There’s been a lot of talk about how traditional public relations can help boost your SEO. Moz has been conducting an extensive series on public relations articles for SEOs, and our friend Jen Groover speaks at length about the huge importance of why social media professionals must learn traditional public relations. With this in mind, I’ve have here some tools to help folks from the PR world help serve their clients from the biggest guy on the online block — Google!
SEO and PR go hand in hand. I’m really lucky to work with several PR professionals in my current position, and they all agree that SEO best practice is essential if your story is going to connect with its audience. While still distinct disciplines, SEO and PR are now joined at the hip, and professionals on both sides can no longer remain ignorant of each other’s worlds. An SEO who is armed with top tier PR training can have intelligent conversations with clients in regards to branding and PR goals, and an expert public relations professional can optimize press releases, understand on-page elements and use tools beyond social media to make sure that their client’s needs are best served.
So, here are some tools that I use in my own efforts as in performing my outreach role:
Structured data — earlier, I wrote an article on Schema and SEO. Schema is still such a well-kept secret amongst SEOs that no one is really talking about it. But big names such as Barack Obama are using it to boost the SEO and PR profiles of their own organizations, as displayed by the meta code below.
Briefly, schema code helps Google organize your content into easy to find categories that is machine readable and provides handy likes in the knowledge graph (detailed below). Read my earlier article for further information.
Make sure that all of your schema categories are filled out. It’s like a present from Google.
Google Plus — Posting content on Google Plus and making use of tools such as Google Hangouts On Air and Google Communities can mean significant gains for SEO. Moz writes extensively on the SEO benefits of Google +1’s. And speaking anecdotally, Google Communities tend to be more highly engaged and lower in spam than those found on Facebook or Reddit, being ad free. Google earns their ad revenue elsewhere, thus leaving their social media communities blessedly free of irrelevant messaging. The requirement of a Google e-mail address to use Google services ensures that all traffic is tracked by Google and that all traffic and conversions are tracked accurately.
Google Analytics — I feel that all PR professionals should have a basic knowledge of SEO and Google Analytics. Specifically, the new feature of Google Analytics, advanced segments, can be used to track the behavior of traffic as it hits specific pieces of content, which can include specific press releases, embedded videos and blog entries. Visitors can be tracked based on demographics, location and other factors. This is all vital when performing PR outreach and demonstrating to PR clients the effectiveness of various kind of outreach strategy.
The Google Knowledge Graph — When people are looking up your PR client on Google, this is probably the very first thing that they will see. The graph is a panel which appears to the right of the entries on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) which contains essential information and relevant links concerning the person or thing which is being searched for. Being the very first thing that searchers see, it’s of the highest importance that you, as the PR professional, have as much input into what is presented on the Knowledge Graph panel as possible.
There’s no one way to entirely control what appears on the Google Knowledge Graph. But these steps can help Google fill it out to your advantage:
- Make sure that you have a complete Google Plus profile for your company or client. There is also a Google Plus product for brands.
- See that you have a well written and up to date Wikipedia entry that is factual and not sales-oriented. Google is interested in facts, not sales copy. Remember the inbound principle — useful content is good, spam is bad.
- Make sure that all of the schema code on your web pages is up to date so that Google can index your site properly.
- Maintain general SEO best practices.
These tools, combine with classic PR best practices, can enable you to translate the best public relations practice into the online world, and bring success to your brands and clients.
Do you have further questions about how to get better PR results with SEO? Ask me below.