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If you’ve got a website, or indeed have a client who has a website to be proud of then you want to show it off. SEO is the best way of getting the attention of the search engines, and those who use them, but there’s much more you can be doing besides.
Any PR specialist will tell you that anything can be promoted; it’s just about knowing where and how to do it. With PR fundamentally centred on generating buzz, the Internet is the perfect forum for getting the message out there loud and clear.
Online PR is by no means a detached process from your general search engine marketing processes. It can incorporate elements of SEO and link building, whilst of course spreading the word about your latest innovation, newest products or achievements. Any successful PR strategy just needs an angle; something that will make you stand out and unique from the competition.
Creating Buzz through a Unique Perspective
Finding that angle isn’t always straightforward though; how can you persuade someone who may only have a passing interest in what you’re offering to visit your site? Well, that’s the skill of PR.
Search engines are still the most consistent sources of traffic. There are very few sites that have succeeded in spite of Google, Yahoo and Microsoft; we use them to search for almost everything, which is why SEO still has to come first. But if you’re in a position to diversify and want to explore new channels, PR is the way forward.
Modern PR isn’t simply about creating press releases and sending them off to the local paper or releasing it through the newswire. Today, that same press release can be submitted to a site like PRWeb and within hours showing on journalists’ screens as well as search engine results pages across the world. It’s a far more dynamic system that provides opportunities for distribution that would not have been possible even in the last decade.
Of course, the modern digital press release has another major bonus, HTML coding. That’s right, most sites will allow you to include embedded links within the copy before distribution. Therefore, once it’s out there on the Internet your site is gaining SEO strength as well as providing an interesting news story that could well get picked up.
Promoting a site can take on many forms though. For example, once you’ve created a press release that links to your website, you can then go and promote the release itself. This can be done in many ways, but the most popular currently is social media. Sites like Twitter allow quickfire messages with short links, providing the perfect opportunity to talk up your own press release. Social bookmarking is another fantastic way to increase exposure; just get on Digg or your own site of choice and flag it up, you’d be surprised how many extra reads your press release can achieve.
It might sound a little complicated, promoting a promotional press release, but the truth is it can get results. PR today is about finding ways to utilise the resources available to their optimum. If you’ve spent a few hours writing a release, you want to make sure that it’s read, so why not spend the same amount of time promoting it? The same of course is true of most things, including blog posts and news stories within a site; by channelling visitors through intermediary content, you can get better results than providing a direct link.
Online users seek authority in the information that they read. For most, spam is still a major turn-off, so avoiding this online PR disaster – i.e. using inappropriate hashtags in Twitter promotions – is just as key to success. Provide people with something interesting, informative, eye-catching, captivating, intriguing – however you wish to term it – is a fantastic way of helping boost site traffic and profile.
Don’t let your hard on-site work go to waste. If you’ve got it, flaunt it; show the world what you’re all about through the search engines and innovative online PR.
Samantha Noble is well known within in the search industry, she even won the UK Search Personality 2016 at the UK Search Awards in November. This year, she continues to make an impact on the industry by judging not only one, but three, prestigious industry awards.