With the increasing weight of local search engine optimization (SEO) in search results, the need to gain public relations (PR) exposure and mentions from local media channels, publications, social media, and other forms of local media becomes increasingly important.
Google has continued to tweak their algorithms to show results pages with the local “3-pack” which display the top 3 businesses within the specific area that satisfy the local searchers intent. Getting on the local top 3 pack is challenging and requires the business to think globally, while acting locally. To achieve local search engine optimization success, businesses must start to integrate local public relations efforts with local SEO guidance in order to yield the highest rankings results from local searches.
Local Public Relations’ Rising Importance to SEO
Public Relations (PR) is about generating and leading awareness of your business through media opportunities, partnerships, and outreach. With local SEO, this often means getting involved with your local community that brings positive light and attention to your acts. The higher quality media you can attain by getting mentioned properly, the more times Google picks up these signals to raise your rankings on the result pages.
Google wants to offer results to people that are best going to fulfill searcher’s intent. This means that Google has understood that offering search results based on local offerings close to the business will satisfy their search intent to a larger extent. Being mentioned in a media article that wrote about your public relations involvement in the country, state, county, and city of your business location will send local signals to Google that you are active in the community. With more activity surrounding your business, the buzz will get noticed, first by readers, then by search engines to help you master local search results.
How to Connect PR and Local SEO Marketing
Working together as a team to conduct holistic campaigns that deliver a consistent message and awareness to the right type of audience is your goal. All your public relations efforts can be done according to PR best practices, but if you are not actively tuning the finer SEO details, then the PR efforts will not achieve its full potential return value in terms of search visibility. Getting to the right types of events, audience, and media outlets with a specific message and links around researched phrases and focus is crucial.
Creative Campaign Ideas and Goals
As public relations and search engine optimization professionals, working together means coming up with ideas that are going to make a difference and pick up the right types coverage that is going to spark interest. Integrating the campaigns will help leverage public relations and search engine optimization goals together to increase brand awareness.
Keyword and Citation Strategy
PR and SEO must work together to figure out a strong cluster of keywords that the campaign is going to stand for around a specific business offering and value proposition. You need an SEO expert who can scout out longer phrase terms that bring in the best quality and quantity traffic to yield marketing results. You must be able to integrate the message with the researched phrases which can be done using the keyword research planner. Being able to deliver speeches, quotes, testimonials that adhere to what the company wants to be known for will help create a brand identity.
It is also vital to create a consistent citation of the business by making sure the media includes the business name, address, and phone number and hopefully website of the (NAP + W) somewhere on the article. This way Google can crawl the article and better understand your business location and citation. By focusing on expressing your activities using researched keywords and consistent NAP, you are going to send signals to Google that are going to help your business be categorized and indexed in the proper way.
Media Targets and Contacts
Getting your articles distributed on local websites that are relevant to your business’ target audience, industry, and location is key for your public relations and search engine optimization efforts. Getting published on one highly relevant topic and local domain will have much more positive effect on SEO ranking than getting published on multiple lower relevant websites that have nothing to do with geographical or topical relevance.
Arguably the most important reason to combine public relations efforts with SEO is getting high-quality links to your website from industry authoritative and related media outlets. The SEO team and PR team should work together to include the right types of links with the right anchor text to the correct landing pages.
Getting links from your public relations efforts from local media will send signals to Google that your website should be ranking higher for local search results, while also helping you achieve a natural link profile.
Link reclamation is something that many public relation agencies do not focus on. However, it has been a SEO tool that has been used since the beginning of SEO tactics, and is still powerful today. Prospecting and being able to find past articles that have mentioned your business before, and having the eloquence to get linked back to your website should be a heavy combination of PR and SEO marketing efforts.
The integration of PR and SEO will allow you to tell a full story that is going to have the maximum potential for outreach, speaking the right message, to the right audience.
How to Increase Local SEO Visibility using Public Relations
Getting your business mentioned on highly authoritative and local websites is challenging. More now than ever, you must find creative ways to help make a difference in your community to get noticed. You can do so by trying these tactics and creating partnerships with people in your local vicinity to send the most signals to Google that you are indeed an active business within the area who deserves natural and organic exposure on their targeted search engine results.
Sponsoring local sports teams
Preferably, the larger following the team has to its website, the more equity that comes from the sponsorship mention. Receiving a link to your website for the sponsorship through an article post, or image link is best practice. The link mention sends signals to Google which connects the dots that you do business in that area, and should probably be ranking higher for the local searches.
Support a local charity
Showing that you are willing to go beyond pure business by doing something helpful for a well-known and local charity will the gain attention of the public. While helping those in need for the larger charities is great, getting press around a charity based in the location of your own business will do wonders for your local SEO.
Create a local scholarship
Offering a scholarship to your cities university, or special local program will get you unique media exposure. If you can get your business mentioned on a .edu, .gov, or .org, or even just a local news publication website in your local area, you will have taken massive steps for more exposure on local search results. Do not be afraid to be proactive and reach out to media outlets to increase the awareness of your scholarship to attract people to apply. By doing so, you are giving people a genuine and positive reason for them to talk about your business.
Host or Join a Community Event
Find or host an event that you can engage with for your local community. Host a marathon, concert, food drive, block party, giveaway, or join sort of event that is going to bring people together and likely attract media attention. Send tips about your event before and after to local online news publications, magazines around your niche, local blogs, social media communication beforehand to create some engagement to build up the event success. If you are joining an event, they are likely going to have their own website, in which you will get mentioned on for participating or hosting.
In all, you should be integrating you public relations and search engine optimization efforts more now than ever if you wish to gain exposure on local search results. It is becoming harder to rank on the local 3-pack as more businesses are getting a foothold on digital marketing best practices. To stay ahead of the competition, you must collaborate your team efforts to get an edge listed on the top of the local search results.