PR is one of the best and fastest ways to enhance search rankings. Over 80 percent of B2B interactions begin with search, so where and how you show up matters. Not showing up at all is the same as being invisible to prospective customers.
Search engine rankings 101
When search engines see a high-level of incoming traffic to a website, it tells them the information and content on the site is trustworthy and credible. Search engines reward you for that. The more clicks your website receives, the higher your SEO ranking. Utilizing links within published content – often referred to as backlinks, inbound or incoming links – direct readers to your site. Therefore, being published on a respected industry news website not only allows you to demonstrate your expertise and increase brand awareness, it also provides a critical link back to your company website or landing page and consequently, improves where you show up on the search engine results page (SERP).
Let’s take a look at some of the ways to enhance your search rankings with earned media placements:
- Own your content: For the most part, links should bring readers back to your site, instead of sending them to a generic website. If you are referring to another article or point of information, linking to it provides credibility but unless that landing page is within your analytics package, you won’t be able to track the data. Instead of sending the users somewhere else, look at creating a place on your site to house self-published content or reprints of articles that support your message.
- Invest in developing high-value, self-published content: Sometimes it might be warranted to link to a product page or a company news page, but when possible lead them to high-value content on your site. Invest in developing articles, white papers and case studies and consider gating your strongest content so you can capture contact information of potential leads.
- Measure your links. This step is critical as it allows you to measure the success of your link. Some tracking tools, such as those supported by Google Analytics, allow you to measure how many site visits come from the earned content, how long a user stays on your site and what content they engage with. Other free tools, like Bitly, can provide basic metrics like how many clicks the link received. By measuring this information, you know what links have the most impact and what content is more likely to encourage engagement and can adjust accordingly.
The next time you develop content to publish on a third-party site, don’t forget the link. Let your earned media placements enhance your company’s search engine ranking.