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The Convergence of PR and SEO: Harnessing the Power of Content, Social and Search

Presented on May 9, 2013

In this webinar, Search Mojo’s Janet Driscoll Miller and Elizabeth Shea of SpeakerBox Communications discuss the increasingly overlapping roles of PR and SEO. By harnessing the power of content, social media, and search, the two can work together to create a truly integrated marketing strategy.

Presenters: Janet Driscoll Miller, President and CEO, Search Mojo and Elizabeth Shea, CEO, SpeakerBox Communications

Presented on May 9, 2013

Kari:

Great, I think we’re ready to get started now. Again welcome everyone. Thank you for coming today’s webinar the convergence of PR and SEO, harnessing the power of content, social, and search. I’m Kari Rippetoe, content marketing manager at Search Mojo and I’ll be serving as your moderator for today’s webinar. Before we get started, I just have a few reminders for you. There will be a Q&A at the end of today’s webinar so if you have any questions for our presenters please feel free to enter them in the Go to webinar questions box at the right of your screen. Also, as always, we are recording this webinar and once the full recording is available, you’ll receive a follow-up email which is usually by Monday at the latest and finally we encourage you to Tweet about today’s presentation and the interesting insights or take-a-ways you’d like to share, so if you do, please use the hash-tag Mojo Webinar. Plus you can also follow us on Twitter @SearchMojo. And now I’d like to introduce you to today’s presenters. Janet Driscoll Miller is the president and CEO of Search Mojo. She has nearly 20 years of marketing experience and in addition to her work in search engine marketing, Janet has a background in marketing communications. She holds a degree in public relations and communications from James Madison University and she’s a frequent speaker at marketing conferences and writes for several blogs and print publications.

We also have with us today, guess presenting, Elizabeth Shea, who is the president and CEO of Speaker Box Communications, which specializes in public relations for enterprise technology companies. Elizabeth has received industry and pure accolades, including the prestigious smart CEO Brava Award in 2009 and the 2008 Women Who Mean Business Award from the Washington business Journal. She serves as chair of the board for the technology marketing alliance, a group she co- founded with other industry partners, and also serves on boards for several global entrepreneurial organizations. Elizabeth is a graduate of Santa Clara University’s Levey’s School of Business, with a degree in marketing. A little bit about Search Mojo. The company was founded in 2005 and specializes in all things search marketing, including SEO, paper click, social media advertising, online reputation management, and content marketing. Search Mojo is headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia, and we also have an office in Charleston, South Carolina. We’ve been featured in several marketing publications and blogs and we also speak at several conferences, including SMX, Marketing Profs Be to Be Forum and PubCon. Our clients include a variety of B to Be and consumer brands, nonprofit organizations, and educational institutions. And just a little bit about SpeakerBox. SpeakerBox is a PR communications firm, that specializes in business-to-business and business-to-government technology companies. They pride themselves on being able to build communications and marketing programs that drive a business outcome, whether its recruiting goals, lead generation, revenue fundraising, or any other type of goal that their clients might have. They are based in McLean, Virginia, and provide public relations, analyst relations, marketing, and thought leadership services. Their clients include a variety of startups, midmarket firms, and large companies in the technology industry. Now I’m going to hand it over to Janet to kick things off. Janet?

Janet:

Thanks Kari. Thanks everyone for joining us today. The first thing I want to talk about is, we’re going to talk today about how PR and SEO are converging. I think the most important things we can talk about, before we talk about the convergence is, we’re going to talk about the components of SEO, because a lot of our talk today is going to talk about the specific components of SEO, the three main components and how PR is affecting each one of these, and how these, you see this overlap going on between these three components. So the three main components we typically focus on from a search perspective are linking, so inbound links from other sites, social media, and content. You’ll notice I’ve made content a very large part of the bubble here because really, content is so important, really that’s what most of our search efferts has been about, promoting content. We’re going to talk a lot about content, but we’re also going to touch on social and how PR is affecting all those in really affecting all SEO overall.

What is this convergence of PR and SEO? What’s been going on? Well, there are many tactics, of course, in PR and SEO, that really often share the same goal and many of their efforts really do overlap. For instance, PR efforts are a type of contact. Everything you do in public relations is oftentimes a piece of content, and it’s another opportunity to have brand content ranked and get exposure in search by doing, taking your press opportunities in public relations opportunities and taking that constant and exposing the SEO, so a lot of overlap there. PR can provide links through press releases or other efforts that you might be doing content creation standpoint and PR content gets hurt socially. So it’s really touching on all three of those parts, that we just talked about from a SEO perspective. And we’re going to start out with content today, and before we do, I’m going to hand it over to Kari, whose going to give us a quick poll.

Kari:

Our first poll for today is, do you currently have a content marketing strategy in place? You can choose from one of those answers, you do, you don’t, maybe you don’t know if you have one in place yet, or maybe you’re not entirely sure what content marketing is. So, I’ll just give you a few seconds to choose your answer and then we will share those answers with you. Great, so I’m going to go ahead close that poll out and it looks like a lot of you already have a content marketing strategy in place, which is excellent and so there are a number of different ways that you can utilize content for your pure efforts which I believe Elizabeth is going to be talking a little bit more about that now, Elizabeth?

Elizabeth:

Thank you Kari. Well, you’re hearing about content, content, content, and obviously there’s no denying that content is king. It’s interesting because when you look at how content used to be consider part of a communications or a PR strategy, almost as if it’s switched and now PR is a parts and a component of your marketing content strategy. So, as Janet mentioned earlier, you look at placement of publications as a piece of content and it’s just different, and it might have a different level of authority, it could be given the publication something that helps provide links back to your site, it can help your SEO value.

