PR teams can boost SEO (and sales) through Twitter: Here’s how

A study shows that the more tweets a URL receives, the better its search ranking. PR professionals can (and should) benefit from this revelation.

According to a study performed by U.K. digital agency Branded3, there is a strong positive correlation between the number of tweets of a URL, and its corresponding Google ranking.

The study suggests that a Web page’s search rankings start to improve when its URL has received 50 tweets, but the real benefits start to accrue after it’s tweeted more than 1,000 times.

Public relations teams are often responsible for the content organizations publish. As a result, it’s important to consider how they can build rank and visibility for their organizations’ websites by fine-tuning their Twitter strategy and working more closely with their Web marketing teams.

Organize and align PR, social media and search.

Taking advantage of Branded3’s findings to build search rank for a website will take some planning and organization. Some organizations may need to develop more tightly integrated communications plans as well as a better-defined approach for sharing and tweeting press releases and other content on social networks.

Here are some steps to help make that happen:

• Develop a list of key commercial website pages your company wants to promote, along with the target keywords the Web team is using in their optimization and search engine marketing strategies. These “target URLs” and “target terms” will need to be incorporated into the content you share socially.

• Develop a solid Twitter presence, combining content curation with active social interaction and engagement. Research (and stay current with) hashtag trends and use in your particular area of interest. Remember: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you (that is, retweet and mention generously.)

• Commit to using target terms, related hashtags, and related URLs in press releases, press kits, blog posts, backgrounders, pitches, and any other communications that could be tweeted or shared.

Make tweet generation the focus of strategies—and outcomes.

Organizations serious about increasing traction for their messages on Twitter will need to make a committed effort to achieve success. There’s a lot more to this exercise than merely establishing a Twitter presence and tweeting the odd press release here and there.

Spending some time developing an understanding of what content your audience values (and will eagerly share of their own accord) is an important first step. Other important approaches that can help your efforts include:

• Tweet target URLs consistently. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Generating 50 tweets (from your brand’s accounts, as well as followers and other industry denizens) won’t be too difficult, but getting to 1,000 will be tougher. However, you use target URLs consistently, while also building engagement online, you will get there.

• Make “ease of tweeting” a central tenant of your strategies. When you email a pitch to a journalist or blogger, be sure to include a link they can tweet. Have your webmaster embed social sharing buttons in your online newsroom (and elsewhere on your website) to encourage sharing.

• Keep an eye on the tweet stream. Thank and retweet people who tweet about your brand. Keep track of them and build relationships.

• Tweet the content your organization produces creatively and consistently. One press release might contain several different story angles or facts. Tweet them all, uniquely, staggering them over time and using different (but relevant) hashtags (if appropriate.) You will increase the lifespan of your message, and the different tweets will appeal to different constituents.

Generating higher search rankings is a proven way to build sales, increase credibility, and drive website traffic for a brand. The role of Twitter in determining search rank provides public relations professionals with another opportunity to deliver measurable results that will benefit the organization’s top line.

Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of social media. She’s the author of the free eBook, “Unlocking Social Media for PR.”


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