Think Like a PR Pro to Execute SEO

Written by Nick Stamoulis

The shifts that have occurred in the SEO industry also mean that SEO professionals need to have a shift in their mindset too. SEO is no longer simply about adding some keywords to your existing content and looking for any opportunity to get a link. It needs to be much more strategic than that. Instead of adding any relevant keywords, they need to be the right relevant keywords that will attract an audience that is most likely to be interested in your product or service and could be at any point of the buying cycle. Instead of obtaining any link, it’s about finding link opportunities that adhere to the Webmaster Guidelines, are related to your niche, and will actually generate traffic to your site in addition to giving you SEO “link juice”. Obviously, these links aren’t easy to come by and require a lot of work.

This is why SEOs and website owners that are responsible for SEO activities need to start thinking like public relations professionals. A necessary component of public relations is outreach, which is a manual, labor-intensive process. In order to get members of the press or others in the industry to talk about your business or brand in a positive light in a way that attracts the attention of target audience members you need to work at it. PR professionals need to cultivate relationships that will lead to this sort of press. They need to constantly be in touch with the media and other stakeholders and in a way; they need to become great schmoozers.

At first glance you might not think that SEO involves any schmoozing, but when it comes down to it, it actually does. An SEO strategy involves an element of relationship building today too; the only difference is that the schmoozing is primarily done online as opposed to PR schmoozing, which also includes offline elements. The key to successful SEO link building today is to get other sites to link to the content that is on your site, just like PR professionals want their news to be picked up by media outlets. The best kinds of links today are these natural links, as opposed to directory listings or publishing content on article sites that will publish nearly anything.

Even if you are creating great content, what’s it worth if nobody is seeing it? This is where the SEO outreach program (that is similar to PR outreach) comes into play. You need to work at being noticed and recognized in the industry in order to obtain industry links. So how do you do this? You don’t want to just send out mass emails to anyone that you can get contact information for, that’s for sure. You need to be strategic about it and grow these relationships in the most natural way possible. One way to get noticed among content writers in the industry is to comment on their blog posts. Of course a “great post!” comment won’t do you any good. Contribute to the conversation and think of it as an opportunity to show your stuff. This could start a dialogue with the blogger and then you can go from there. You should also follow key people in the industry in social media and share their posts every once in awhile with your audience. If you are sharing for them, they will be more likely to want to help you out too.

Like many other things in life, it’s important to have connections- people that trust you and are willing to help you out. In order to make these connections, you’ll have to put your PR hat on.

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