So all these things are made basically to contribute to the evolution of PR and search and content working together. So user generated content, we’ll talk about this a bit more, user generated content, storytelling, and any kind of valuable content you create that engages your publics. Those are all components of what you’ll need to have within a communications strategy and a public relations strategy because it helps you to figure out how to better engage, even beyond the SEO value. So you hear a lot about content today but it’s that important in the program. Janet is going to talk a little bit more about the kinds of content that really helped drive SEO specifically because you look at content, it can be used for many purposes beyond SEO, so we’re here to talk about SEO and how that’s impacted and we’re going to get really into some of the details on how to make sure that you maximize that effort. So, Janet?

Janet:

Thanks Elizabeth. There are many types of content that Google and other search engines index, and can actually be ranked as content in search engines, and so we’ll go through a couple of those types of content. The first one here, and I’m showing you is a blog post. So articles and blog posts are really helpful and of course, PR can have a major impact on articles that are placed and for the blogger outreach and so forth, so this is a really great tool that you can use and it has an overlap between PR and SEO. Another one is PDF. So maybe you have your PR team working on things like white papers or articles that you have authored that are in PDF format. So this is an example of a white paper I wrote and how it appears in Google search.

And so Google can actually read, and all the other searches, can actually read information in PDFs as well. Also, video is very popular for SEO. It actually ranks very highly, very quickly, especially in Google. This is an example of how a video, we do these webinars bimonthly and we record them in the archives. So here’s an example of an archived webinar we have, a type of content, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be a webinar archive, it can be any type of content it could be a video release you do. Video press, which can be really popular too, or putting out a video by your CEO talking about something. All of those types of press efforts you might be making, or PR efforts can really be used online.

Then finally, a very popular form content is images, and I wanted to show you here how images appear in Google search. A few years back, actually probably many years back now, Google introduced what they called universal search. And so you can see images themselves actually appear right there in the search results. So I did a search for a Siberian tiger, you can see images right there. And so there’s lots of different types of content and different types of public relations efforts you might be making out there in different formats, and what I want to share with you here is a lot of that is rankable content. So it’s something you can consider, you really want to prep your content well for SEO. And now I’m going to hand it back to Elizabeth to talk about how we can extend our content.

Elizabeth:

Elizabeth: Thanks Janet. It’s Interesting because if you haven’t heard before the placement and publication is considered content for the third time, of course there are other purposes for placement including third-party validation and those sort of things, but it’s just a matter of thinking about differently and from our standpoint, it’s partly why all of these pieces go together, the social and the linking of the content because if you have a piece of content you’re going to make an investment in a piece of content in a guest blog or an article, then it’s important to try to maximize that exposure and extended. So, for SEO purposes, were really here to talk about how content drives SEO beyond some of the other pieces.

We’ve created with them, we kind of follow a five times rule and maybe it’s three times, maybe it’s five times, but to the extent that you can have some form of constant that you created, whether it’s a placement, whether it’s a case study, a white paper survey, and then re-purpose it in different formats and you have to be careful about this, and Janet with talk about it in a minute, but if you can have some original content from the bulk of what that message is all about. As an example, you can take a case study and turn it into a keyword rich press release that is over the wires. So it actually reaches folks that you might want to reach, but it also drives SEO value. You can turn it in a video of testimonials, and this video is ranked high on Google and it’s also something that you can pitch it to a publication. There’s a reporter that might particularly cover a certain industry, make sure that it’s a particular customer story that they might be interested in covering that article. On a case study on your website, a flattering piece. I think you get the idea. The more times you can take a nugget of information and then repurpose it in multiple ways, the more it helps to create that authority for you if you will, and that can be complimented in a place in publication. I know I mentioned that you need to be careful at duplicating content and I know that Janet can give you some more information about that.

Janet:

Thanks Elizabeth. Really you need to be careful about duplicating your content. Have you ever seen a panda bear angrier than this? I’ve never seen an angry panda in my life until I saw this picture, but in SEO, we like to kind of joke around that there is an algorithm update that happened a couple years ago, well awhile back now. A couple called the Panda update, Google likes to name their algorithm updates, and an algorithm update is where they make a change in how they rank websites in their search results. And so this is probably the best picture I could find to really, really express how frustrated I think the SEO’s get with the Panda updates, a very angry panda. But anyways the Panda update was designed originally to reduce the amount of what was called, what we call duplicate content on the Web. This effort started actually years ago, and I saw the first realm of this obsession especially in the news side, where Google said, probably five years back, they said “We’re not going to rerank the same AP stories, so Associated Press stories”, so if you know the Associated Press what happens is they write a story and then smaller newspapers like my hometown newspaper in Charlottesville, they don’t have staff and reporters to send out to Iraq and cover the Iraq war. So they take AP stories and they republish them in Charlottesville Daily Progress. Sometimes they add content to them, sometimes they don’t, and so what was happening was in Google News, you were seeing tons and tons and tons of the same article basically written by the AP thay was showing up in all of these different newspaper sites around the country. So Google was starting back then to say, “We need to reduce the amount of content we’re seeing, because it really isn’t helpful to the user of the searcher.” So, when Panda came out a while back, maybe a year or two back now, they were trying to do the same thing on the Web. They were seeing that there was lots of situations where there’s a duplicate content that exists between different websites and so forth and so they’re trying to reduce that. So, you’ve got to be really careful. It’s something that Google is very cognizant of, and will actually de-rank pages of your website and penalize you for if they think that you’re trying to get around the Panda update. So what you want to think about when you’re reusing content, when you’re using that five times rule, that Elizabeth mentioned, is you want to make sure you try to refresh any of that content before you reuse it. Don’t reuse it necessarily reuse it word for word. So if the content appears on several sites, ideally it should differ in some way. Think that like an exclusive, you give exclusive to someone. If you’re going to use that same content over and over again, try and make sure that it has some substantial difference in it so that Google doesn’t perceive it always as the same content. So now we’re going to talk about the second piece of SEO and that’s linking. What the impact is of inbound links to your site. So why is inbound linking important for SEO? Well, this diagram is to really demonstrate, especially for those of you who may not be as familiar with SEO, how Google really perceives and ranks websites. So these are basically three website here, you’ll see each one has a different number associated with them, a score.

