September 12, 2011
We previously drafted a post on SEO tips for PR pros. These aren’t just tips we’re offering in theory. At LEWIS, we’re actively implementing search engine optimization as a part of our digital communications processes with all our clients who value visibility through modern communications channels. In fact our philosophy is simple: modern communications professional should be digitally-savvy enough to produce and market content on all channels: search, social, mobile and everything in between. This involves technical, research, content creation / marketing skills and goes beyond traditional public relations. We believe these are skills that are not reserved purely for SEO or social media-specific firms. In fact, we envision a future where specialist firms will become irrelevant, because sophisticated clients will have expectation that their vendors are able to deftly execute communications strategies that are platform-agnostic. So, what are some specific examples of the campaigns – and results achieved – by LEWIS teams and clients?
Having a website that is both human and search engine friendly is essential. As we work on websites and spend every day analyzing data, we’ve been able to leverage this intelligence to create optimization best practices that meet both brand marketing and visibility goals. To share a brief example, as part of a digital consulting project for Progress Software, we analyzed the Progress DataDirect website from a code, configuration and site architecture standpoint. From this, our team developed several opportunities to improve results from organic search. We worked with DataDirect developers on improving site and server configuration, CMS modifications, structural changes, and addressing search engine crawler issues. During this process a majority of the critical code-level issues found impacting website performance were addressed. In the following months, the Progress DataDirect website saw a 409% increase in monthly search engine impressions from baseline, along with a 21% increase in monthly natural search engine traffic.
A social media marketing program that doesn’t involve SEO is falling far short of its potential. That’s because any links generated through social participation only improve the search visibility of a brand’s commercial content if that content is optimized. This fact was not lost on the team at Neustar. Its Internet Infrastructure Services (IIS) team operates in an ultra-competitive niche where being found organically is essential to growth and referenced in social is essential to their brand awareness. That’s because their audiences rely on the web to find solutions, make decisions and network. Neustar has seen more than 250% increase visibility in search rankings from baseline for targeted phrases across the product websites for UltraDNS, Webmetrics and BrowserMob. In addition to visibility, the sites are also seeing increased natural search traffic for high-value terms researched in our keyword glossary.
Technical-friendliness of websites and content optimization are the bread and butter of search visibility. But without promotion, link acquisition and building “signal” for a brand on the web, an optimized web presence is worthless. That’s because the search engines use signals generated organically to help sort the wheat from the chaff. Promoting a site requires creative content. As an example of this, a recent infographic we produced for antivirus and internet security software provider F-Secure brought to life the history of the computer virus in a visually compelling and highly sharable format. The results of this include acquiring high quality links and mentions from tier-1 publications such as Mashable and Guy Kawasaki’s Holy Kaw!. Not to mention thousands of Tweets, Facebook likes, and shares across social platforms to these and other stories as the infographic was copy-pasted around the web to personal blogs, social networks and media outlets in the tail.
The above three examples are just pieces of larger strategies being implemented for each brand. Whereas many speak hypothetically about SEO together with PR, at LEWIS we’re integrating inbound tactics into our mix and acquiring results for clients today. Is your communications firm living at the intersection of search, social and PR?