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Using SEO as a PR Metric

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"Using SEO as a PR Metric." Presentation by Greg Jarboe at Measurement Base Camp May 19, 2020

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Using SEO as a PR Metric

  1. 1. Using SEO as a PR Metric Greg Jarboe President and co-founder of SEO-PR Measurement Base Camp 2020 May 19, 2020
  2. 2. I’ve used the ‘five Ws (and one H)’ as the outline for my presentation on using SEO as a PR metric • Who are your target audiences? • What are they seeking? • Where do they seek it? • When do they seek it? • Why should you incorporate SEO metrics into your PR measurement program? • How do you optimize your press releases, photos, and videos?
  3. 3. Who are your target audiences?
  4. 4. If your only target audience is journalists, then your traditional media relations staff will be cut in half • Total U.S. daily newspaper circulation (print and digital combined) was 28.6 million for weekdays and 30.8 million for Sundays in 2018, down 45% from 52.3 million for weekdays and down 42% 53.2 million for Sundays in 2006. • According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 37,900 people worked as reporters, editors, photographers, or film and video editors in the newspaper industry in 2018, which is down 49% from 74,410 in 2004. Source: Pew Research Center, “State of the News Media,” July 9, 2019
  5. 5. In addition to pitching stories to journalists, SEO lets you put the public back into public relations Harold Lasswell developed the classic model of communication back in 1939 “With search engines, this whole process is reversed,” I said in 1998 Source: Greg Jarboe, YouTube and Video Marketing: An Hour a Day, Second Edition, November 2011
  6. 6. How do you explain the benefits of using SEO as a PR metric to an established consumer brand? • In 1998, I said, “Many potential buyers are no longer waiting passively to receive messages – 98% of which are of little interest to them anyway. Instead, they’re using search engines to find the 2% that they’re already interested in. If they find your site during that search, they’re already predisposed to take action.” • In 2019, a study found 83% of U.S. shoppers who had visited a store in the last week said they used online search before going into a store. Source: Greg Jarboe, YouTube and Video Marketing: An Hour a Day, Second Edition, November 2011
  7. 7. How do you explain the value or benefits of using SEO as a PR metric to an established B2B marketer? • Research shows that those involved in the B2B buying process are already 57% of the way down the path to a decision before they’ll actually perform an action on your site. • 90% of B2B researchers who are online use search specifically to research business purchases. • 71% of B2B researchers start their research with a generic search. • On average, B2B researchers do 12 searches prior to engaging on a specific brand’s site. Source: Kelsey Snyder and Pashmeena Hilal, Think with Google, “The Changing Face of B2B Marketing,” March 2015
  8. 8. What are they seeking?
  9. 9. I’ll quickly explain keyword research: Think about the words users would type to find your releases • 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
  10. 10. Here’s a list of some places to find keywords and free tools for conducting ad hoc keyword research • Places to find keywords • Google’s autocomplete feature. • Google’s “People also ask…” boxes. • Google’s related searches feature. • Free keyword research tools • Answer the Public. • Google Ads Keyword Planner. • Google Trends. • Keywordtool.io. • Microsoft Advertising Intelligence. • Moz Keyword Explorer. • WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool. Source: Greg Jarboe, SEO-PR, “What is the best keyword research tool for SEO? (It’s your brain!),” Sept. 25, 2019
  11. 11. Go to Google News, type Southwest Airlines into the search box, and see autocomplete suggestions
  12. 12. Let’s define short tail keywords, long tail keywords, and keywords somewhere in the chunky middle • What are short tail keywords? • Short tail keywords are search terms with only one or two words. • “Buy socks” is a short tail keyword. • The top 10,000 keywords make up less than 20% of overall search traffic. • What are long tail keywords? • Long Tail Keywords are the longer, highly specific 4-6 word phrases. • “Buy breathable running socks” is an example of a long tail keyword. • 70% of overall search traffic comes from long tail keywords. Source: Raven Tools, Glossary, Short Tail Keywords and Long Tail Keywords
  13. 13. Where do they seek it?
