Blending search engine strategy and PR to reach new customers.

Modern PR needs modern content distribution tactics. Purple Orange looks to influence the customer journey by targeting top-of-funnel keywords and the earned media results therein.

Introduction

How Purple Orange approaches PR and Search Engine Visibility

At Purple Orange, we’ve pioneered a new practice around the integration of earned media and search engines. We use earned media to develop top-of-page brand visibility in lucrative high-competition keywords where brand-owned content rarely surfaces and PPC is expensive.

Rather than developing just backlinks for our clients, we develop ubiquitous brand placement within search results — using earned media, rather than brand-owned content — to influence the modern customer journey and win more customers.

Services

What We Did

Integrated SEO + Search Engine Visibility

Public Relations / Media Communications

Affiliate Media Management

Market Research: Data & Analytics

70% of Customer Journeys Start with a Search Engine.

If you’re reading this, you likely have experienced the same troubling trend in PR: top tier media placements just don’t produce enough trackable ROI.

All PR agencies and clients know that the value of PR is difficult to measure. However, when we brought home a top US media recognition for a client (a full page editorial w/ award in the largest outdoor publication in the US), and only a dismal amount of products were sold, we had to ask ourselves some hard questions.

How does the modern customer journey work? And what is PR’s role in this newly defined journey?

PR has always been about soliciting third-party endorsements and in-so-doing, accessing the audiences of those third parties.

The traditional platform to do this has been the publishing industry (magazines, newspapers, etc.), but over the past decade PR has transformed from an industry focused on newspaper clippings to something much more dynamic that encompasses social influencer, content creation, events, and live streaming video (just to name a few). However, the single most important way to syndicate brand messages isn’t what you might think.

Consider these stats:

  • 81% of retail shoppers conduct online research before buying
  • 93 percent of online experiences begin with a search engine
  • 92% of all searches (globally) are on Google
  • The top 5 organic results receive around 70% of all the “clicks” within the SERP (Search Engine Results Page)

That’s right, Google Search is the single most important publisher in the world. Which means Google should be at the center of every successful PR strategy.

How Purple Orange approaches PR and Search Engine Visibility.

At Purple Orange, we’ve pioneered a new practice around the integration of earned media and search engines. We use earned media to develop top-of-page brand visibility in lucrative high-competition keywords where brand-owned content rarely surfaces and PPC is expensive.

Rather than developing just backlinks for our clients, we develop ubiquitous brand placement within search results — using earned media, rather than brand-owned content — to influence the modern customer journey and win more customers.

BioLite Case Study

At the start of 2020, Purple Orange identified and short listed 70 high-value keywords that represented more than 200,000 monthly searches. The goal was to use PR to develop first-page brand visibility (reviews, product recommendations, etc.) among high-value non-branded search terms.

Although an experimental exercise, our goal was to increase BioLite’s “Share of Click” across all the SERPs we were tracking.

Share of Click is a new audience measurement methodology that Purple Orange developed in concert with the search engine software start-up Visably. Share of Click is similar in concept to Share of Voice, but instead of tracking overall mentions, it tracks the percentage of “clicks” a brand is capturing within the SERP. By looking at the click-through-rates of each organic feature within the SERP and running content-analysis of the results’ page content, we’re able to accurately measure the impact of 3rd-party brand coverage in search.

Share of Click is determined by dividing the sum of organic clicks received by results that feature “x” brand or product in the SERP by the total organic clicks received by all results in the SERP.

BioLite is a technology hardgoods company that builds electronics that help people generate and store electricity, produce light, and cook while off-grid.

Target keyword lists were developed to focus our PR efforts:

  1. We focused exclusively on informational keywords that demonstrated high opportunity for earned media (7 or more earned media results in the SERP).
  2. We segmented our keywords by consumer category, focusing on non-branded keyword that promote product discovery in the following key areas or campaigns:
    • Light – Headlamps
    • Light – Lanterns
    • Charge (power banks + solar generation)
    • Cook (firepit + camp stoves)
  3. We focused on keywords with relatively high audience engagement (SERP click-through-rate over 60%) and modest monthly search volume.
  4. Once the keyword lists were established, we thoroughly audited each SERP to collect the organic results and begin to backfill information in the form of a media list.

We collected the following information from each organic result:

  1. Result / link
  2. Publisher’s name
  3. Author’s name
  4. Author’s contact information (email)
  5. Yes / No — was BioLite included in the article / review?

By repeating this process across 70+ keywords, we built a media outreach list that included outlet and author information for more than 500 first-page earned media results. We then used this information has the basis of our PR outreach for the remainder of the year — focusing on building better relationships with these writers + outlets, seeding them with new gear, and staying in front of article updates and new content development.

We tracked success by looking at each campaign by measuring the overall Share of Click at the beginning of the campaign verses the end of the campaign (12-months later).

Results

Light – Headlamps

  • Share of Click (beginning): 56 / 100
  • Share of Click (12-months later): 70 / 100 (24% increase)
  • Customer Clicks (over 12-months): 224,940
  • CPC Value (of the organic placements over 12-months): $139,740

Light – Lanterns (no change – a major product release was delayed)

  • Share of Click (beginning): 28 / 100
  • Share of Click (12-months later): 26 / 100 (no significant change)
  • Customer Clicks (over 12-months): 90,768
  • CPC Value (of the organic placements over 12-months): $45,780

Charge (power banks + solar generation)

  • Share of Click (beginning): 7 / 100
  • Share of Click (12-months later): 23 / 100 (217% increase)
  • Customer Clicks (over 12-months): 10,200
  • CPC Value (of the organic placements over 12-months): $11,496

Cook (firepit + camp stoves)

  • Share of Click (beginning): 24 / 100
  • Share of Click (12-months later): 35 / 100 (48% increase)
  • Customer Clicks (over 12-months): 746,364
  • CPC Value (of the organic placements over 12-months): $1,809,180

Share of Click is a novel way to measure the impact of 3rd-party content in search and provide public relations professional with real numbers, derived from trusted data partners (Google Monthly Search Volume + CPC) and Visably (dynamic CTR measurement).

Our clients are thrilled that we’ve been able to adapt our PR methodologies toward a medium that reaches so many target customers. Furthermore, our ability to re-imagine how to build a modern media list using Google search results has completely changed how we prioritize our time pitching writers and outlets.

PR is in desperate need of a measurement revolution and we believe that it’s long-overdue to merge traditional PR tactics and Search Engine Results.