We call this the page rank, or here you see PR8, PR 3, and PR 6. Not to be confused with public relations PR, that PR stands for page rank. And Google’s an initial algorithm and in their initial patent, was actually based very heavily on this whole page rank idea and it’s the idea that inbound links or links from other websites pointing into your website are like votes of popularity. Some websites have more votes than others, and so that’s were page rank comes from, essentially if I had to boil it down, that’s basically what it is. Not only are inbound links important for this page rank idea, but also they help Google understand your authority on a particular topic. So, this is an example I like to give, it’s an older example but when John Kerry was running for president way back in 2004 which seems like eternity now but way back then you’ll see that he actually, his website actually ranked number one for the term waffle, W-A- F-F-L-E-S.

This is a phenomenon called Google bombing and it’s not as common today, Google has definitely taken some action to try and reduce this. What you’ll notice that his website actually outranked searches for other legitimate types of waffle sites like Western Waffles, waffle recipes, but there’s John Kerry at the top. Now the reality was, John Kerry’s website didn’t have the word waffles anywhere on it because he didn’t want to be known a waffler back then. That was kind of a derogatory situation for him, in that particular campaign, and so how this happened was, it was just the quality of the links, the anchor text, or the underlined text that was in those links that pointed to his website and the quantity of those, and he just happened to have more of those than the next guy. So that’s how he ranked. What I want to show here is really that inbound linking by itself can make a huge difference in your SEO. It’s one of the most important factors in SEO, so you can’t take it lightly. So where do the best links for SEO come from? Some of the ways you could take your public relations efforts and really help yourself get some more inbound links and inbound votes that Google values are, for instance, using your keywords in your press releases and making them links. That’s a really valuable way to get some of the links. Links from reputable news sites and blogs back to your content are really, really helpful because the more value Google sees in a news site or blog that is going to be a more quality link for Google. Following up with editors and authors links back to your websites, for instance, one of things we do is, we monitor socially, the social media, we monitor mentions of a particular brand and then we look and see does that article in the mention of that particular brand, does that article have a link back to our brand we’re looking at. And if it doesn’t we’ll contact the editor, author, and ask them nicely and see if they’ll give us a link. There are ways you can follow up there as well, depending on who is writing that article and so forth. We’re always focusing on not just quantity, but quality, Because a link from CNN.com, as an example, could really be more beneficial than a hundred links from smaller sites. So this is again where public relations type efforts really pay off. When you’re using some of the techniques of public relations to get those links you can usually get much higher quality links for moving forward. I’m going to pass it off now to Elizabeth, we’ll talk a little bit more about how you go out and reach out to those folks to get those types of links.

Elizabeth:

Thank you. I have to say that it’s been interesting to see over the past years, there be somewhat of a trend towards, you know, PR’s dead, and to the extent that it matters to develop this earned media opportunity, and we’re here to say that it’s really, really important not to abandon traditional PR because there are other intrinsic efforts and value that come from it, but because we were talking about how it relates to SEO, our point is to say that it is really important to help reach out to those, to the media, to the reporters, the bloggers because they can be your best friend for SEO purposes, but also for some other intrinsic implications of PR, such as some people consume their information through different venues and through different publications and through different outlets. So it’s important to make sure that the people getting the information, because they’re not all going to be driven back to you and they’re not always going to find you based on a search request. So there’s also the, somewhat immeasurable, but it is a third-party validation exercise where if someone is writing about your company, the New York Times, it’s just has a different level of credibility than perhaps even the blogger, or vice versa, a blogger that’s a specific person to your particular industry might have that much more value, in not only a search, but just giving you information that needs to be delivered from that standpoint. We suggest that your thoughtful about how you go about your PR strategies, so you don’t want to take your eye off the ball on how it can impact SEO, and you want to make sure that those are well measured but also make sure that your helping to influence the media list and make sure that they understand who you are, you’re doing the right kind of things to give stories to them that they want to communicate to their readers, or to their audiences, if you will. The final point about the relationships, it’s not uncommon to think that a PR person has a bunch of relationships that you can leverage and you can strong arm people into writing stories and the reality is that you really need to have the right story and tell the right story. If you tell the right story in a way that benefits your keywords, for example, you tell a story that benefits the readers of the publication or reporter you’re trying to reach, and all of those things are going to help you to secure that placement. As Janet mentioned, having an article, having a link back to you from a notable site is so much further in terms of high authority than something you might rate yourself and try to extrapolate to other locations, so it’s important to not, there is still no place for traditional PR and I think we’re just looking at it a little bit different. We’re trying it a little bit differently. We’re trying to make sure that it does value SEO but it also benefits the companies, if you will, on an authority standpoint. So we’re going to talk a little bit about authorship since some, if you go one level down, it’s going to be even more important in PR with writing off articles, things like that, to make sure that your thoughtful in your strategy on how to make sure those articles appear in the right way. Authorship is to going to be pretty interesting. Janet.

