How To Combine SEO and PR To Own the Front Page of Google

Facebook’s multi-billion dollar IPO set the Web ablaze. For weeks, even months, the online world hummed with news and rumors, gossip and predictions, fantasy and hype surrounding the world’s biggest social network.

And every business owner, CEO and marketing manager saw, first-hand, the incredible impact of this digital social buzz on the stock price of a company (FB listed at $38 per share on May 18, 2012).

Social (and search) marketing and branding had come of age!

Now imagine John Doe, your typical investor seeking a good venture to park his funds for high return. He probably has a few options, one of which is now his favorite choice because a trusted friend (who understands these things well) told him so over drinks last night. But before plunking down his cash, John wants to make absolutely sure. He fires up his laptop and runs a search on Google.com for the company’s news.

What he’ll find on the front page (or two) will help him decide where to invest his $100,000 capital. What your company does by way of strategic search engine optimization (SEO) will decide which pages he’ll find there!

Why You Need To Be Found on Search Engines

In a recent survey (Fleishman Hillard 2012 Digital Influence Index), 89% of consumers used Internet search engines to make purchasing decisions. To be positioned in front of this audience of potential buyers, every company and business must have a significant search engine presence. With trends indicating that the Internet trumps even friends and family when it comes to influencing choices, implementing a strategic SEO plan is no longer optional for CEOs and business owners – it is mandatory if you want to survive and thrive.

Why do you need a strategic approach?

Traditional ways of ranking a company’s website higher on search engines revolved around a set of processes called SEO (search engine optimization). The goal was to get one’s website to show up at the top of results on Google, Bing and other search engines, by constructing a website focused on business critical keywords and phrases.

But that’s no longer enough. You should aim to have multiple resources that showcase your brand, evangelize your business and spotlight your company, all showing up on the front page of Google. In fact, your goal should be to own the front page of search results!

An intelligent synergy of SEO and public relations can accomplish this.

When your company gets media coverage on online newspapers, news websites and other media channels, these authoritative resources will themselves rank well on search engines. Along with your own corporate website, these supplemental channels that serve as ‘marketing vehicles’ for your brand and products, will dominate the entire page of search results. You’re leveraging the power of other people’s websites.

It then ripples further. A positive emotional feeling about your company will give any journalist who Googles you the perfect framework upon which to base a write-up. Investors who read what the reporter publishes will be favorably impressed by it.

All of this ultimately bolsters your brand, becomes a solid defense (reputation management) against myths and rumors, and serves prospective investors, partners and clients with all relevant information they need to discriminate in your favor. You can win them over to your way of thinking, influence their actions, share facts and figures they need to logically support their emotional desire to do business with you, and convince them to invest in you, or to refer new clients to you.

In these tough economic times, you must earn the right to survive. With the growing complexity of our online eco-system, people and companies are spending too much time and resources trying to find the right tools and techniques to get their website ranking higher.

But they are overlooking the basics. Other things that come first, even before a new visitor arrives at their website. The questions prospects are asking themselves as they hit your home page. And that’s why 99% of them ignore what’s on that flashy company website designed with state-of-art technology… because it’s not what they really want!

Building your brand through search, and structuring your online presence to target their needs through intelligent SEO, will cut through the clutter and speak directly to your ideal prospects… winning you the battle for their hearts, minds – and wallets!

is Head Of SEO at MediaCom Norway, and Columnist at Search Engine Land, and blogger at well-known websites like MOZ and SEOBook. He can be found on Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn and his Norwegian SEO blog.

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