In the last few months, Google has released two Core Updates to their search engine and ranking algorithm. These updates have increased the visibility of an abundance of sites and opened the door for businesses to maximize their online presence. As Google updates continue stomping out the black hat SEO gambits of yesterday, public relations and content development have become critical components of a complete SEO strategy, especially for financial advisors.
While your web developer, web designer or SEO specialist may be best suited to build the foundation of your search presence on the backend, they are quite unlikely to deliver a game-changing media strategy that will produce high authority backlinks or steady, original and relevant content.
Many of today’s best SEO practices fall under the umbrella of public relations. If you are interacting with influencers, journalists, and bloggers on social media, you can call it social media marketing, but you are still doing PR. If you are pitching guest posts or bylined articles to news outlets and other online publications, you are doing PR. If you are conducting email outreach to get links and mentions, you are doing PR.
Public relations efforts are not always as black and white as some traditional SEO efforts like creating a website that Google can crawl and index, avoiding duplicate-content issues, or reducing page-load time. With that said, the tangible impact of a focused PR strategy is real and potentially powerful.
Identify Your Goals
While working on a public relations and content strategy on digital channels, identify your overall business and marketing goals, whether you want to gain more business leads or build your brand through authoritative content. Next, you want to research and determine your target audience. This information will help you with keyword research to determine which words or phrases your target audience is using in search queries.
Prioritize Popular Keywords
Understanding how your audience communicates with your business is key to creating optimized content online. By doing keyword research, you can determine what keywords your audience is using in order to implement those keywords into your content. It will also help you attract the right kind of visitors.
Keyword research can also be beneficial when you are writing press releases and blog content. If you know what keywords are currently ranking high for your business or for your competitors, you can use specific keywords in your press release and blog posts to optimize this content for digital publications and blog sites.
Use this research to optimize your spokesperson’s language as well. He or she should use the identified keywords in speeches and interviews because it will increase the chance that articles and blog posts about your company will contain those keywords.
As well as including keywords in press releases, blog posts and speaking opportunities, you should include links. When sending pitches and press releases to media contacts, include a link to your company’s homepage and any other relevant links. Don’t be afraid to ask a reporter to include a link in the story, but only request to include a link if it can add value to the story. Getting backlinks in earned media opportunities and owned content helps increase traffic to your page, maximizing your SEO strategy.
By understanding the interconnectivity of PR and SEO, your business will produce better and more measurable results. As Google continues to update their algorithms, now is the time to integrate PR into your SEO strategy in order to increase your online visibility and establish your site as a top destination in your industry.
Brian Hart is the Founder & President at Flackable, an award-winning public relations agency representing financial and professional services brands nationwide. To learn more about Flackable, please visit flackable.com. Follow Brian on Twitter at @BrianHartPR.
This is an updated version of an article originally published on 12/3/15.