Janet:

Thanks Elizabeth. This is a relatively new thing in Google this idea of authorship. Now most people, there is some authorship level available in Bing, but most people are more concerned about Google, and there’s a lot of changes going on with Google this year so I want to focus primarily on Google. First, that there are some things that you can investigate with Bing as well as all around authorship. What you’ll see here is an image that I shared earlier with the PDF that I had written a white paper, and you’ll see that my picture appears to the left of the entry and also elongates the entry and gives it a lot more visibility that a normal search engine result would. This is what Google authorship looks like and so Google has attributed my picture to this particular white paper because it knows I’m the author. You can see it says by Janet Driscoll Miller. Now it is Google’s way essentially to identify authors and establishing authority by an author around different content and it’s tied to Google Plus. We’ll talk a little bit more about that in a minute and again it’s a new way for Google to measure the authority or expertise of the author. So the past is all about the links but now it’s got a lot to do with authorship going forward. it’s currently available on webpages and PDF, currently testing other types of content Google can index and really, for the most part, it’s not really available on video yet, it’s not available images but I do expect for it be expanded. I think this is going to be a huge change for Google and also you should know the Google often infers authorship, in other words, they don’t always, you don’t always have to set this up. Sometimes they will go and look for it. We’ve had some things backfire on us, where they inferred authorship. Actually, I have an article coming out tomorrow on search engine land about this, and it can really backfire on you, so, if you get a chance be sure to read that article about how to ensure that you’re getting the right author snippet it showing up the way you want. What are the benefits of this authorship that I’m showing you? Well, we call this authorship a type of what we call rich snippet. It’s where Google or any search engine adds additional information to that particular search entry and it gives a lot more information therefore the searcher, and they can see if they want to click on that link or not. This was a study that was done by another firm that was looking at a law firm, and what they did was able to get greater control and said okay for the top four results in Google, let’s see what the percentage of clicks that they get is, for the four results, which one gets most clicks and lease clicks without authorship on it. So, there’s no rich snippets there’s nothing else there, it’s just the entry as you would normally see it. So you can see here obviously, I don’t think there’s any shock here. The blue area is the first result, the number one result from an organic perspective, and clearly it gets the lion’s share of clicks. We’re not shocked by that. Of course number two gets the second most and three gets the third most, four gets the fourth most. But look what happens when we actually, on authorship snippet, so we are the authorship to those entries. Shockingly, even though the first result still gets a lot of clicks, look at how much two, three, and four will go up in percentage of those clicks. Basically, what’s happened is the authorship image is allowing that particular entry to get a lot more visibility and thereby draw more clicks away from the first position. And so what this tells us is, you don’t have to be number one in Google from an organic perspective to get just as many clicks, and this is a really important finding. From a PR perspective, don’t you want to get published by an author that can give you the most visibility for your article? That can get you the most clicks of visibility on their story to get more exposure and so this is one of the reasons you should be looking at, working with authors online that have authorship more [??]. Now, how do you implement authorship? Let’s say you have a blog or you have some an article, or PBS white papers that you’ve been writing where you have your PR team writing for you, how can you implement it? Well the first thing is that it all starts with Google Plus. It all starts there and I know a lot of people go, “That’s one more social media I have to work with.” Yes, it is. I’m sorry, but you have to work with it and it’s going to be a necessary evil whether you want it to be there or not. You have to embrace it and know also that your image for the authorship snippet is from your Google Plus profile. It shows that author image, it’s the image from your profile. So you want to choose that wisely as well. Before we continue to tell you how to set authorship Kari is going to run a quick poll for us.

Kari:

Yes, and speaking of Google Plus, we just want to find out from you if you do currently have a Google Plus profile and, as Janet mentioned, yes it might be one of those things where you just don’t want to be on another social media site, no, but Google Plus is pretty important and so she’s now going to, after the poll, show you how to set up a profile, and it looks like a lot of you already have a Google Plus profile and so that’s great and that’s going to tieback to authorship. Janet’s going to tell you a little bit more about how, Janet?

Janet:

Thanks, Kari. I won’t spend too much time then on how to set this up, since most of you have a Google Plus profile, but that is again the most important thing. First and foremost, if you don’t have one, I saw some of you in the poll did not have one yet, go set up a Google Plus profile for your brand and go set one up for you as an individual as well. Brands are not considered authors by the way, just individuals. You will need this set up for the people who are authors in your company, so be sure you have Google Plus profile set up for each of those people. How do you implement authorship based on, after you set up your Google Plus profile? The first step is, in your blog, as an example, you want to link from the author name to the author page. I have a bio page on my website, for my blog that says this is who Janet is, a little bit of bio about me. What’s important here to note is, I know there’s a lot of blogs out there, especially corporate blogs, where you don’t assign an individual as the writer. That’s a mistake. If you want to implement authorship, because again, you’re not going to be able to implement it as a company, you have to do it on an individual basis. You want to make sure that every blog post has a specific person associated with it. From that person’s name on the blog post, you want to link to their author bio page that you want to add.

Now, as an example, we didn’t originally have bio pages on our website for a while because we had bios on our regular websites. We didn’t do that. We had to go and change a few things. So we went and added this link. So you can see here, on the bottom we have an example. Here’s a link to my author page on our blog, and you can see I added rel= author. I just highlighted that there. So you can see, that’s what you need to add, if you have a WordPress template, you can just add it to your WordPress templates, it’s very simple to do. So that’s number one. Number two, you’re going to want to on your author page that your bio page authors bio you want to create a link from that bio page to the Google Plus profile that they have. So again, you need to start with the Google Plus profile, and once you have it, you can link to it. You want time the link with rel= me, and here I’ve highlighted at their, so you see there’s a link to my Google Plus profile and I’ve added rel= me to that particular link. Lastly, three is, on your Google Plus profile, you want to create a link to your blog in the contributor section in the links. This is what that looks like, when you go to your Google Plus profile, there’s area on the about section that allows you to add the things that you contribute to. For instance, you can see that I’ve got my blog there, for some reason that’s on there twice, and I can put any of the blogs that I actually contribute to so that Google understands that I actually write for those , and I’m an author for those. Those are the three steps. Why is this so important?

