Businesses are continuously evolving, and so are the strategies used for promoting their products and services.
Back then, television exposure and magazine pick-ups meant your brand made it. Today, digital marketing, social media marketing, and digital PR (or ePR) take center stage. Where PR used to mean fancy glossy pages and sheets upon sheets of newspaper coverage, brands nowadays have transitioned into the digital space. Back then, people hadn’t even heard of digital footprints!
Times are changing, and businesses keep innovating to step up their game.
As a part of standing out against your competition, it’s now time to start looking into a strategy that can leverage how ‘accessible’ you are to your audience: Search Engine Optimization (SEO). How can this complement and strengthen your ePR efforts?
First thing’s first: What is Digital PR or ePR?
Digital PR or ePR means improving your brand’s online discoverability and presence, and boosting your digital footprint so that more of your audience (whose values align with your brand) can find you. This can be achieved through earned media by being featured in news sites, blog sites, social media, or even podcasts. If this is done consistently and properly, you can use ePR to strengthen the reputation of your brand, have more exposure, and improve your SEO.
And now… what is Search Engine Optimization?
Good SEO means optimizing your brand’s website to the way your target audience uses digital platforms, so that they ultimately find your website on the first click. By doing this, your brand can be more visible to more people, and to search engines like Google that these people also use. Optimization doesn’t happen overnight, but requires a lot of research, discussion, planning, and patience for you to have higher rankings in search engines. And once you’ve started it, it’s best to continuously improve your SEO based on real data from your audience.
ePR and SEO go hand-in-hand by:
- Helping increase your brand authority with backlinks.
Backlinking is when one website cites another website; in doing so, Google recognizes that as a nod towards reliability and noteworthiness. This makes backlinking imperative for your seeded ePR releases. The backlinks have to a) come from high-quality and high-authority sites, and b) be strategically placed in your articles to add value to your audience (vs just aimlessly littered around your article multiple times).
- Boosting the value of your content.
Content is king, and search engines want to see that that content provides value. If you wish to have higher rankings for more keywords (which could mean more sales), you would need to step up your content game. And so, it’s wise to plan out your SEO efforts along with your digital PR strategies. Digital PR can further enhance this by churning out earned media in online publications.
- Improving your digital footprint.
Traditional PR’s footprint can be traced through printed copies which may be lost to time. Digital copies of ePR articles, however, could leave footprints forever. To make sure that people find you and become loyal to you as a brand, leave positive footprints that many of them can follow (hopefully towards a closed deal!)
These footprints could easily be in the form of other websites backlinking YOU, making you an authority figure (see #1).
- Helping direct more traffic onsite.
When SEO strategies are done correctly, more of your audience will turn to your website as the easier-to-find source of information. The more website traffic you get, the higher the chances of converting them into sales. This is all a part of the domino effect of improving your SEO.
- Increasing your engagement on socials through search, social, and digital PR.
SEO and social can work together to increase your engagement on many of your online assets, including your social media platforms. ePR can further amplify this. Once you get featured on a high-authority site, you can then use this opportunity to talk about it on your social media pages, tag the person or brand you were talking about, and drive more engagement.
The super-combo of ePR building brand perception and reliability and SEO making that reliable brand more visible and ‘linkable’ strengthens your brand’s digital footprint, increases your credibility, and propels you on a path towards being an authority in the industry you work in.