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Digital pr what every pr pro needs to know about seo

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Presentation by Greg Jarboe, president and co-founder of SEO-PR, entitled, "Digital PR: What every PR Pro needs to know about SEO," which was delivered on December 11, 2020, at PR Asia 2020.

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Digital pr what every pr pro needs to know about seo

  1. 1. Digital PR: What every PR Pro needs to know about SEO Greg Jarboe President and co-founder of SEO-PR PR Asia 2020 11 December 2020
  2. 2. The first thing every PR Pro needs to know is that search engines present unpaid ‘editorial’ results • I began my public relations career in 1981 – a decade before the world wide web became publicly available. • I heard the term, “Search Engine PR”, for the first time in 2002 – at the Search Engine Strategies conference. • I discovered back then that search engines present unpaid “editorial” results AND paid listings. • And I learned that “Search Engine PR” is about influencing those (largely) unpaid results. Source: Danny Sullivan, “Introduction to Search Engine Marketing,” Search Engine Strategies 2002 conference handbook
  3. 3. Google launched Google News in September 2002 and users could find press releases in the results • In August 2003, I optimized three press releases for the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO), a new trade association. • Each optimized release focused on a different angle of their launch story, but all of them linked to SEMPO.org. • SEMPO was able to track 21% of its total revenues for the period, from new members, supporters and sponsors, directly to the three optimized press releases. Source: MarketingSherpa, Case Study, “How to Get Your Press Release Picked up by Google News,” 07 October 2003
  4. 4. I want to share what I’ve learned about SEO over the last 18 years that PR Pros need to know today • Identify how SEO reverses the hypodermic needle model of communications. • Learn how to leverage and boost search rankings for press releases through credible content. • Find out how to leverage Google, YouTube, Google Images, and Google News for crisis response. • Discover how to work with SEO teams to align communications efforts for greater success.
  5. 5. The traditional press release still uses a classic model of communication developed back in 1939 • Harold Lasswell developed this model at the beginning of World War II. • Lasswell was Chief of the Experimental Division for the Study of War Time Communications. • Lasswell said five elements impacted the effectiveness of communication: • Who is your spokesperson? • What is his or her message? • Which communication channel does he or she use? • To whom is he or she speaking? • What effect does he or she have? Source: Greg Jarboe, YouTube and Video Marketing: An Hour a Day, Second Edition, November 2011
  6. 6. Lasswell’s model was adopted by PR textbooks, but ‘outputs’, not ‘outcomes’, often replaced ‘effects’ You can hand your CEO a pile of clippings and estimated reach counts, but at the end of the day, proven sales are what matters. Outputs Outtakes Objectives Outcomes
  7. 7. I was one of the first to recognize that Google News had reversed the classic model of communication • Who: Identify your target audiences. • Seeks what: Find 2 or 3 relevant search terms that your target audiences are likely to use. • In which channel: Reach out to online opinion leaders before using one of the press release distribution services crawled by Google News. • From whom: Edit your press release - particularly the headline and first few sentences - and make sure that it actually includes your target terms. • With what effect: Add links intended to help people find interesting, related content, when applicable, and measure your results. Source: Greg Jarboe, YouTube and Video Marketing: An Hour a Day, Second Edition, November 2011
  8. 8. More importantly, I also realized that an optimized press release can generate traffic, leads, and sales Traffic Leads Sales Keywords While press and analyst influence remain important, lead generation and sales are the new metrics of marketing performance.