We talked about you can get more clicks, you can get lots of great visibility from it, that’s fantastic. What are some of the other things you need think about? I mentioned Google has big changes in store and they may be coming this year. We talked earlier about how Google currently ranks websites using a page rank, and inbound links. That’s the current method but what is coming, and what we expect to come, we’ve been hit, and Google has definitely hinted around at, quite heavily, is page rank and author rank. So author rank basically would say Janet as an author, for instance, on SEO might have a really high author rank because Google knows I write about it all the time and so I maybe a subject better author on that topic, but if I wrote about Siberian tigers that’s a much in authority on that one. Maybe I wrote one article on it. So Google will search or rank me as an author as co-authoring, but how authoritative I am on a particular topic. That combined with its existing page rank system is going to be the new way we expect Google to be ranking websites. We do expect this to come hopefully, this year. That’s the expectation for everything. Google’s been kind of hinting about, that it could really come this year. So it’s something we all want to prepare for now so that we can start building our author rank and getting that straight before this big change comes. This for the next big ugly panda shows up. What does author rank mean for public relations and SEO going forward? So first of all, you’ve got to set up that author profile. You’ve got to get all that stuff set up in authorship. What does it mean from a public relations perspective, the SEP perspective going forward? Well, I want to show you a reporter, as an example, who doesn’t have his Google Plus profile, and I’m so sorry to call him out, but I have to do it for example purposes.

What we’re looking at is that it may mean in the future, that you have to, as a PR professional or an SEO professional, you have to really start thinking twice about how you weigh the value of a particular person that you’re pitching because now, the pitch is not just, “Hey did they get a lot of readership,” now who you pitch and who writes about you could affect how that article gets ranked, and their authorship and their author rank for a particular topic. Now, Google’s going to be measuring their authority just like we as public relations type people would be measuring their authority in our industry, or in the technology industry, as an example, as a common writer and this particular beat. Google’s now got it’s own version of measuring the beat and what beat they have. Let me show you an example here. Here’s Craig Timberk [SP]. Now, Craig is, this is an article he wrote on the Washington Post. What you’ll see here is that he writes about Google, and he is a technology author. He’s a tech reporter for the Washington Post.com and when I search for his articles in Google, what I see is that there’s lots of articles by Craig here, but none of them have authorship mark- up. None of them, and that’s not good because what we want to do is you want to make sure his articles might get ranked better because we know that he writes about tech, he writes about Google, so we would expect him to have a high author rank on Google. But if he’s not set up as an author with Google, Google’s never going to know that really. So, by contrast, I want to check and see, does anyone on WashingtonPost.com have authorship associated with them. Or maybe the Washington Post just hasn’t set it up. Well, there are two other people here who have authorship existing. The reason that Craig is does not have authorship is because he doesn’t have a Google Plus profile yet. Again, it all ties back to that. If you start to weigh whether you’re not you’re going to work with someone and give them an exclusive, you want to think about these types of things and start weighing that as an option. Let me go back to my presentation, how do you actually identify good online authors? How are you, as from a public relations perspective, going to know whether that person is a good author or not to work with from an SEO and PR perspective? The first thing you want to know is, does the site allow for authorship? Does the site have any authors that are showing up anything and does the author in himself or herself, have Google Plus profile? Craig doesn’t have one so he can’t get authorship at all. He can’t even be inferred by Google if he doesn’t have, at least, Google Plus profile. That’s where the picture comes from, so you need to get that set up. You can also check under what sites are listed in the contributor to section and other links in their about section of their Google Plus profile, and see which ones that they’re claiming that they actually, as authors are contributing to. So to check it, here’s a really easy you can check it, is you can actually go to Google and type in the parameter site, colon, no space, and then the URL, followed by the author’s name. That’s what we did for Craig, to show you what articles he’d written. As an example, I might use site colon, NYT.com, David Pogue. To see what he wrote. Here’s what that looks like with David Pouge. And you can see, David has his authorship, there’s his picture, and it’s showing up there in Google. Some of these other ones are not showing up. For mobile New York Times it’s not showing up. There could be something that may have associated with why it’s not showing up. I’m sorry, it’s not showing up for one of those other ones, but for this one it is and so we know he has some level of authorship setup which is good. Now, we need to talk about how we’re going to determine, how we determine how we outreach. One of the things we wanted, obviously want to do, as I mentioned, is to weigh the SEO value. Does this author have authorship credit essentially with Google? Do they have authorship set up because that’s going to affect their author rank and eventually it’s going to affect whether or not that person is seen as an authority by Google, and what of the other things here is that sometimes it might make a blogger, an author rank that might be more powerful than David Pouge. Or it might be more powerful than Craig, who writes about it off- line and his stories get put online as well. I want to pass it back to Elizabeth, who wants to share some things that you should also weigh, asides from SEO as well.

Elizabeth:

Yeah. I think this is all very important and making sure that you have a strong SEO strategy, but as it relates to other things. I think that’s been the biggest challenge for marketers and for communications professionals because now you have to determine a mix. You have to determine what’s really, if you’re going to spend effort against certain initiative, or press release, case study, or piece of content and you’re going to interact with reporters, to what extent does it drive SEO? To what extent does it drive your reach end goals? To what extent does it drive leadership goals? To what extent are you reaching the people that consume information only in one way, or another, and so it’s almost like each particular campaign could end up looking very different than another based on the news that you have who you can target. So it’s just a little more complicated to be thinking about, if you really want to get credit for SEO. If you really want to have that as a part of your PR strategy, we have to think about what you might be giving up in order to effectively drive SEO. Maybe sometimes SEO doesn’t matter. That’s the question to ask. Interesting how sometimes people will put out a press release because it drives SEO and that’s the only purpose for that particular initiative. There’s nothing wrong with that. That usually means that press releases is loaded with the right kind of keywords and might not necessarily tell quite the story that would get picked up or placed, or that would be pitch-able, but again, it all depends on what you’re trying to drive and to what extent your business outcomes can be matched to that. We take a look at what’s the next activity, what’s the goal, and then figure out how do you make sure that you’re not forgetting the ultimate goal of PR, which is to have that third party validation and to reach your audience’s in a way that they want to consume information. All those things really make a difference and as we talk about social next, it’ll be interesting to see, there is kind of a two- way street when it comes to having a conversation about who you reach out to and why, and how to you make sure that you’re doing an effective job with that. Social, we’ll chat about that now.

