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…
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.
Clients often ask Arketi’s search team, “What is a good Domain Authority?” or “What should our Domain Authority be?”
Naturally everyone wants their company site to have a Domain Authority of 100. In the real world, however, that perfect score is reserved for a select few giants, like Facebook and of course, Google itself.
Some SEO experts say a good Domain Authority is between 35 and 50, while 50 and above is outstanding. In reality, there’s no simple answer to the question. Domain Authority is not a measure of your SEO efforts – it’s really a competitive metric best used to compare your site against others in your market. Provided your Domain Authority is close or better than those of your competitors, you’re in good shape and likely to rank well in search results.
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 – alongside the Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times – just ten 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.
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.
For an even more powerful link, suggest the reporter also link to a specific piece of content on your site, that is mentioned in or relevant to the article. For example, if you referenced a research report your company released, linking to the actual report on your website is a win-win-win. You get the link to your company domain which helps with your SEO, the reporter gets a stronger piece, and readers get an easy path to in-depth information that makes the article even more helpful.
Consciously including content in an interview or bylined article that you know has in-depth content behind it is a savvy PR move from which the reporter, the reader and your business will all benefit.
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.
Using your keywords is essential, but it’s also important to know when enough is enough. Ensure you don’t sound like a broken record. A good rule of thumb is to ensure only five percent of your content are keywords. If you go above that, you become a keyword stuffer – and search engines don’t reward that tactic.
Content is the cornerstone of PR. And because words are all that matter to search engines, it’s only logical that PR and Search should work hand-in-hand. By treating the two as interdependent tools in your B2B marketing toolkit – like a drill and a drill bit – you’ll realize amplified results in both PR and Search Marketing. In addition, this new line of thinking will help ensure you stay one step ahead of other B2B marketers.
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