Not long ago, the tactics and techniques utilized to achieve optimal search engine rankings were vastly different than what we see today. Gone are the days of cramming key words and phrases into blogs that served no other purpose than to be indexed by search engines, or farming out backlinks to a network of otherwise irrelevant websites. Fortunately, the engineers behind Google’s constantly changing algorithm have rendered these practices obsolete.
Instead of figuring out how to manipulate the system, brands are now faced with a different challenge when trying to boost their search engine rankings. To be successful, they need to produce high-quality content that people want to read and share.
Two main factors are driving the evolution of SEO – the meteoric rise of content marketing and Google’s steadfast focus on its ultimate goal of promoting only the most helpful and interesting content to the top of its rankings. As a public relations and marketing firm, we couldn’t be happier about this!
Those who work in PR understand how important good content is when it comes to securing third-party coverage. Without a good, engaging story, most large publications will pass on an article. However, if the quality of your information is compelling enough to its audience, they will gladly provide you with the all-important third-party accreditation. And, once your brand has a link back from an entity as reputable as the Wall Street Journal, for example, your rankings begin to rapidly climb.
Also, as news becomes distributed more frequently in non-traditional platforms like Facebook and Twitter, your third-party coverage has even more potential to go viral. And included in every one of those shares, retweets, etc. is a link back to your content. The more social interaction your brand experiences, the more value Google places on your content. In addition, savvy marketers will take this opportunity one step further and find even more ways to promote the third party coverage on various social media channels and blogs, which then compounds their SEO.
Successful PR personnel, however, cannot rely on good content alone. Another skill that is highly utilized in the industry is relationship building. Much effort is put into building and nurturing connections with influential publishers and bloggers. Without that unique relationship in which PR folks and publishers help each other, even great content can be at risk of going unnoticed. But when that bond is in place, good stories can be viewed by large audiences – and, as a result, the brands behind them enjoy a substantial boost in search engine rankings.
Within an increasingly integrated digital landscape, PR and SEO now go hand-in-hand. The exact same skills and tools used by the PR industry are exactly what brands need now to boost their SEO. Building trust and awareness have always been the guiding principles in PR … now they come with the added benefit of helping your brand appear at the top of Google’s search results!