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Using SEO as a PR metric by Greg Jarboe



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Presentation by Greg Jarboe entitled, "Using SEO as a PR metric," at the Measurement Base Camp on Feb. 9, 20201

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Using SEO as a PR metric by Greg Jarboe

  1. 1. Using SEO as a PR Metric Greg Jarboe President and co-founder of SEO-PR Measurement Base Camp 2021 February 9, 2021
  2. 2. Most communications professionals still use a model of communication developed back in 1939 • Harold Lasswell developed this model at the beginning of World War II. • As Chief of the Experimental Division for the Study of War Time Communications at the Library of Congress, Lasswell analyzed German propaganda films. • Lasswell said five elements impacted the effectiveness of communication: • Who said it? • What was said? • In which channel was it said? • To whom was it said? • What effect did it have? Source: Greg Jarboe, YouTube and Video Marketing: An Hour a Day, Second Edition, November 2011
  3. 3. PR textbooks adopted Lasswell’s model, but used outputs instead of outtakes or outcomes as metrics You can hand your CEO a pile of clippings and estimated reach counts, but at the end of the day, proven sales are what matters. Outputs (clippings) Outtakes (surveys) Inputs (message) Outcomes (anecdotes)
  4. 4. I was one of the first to realize that Google News had reversed the classic model of communication • Who: Identify your target audiences. • Seeks what: Find 2 or 3 relevant search terms that your target audiences are likely to use. • In which channel: Target news sources and use one of the press release distribution services crawled by Google News. • From whom: Edit your press release - particularly the headline and first few sentences - and make sure that it actually includes your target terms. • With what effect: Add links intended to help people find interesting, related content, when applicable, and measure your results. Source: Greg Jarboe, YouTube and Video Marketing: An Hour a Day, Second Edition, November 2011
  5. 5. More importantly, I also realized that an optimized press release can generate traffic, leads, and sales Outputs (traffic) Outtakes (leads) Outcomes (sales) Inputs (keywords) While press and analyst influence remain important, lead generation and sales are the new metrics of marketing performance.
  6. 6. For example, a series of 4 optimized press releases generated over $2.5 million for Southwest Airlines • First, I conducted keyword research to find relevant news search terms. • Then, I included those search terms in the headlines and lead paragraphs of a series of four press releases. • Next, I embedded a unique URL in each release that offered further information to consumers and linked them to the point-of-sale. • This enabled Southwest Airlines to track $2.5 million in ticket sales back to our 4 optimized press releases. Source: Institute for Public Relations, “You Are Now Free To Link PR and Sales,” Golden Ruler Award for Excellence in Public Relations Measurement presented to Southwest Airlines and SEO-PR, 2005
  7. 7. I’ve used SEO metrics to measure the results of PR campaigns for a wide variety of other organizations • This includes: • 5 B2B leads worth $200 million for Symmetricom’s chip-scale atomic clocks. • 450,000 unique visitors in 24 hours to The Christian Science Monitor’s website. • 36% increase in brand searches for the Better Homes and Gardens website. • 129,155 entries to the annual cover photo contest for Parents magazine. • Double-digit increases in delegates and exhibitors for SES Conference & Expo. • 27% of the leads for a new online Master’s program at Rutgers University. Source: SEO-PR’s Digital Marketing Case Studies
  8. 8. I’ve tested press releases with a video, a photo, and without multimedia for 3 New Orleans merchants • In early 2013, the first news release for Jazzy Nola, which included a video, had 5,059 release views and 230 link clicks, according to Business Wire’s NewsTrak Reports. • The second release for Orleans Grapevine, which included a photo, had 3,406 release views and 181 link clicks. • The third release for Glam 504, which included no multimedia, had 3,255 release views and 169 link clicks. Source: SEO-PR, “Get City Dealz, SEO-PR, and Business Wire Win SNCR Award,” November 11, 2013
  9. 9. I’ve tested an unoptimized press release with a video and an optimized press release with a video • The unoptimized press release with a video generated 26 new users to the Rutgers Business School Executive Education (RBSEE) website, but no registrations for the new course. • The optimized press release with a video generated 70 new users to RBSEE’s website, and 6 registrations. • At $4,995 per registration, that’s $29,970 in incremental revenue, or 12.9X times more than the cost of the optimized press release with a video. Source: Greg Jarboe, The Measurement Advisor, “Measuring the Effectivness of News Releases – a Case Study,” Feb. 17, 2016
  10. 10. If your only target audience is journalists, then your media relations staff should be cut by about 23% • From 2008 to 2019, overall newsroom employment in the U.S. dropped by 23%, according to Pew’s analysis. • In 2008, there were about 114,000 newsroom employees – reporters, editors, photographers and videographers – in 5 industries that produce news: newspaper, radio, broadcast TV, cable and digital-native news publishers. • By 2019, that number had declined to 88,000, a loss of about 27,000 jobs. Source: Pew Research Center, “U.S. newspapers have shed half of their newsroom employees since 2008,” April 20, 2020
  11. 11. SparkToro found a large audience of 4,170 people who frequently talk about European Patent Office 11 Source: SparkToro, Audience Intelligence, January 23, 2021
  12. 12. 57.1% of these people are located in the U.S., 20% in the U.K., 10.6% in London, and 5.4% in New York 12 Source: SparkToro, Audience Intelligence, January 23, 2021
  13. 13. EPO’s audience engages with/shares Left-Center news websites with mostly-high factual reporting Source: SparkToro, Audience Intelligence, January 27, 2021
  14. 14. Think about the words users would type to find your release and then conduct keyword research • Google’s webmaster guidelines say: “Think about the words users would type to find your pages, and make sure that your site actually includes those words within it.” • Like consumer research, keyword research can help you find out what people think about your kind of product, what language they use when they search for the topic, what attributes are important to them, and what promise would be most likely to make them buy your brand. Source: Google, Webmaster Guidelines
