From what I’ve seen, not many people have mastered the intricacies of marketing for an organization with multiple sites. Of course, proven strategies like local paid search and reputation management have – and likely will continue to be – the mainstays of marketing for any type of business. Particularly for multi-local organizations, paid search ads have proven to target hyperlocal audiences with impressive precision.
But not many people really master the art of multi-local SEO – the ability to have organic and map listings ranked well on search engine results pages.
Could the answer be public relations?
How digital public relations represent the new SEO
It seems like every year Google implements some type of algorithm change that completely redefines what SEO is. But when you look past these individual updates, I think you’ll see a global shift towards the need to attract high-quality brand mentions into digital spaces. In other words, if you want each of your individual locations to rank well in organic search and card listings, you need other websites to talk about your business.
How do you create this type of buzz that others want to be a part of? Look no further than PR.
These three components should be part of any modern marketing strategy:
• Connect with your audience on a personal level
• Establish a level of trust
• Become an authority
The purpose of public relations is to achieve these three things. In the past, PR and SEO seemed to follow two different paths. The focus of public relations was to build relationships with the public, while SEO was about dealing with websites and search engines.
But as Google and its counterparts seek to deliver an improved user experience, these two paths seem to merge. in one. In order to build a relationship with a website, you may now need to build a relationship with the audience.
I believe SEO and PR have become one and the same. How, then, can you use public relations to increase the search capacity of your many business sites?
Build relationships with members of the media
It’s no secret that search engines like Google and Bing love links from authoritative websites. That’s why it’s important that your individual sites build relationships with local journalists, reporters, and editors. A few links from reputable sites in your specific regions can carry enough weight to improve your rankings.
Of course, relationship building is only half the battle. Your locations must To do something for those media people to want to mention online. That something could be the opening of a new store, but why not think outside the box?
The media love it when local businesses volunteer their time for an event or cause. Consider organizing an annual fundraiser for the communities where you are present. It can help you get extremely influential links (and free press).
Focus on four types of content
Content marketing isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a viable way to reach your audience and make them want to know more about your brand.
However, there is more to content marketing than just producing a blog post after a blog post. Make no mistake, blog posts are still important for ranking high and delivering valuable content. But there are other types of content that your audience is looking for, including infographics, videos, and podcasts.
It’s not even like you have to recreate the wheel every time you want to produce content. An article you wrote six months ago could easily be turned into an infographic or the subject of a podcast.
Rather than putting your content ideas in silos, think of them as the hub of a wheel from which many spokes originate.
For every piece of content you produce, ask yourself, “How do I distribute this content to the masses?” “
Partnership with other brands and influencers
Let’s say you are producing content that references another brand or influencer. If you were to contact the person you mentioned, you could build a partnership that could eventually turn into more links and traffic to your site. But how do you start this conversation with another brand or influencer?
You can send a simple message that notifies the person you mentioned (or linked) to their post in one of your posts. However, before doing this, it is usually best to have established a relationship with them first. Fortunately, social media channels have made it easier for you to reach industry leaders and forge a relationship. Connect with them on LinkedIn, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter. Then reach out.
You can also start conversations by interacting with their content. Stand out from the hordes of other reviewers by offering insightful commentary or a unique perspective on the article.
Also, of course, share their content. They’ll be more likely to reciprocate when you contact them.
Become an authority with the right PR strategy
We never really know what Google or other search engines have up their sleeves when it comes to SEO. But one thing is certain: Google’s algorithm changes continue to push brands and businesses to focus on the importance of authority.
By building relationships with local media and other brands and influencers and delivering quality content, each of your placements can benefit from a boost in organic search results as well as card listings.