  9. 9. For example, a series of 4 optimized press releases generated over $2.5 million for Southwest Airlines • First, I conducted keyword research to find relevant news search terms. • Then, I included those search terms in the headlines and lead paragraphs of a series of four press releases. • Next, I embedded a unique URL in each release that offered further information to consumers and linked them to the point-of-sale. • This enabled Southwest Airlines to track $2.5 million in ticket sales back to our 4 optimized press releases. Source: Institute for Public Relations, “You Are Now Free To Link PR and Sales,” Golden Ruler Award for Excellence in Public Relations Measurement presented to Southwest Airlines and SEO-PR, 2005
  10. 10. I’ve also used Digital PR to generate measurable results for a wide variety of other organizations • This includes: • 5 B2B leads worth $200 million for Symmetricom’s chip-scale atomic clocks. • 450,000 unique visitors in 24 hours to The Christian Science Monitor’s website. • 36% increase in brand searches for the Better Homes and Gardens website. • 129,155 entries to the annual cover photo contest for Parents magazine. • Double-digit increases in delegates and exhibitors for SES Conference & Expo. • 27% of the leads for a new online Master’s program at Rutgers University. Source: SEO-PR’s Digital Marketing Case Studies
  11. 11. The key objective of the press release SEO process is to give users the information they’re looking for • Google’s webmaster guidelines say: “Think about the words users would type to find your pages, and make sure that your site actually includes those words within it.” • Like consumer research, keyword research can help you find out what people think about your kind of product, what language they use when they search for the topic, what attributes are important to them, and what promise would be most likely to make them buy your brand. Source: Google, Webmaster Guidelines
  12. 12. Go to Google News, type Singapore Airlines into the search box, and see the autocomplete suggestions Source: Google News, autocomplete suggestions for Singapore Airlines on 01 December 2020
  13. 13. The engineers who developed the Google News algorithm seem to have used the inverted pyramid • The headline is the most important SEO factor. • Headlines should be clear, concise and more than 2 and less than 22 words long. • Subheads are weighed slightly more heavily than body copy. • Subheads must stay true to the story, may contain relevant synonyms, and can be from 50 to 160 characters long. • The lead paragraph is weighed more heavily than later paragraphs. • Write press releases primarily for readers, not for search engines.
  14. 14. In addition to optimizing press release headlines and subheads, optimize the lead paragraphs, too • Search experts say the natural- language processing algorithms scan at least the first hundred words or so of news articles. • They say journalists would be wise to include two or three of the most- searched keywords that relate to their subject in the first few sentences. • “That’s not something they teach in journalism schools,” said Danny Sullivan, a journalist and analyst. “But in the future, they should.” Source: Steve Lohr, The New York Times, “IDEAS & TRENDS; This Boring Headline Is Written for Google,” April 9, 2006
  15. 15. Add links to help people find interesting, related content on your site and measure your results • The primary reason to add links to a press release is to help people find interesting, related content on your site, when it’s available. • But, you can also use Google’s free Campaign URL Builder tool to help you measure your results. • This tool allows you to easily add campaign parameters to your URLs so you can track Custom Campaigns in Google Analytics. • You also have the option of converting the long tracking URL to a short link. Source: Google Analytics Demos & Tools, Campaign URL Builder
  16. 16. The review of air cleaners by Consumer Reports ranked lower than our optimized press release Source: Google News search results for air cleaners, 14 September 2005
  17. 17. Your crisis response plan needs to include Google, YouTube, Google Images, as well as Google News • Professor W. Timothy Coombs of Texas A&M University, the guru of crisis response, says the “preventable crisis” requires a very different response than for other types of crises. • A “preventable crisis” is one that an organization brings on itself, caused by human error or management misconduct. • Examples include the Boeing 737-MAX crashes in 2018 and 2019 as well as the WeWork IPO fiasco of 2019. Source: Google search engine results page (SERP) for Boeing 737-max crashes, 01 December 2020
  18. 18. Dr. Coombs’ Situational Crisis Communications Theory (SCCT) examines types of crisis response • Apology: Take full responsibility for the crisis and ask stakeholders for forgiveness. • Excuse: Minimize organizational responsibility by denying intent to do harm and/or claiming inability to control the events that triggered the crisis. • Reminder: Tell stakeholders about the past good works of the organization. • Scapegoat: Blame some person or group outside of the organization for the crisis. • Victimage: Remind stakeholders that the organization is a victim of the crisis too. • Attack the accuser: Confront the person or group claiming something is wrong with the organization. • Denial: Assert that there is no crisis. Source: Katie Paine, The Measurement Advisor, “Yes, You Can Use Artificial Intelligence To Predict A Crisis,” 24 March 2020