Janet:

Thanks Elizabeth. Social is the third piece that we want talk about. As we talked about, Google Plus is very important, and the reason why it’s so important is that it ties brand information together for Google in addition to the whole authorship piece, it really helps Google understand all the parts and channels that belong to your brand. As an example, I’ll show you really quickly. Here’s our Google Plus page and what you can see here is, you go into our about section. Look at all these links we have here. All of these links tell Google these are our Twitter accounts, these are our Facebook accounts, these are our websites and so forth, this is our LinkedIn, here is our SlideShare and that’s all very helpful because what you see here is in the search results, I’ll go to a search result and go to Search Mojo just what shows up in the top 10 results for my brand name. Search Mojo, there’s my website, and there’s Facebook, there’s LinkedIn, there’s Twitter. There’s my Ink profile, SlideShare, YouTube, all the things, guess what, that I put in my Google Plus profile. It’s Google’s way of really understanding your brand and knowing what belongs to it. It’s very important we talk about authorship but Google Plus also provides is a way for Google to tie everything together. Social provides inbound links that serve as a signal for Google as well about what’s newsworthy. Elizabeth’s going to talk a little bit about what role social plays in PR as well.

Elizabeth:

Social is really important and it’s really evolved over the years and it’s interesting how many times I might be talking to a CEO or even a marketing professional. Well, I’m not really all that active on Twitter. I don’t really follow it and the reality is, [??] one more channel to follow, the reality is that a lot bloggers or reporters, they find their sources through social. Many of them engage with social, I would say, it’s not uncommon for us to find an opportunity to find one of our clients in the hands of a reporter who’s looking to write a story on a certain trend or what have you. They’ll also look at the trends because the trends, what they see happening and if they see news that comes out consistently on a particular topic, particularly if it effects your industry, and a lot of them will see that on the social channels, we actually engage with reporters through social media channels because that’s just as important as engaging with customers. That’s the secondary piece would be as you become more social that just helps create, bringing us back to the linking of concept for conversation that just helps bring people back to you so the more you tweet your articles, the more you share the content you’ve created, the more that you help to make a value, the high-value content, the more you do that, the more people that are going to share it typically, which creates more inbound links. If you just put something on your website and you don’t socialize it, you going to have a much harder time getting anybody to really think about it, care about it, to share it and then help create the links back to you. There’s a really important point to make sure you continue to do whatever you can to try drive some of these, all the links back to you. It goes without saying that the more people link to you the more Google loves you, and we know that we need to be present in social media channels. The brand as well as the person, as well as the author, as well as the thought that you might be trying to promote. Again, the more social than work sharing, the more people are driven to you and we know what Google thinks as well. We continue to support that effort, if you will.

Janet:

The other thing we need to think about too is reputation management, which is a big part of public relations and public relations efforts and communication efforts. By now many of us, we want to do the right thing as far as a communication plan, not all of us do. One of the things that you can do is you can monitor the landscape in social media and stay on top of media coverage, linking opportunities because as I mentioned before you reach out to people who have written an article about you. You can find out how your PR is being shared and also, as I mentioned here with social integration of Google Plus, I mentioned that the top of this section that you know you can actually help control the brand results for your brand search results for your brand, and that’s really key. Now let’s bring it all together and talk about measurement. How to measure our efforts Elizabeth is going to talk about how PR measurement has evolved.

Elizabeth:

Well, it’s evolved quite a bit and it’s great because there’s so many tools, I’ve often said that it’s so much easier to measure any of the PR efforts affecting marketing communications efforts than it was even just a few years ago so it continues to evolve. There are many tools and it’s important for us to, we always say that if you can’t measure it than it doesn’t matter, but the SEO analytics is able to give us some good insight into what might work and to what doesn’t work. One of the things that we talked about earlier is that perhaps going back to publications [inaudible 43:20] they may never to anyone or all the same publications that link back to you and link back to a brand but it’s for a fee.. So that’s going to continue to evolve. Also since you can’t capture everything, that’s why sharing is so important, because then at least then you’ll see what people really find of value. The more information you get back about whose linking to you through these particular search terms, the more than that you’ll know that you’re being successful and our strategy is to typically to execute, measure, to have a campaign, figure out what works, what doesn’t work; and in some cases we’ve found that a placement with a blogger and a reputable blogger will drive greater SEO value and also frankly, greater links into your site or greater leads into your site because of the social media opportunities. Then say, a publication, a mainstream publication that is a name that everyone might want to be in. You have to test it. It’s almost like, [inaudible 44:23] you figure out how to make sure that you’re doing the right thing, measure, reflect, revise, and figure out which articles and bloggers are actually doing something for you and that their actually pulling for you. It used to be that we would track, I can’t even believe that I’m going to use this word, ad equivalency, that the way you measure PR results. The value of the square inches that might appear in a publication for a company and that’s so gone by wayside, it also used to be the thud factor. To what extent can you put a clipping book on your clients, desk or what have you, and it’s different now. Quality doesn’t always outwit quantity, if you try Google about that, and because of that it means you need to have some form of the social media pool. Some star social media monitoring tools, using some sort of analytical package, even though that this is Google analytics are happen to be raised, you can measure to see what’s working and what’s not working, and then use that to help refine your programs as you go along. It’s a daily process, something that’s important. But it’s exciting too because it means that we’re able to take a little more time and effort in doing things that work. Again, depending on what your business outcome desired this is what the outcome would be. Certainly has evolved, it was probably only four or five years ago when we used to have clients who wouldn’t count online placements and only counted if it made it in the print publication and that’s completely switched. I I’s just evolved to where the online, that the value you get from the online placement is critical. I know we’ve got a couple of examples that Janet is going to share on how it’s evolved, I’ll pass it back over to you.

