publish content in the right places.
There are several other options you can find and use. What’s important is having the right resources to make your PR vision a reality.
Cover photo by Myriam Jessier