If you’ve been around for a few years, you may well remember the old ‘Wild West’ days of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which were largely populated by a rogues’ gallery of creative individuals, all figuring out different ways to fool search engine algorithms. Rather than contribute to a truly rewarding online experience, these Google-gaming gangsters would litter cyberspace with link farms, spam forums, and buy links from other sites in a bid to garner that oh-so-valuable, first-page SERP (Search Engine Results Page) slot. This was before the rise of the MSP business. Tactics like these could harm your SEO, rather than help it.
Plain Old Links Don’t Cut It Today
When it comes to securing your online presence, a solid position in search engine results, it isn’t good enough simply to avoid the old SEO shenanigans. In a bid to outwit the old SEO skulduggery, Google’s algorithm today has been optimized to accurately assess just how valuable a member of the web your website is. It is important not just to have inbound links. Those links need to come from other sites the algorithm recognizes as reputable and popular for valid reasons. In a nutshell, you want to aim your public relations (PR) at winning mentions in the same kinds of media properties online as you would want your MSP business to be covered by in the offline world.
Quality Inbound Links
The well-respected websites run by print magazines and newspapers are obvious targets. Other digital outlets that are recognized as leading industry authorities or big names in the offline world also make great platforms for coverage of your business or products, along with inbound links. Winning those quality PR links from leading journalists, editors, and bloggers will support better search engine results for your own website.
Old-Fashioned PR Skills
To win the support of these valuable link gatekeepers, you’ll need to exercise solid, traditional PR skills. You’ll need to establish contact with these outlets. Bear in mind that you’ll be competing for their time and attention. These are busy people, so the more your communications and PR can strengthen their belief, that knowing you and listening to what you have to say helps them, the better.
At the most basic level, you need to provide relevant, interesting material. The easier it is for writers to convert that into engaging copy they can publish, the better. Turning these contacts into real friends helps both of you build rewarding relationships. The better you understand your PR contacts and their platforms, the better you can work with them to produce content that supports both the media property and its audience. Be prepared to invest time and money in building these relationships. The more your contacts believe in you and your company, the more they’ll believe their audience needs to learn about your business.
Back to First Principles
With the old SEO hucksterism banished to the trash can of history, the online world now behaves much more like the offline world. Readers can place greater trust in online newspapers, magazines, and blogs. Likewise, your MSP business can focus on more traditional skills, leveraging good old-fashioned PR chops to boost your SEO results.