As a business owner, you have a lot of responsibilities to juggle, from purchasing to day-to-day operations to promoting your products and services. It’s no secret that you need to be creative and strategic when it comes to marketing to compete with your more established competitors. And while there are a number of different strategies you can use, integrating search engine optimization (SEO) and digital public relations (PR) can be especially effective.
Small businesses often overlook the importance of including both SEO and PR into their marketing plan, thinking that these are mutually exclusive. However, doing both can greatly improve your visibility and reach, leading to more paying customers down the line. In this post, we discuss why small businesses should integrate these two outreach strategies and provide tips on how to get it done the right way.
How SEO and PR Complement Each Other
While most businesses tend to spend more money on SEO than PR, the two are complementary and should be used in tandem for optimal results. While they have slightly different goals, both can help market your product or service to boost awareness and increase website traffic. If you want to achieve higher visibility online, you’ll need a solid SEO strategy that is supplemented with public relations efforts.
Integrating SEO and PR entails generating high-quality backlinks that improve domain authority. While there are many ways to increase your search rankings, the right kind of publicity can bring instant credibility to your business. The more trustworthy sources cite you as an expert in your field of work, the better off you are when compared with competitors.
As a small business owner, it’s important to understand that SEO and digital PR are not mutually exclusive. In fact, you should be integrating both into your marketing plan if you want to increase website traffic and get started with online reputation management.
The good news is that these two outreach strategies can work well together when done properly. You need to know how each one works in order to make an informed decision about which techniques will benefit your company the most.
Integrating SEO and PR: Your Action Plan
If you want to integrate PR and SEO for your business, take the following steps:
1. Build a solid plan.
Before you can determine how to incorporate these two strategies, it’s best to have a marketing plan in place — complete with specific goals and measurable outcomes. The last thing you want is to invest your time and resources into an outreach campaign that isn’t directly associated with your company’s overall mission.
2. Understand the basics of each strategy.
Digital PR involves pitching to media and high domain authority websites that are relevant to your business, while SEO includes various link building techniques known as backlinking. There are other overlaps between the two disciplines, but they should be considered separate entities until you’ve fully developed both plans of action.
3. Set priorities based on goals and available resources.
Once you understand the difference between digital PR and SEO, you can start to set goals and determine which areas of your marketing plan need improvement. For instance, if you want to see a boost in website traffic, SEO should be given priority until it’s been fully optimized for online searches.
4. Negotiate favorable terms of service with new partners.
Although both digital PR and SEO firms will provide exposure for your small business, some tactics are more advisable than others. You don’t want a public relations agency that promises high-ranking backlinks that could get your site penalized by search engines. It’s important to read reviews of prospective vendors before signing on the dotted line –– especially those who offer services that aren’t directly related to their field of expertise.
5. Understand the role of influencers.
There are also certain benefits to getting noticed online. Businesses have the opportunity to tap into their target audiences by establishing relationships with key opinion leaders who command attention on social media. This may involve reviewing current customers or compiling a list of prospects that are worth targeting in the future.
6. Maintain positive online reviews through outreach efforts.
If you want your website to rank higher in search engine results, link building should be one component of your SEO strategy. But what about those reviews that pop up on third-party sites like Yelp and Google Business Profiles (formerly called GMB)? You can manage them by reaching out to customers directly, offering incentives in exchange for leaving good reviews online.
7. Consider hiring a dedicated marketing agency.
Although you’ll get the best results when integrating both strategies, outsourcing your efforts to an SEO or digital PR firm is a strategic move. Small businesses are likely strapped for time and resources, which means it may be more effective to hire a team of experts who can handle all aspects of marketing without interruption. Not only will this save you valuable man-hours, but there’s also an opportunity to learn new things about your company while working with professionals.
8. Learn from past mistakes.
If you’ve tried one or both outreach methods in the past, take note of what worked and what didn’t so you can improve your processes moving forward. If you’re trying to hire an SEO expert, for instance, look at companies that didn’t work out in the past and learn why they aren’t suitable candidates for your small business.
9. Implement new tactics as needed with an open mind.
It’s easy to rely on certain strategies that have worked for you in the past, but the digital landscape is constantly changing. If your tactics aren’t delivering steady results or your audience is shifting, it may be time to try something new. For instance, businesses should consider hiring an agency that can provide them with digital PR services involving influencer marketing to expand their reach online.
10. Learn about SEO best practices.
Although both PR and SEO are important for growing brand awareness, there are some ways you can hurt yourself if you’re not implementing them properly. You could end up spending a lot of money building low-quality links that don’t send traffic to your site or use optimization that make it difficult for potential customers to find you online.
Make sure to work with a reputable agency that takes the time to create custom plans for your business so you can achieve tangible results.
11. Engage the media if you’re looking for press coverage.
When attempting to generate publicity about your company, make sure journalists at reputable publications are aware you exist. Although it may seem intimidating, contacting journalists directly is one of the most effective ways to get your business featured in news stories or on popular websites. You must take the time to learn about who covers specific topics within your industry so you can approach them with high-quality pitches that are relevant to their readers.
12. Focus on gaining relevant backlinks when it comes to SEO efforts.
High-quality links are essential if you want your site to rank well for a variety of keywords and phrases. Don’t forget that generating traffic from sites with similar content is also important because both link acquisition and link authority play an integral role in how successful a particular page will be at earning organic rankings over time.
13. Develop valuable content that’s related to your industry before contacting influential people online.
By offering thoughtful insights on topics relevant to what you do, it’ll be easier for industry leaders and potential customers to understand why they should work with you. This also makes it more likely for them to help promote your business either by sharing your blog posts with their online networks or inviting you as a guest on their own podcasts and video series.
14. Implement a content calendar.
Although many people think that digital PR is about getting lucky, there are actually proven tactics you should try out if you want the best chance of earning wins. By developing a content plan for what you’re going to say, who you’re going to contact, and where your messages are headed, it’s possible to improve the odds of successfully connecting with influencers across social media platforms or generating media coverage online.
15. Collaborate with others within your industry.
Instead of trying to go it alone, turn towards others in your niche that offer complementary products or services. By helping one another grow, you may end up generating more traffic for everyone.
PR and SEO: Doing Things The Right Way
Businesses that understand how to leverage both search engine optimization and digital public relations can benefit from a solid online presence that takes the form of content marketing, influencer outreach, and link building. That’s where we come in.
Markitors is a digital marketing agency specializing in expert search engine optimization and high-quality digital PR services for small to medium-sized businesses. Our team is made up of talented SEO and PR specialists who have worked with businesses across a variety of industries, helping them earn millions of views online through our effective and sustainable content promotion tactics.
Learn more about our integrated approach to PR and SEO by contacting the Markitors team today!