  14. 14. 94% of searches in U.S. happen on Google, Google Images, YouTube, Google Maps, and Google News • Everyone knows that Google has the largest search engine market share. • But, most communications professionals still don’t realize text and visual content can be optimized so their target audiences can find the information they’re seeking with: • Google. • Google Images. • YouTube. • Google Maps. • Google News.
  15. 15. 6 of the top 12 videos and photos in Google Images for Get City Dealz in New Orleans are from SEO-PR
  16. 16. Our optimized press releases about Consumer Reports reviews ranked higher than their reviews Source: Google News search results for Consumer Reports, Sept. 21, 2005
  17. 17. Many SEOs and PR professionals may not realize how valuable press release SEO efforts can be • Our early press release SEO efforts produced: • $2.5 million in airline ticket sales for Southwest Airlines in 2004. • $200 million in leads for Symmetricom’s Chip-Scale Atomic Clocks in 2005. • 450,000 unique, daily visitors to The Christian Science Monitor’s site in 2006. • A record 1,100 attendees to the Wharton Economic Summit in 2007. • A 36% increase in brand searches for Better Homes and Gardens in 2008. • 859 backlinks to Parents magazine’s new Toy and Product Recall Finder in 2009. Source: Greg Jarboe, Search Engine Journal, “Why News SEO Is Crucial to Publishers Covering the Coronavirus Pandemic,” March 15, 2020
  18. 18. When do they seek it?
  19. 19. Search interest in early decision and early action ramps up in August before many colleges reopen Source: Google Trends, US search interest in early decision and early action over the past 5 years, March 16, 2020
  20. 20. Dickinson College used keyword research to build an editorial calendar for their blog posts and videos • In January 2018, 3,000 pages of Dickinson.edu were showing up in the top 50 search results on Google for 6,000 different keywords. • And Dickinson College was getting 29,000 clicks a month from their organic search rankings on Google. • If they had to buy all those organic clicks via Google AdWords, then they would cost $29,000 a month. • So, keyword research helped identify their top 100 biggest opportunities. Source: Greg Jarboe, SEO-PR, “Is the digital marketing strategy for most US colleges fatally flawed?,” Jan. 11, 2020
  21. 21. Keyword research helped Dickinson College triple its organic search traffic to 89,000 clicks a month • In January 2020, 4,000 pages of Dickinson.edu were showing up in the top 50 search results on Google for 10,000 different keywords. • And Dickinson College was getting 89,000 clicks a month from their organic search rankings on Google. • If they had to buy all those organic clicks via Google Ads, then they would have to pay $38,000 a month. • Keyword research helped Dickinson to triple its organic search traffic. Source: Greg Jarboe, SEO-PR, “Is the digital marketing strategy for most US colleges fatally flawed?,” Jan. 11, 2020
  22. 22. Dickinson College also ripped large share of organic search traffic away from Swarthmore and Bucknell Dickinson.edu had 13% share of organic search traffic in January 2018 Dickinson.edu had 45% share of organic search traffic in January 2020 Source: SpyFu, SEO Recon Files Reports for Dickinson.edu in January 2018 and January 2019
  23. 23. Why should you incorporate SEO metrics into your PR measurement program?
  24. 24. Rutgers University asked us to help them generate 30 applications to a new online Master’s program • In January 2019, the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations (SMLR) hired SEO-PR to help launch a new Online Professional Master’s in Human Resource Management (MHRM) program. • Our objective was to generate 30 applications by August 1, 2019. • The tuition for SMLR’s online professional MHRM program $38,016. • Our campaign used a combination of press release SEO, website SEO, Google Ads, and LinkedIn advertising. Source: Greg Jarboe, The Measurement Advisor, “Rutgers Master’s Launch Optimized by SEO-PR Boosts Enrollment by $380K,” Sept. 30, 2019
  25. 25. We optimized a multimedia press release and added a copy to the news section of SMLR’s site Source: Greg Jarboe, The Measurement Advisor, “Rutgers Master’s Launch Optimized by SEO-PR Boosts Enrollment by $380K,” Sept. 30, 2019 • We used keyword research to find out what people were looking for, and we used Google Surveys to find out why. • Respondents with 4 or more years of HR experience said the following factors were important when selecting a university that offers an online Master’s degree in Human Resources Management: • “No GRE/GMAT required,” • “Top-ranked university,” • “Fully 100% online program.”
