For most small businesses, being on page one of google search results is the holy grail of digital marketing.
If potential customers can find your website really easily, then you’re guaranteed more income, right?
So, when someone is searching for terms related to your business, you want your website to rank highly on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
There are several ways your PR efforts can help your website feature high up in the ‘organic’ search results without having to use paid advertising.
THE BEAST OF GOOGLE SEARCH RANKINGS
When you search on Google, it returns results based on how it indexes information. It’s a complicated beast and forever evolving the way its maps this.
There are technical elements to the way your website is built that mean Google gives it greater credibility. For example, you can:
- carefully select your domain name
- use header tags in a specific way
- use keywords in the content
- provide internal links between pages and also link out to external sources.
- link out to external sources.
Google works out what each website page is about, and what it should be about to satisfy the intent of a searcher, but it doesn’t only use the technical aspects of a website to do so.
In recent years, Google has also placed more emphasis on the quality of the content and also the authority of other external websites that refer to that content.
This means you can use your PR efforts to help improve your Google ranking.
CREATING AUTHORITY LINKS TO YOUR WEBSITE
Links to your website from external prominent publications are absolute gold dust.
Google places a lot of trust in what it calls ‘authority’ sites and these are simply high-quality websites that are respected by knowledgeable people in that particular industry.
They are websites that provide really good, useful, quality content to users that means they are high value and often result in high social media shares.
Authority sites publish trustworthy information and also link to other trustworthy places on the web.
News publications are such sites.
So, by building relationships with journalists, reporters, and editors and having your business stories feature in the press you build external links back from highly authoritative sources and Google loves you.
The trick here is to make sure you always have links back to your website.
A few links from large authority websites hold far more weight than hundreds of spammy links that were built solely to attempt to manipulate the search rankings.
Using bloggers to help your search rankings
Likewise, having your website links back from high-quality blogger sites is helpful because Google views them as having authority.
Grow relationships with bloggers and other social media users who have engaged, substantial readerships.
Offer to guest write or blog for other established publications and websites.
Or if you have a product, offer it to a blogger in your industry to review for free.
Or provide testimonials to other websites for products or services you use.
As with the press, always make sure you include a link back to your website.
Using social media to increase your search rankings
Social media channels such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and a multitude of others are extremely important ways to gain incoming links which are based upon organic interest in your website.
Google watches social signals carefully. Facebook likes, shares, Twitter tweets, and even Pinterest pins are showing up on its radar.
So make sure you have social links both on your website and also that you are sharing content on social media that links back to your website.
And if you’re not on Google+, sign up now.
Google gives its own platform users the most ranking recognition, followed closely by Facebook. However, relatively few small businesses are signed up to Google+ so, if you aren’t, go and create a Google+ my business page now.
So, there you have it. Without even touching the technical aspects of your website or reviewing or writing any website copy, you can use your existing PR work to grab the holy grail of digital marketing and shoot your website up the Google rankings.
Your checklist on how to use PR to get on the first page of Google