Janet:

The other thing that we see on the search side is that searches are really a reflection about what’s going on off-line. These things don’t happen in vacuum. These things don’t happen in vacuums, this is where there’s that overlap again, that we see with something’s been in advertising or it’s been in the news, but we often increase searches in awareness about a topic that is around in the news. I’ll show you an example of how you can measure that. Here’s something called Google Trends, and if you have arthritis it’s just trends on Google.com and it’ll take you there. This is a search for Call of Duty, which is a game that we work on, we did the [??] of Call of Duty. What you’ll notice here in this particular graph, is you’ll see , you can actually input the regions and so forth but if see these letters here, there are five, scroll over those letters. It will tell me new stories that are happening at the time that that peak happens, so you can see peaks and valleys here in search and how often the term is searched. You can also see what may have led to that surge in searches, like this one, how the Call of Duty games sold $310 million in 24 hours. You can see the stories that were out there and so this is a great way to really tie your SEO and PR efforts together and see what’s going on in public relations and how those efforts are paying off from a search perspective as well, at increasing search traffic. Now, when I pass it back to Elizabeth to talk about how we can measure it socially.

Elizabeth:

We’re taking a look at, how do you actually, there’s so many tools that are available where you can be measured and you can determine what drive success. That was just one program that Janet shared with you. It really depends upon again your goal. Whether or not mentions important, whether the shares are important, these are all important. Are you trying to create reach, are you trying to create third-party validation with mentions, are you trying to drive a particular sentiment and there are a lot of it becomes easier to say well, here’s a number of mentions and let’s try to improve that, you’re the number of shares. These are all ways that you can measure, if you’re going to put out a press release or article or case study and it in on video, even better, and it’s shared multiple times, you can see and track where it goes and how far it goes through the various tags and such. We’re able to determine the influence that this is able to create and the same with reach and sentiment. Sentiments trickier to measure but the tools are ever evolving so we’re continuing to watch that and see how we can actually gage sentiment because sometimes it’s not just about how many times you get to Google, or run your name or how many times people say good things about you verses bad. There has been a real push to try to create likes to Facebook page that particularly in the consumer space, I think there’s some value there. The B2B and the B2G I think is a little trickier. We like to support the concept of the driving links, as opposed to likes. Ironically, if someone is likes by Facebook like. If someone likes a Facebook page and then you continue to fulfill your Facebook posts with strong valuable content than that can migrate itself to light so that’s probably the biggest reason to do that. Then you have to have the two pieces there and have to work. We also encourage the plus one and that’s basically where you give the thumbs up if you will to an article or a piece of information that is out there in Google and were not quite certain it is going to drive a SEO value that we think may count in the future. We want to keep our eyes on it, to do that now so we just need to keep our eye on it, and know that it could make a difference. Always try to tell stories if you have compelling content this can’t be information about yourself, per say, were really shouldn’t be it should be about how you help solve problems. The content’s really important and how it’s written and how it gives information away a lot of folks are reluctant to give away their trade secrets, if you will. The reality is that them you don’t have to give away trade secrets. Help solve people’s problems and that’s going to help come back to you in space. Figure out your content spectrum how do you make sure you’re refreshing information so you’re not working five times as hard, taking a piece of content and producing it in five different ways and then five different venues that solves particular problems, and after white papers especially [inaudible 50:36] and things like that. It is still important to build relationships and we really talk about that because now you can build a relationship through social channels and be so much more than it used to be. If you are consistently following a reporter or a blogger and you’re able to really get a sense for what he or she writes about, or cares about having and we begin to engage that’s so really, really important and even if you don’t have a personal interview with the person it’s important to continue to do that. Making sure your content is there for SEO, looking at the authorship. I think the, as far as lead generation you taking a look at what is of value, the lead generation is really important of course and SEO drives lead generation. Lead generation drives SEO, brand building is important, exposure and visibility is important. All of those components can be considered as you figure out how to ensure that you’re doing the right things on the SEO front and not neglecting that effort.

Janet:

If I can leave you with nothing else today I really wanted encourage everyone to go out there and create the authorship and get that started because again we see that, today already can give you a lot more traffic to your efforts from organic search, but not only that the authorship that is bound to be coming which you prepare for that now. Go ahead and get started because that’s going to be huge. I’m going to hand it back to Kari who is going to tie things up for us, and then go the Q&A.

Kari:

Great. Thank you so much, Janet, and now that we’ve finished speaking about measurement I just want to tell you about our next webinar that you might be interested in. We’re going to talk a little bit about search marketing metrics that matter the metrics that you should be measuring and maybe the ones that you shouldn’t pay so much attention to. So, that next webinar is going to be in three weeks time, that is May 30, 2 PM Eastern and you can register today at Search-mojo.com/SM-metrics, and if you’d like to speak with Janet about Search Mojo services you can reach out to her directly to start a conversation ask her some questions and also you can reach out to both of our presenters today through social media, their website. Here’s all of their information here and we’re now going to take a few of your questions one of the first questions we have Elizabeth you might be able to offer some insight on this. What kind of success, do you think, someone can expect from reaching out to bloggers and maybe asking for links on articles?

Elizabeth:

I think it never hurts to ask, I think, it’s funny we have a local publication here and it’s online pub only and their rule, their policy is that they don’t provide links and oftentimes you can figure it out by going to the publication and seeing if there are other links included articles on stories so many times it’s policy question but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with asking. I think you just have to be respectful, if they say, no this is policy not for us to do so. Sometimes it’s just a matter of they just haven’t had a chance to go and provide a link to you and so absolutely, I’ll do that. I do think that the speed with which you asked the question is really important because if they come out with an article and make sure you have a Google word on yourself and about your company. Once they come out with an article, they’re not really the ones to come back three weeks later and say, oh, yeah sure I’ll add a link. You probably lost that window too so. Hopefully that answers the question. I think you can expect that there’s, I would say maybe 20% to 30% chance that you’ll be able to get some of that back.

