Today I came across a quote that caught my eye:

“If you can create stories that re-enforce the values of others, then that makes it easier for people to spread your story.” – SEO BOOK

What a great, fundamental marketing concept. As an SEO, we want people to spread our client’s stories, their web content – usually via links. This is why I read Aaron Wall’s Blog every day when I wake up: in his post, he talks about how the concept of public relations (PR) is used to control human behavior on a macro and micro scale via networks. He then goes on to show how PR can be used in the work of search marketing.

Good public relations campaigns spread so well because they make the target want to share the story, by making them feel important, sharing their bias, and/or giving them some incentive to spread the story.

Incentive! That’s the key here, if we can write something that gives people a reason to spread our idea then we have won and our optimization efforts have been that much more efficient. What’s really going on here is that if we can control human behavior, having others want to spread our ideas (i.e. linking and referencing back to us), then we can ultimately control search listings – and this is good SEO.

Here is a quick video on the benefits of PR and SEO:

Why is public relations effective? Good PR is hard to duplicate. For example, if you saw a news story on the front page of the New York Times by author “A” and then saw the exact same story by author “B” on a competing newspaper a few days later, who do you think will get the most credibility? Author A 🙂 That’s why news stations always want to break information as-it-becomes-available, they want to be the first to talk about it because that brings them credibility, it brings them more viewers and it ultimately brings then more commercial advertising dollars (because of higher TV ratings).

Lets take another example, “Top 10 lists”. You see these all the time on places like Digg or other social media web sites. Why do people like them so much? Because lists appeal to people’s biases, i.e. watch the Late Show with David Letterman and he’ll have a top 10 count down of something like “Top 10 ways to kill your mother in-law without anyone knowing”, playing on just about anyone’s love for laughs and hatred of those who despise their in-laws, which is often mind you for those who watch Letterman (kidding, but you get the point).

If you have the time, make sure to listen to Aaron Wall talk about PR in his video:

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