  15. 15. Go to Answer the Public, enter a topic, brand, or product to discover what people are asking about Source: Answer the Public:
  16. 16. shows up for 15,000 different keywords and should be getting 44,000 clicks per month Source: SpyFu, SEO Recon Files for, Jan. 15, 2021
  17. 17. SpyFu identifies 50 keywords that get 81 million searches per month that isn’t ranked on • and its competitors often show up in the same search results – that’s why they are competitors. • But, sometimes they are showing up and is not. • Right now, there are about 81 million searches per month where is not contesting its competitors. • Look at keywords like patentability searches, patenting ideas, and patents for inventions, and decide whether it makes sense to counter them. Source: SpyFu, SEO Recon Files for, Jan. 15, 2021
  18. 18. The public also uses Google to find information concerning subjects of value and interest to them • One woman’s car-buying journey included over 900 digital touchpoints in a 3-month period. • 88% of people who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a related store within a week. • 90% of B2B researchers who are online use search specifically to research business purchases. • On average, B2B researchers do 12 searches prior to engaging on a specific brand’s site. Source: Lisa Gevelber, Think with Google, “The Car-Buying Process: One Consumer's 900+ Digital Interactions,” March 2016
  19. 19. SparkToro identifies the press accounts that heavily engage those interested in European Patent Office • The Press tab in SparkToro uses behavior data from website and social sharing, engagement, and following. • The sources cover thousands of publications across numerous segments of media. • Sometimes, a search will pull back mostly mainstream media at the top, as in these results for the people that talk about the European Patent Office. • Other times, you’ll see more niche specific publications. Source: SparkToro, Audience Intelligence, January 27, 2021
  20. 20. SparkToro also identifies the websites and social accounts that most heavily engage EPO’s audience 20 Source: SparkToro, Audience Intelligence, January 23, 2021
  21. 21. EPO’s audience watches, subscribes, listens-to, and engages-with these YouTube channels and podcasts 21 Source: SparkToro, Audience Intelligence, January 23, 2021
  22. 22. The engineers who developed the Google News algorithm seem to have used the inverted pyramid • The headline is the most important SEO factor. • Headlines should be clear, concise and more than 2 and less than 22 words long. • Subheads are weighed slightly more heavily than body copy. • Subheads must stay true to the story, may contain relevant synonyms, and can be from 50 to 160 characters long. • The lead paragraph is weighed more heavily than later paragraphs. • Write press releases primarily for readers, not for search engines.
  23. 23. In addition to optimizing press release headlines and subheads, optimize the lead paragraphs, too • Search experts say the natural- language processing algorithms scan at least the first hundred words or so of news articles. • They say journalists would be wise to include two or three of the most- searched keywords that relate to their subject in the first few sentences. • “That’s not something they teach in journalism schools,” said Danny Sullivan, a journalist and analyst. “But in the future, they should.” Source: Steve Lohr, The New York Times, “IDEAS & TRENDS; This Boring Headline Is Written for Google,” April 9, 2006
  24. 24. European Patent Office could have optimized this press release for the term, patents for inventions Source:, Press release, “New EPO study: European patents preferred tool for the commercialisation of inventions developed by Europe's universities and public research organisations,” Nov. 24, 2020
  25. 25. EPO could optimize a blog post and YouTube video entitled, How do you do a patentability search? Sources: European Patent Office, YouTube channel, “Solving the paradox of patent searching,” June 21, 2019, and Greg Jarboe, Search Engine Journal, “YouTube Algorithm: 7 Key Findings You Must Know,” March 13, 2019
  26. 26. Add links to help people find interesting, related content on your site and measure your results • The primary reason to add links to a press release is to help people find interesting, related content on your site, when it’s available. • But, you can also use Google’s free Campaign URL Builder tool to help you measure your results. • This tool allows you to easily add campaign parameters to your URLs so you can track Custom Campaigns in Google Analytics. • You also have the option of converting the long tracking URL to a short link. Source: Google Analytics Demos & Tools, Campaign URL Builder
  27. 27. Google Tag Manager provides simple, reliable, easily integrated tag management solutions for free • Google Tag Manager gives you the ability to add and update your own tags for conversion tracking, site analytics, remarketing, and more. • There are nearly endless ways to track activity across your sites, and the intuitive design lets you change tags whenever you want. • You can learn the basics of Google Tag Manager as well as strategies and techniques to optimize your tag implementations by taking a free Tag Manager Fundamentals course. Source: Google Analytics YouTube channel, “Google Tag Manager Overview,” Nov. 6, 2018
  28. 28. European Patent Office can use Google Analytics and goal conversions to measure its SEO and PR Source: Greg Jarboe, Search Engine Journal, “3 Strategic SEO Insights & Tactical Advice for 2021,” Oct. 21, 2020
  29. 29. European Patent Office can also use Google Search Console to track clicks for top 5,000 search queries Source: Greg Jarboe, Search Engine Journal, “3 Strategic SEO Insights & Tactical Advice for 2021,” Oct. 21, 2020
  30. 30. You’ve learned why search reverses the model of communication and how to use SEO as a PR metric • Some communications professionals may be reluctant to use SEO as a PR metric because they can be evaluated by their deeds, instead of their words. • But, according to Indeed: • The average salary for a PR manager is $59,698 per year in the United States. • The average salary for an SEO manager is $80,342 per year in the United States. • So, being able to show your contribution to the bottom line can boost your salary by 34.6%.