Having a great website is important. Good site architecture, ensuring key landing pages are at the top of the hierarchy, fast loading pages, on-page optimisation to include keyword themes in page titles, body content, file names and image alt tags, are all vital components of a functioning online presence. Don’t forget you’ll also need good copy, relevant and well crafted in ways beyond just the demands of SEO.
But even that’s not the whole picture.
More than SEO…
A good PR agency is perfect to help create ‘sticky’ content that will ensure your visitors spend time on your carefully designed site and read your pages. Having someone who knows how to guide your readers to click through to related content and to become a lead – or a customer - if you do your business online is crucial.
A good PR person will know how to reach and chime with your target audience; they’ll know your market; and they’ll know your products. Their content won’t just be keyword-rich; it’ll be tailored to the specific needs and interests of your readership. It’ll be engaging, using natural language that dovetails with the target audience, satisfying both search engines and readers.
PR and sales
All of this works great on people who visit your website; and you can use the classic outbound techniques of PR, advertising, direct mail, email and so on to attract the target markets you define in advance. What about the prospects you know are out there, but don’t know how to reach?
First, make sure that your content is of a high enough quality that it will do some of the work for you, generating links organically. Great content gets shared, and social sharing tools are essential for link generation. They don’t only ensure that you get widely dispersed inbound links; they’ll help you reach an audience that’s a lot larger than you could have achieved through inbound marketing alone.
You can’t just leave it to website visitors to generate your inbound links, though; you need to actively generate them yourself. Use authoritative industry related websites and blogs, as well as social networks, to build links. Both these types of links are essential for SEO success. You want inbound links to increase your visibility to your target audience, and links from social media that tell Google you have ‘fresh content,’ bumping you up the rankings.
Generating quality inbound links is done in two main ways.
First, push your message through existing social channels, and make sure that you optimise time and location settings to reach your target audience at their most active, engagement-prone times.
PR, SEO and press releases
Second, ensure that your agency uses all channels for distributing SEO optimised press releases – that means both online and offline, through any relevant print press as well as through social and blogging avenues and online publications.
Don’t just rely on wire distribution services – the links they generate will suffer in quality through Google’s penalisation of duplicate content. Each press release that is reproduced in full needs to refer back to the original article, which will usually be hosted on the PR distribution service’s own website, and this will greatly reduce the SEO value of all other places the press release is published.
The business of a PR agency is the same whether it operates online or not: media relations are at the centre of what PRs do. A digital PR will know which authoritative industry blogs to target, which relationships to nurture, and how best to achieve the best coverage for their clients.
Just like a non-digital PR firm, they’ll do this through a network of contacts that includes full-time editors and journalists, freelancers and industry influencers; though a digital PR will also have extensive knowledge of how to achieve coverage in the blogosphere and will have some useful social media contacts and knowledge too. For instance, even if your social follower strategy hasn’t borne extensive fruit – yet –your PR will be able to push your message further through their own followers, ensuring greater audience reach.
Building PR into your strategy
Getting the best out of your marketing online will require both SEO and PR skills – you’ll need someone who can write compelling content that targets visitors as much as it does search engines; someone who has great media relations capabilities and who already knows who to contact; and someone with a proven ability to distribute messages to a highly targeted, receptive audience.
By Kunle Campbell, Founder of Fuzz One Media.
Connect with Kunle Campbell on Google+
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