With search marketing now an essential PR and marketing element for any business, SEO can increase your search engine ranking and drive more traffic to your website. It can also improve the quality of traffic.
SEO does not provide immediate results, so do not expect changes overnight; it is a long-term investment. By following these six tips, you can begin your SEO journey and take the steps to enhance your rankings and boost your brand’s online visibility.
1. Top-Tier Backlinks
A sure-fire way to increase your opportunity to rank for a handful of keywords is through gaining backlinks. These are links from other websites to relevant pages on your site. Search engines like Google and Bing view backlinks from third-parties as a vote of confidence to your web content and brand. They provide “SEO weight.”
Be aware, backlinks from low-quality websites no longer fool the search engines and don’t improve search rankings. You need to gain these backlinks from high-quality, editorial websites that are relevant to your brand and target audience.
Obtaining high-quality backlinks is one of the most effective methods to increase search engine rankings for your chosen keywords. To get those backlinks, it’s not just the authority of your website that matters, your content needs to be well-written and cover a topic that’s relevant to the audience of the website that’s doing the back linking.
2. Brand Association
For any brand wanting to benefit from SEO, brand association is becoming increasingly important. One technique to gain additional SEO is associating a small brand with a better known brand.
A particular example of an effective healthcare brand association can be seen from the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK. When people think of the NHS, they think of hospitals, walk-in centers and treatments for illnesses. The NHS ranks well for search queries related to illnesses, symptoms and treatments. That’s because the NHS has an abundance of content on its website relating to a variety of health issues. It also provides further exposure to its readers through links to information on its social media accounts.
Searchers often will search for “National Health Service” and “Disease Name” or “Treatment.” A smaller company can therefore gain SEO by including those terms in a page on their website or in media placements. The content should be substantive and should include – preferably in the first paragraph – a sentence such as “The National Health Service” includes “Name of Product” as approved treatment for “Name of Disease.”
Another example from a different industry: “Name of Product” was shown on gowns designed by “Name of Fashion Designer” the “Name of Fashion Show” such as “New York Fashion Week.”
Search engines will begin to associate your brand with the other organizations or names. When your search results appear, consumers may also head directly to your website to research general information about your products and services.
3. Third-Party Referral Traffic
If a user is looking on a search engine for a product or service you provide but doesn’t include the brand in the query, you’re more likely to rank higher in search results if you have lots of backlinks and solid content containing the search terms. The most powerful of these backlinks are obtained from earned media placements. Placements in highly visible media outlets helps the public associate your brand with another more familiar and respected organization or product. This will then drive more traffic to your site and provide more lead generation from customers who were not previously aware of your brand.
There’s no guarantee you’ll always rank for your chosen keywords, especially when they’re highly competitive.
You can instead use PR to place guest posts on websites that are industry-specific and have authority. The websites should also focus on the specific product or service you provide. As the websites have a higher authority, they’re more likely to rank for these keywords. This will then drive traffic to your site via their domain.
Use Google Trends or other sites that provide similar service to track the lists of terms becoming increasingly popular. It can also suggest similar keywords that may not be as competitive but are still relevant to your business.
4. Emerging Keywords
When new products or services are created, new terminology is created alongside it. Use PR to spread awareness of this new vocabulary. People will soon begin to connect your brand with the terms.
Then, when users type these terms into a search engine, you’ll have a far greater chance of ranking highly as no other brands will be trying to rank for the keywords.
5. Previous PR Reclamation
Another way to gain backlinks: use a search engine to look for other sites that have mentioned your brand but not inserted a backlink.
You can reach out to these websites via email, social media, telephone or even their ‘contact us’ form on their site. Kindly ask for a backlink to a relevant page on your site. If the post is published by a specific author then you can contact them directly.