“While my SEO service agent develops my website and monitors the SEO performance, what in my power can I do to ensure my brand’s online success?”
This is yet another article about SEO strategies for small businesses. SEO is an evolving field, and exciting updates are always waiting to be shared!
In Part 1, we introduced what SEO is, explaining concepts such as website optimization, content, on-page SEO, local SEO, and more.
In Part 2, we showed you that balancing SEO and search engine ads (aka PPC) can help you balance between short-term advertising and long-term inbound marketing for your small business.
In Part 3, we challenged you to think about the marketing needs of your business and to pick the right agent for your project.
In Part 4, we listed some of the most popular SEO tools available online.
So, is this Part 5 of the series? Not exactly. We’ve realized that our series has been focusing on technical and analytical SEO – things that our team can do well in our Bali production house.
But we haven’t written anything on what you can do to improve your business’s online presence while our team works on the technical stuff. If you care about your brand’s online success, this article is for you.
I want to lower my SEO project investment risks!
SEO is a time-consuming process.
Sometimes you question yourself on whether investing in SEO projects is worth the time and money. It is natural and healthy to experience this doubt. This means that you are fully engaged with your brand’s marketing efforts.
A common misconception about outsourcing an SEO service is that many people think it’s the magical solution to all their SEO problems.
In reality, while SEO services can help you maintain your website’s content generation activity and optimize front- and back-end components for better crawlability, many of the SEO factors are still beyond our control.
Low season, poor market research, and little social sharing are all factors that can indirectly affect your site’s ranking.
Even though working purely on the technical aspect can lead to better ranking positions in the long run, there is another way in which you can speed up the process (and reduce your SEO investment risks) by employing the forgotten strategy of digital public relations.
(Re)introducing Digital PR
When people think of SEO, they think of online tools, meta-tag optimization, and programmers speaking technical lingo. But that is only half the concept. SEO also relies on the social aspect of inbound marketing, and this is something that is in your total control.
Search engines, like Google, rank websites that are credible, authoritative, and valuable.
But credibility, authority and value are NOT rank factors, and there is no metric that can measure them directly. Why? Because these characteristics are influenced by real people who feel compelled to share your content with their friends on the Internet.
The way that Google knows that your website is credible, authoritative, and valuable is by looking at the number of quality links that refer back to your website, also known as backlinks.
How do you get backlinks? We hope that you’re not thinking of buying links because Google can know this, and penalize your website!
You earn backlinks by actively contributing to your industry-related community. This is done by sharing your content, re-sharing your friends’ content, communicating with one another and creating relationships between you and everybody in the market.
This is your typical public relations work, done digitally.
3 Digital PR strategies which you can employ
1. Influencer marketing
Influencer marketing in this context is slightly different from social media influencer marketing. You will still need to connect with an industry thought leader – someone who is widely accepted by your industry-related community, probably someone with a high number of followers.
The caveat here is that you shouldn’t ask them to share your content. Instead, create a genuine professional relationship first. Contact them with a personalized email, introduce yourself as a content creator from a relevant industry, and DO NOT offer money in exchange of anything.
When you are comfortable with each other, propose a collaboration for new content. Content creation is not easy, and even professional content creators would love some help from you.
You can offer to guest post (for free), or simply exchange ideas. You can also ask for insights or quotes from your content partner (yes, we can now ditch the word ‘influencer’) and then proceed to write your content.
Make sure at least one person (most likely your content partner) anticipates the content. This will compel them to mention your brand at least once, and this ‘influencer’ is now your new content creation friend. This is a much more sustainable approach to organic influencer marketing than to plainly pay them.
2. Share your content on social media
Platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn are used by professionals. LinkedIn, in particular, provides a clean article display system, much like Medium and other free third-party blogging sites.
Post your blog article on your website, but don’t forget to recreate that content in places where the market congregates. Now you might be asking, “If I post my article on LinkedIn or Facebook, would people NOT go to my website and I miss out on potential traffic?”
The point of this exercise isn’t necessarily to get more traffic, although this can happen. The point is to build your brand awareness. You can build your brand in search engines (which would take a while) or you could instantly reach out to a relevant audience, and let them know that “the rest of the good stuff” is in your website.
Social media sharing can also potentially help you with your content partner program, so it’s worth a try.
3. Pay a local guide blog platform for inclusion into their listing
Wait, didn’t we mention that we shouldn’t pay for backlinks?
Paying a local guide to include your business into their list isn’t the same as paying for backlinks. In fact, there is no guarantee that any of these soft-selling digital PR techniques can give you direct links even with money involved.
You’re not paying influencers to link to your website – you build a good relationship with industry thought leaders in the hope that they will recommend you to their followers.
Even links coming from social media platforms to your website is a ‘nofollow link’, meaning search engines won’t see this as a rank factor. You can spam links as you like, but you won’t rank high on search engines! (Avoid it; this can be detrimental to your ranking)
You are paying local guides (for example, online travel blogs such as HoneyCombers, Trip Advisor, Zomato, etc.) to mention you in one of their long-post articles.
They may or may not include links to your business, but their readers will learn about you organically.
More than Backlinks: Digital PR goes beyond SEO
There is an added benefit to purely organic, social-powered inbound marketing through digital public relations. It allows you to learn whether or not the content is valuable to your target readers.
You can have the best SEO tools to measure the performance of your content, but it would also be nice to hear directly from your community about your content quality.
This allows you to learn from your successes and mistakes; to plan and create better content that will ultimately generate conversion.
Once a week, our copywriters create engaging content for your target readers. We often refer to old web pages that generate the most conversion and optimize the meta-tags, title-tags, keyword placement, and so on.
This allows the newly optimized web pages to reappear in search engine results. You can use a similar strategy to update old content by yourself and reap the fullest traffic potential.
Would you like some help with SEO?
Island Media Management offers a holistic SEO service. This means you can implement SEO strategies for your business even if you don’t have a website yet. We can help design and develop your website, publish shareworthy blogs and social media content, maintain and optimize your website to increase your KPIs and SEO goals.
Like what you’re reading? Share an article to those who will love it!