Why you should combine your PR with SEO?
Vegan businesses are created in order to further the vegan message but often these businesses are in competition for similar search terms with larger businesses, often non-vegan businesses who are capitalising on the increasing interest in veganism. However, there are strategies that mean smaller vegan businesses can still make a huge impact.
We know that PR is excellent for supporting the sales process by building brand awareness and reputation, however, results are not always predictable or guaranteed. You cannot promise, for example, that a customer will buy your full product range after seeing them in a magazine.
However, it is possible to reliably generate good quality leads for your business by combining your PR efforts with a well-planned Search Engine Optimisation strategy (SEO).
Why is SEO important?
The goal of SEO is to ensure your website is easily found by both search engines and people. By doing this, when potential customers search for your product and services, your website will rank at the top of searches so that these people in the market for your services at that time find you and are more likely to buy from you.
If you appear in rankings for a popular search term, around 28% of all searches will end up on your site, with no cost for advertising or clicks.
However, only one site can rank first, and it’s extremely competitive so you need to ensure that your search strategy is better than your competitors.
How do you rank number one?
It’s helpful to first of all understand how search engines work. They want users to see the most accurate, relevant results so they use ‘spiders’ to crawl webpages to get an idea of what they are about.
In order to decide which pages rank where for search terms, Google uses a particular algorithm with a combination of over two hundred ranking factors including page content and links from other sites to decide on the placement of the site in the rankings. Very little is known about the algorithm but Google does give some tips to marketers and website owners on how to optimise sites for search rankings.
SEO strategy begins by choosing keywords that will not only result in the best leads and but also ones that you will be likely to rank for and ensuring these keywords are correctly populated on the site. This is an ongoing process and needs to be regularly reviewed to ensure your site content is fresh and up-to-date.
One of the most important SEO tactics is to generate links from other websites as Google uses these as an authority on your website and they have a heavy weighting in terms of importance of the ranking algorithm.
Why is this related to PR?
The best way to generate links from external websites is through PR. The more authoritative the site, the better, so links from sites such as media, government and charity and high ranking blogs are most effective.
As PR specialists, it’s our job to get clients featured in the media so we need to request that a link accompanies every press release.
There are two types of links, ‘follow’ and ‘no follow’ – the former is the one to generate at Google uses these to give it a PageRank.
PR is one of the few ways to generate links from a media outlet and the more links you accumulate, the more authority and ranking of your site will improve. In addition, by being linked to and featured by relevant publications, you’ll generate referral traffic for your site, which is great for business.
There’s also value in people simply talking about your business. Having the name of your business mentioned can help to boost your ranking but this does need to work in conjunction with a search strategy to be effective.
As your PR is working to improve brand recognition, this means that users are more likely to click on your search results and in turn this clickthough rate has a direct relationship to over all rankings for search terms.
How to measure
The aim of SEO is to help your business grow so you need to measure the organic leads which are the type of leads generate from search traffic. Organic website traffic will also be increased by an effective PR and SEO strategy.
If your PR agency is running just the off-site SEO, they should be measured by the quality and number of followed links generated. You can use a domain authority checker to judge link quality – a number between 1-100 is used to indicate the SEO value of a website. The higher the number, the better.
Your PR function should already be contributing to your search strategy, but by knowing more about it you can leverage it to boost sales so that your PR coverage works longer and harder.