Janet:

We generally find that it’s about, roughly about 20% , so 1 in 5. We tend to see are granted and again, it depends on, like Elizabeth said, if you’re going to the Washington Post versus a blogger, you may have different policies and so forth. Just be aware of that. You may not have a high success rate, so don’t be discouraged.

Kari:

All right, thanks, and going back to Panda, Jane, this might be a good question for you and it has to do with how it affects syndicated content, specifically this question wants to know how Panda effects syndicated content like what might come from smaller associations can you offer anything on that?

Janet:

I sure can, because we’ve seen this happen for an association, where they didn’t intentionally syndicate their content but it happens a lot for associations. If you have a client or you are an association you’ve got to be very careful of this. Go ahead and set up the authorship because that should help you protect your content. We had an association who came to us and suffer from the Panda update. About two years ago, when Panda hit, it hit them really hard because what had happened was it is really specialty articles on their site about different types of diseases and how they’re treated and the members of their associations were all good meeting dentists essentially, and they copied and put it on their websites because they thought they were helping their clients. The problem was that Google then didn’t recognize the Association as the original author and so it actually Google actually delisted their listings via the panda update. So we had to go back and get them back and so there are a couple ways we can do that, but authorship is definitely one of those ways you can start claiming that you’re the author of a particular entity, and you can tell Google right off the bat, I’m the publisher, I’m the author of this article and help claim that content before Google accidentally delists your pages and I literally we saw a drop off in traffic of more than 50% for that association. It was huge. It was very noticeable was a wall you just hit because of what was going all of these. I’m sure very well-meaning members of the Association but that can happen with syndicate content so you definitely need to make sure that you are claiming the main authorship for that so you do not suffer from syndicated content.

Kari:

Great. Speaking of authorship actually, this is a really good question; does it make sense for pages of your general websites not your blog, to also have authorship associated?

Janet:

No, because your general website does not typically have an author. It’s really more generated towards your company, like your product offerings and service offerings and so forth so I would not put authorship on those pages. They are not articles that are changing, or that are being created. They are parts of your website like a marketing brochure, but I would however put it on anything that is an authored article type of piece of content like a white paper, or a good blog posts or any of those such things. Those I think are appropriate. In the future, Google may change how they’re doing authorship like I mentioned with video and images and other types of content, they haven’t yet. For now that’s were authorship belongs is on these types of article type related content or you would normally have an author I would not your website pages as a practice.

Kari:

Elizabeth, this might be a good question for you because you mentioned way back in the presentation in the content section about the five times rule but do think that there might be a risk to repurposing a piece of content too many times before it becomes diluted?

Elizabeth:

Actually, that’s a terrific question because, part of it probably depends on the content. A survey, for example, if it’s used multiple locations it’s a little bit different than if you have an authored article that you try to repurpose in so many ways that you’re not able so that the we really want is for the highest authority pieces to bubble to the top. I’d probably say the 3 to 5 times. Don’t you don’t overdo it because that just would look like your if you could actually dilute yourself and the message and the other services that you might provide if you hone in too much on the article’s content. I wouldn’t say kill yourself but I also think it’s important to be thoughtful about leveraging in different places because people consume information different ways. That would probably be my initial answer. Anything you want to add to that Janet?

Janet:

No, I agree with you. I don’t think that there’s a magic number of how many times, we use that as a guideline with the 3 to 5 times, but, you know, it is hard to say I think it depends on how the different formats you’re using. You don’t want to create two white papers on the same subject. Obviously that is really diluting it, but as Elizabeth said, people digest things in different ways so; you just have to be careful about where you share them too. If you share the white paper and the graphic, and the case study, and video and everything on the same channels, that could really cause a lot of dilution as well.

Kari:

We’re going to take one more question, before we end the day. Janet, you might know about this. Do you know if WordPress blogs automatically assign a rel=author tag when you set them up and assign them to the blog post using the drop-down menu?

Janet:

They do not. You would have to put in a plug-in. I believe there some plug-ins available which is really helpful. The other challenge is sometimes run into the blog specifically with authorship and we ran it originally is, the reason we have an author’s page is because we are the only, we have multiple authors on our blog and so you want to make sure. If you’re only one blogger and you have a blog and it’s just you, you may not see the need to create that step with the author page. But there’s a difference there in set up if you have multiple authors verses one authors so it’s something to consider there, and how you do the setup, but WordPress is very friendly for this and you can easily send out, but you can generally use a plug-in. There’s quite a few available that you can use now to go ahead and help you get that authorship setup, but you still have to take the step of linking it to your Google Plus profile. You still have to take step of going to Google Plus, actually adding it to your contributor links. There’s also that step, but like I said Google’s inferring a lot of authorship too. The biggest problem I see with authorship right now because Google is inferring it trying to learn about it is, A, if you don’t have a Google Plus profile you will not get it inferred either. You need to have that, first and for most, but second is making sure your blog has authors assigned to it, a byline. A lot of, even with big corporations I see this happen where they don’t say who wrote the article so you’ve got to change your thinking on that in order to get authorship working and then if you have these different pages for your different articles, Google may even just infer, by seeing the byline, by Janet Driscoll Miller, in an article that there’s authorship there. So Google will try to help you out but you’ve got to go, you’ve got to take a couple steps anyways regardless, and create that Google Plus profile and then make sure your articles you post have a byline on them.

Kari:

Great, thank you Janet. Thank you very much to our guest presenter Elizabeth Shea of Speaker Box Communications and thank you all for coming to today’s webinar. Don’t forget our next webinar, May 30. You can register for that search-mojo.com/sm-metrics and we’ll see you again very soon thanks for coming.