Have you been wondering how to boost your Google rating? It's no surprise, with over 1.3bn websites on the internet today, and all of them are competing for the top spot on the all-powerful Google rankings.
It’s hard to overestimate the influence that Google has over our purchasing decisions today. Boot your Google rating and appearing high up for relevant search terms immediately increases brand awareness, trust in your business and most importantly, potential customers visiting your site. But achieving that top spot - or even the first page - is no mean feat.
Until a few years ago, SEO was like a dark art, with all sorts of shady tactics involved in ranking ahead of your peers. But the major updates, Panda in 2011 and Penguin in 2012 changed everything, rewarding genuinely useful, user-friendly websites and punishing anybody using dodgy SEO tactics. Now, it’s widely accepted – and Google has confirmed - that most important driver for rankings is relevance, as signalled by backlinks from other reputable, high ranking sites, along with how well users engage with your site when they arrive.
Here’s a few reasons why PR is one of the best strategies to achieve that:
Securing media links:
Gone are the days when your site would benefit from any type of link. Now Google only recognises natural editorial links, with sources valued based on how relevant, trusted and popular they are. Media sites tend to fulfil a lot of these criteria, which is where PR comes in, as the specialist in securing editorial coverage in media publications. Tactics include sending out news releases, contributing articles, or pitching a profile on your founder or CEO. Most sites will reward you with a link for your effort, and it’s a fantastic way of raising awareness of what you do at the same time. For more tips of achieving media coverage, have a read of our blog: Want to see your business in the media?
Creating awesome original content:
As a result of Google’s complex algorithm, sites that satisfy users rank higher, which means it’s in your interest to provide content that is useful and engaging for your target audience, so they spend more time on your site. This is another area where PR excels, through creating thought leadership content, research reports, opinion articles, blogs and white papers. This kind of collateral also has the added benefit of generating shares, driving more links and traffic – all of which will do amazing things for your Google rankings. There is also evidence that longer content tends to rank higher on Google, with first page results averaging 1,890 words, so planning a series of long-form editorial pieces could be a good approach. Here are some great tips on how to do content marketing on a bootstrap.
Building industry partnerships:
Nurturing relationships with industry associations and influencers is valuable for a variety of reasons, including networking, sponsorship and joint promotional opportunities. But did you know it can also help your SEO? One reason is that it can give you the chance to be listed on online directories relevant to your industry, providing valuable backlinks to your site. Not only that, but friendly associations can also provide you with opportunities to contribute blogs and articles, again generating backlinks and organic traffic. As industry bodies are generally ranked highly by Google, these can have a significant positive impact on your ranking.
While Google has said that links on social media don’t directly affect your rankings, your reach and engagement on these channels can still influence your SEO in an indirect way. That’s because building a thriving online community by posting interesting, original posts is likely to generate more shares, awareness and make it more likely that other sites will link to you, all generating valuable Google juice. High social awareness is also going to drive more traffic to your site, which means a higher click-through rate – something Google values highly as a measure of engagement and user-experience.
Driving organic search
Finally, PR is one of the most effective ways to boost organic search for your business, by generating valuable third-party endorsements, while raising awareness and educating your target audiences about what you do. The more people read about your business in their favourite magazines or most trusted newspapers, or hear about you at an industry event, the more likely they are to search for it combined with a relevant keyword. This not only drives more traffic to your website but also means Google will increasingly associate your site with that particular keyword - and the more it happens the more likely you are to rank for that keyword alone.
So, plenty of food for thought as you plan and scope out your campaigns for the next 12 months. We can’t wait to see how many of our predictions come true, and what else the world of marketing and PR has in store!
Convinced?! If you’re ready to start nudging your business up onto page one of Google and ahead of the competition, a PR freelancer is a fantastic place to start. The Work Crowd has freelancers specialising in all areas of marketing and PR, across a whole host of industries. Just register here to get started!