  26. 26. We collected campaign data by adding parameters to URLs to identify the content that referred traffic • Google’s Campaign URL Builder allows you to add campaign parameters to URLs so you can track Custom Campaigns in Google Analytics. • This enables you to quickly see the number of users, new users, sessions, bounce rate, pages/session, average session duration, conversion rate, goal completions, and goal value that have been generated by your social media posts, social videos, mobile ads, email newsletters, and press releases. Source: Google Analytics Demos & Tools, Campaign URL Builder
  27. 27. PR and SEO generated 10 of the 38 applications (27%) to Rutgers’ new online Master’s program • We used Google Surveys again after the campaign to measure brand lift. • Our campaign increased familiarity with and likelihood to recommend Rutgers. • We tracked the source of 694 leads. • Press release SEO generated 8% of leads. • Website SEO generated 19% of leads. • Google Ads generated 18% of leads. • LinkedIn ads generated 37% of leads. • The launch campaign generated 38 applications, which represent up to $1,444,608 in tuition for Rutgers. Source: Greg Jarboe, The Measurement Advisor, “Rutgers Master’s Launch Optimized by SEO-PR Boosts Enrollment by $380K,” Sept. 30, 2019
  28. 28. How do you optimize your press releases, photos, and videos?
  29. 29. We tested an unoptimized press release with a video and an optimized press release with a video Source: Greg Jarboe, The Measurement Advisor, “Measuring the Effectivness of News Releases – a Case Study,” Feb. 17, 2016
  30. 30. We used keyword research to see which relevant topics the public and press were more interested in Rutgers Offers Next-Generation Supply Chain Strategy Program • “Rutgers” is a keyword, but it is hard to rank well for it, especially during the college football season. • “Next generation” is a search term, but it is frequently used for “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” • “Supply chain” is a relevant, two- word search term, so we used it in the optimized press release, too. Internet of Things (IoT) Impact on Supply Chain Explored by Rutgers Business School Executive Education Mini-MBA Program • “Internet of Things” is a relevant three-word search term and gets 49,500 monthly searches. • “Rutgers Business School” is a relevant three-word search term and gets 1,000 monthly searches. • “Mini-MBA” is a relevant two-word search term and gets 590 monthly searches. Source: Greg Jarboe, The Measurement Advisor, “Measuring the Effectivness of News Releases – a Case Study,” Feb. 17, 2016
  31. 31. Both press release distribution services emailed reports 2 hours after their release crossed the wire • The unoptimized release was distributed on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015. • It had 151 release views. • 1 tweet about the release by a person with 924 followers. • The optimized release was distributed on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. • It had 886 release views, 146 multimedia views, and 29 link clicks. • 19 tweets about the release, including ones by @debraruh (111,000 followers), @edaccessible (65,400 followers}, and @TheIoT (40,100 followers). Source: Greg Jarboe, The Measurement Advisor, “Measuring the Effectivness of News Releases – a Case Study,” Feb. 17, 2016
  32. 32. We added parameters to the URLs to identify which press release referred the most traffic • 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
  33. 33. Hopefully, you’ve now learned how to use SEO metrics to show the value of your PR efforts • Who are your target audiences? • What are they seeking? • Where do they seek it? • When do they seek it? • Why should you incorporate SEO metrics into your PR measurement program? • How do you optimize your press releases, photos, and videos?
  34. 34. Why does it take a minimum of 4.3 hours to cover Search Engine Land’s Periodic Table of SEO Factors? • SEO seems like alchemy to the uninitiated. • Search Engine Land’s “Periodic Table of SEO Factors” provides a guide to 29 success factors in six groups – content, architecture, HTML, trust, links, and user – that are foundational to an effective SEO strategy. • On the upper right, you’ll find six Toxins, which represent practices that can harm your SEO efforts and even get you penalized by the search engines. • Below that, you’ll see four Emerging Verticals that are growing in importance. Source: Search Engine Land, “Periodic Table Of SEO Factors 2019”

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