Did you know that you can leverage content and SEO for public relations (PR) in several ways? In this post, we’ll discuss how SEO practices, including quality content, works in tandem with public relations by combating negative queries and reviews, building your brand online and managing your reputation.
Search Engines + Reputation
There’s no question that reputation management and search engines go hand-in-hand. In fact, reputation management has been the center of many “take-down” requests for Google search results that claim to damage the reputation of both individuals and businesses. A high-profile 2013 lawsuit in a French court, reported at Search Engine Watch proved to be a landmark case in search and reputation management. It involved compromising pictures allegedly of Max Mosley, former president of Formula One racing, engaged in acts with prostitutes According to Reuters, the court ruled that Google was to “remove and cease, for a period of five years beginning two months after this decision, the appearance of nine images.”
SEO + Reputation Management
Although brands today are dealing with far less traumatic reputation management issues than Mosely, they still need to pay attention to their brands online. Take bad reviews as an example. Just one way SEO practices can help with reputation management when faced with bad reviews online for queries related to your brand is to put out a steady stream of quality content for any queries that may demand it. Building your brand through creating authoritative content: what’s better reputation management than ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPs) with useful content for a query? The more your quality insights surface for search queries, the more authoritative and credible your brand is online. This is a long-term SEO content strategy, and could take up to a year to be effective, according to this article by Samantha Wanner over at SEER Interactive.
Wanner suggests creating and building “assets that are more authoritative in rank to slowly detrude” negative reviews and search listings. Among some of the good tips she recommends, take note of: • Creating a blog. • Building links to a positive news story, review or blog post that emphasizes your brand. • Build and cross-link your company’s social media profiles. • Upload any presentations to SlideShare, titling it using the exact match keywords for which any negative reviews are ranking. She further suggests – as many SEO practioners do – that you monitor your brand’s reputation.
SEO + Traditional Public Relations
With Google’s emphasis on quality content, publis relations SEO has become intertwined, as SEO and PR teams often share joint goals: spearheading brand visibility being the ultimate one, as John Rampton recently discussed at Forbes. Creating valuable content that established, reputable sites and publishers vouch for by linking to your site has become the cornerstone of brand building online. And while some of the big PR firms today merely dabble in social media with “one-off” announcements, the smarter PR companies “get it,” says Julie Liesse in Advertising Age’s “The PR Factor 2010.” Part of PR firms “getting” social media management is by partnering with SEO professionals that create great organic content for their search strategies.
Some PR firms are now often hired to help manage a brand’s social media, and by joining forces with SEO practitioners, they have compelling organic content in the form of blog posts and articles to share on their client’s social accounts. Thanks to Lee Odden of TopRank Online Marketing for the image above that eloquently highlights how to break down silos. For more on these ideas, check out this post.
I did on the evolution of the content marketing system at Relevance.com. SEO can further boost PR efforts towards brand visibility with well-optimized social media profiles that will show up in search engine results pages (SERPs), notably Google+ and LinkedIn (Facebook and Twitter have little to no organic reach). Tips for optimizing your brand’s LinkedIn profile are shared by Jim Yu at Marketing Land, here, while SEO for Google+ profiles is discussed by Kristi Hines at Search Engine Watch. An informed SEO content strategy also provides your PR team with the “right stuff” for initiatives like getting out a particular brand message, as well as helping to get the word out about an event.
One example is the content we featured right here on the blog leading up the BrightEdge Share14 conference, which featured interviews and tips from speakers ahead of the event. Stay tuned for something similar with next year’s Share15 event. And it’s future is destined to grow as mutual goals of brand building, messaging and reputation management converge. What do you think? Tell us about it below!