  19. 19. Types with fewest negative articles and shortest time between crisis peak and neutral coverage Source: Katie Paine, The Measurement Advisor, “Yes, You Can Use Artificial Intelligence To Predict A Crisis,” 24 March 2020
  20. 20. You can also optimize your YouTube videos so the public as well as the press can find them in a crisis • YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine, behind only Google. • In addition, YouTube has steadily (and stealthily) increased its organic visibility in Google’s SERPs over the past three years and surpassed Wikipedia for the #1 spot a year ago. • So, you should optimize your YouTube videos so “the public” as well as “the press” can find them in a crisis. • Include relevant keywords in your video’s title, description, and tags. Source: Boeing’s YouTube channel, “Boeing 737 MAX Test Pilot Talks About Safety Commitment,” 06 November 2019
  21. 21. Search for WeWork in Google Images finds photos of office and coworking space, not its failed IPO • Google Images is a way to visually discover information on the web. • Users can quickly explore information with more context around images with new features, such as image captions, prominent badges, and AMP results. • By adding more context around images, results can become much more useful, which can lead to higher quality traffic to your site. • You can aid in the discovery process by making sure that your images and your site are optimized for Google Images. Source: Google Images results for WeWork, 01 December 2020
  22. 22. Release with a video got more views and link clicks than one with photo and one without multimedia • By April 1, the first news release for Jazzy Nola, which included a video, had 5,059 release views and 230 link clicks, according to Business Wire’s NewsTrak Reports. • The second release for Orleans Grapevine, which included a photo, had 3,406 release views and 181 link clicks. • The third release for Glam 504, which included no multimedia, had 3,255 release views and 169 link clicks. Source: SEO-PR, “Get City Dealz, SEO-PR, and Business Wire Win SNCR Award,” 11 November 2013
  23. 23. In February 2018, I trained the whole Marketing and Communications staff at Dickinson College • The Office of Marketing & Communications promotes the people, programs and initiatives of Dickinson College to a wide array of internal and external constituencies. • The office is composed of: • Design Services. • Editorial Services. • Media Relations. • Photography and Videography. • Online Marketing. • Print Center. Source: Dickinson College Office of Marketing & Communications
  24. 24. Since then, Dickinson.edu has gone from 6,000 to 15,000 different keywords in Google search results In December 2017, Dickinson.edu had 6,000 different keywords in the top 50 results on Google In December 2020, Dickinson.edu had 15,000 different keywords in the top 50 results on Google Source: SEO-PR, SpyFu SEO Recon Files Reports for Dickinson.edu in December 2017 and December 2020
  25. 25. Since then, Dickinson.edu has gone from 29,000 to 112,000 clicks from organic placements on Google In December 2017, Dickinson.edu got 29,000 clicks per month from its organic placements on Google In December 2020, Dickinson.edu got 112,000 clicks per month from its organic placements on Google Source: SEO-PR, SpyFu SEO Recon Files Reports for Dickinson.edu in December 2017 and December 2020
  26. 26. Since then, the value of Dickinson’s organic clicks has increased from $29,000 to $127,000 per month If Dickinson.edu had to get 29,000 clicks per month via Google Ads, then they would cost $29,000 If Dickinson.edu had to get 112,000 clicks per month via Google Ads, then they would cost $127,000 Source: SEO-PR, SpyFu SEO Recon Files Reports for Dickinson.edu in December 2017 and December 2020
  27. 27. Since then, the competitive share of Dickinson’s organic search traffic has increase from 13% to 30% Relative to their top 5 competitors, Dickinson.edu had 13% share of the organic search traffic in 2017 Relative to their top 5 competitors, Dickinson.edu had 30% share of the organic search traffic in 2020 Source: SEO-PR, SpyFu SEO Recon Files Reports for Dickinson.edu in December 2017 and December 2020
  28. 28. While pandemic drove down enrollment at other colleges, demand for Dickinson remained strong • Now, Dickinson College isn’t trying to double or triple its enrollment of 2,345 full-time students. • Its goal is to continue providing a different kind of liberal-arts education at a time when the coronavirus is forcing other colleges and universities to make deep and possibly lasting cuts to their liberal arts programs. • So, the increase in organic search traffic has enabled Dickinson to weather the storm with far less pain.
  29. 29. That’s some of what I’ve learned about SEO over the last 18 years that PR Pros need to know today • How SEO has reversed the hypodermic needle model of communications. • How to leverage and boost search rankings for press releases through credible content. • How to leverage Google, YouTube, Google Images, and Google News for crisis response. • How to work with SEO teams to align communications efforts for greater success.
  30. 30. This is the one-hour long version of an intensive five-hour long Virtual Masterclass on Digital PR Source: “Digital PR: Outsmart Google’s algorithm for maximum viewership with SEO”

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