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The Role of Search in Strategic Communications

Apr 4, 2023 Laura Garofalo

People turn to search when they want to find a solution to a problem. We must create stories and content that answer their questions and provide instant educational value. And they must be discoverable. 

For this to be successful, organic search needs to be baked into the foundation of your entire marketing and comms strategy. Here’s what we recommend: 

TREAT GOOGLE AS AN AUDIENCE

Your customers, end users, investors, employees, media, and other key stakeholders matter the most when you’re crafting your story. It’s the only way to stay authentic and credible. But, when you write web content – everything from press releases to blog posts to landing pages and even case studies – think of Google as a core audience. Content must be created to be found.

EMBRACE THE NEW AND OLD TERMS

Want to create a new category? You must straddle both worlds – use the key terms and phrases people already know and search for while also defining the new narrative. Where do you start? Prioritize your audience and deeply understand their emotional drivers. From there, conduct keyword research using tools like SEMRush, Ahrefs, Moz, Google Search Console and Google Keyword Planner to understand how people are searching for answers related to problems that you solve. 

FIND THE WHITE SPACE

Analyze your competitors’ search terms too – even if they aren’t directly related to what you do. Remember, you want to connect your story to a broader challenge or issue that a prospective buyer is facing. Focus on keywords and phrases that aren’t too competitive to rank and reach a broader audience. Pro tip: aim for search volumes between 1K-1M monthly searches.

CREATE STRUCTURE

Use these insights to develop a list of topics that guide how you create, repurpose and amplify content. This adds strategy to your overall content plan. And, it helps you maintain a consistent story across your digital channels including social platforms and newsletters

BUILD AUTHORITY

Whether you’re a new startup or a legacy brand pushing new messaging, you need to focus on tactics that will drive organic search and build rank authority. Submit for “Best of” lists, ramp up earned and paid media, write and place bylined articles and distribute press releases to accomplish this. Publications or other third-party sites that provide reputable backlinks to your site can boost your score (and of course, strengthen your brand). And don’t forget to be patient. This takes time.

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