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  • Fred Feiner

Warren Buffett, SEO & Public Relations – Perfect Together



As many know, Warren Buffett is one of the world’s most successful investors. The renown Oracle of Omaha has introduced even the most modest portfolios to the concept of value investing – the selection of opportunities in companies considered undervalued.

Buffett is generally a long-term investor and one of my favorite quotes from the world-famous philanthropist is: “If you aren't willing to own a stock for 10 years, don't even think about owning it for 10 minutes.” Much the same can be said about public relations. Seeking to build your brand though PR is very much a long-term investment so day traders are likely to walk away dissatisfied.

Companies and organizations that take a page from Buffet’s book will invest in their brand now rather than looking for cutbacks in their programs. Forward-thinking brands will emerge from the current marketplace crisis as the long-term victors. But the reality is that businesses of all types are suffering as a result of the coronavirus pandemic with about two-thirds of all marketing budgets facing reductions, according to one industry survey. Marketers continue to be committed to investing in their Search Engine Optimization (SEO) programs, which generally focus on increasing the quantity and quality of website traffic through organic search engine results.

Public Relations Impact on SEO

Marketers should make sure they are getting the most out of their budgets during these troubled times and one excellent area to examine is the impact PR can have on SEO initiatives. The importance of the online world has become increasingly obvious since the COVID-19 outbreak began. Accurate data on internet usage can be elusive, but Verizon reports increases of 41% in video use, 65% in virtual private network (VPN) usage, and 1000% in collaboration tool use. The growing importance of the virtual world will only place even greater emphasis on SEO initiatives.

“Every SEO professional worth their salt knows that links (along with content) are the backbone of SEO,” writes Senior SEO Analyst Brian Harnish on Search Engine Journal.

Backlinks are one of the most important ways for companies to influence their SEO ranking. As Harnish notes, excessive backlinking in press releases can result in SEO penalties from Google so be careful as too much of what may seem like a good thing will not help your efforts. Try to use hyperlinked text where needed rather than the actual URL in press releases and try to limit links to about three per release.

Always Ask for a Backlink

Getting backlinks from significant media outlets where you are receiving coverage is one of the best ways to enhance your SEO because these are websites that would generally not link to your site otherwise. Earned media in the form of guest articles on media outlets and other peer websites offers great opportunities to incorporate backlinks. Some media outlets have editorial policies that prevent backlinks, but if you can incorporate backlinks to educational content pages on your website rather than promotional product pages, that will enhance your chances. Always ask for a backlink.

Utilizing a media monitoring agency to gather your recent media coverage will help you conduct a backlink audit. Identify where you have received backlinks, where you have not and request backlinks to specific website pages wherever needed for recent coverage. Many companies cannot afford a media monitoring service during good economic times let alone the challenges of the current marketplace. Glean.info is offering up to 200 companies three months of free media monitoring and a discounted rate afterwards. If you miss out on that offer, the company also generally offers a two-week free trial.

SEO Opportunities to Consider

  • Create guest articles for media outlets or peer websites and incorporate useful, educational content as noted above.

  • Write headlines for your blogs, guest articles, press releases and other online content with SEO keywords in mind.

  • Google search terms tend to use proper names for companies, people, places, etc. so use them in your headlines whenever possible.

  • Incorporate your marketing team’s SEO strategy into press releases, media pitches and guest articles to highlight important keywords, website pages, etc.

  • When introducing new products, use the precise product name as your press release backlink text to help build SEO power in your media coverage.

The final word goes to the Oracle of Omaha: “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

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