Editor’s Note: Mike Neumeier is presenting Pulling Back the Curtain on the Client/Agency Relationship: How to Pull Off a Win-Win at the PRSA 2015 International Conference on Sunday, Nov. 8, 2:45–3:45 p.m. The following is a guest post previewing his session.*
The typical B2B researcher performs 12 online searches before engaging with a brand. We marketers should pay attention to this little nugget tucked away in a recent report from Google. In fact, it should prompt us to ask “what has PR done for Search Marketing lately?”
With “digital native” millennials on the cusp of becoming the largest group of potential B2B buyers, search and PR are on a collision course.
To ensure that collision results in collaboration rather than recrimination, here are four things worth considering…
Know Your Domain Authority
Domain Authority is a score (on a 100-point scale) that predicts how high a website will rank in Google’s search results. It is calculated from dozens of factors, primarily metrics such as how many domains are linking to the site and how authoritative the source of those links is in turn. It goes without saying (but we will anyway): improving Domain Authority is difficult to do and can take time.
Maximize Your Media List
In today’s rapidly changing media environment, knowing which media outlets to spend your time with can be tough — blogs, deep verticals and online media groups pop up daily. For example, when The Huffington Post launched in 2005, who’d have thought it would rank among the world’s leading media outlets like The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times just 10 years later?
While it’s still important to target media outlets relevant to your company, it makes sense to take it a step further. Consider the Domain Authorities of your media targets. Prioritize your media list from highest to lowest Domain Authority to ensure you’re spending your precious PR time earning links that will provide the most value. Remember, links from authoritative sites deliver more SEO power to your site.
Know How to Ask for a Link
Many media outlets, especially trade media, will automatically include a link back to your website when you contribute to an article or provide a byline. This drives readers back to your website and if the link is from an authoritative site, it helps boost your Domain Authority.
If you don’t get a link, it doesn’t hurt to request one, although it’s probably best not to demand one. Ask for the link to go to your homepage from the first mention of your company.
Work in Your Keywords
In the research report mentioned earlier, Google found 71 percent of B2B researchers start their research with a generic search term rather than a search for a specific brand name. Buyers are looking for products first, brands second.
So give them what they want. Use your keywords every chance you get. Include them in news releases (the first words of your headline), bylines, boilerplate and blog posts. But don’t stop there — think of all the content pieces you produce. Add keyword-rich scripts to videos posted on your site, ensure graphics have alt tags with optimized descriptions that explain the image and consider posting transcripts of webinars.
Mike Neumeier, APR is a principal of Arketi Group. He has 20 years of proven experience in PR and digital marketing. His agency is consistently recognized by BtoB magazine as one of the nation’s “Top BtoB Agencies.” He also was named the PRSA 2013 Technology PR Professional of the Year. Follow him on Twitter @neume