So you want to improve your reputation as well as your presence in your local market. To attain this goal, two key methods emerge as pillars: public relations and local SEO. These two foundations are frequently tackled independently, including by various teams, but linking them from the start is a surefire way to succeed.
Complementary Strategies: Local SEO & Public Relations
SEO is mostly in the owned media bucket in the PESO Model®, which you can learn all about (and even get certified in) right here on Spin Sucks, while PR (particularly media and influencer relations) fills out the majority of the earned media bucket.
However, these tactics straddle the two buckets and compliment each other, particularly in local SEO.
(Full disclosure: I was undecided about which category SEO belonged in and, like a total nerd, emailed Gini directly to ask her thoughts.) Fortunately, she was gracious enough to give me an answer. She explained, “We positioned it between owned and earned.” “You can’t have SEO without content, and earned linkbacks help you rank higher.”)
Local SEO methods like listing regularity, on-page optimization, and reviews might help you achieve that goal if one of your PR goals is to improve your affects a specific location and awareness. Local SEO’s major goal is to increase local search ranks; quality backlinks and in-market material from PR are critical for ranking success.
In short, a public relations strategy and local SEO go hand in hand.
Local Search Engine Optimization 101
You’re most likely reading this from the standpoint of a public relations professional.
Let’s start at the beginning if you don’t have much expertise with local SEO.
Local SEO is a subset of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that focuses on how your company ranks in local searches in search engines.
Most analysts think that Google’s local search algorithm differs slightly from its regional or international search algorithms.
Local searches, for example, show you a map and the top results in your area just above organic results.
If you Google “hair salons” or “grocery stores,” you’ll get local results that include a map.
A Local Pack is made up of that maps and the listings that go with it.
Despite the fact that Google never discloses its specific search ranking algorithm, specialists have provided insight into what matters.
Consider this analysis on search engine ranking criteria.
In relation to local organic outcomes, the importance of those components varies slightly for the Local Pack.
Averaging the elements’ importance across both sorts of local results:
On-Page Optimization (24%)
All of these considerations may appear daunting, however there are a few basic actions you can do to get started.
I’m not going to talk about behavioral or personalization in this piece because they’re based on the searchers and visitors to your site, they’re not the most essential elements, and there’s not much you can do to better them.
Let’s look at the other five components, what you’ll do to enhance them, and also how they affect your total public relations approach.
Although this may appear to be the most technical and perplexing component, there are two primary methods for optimizing your site for local searches:
- NAP (Name, Address, Phone): These three pieces of information are required by Google in order for you to be considered for local search results.
- Keywords, consider what individuals will be browsing for and avoid using jargon. There are many free keyword research tools available, including Google’s own Keyword Finder. Keywords should be used in landing page titles as well as meta descriptions. As you create your content strategy, incorporate as much of your city and local material as possible.
Your domain authority will increase as you improve your site and enhance other factors.
Note: if you have many locations, you should create a separate page for each one, complete with your NAP information that Google may utilize.
Google My Business and Customer Reviews
When you combine the two, they account for the majority of your localized search engine rankings.
A Google My Business (GMB) listing is required to appear in local search results.
This is a simple step that has a significant impact.
Your core category and, if applicable, words in your GMB company title are the two most important factors that influence your results.
Concentrating on your GMB reviews, on the other hand, involves more effort.
In GMB Reviews, Google considers three factors: quality (star rating), frequency, and keywords mentioned in the review.
In local search, having a great review generating technique makes all the difference.
Backlinks are the internet’s currency.
The more respectable sites that link to your site, the more authority you gain in Google’s eyes.
This is most likely the most effective technique to include local SEO into your Public Relations Strategy.
Keyword and geographical mentions with connections back to your site are quite valuable, and the more credible the website, the better the connection.
Obtaining high-quality backlinks requires a strong media relations approach.
Looking for PR placements in local media and blogs will assist you improve your city’s rankings.
Despite the fact that this is a minor element, it might be a simple way to boost your local search ranks.
You can look at the major directories, such as Yelp! and Facebook, but you should also hunt for more specialised directories that appear when you search for your keywords.
UpCity, for example, is a local search engine that lists B2B network operators such as digital marketing companies and IT service providers.
Make sure your NAP is consistent across your website, GMB, and any other directories or citations.
Including Local SEO in Your Public Relations Strategy
Companies spend countless hours and thousands of dollars on local SEO, and merging all of these strategies into your public relations strategy can seem daunting at first.
To ensure that your PR strategy has a significant impact on your local SEO, focus on two primary areas: identifying your keywords and putting them into your material, and establishing localized, high-quality links back to your site.
As a result, not only will your local search rankings improve, but your whole local reputation and presence will as well.