Why Using PR to Boost SEO Might be the Most Effective Strategy
Many businesses view PR and SEO as completely unrelated but using PR to Boost SEO is actually a critical component of an effective strategy.
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When it comes to SEO and public relations, there has always been a clear line drawn in the sand. Other than a vague acknowledgment that there are some SEO benefits when you get some media coverage, these two industries are rarely aligned.
However, in my many years of doing PR, both in an agency and in-house, I’ve personally witnessed the significant SEO improvements brought about by successful PR campaigns. This has gradually led me to include a PR component in SEO campaigns for both my own company and my clients. There has also been considerable interest from clients in using PR with SEO benefits being the primary goal for the campaign. This post is going to examine just how important using PR to boost SEO is in promoting a business.
Before we get started, let’s define what we mean by public relations.
How do we define public relations or PR
Contrary to popular belief and poorly written American sitcoms, public relations isn’t all about throwing parties and constantly calling journalists (Mad Men or Spin City anyone?). It’s all about telling stories to help you and your client create a narrative through media that works for you and your client. A delicate balancing act is required. It must be beneficial to the journalist, their readers, and your client. This is not always easy to do.
A good public relations campaign accomplishes two things: it changes people’s minds about something and it helps build positive business outcomes. That’s why I get irritated when people dismiss or dismiss it as a soft discipline.
A standard definition of PR is often seen as the practice of managing communication between an organization and its stakeholders. It entails developing and maintaining relationships with the general public, the media, and other groups that may have an impact on an organization’s reputation. PR professionals shape and maintain an organization’s image and reputation through a variety of tactics such as media relations, crisis management, and event planning.
Public relations is frequently used in conjunction with advertising and marketing to increase an organization’s visibility and credibility. It is a critical function for all types of organizations, including businesses, government agencies, and non-profit organizations, as it aids in the development and maintenance of trust with key stakeholders.
But, in the modern age that is changing with solutions like digital PR becoming more common and popular for digital-first brands. This is a service that blends SEO practices with the sustainability and quality of a public relations campaign.
Why PR and SEO are two sides of the same coin
So, now that you have a better understanding of public relations, let’s look at the relationship between SEO and public relations.
As previously stated, doing some PR is the most effective and useful way to generate media coverage for your brand or yourself. It’s not rocket science to say that media coverage, particularly online coverage, is beneficial to your brand, and the resulting backlinks from reputable websites boost your domain authority. If you prefer to measure your website’s ranking in another way, the advantages of having high-quality domains referencing your site cannot be overstated.
That leads us to how brands can use PR to generate those backlinks.
How PR boosts your SEO
While I understand that SEO is not solely about backlinks, they are an important part of the external SEO process, so we’ll concentrate on that. I believe we can all agree that most digital brands aggressively reach out to publications in order to build backlinks, but most do so incorrectly.
The standard procedure is to look for broken links, create content to replace those references, and then try to persuade whoever is in charge to use your resource. Not bad, but in my experience, it is quite a labor-intensive job and does not have a high success rate. Another common strategy is to try to contribute content, with most SEO link-builders who reach out promising the world and more. Our clients are usually immediately put off because they know the sender has never read their content, does not understand their goals, and is most likely not a very good content creator.
We typically use a variant of the second strategy, in which we pitch stories — not high-quality SEO content — that fit the publication’s or blog’s narrative. We typically pitch great stories first and then work with the editors or publications to build content that fits their needs. One of our
recent clients is a luxury e-commerce brand that is looking to build organic traffic. Working with one of the up-and-coming travel community platforms, we were able to get our clients both exposure to a relevant audience and some backlink juice without having to compromise on either.
Another thing we do is incorporate SEO and backlinks into our PR outreach from the beginning. That is, we incorporate it into our PR process by including internal references in press releases whenever possible, encouraging the inclusion of backlinks to the client’s homepage, and relevant resources. This allows us to gradually increase the SEO impact of most of our PR campaigns without having to launch a new campaign or increase our outreach just to generate backlinks. This saves us time and effort while lowering overall costs for our clients without compromising the quality of the content that the media publishes.
The Impact of Using PR to Boost SEO
To begin, I should mention that my company works with both publications and provides PR services for brands, so I get to see both sides of the argument. Working with both parties has allowed us to better understand how to add value rather than chasing numbers — number of backlinks, domain authority of referring domain, and so on. We combine the importance of brand awareness with the SEO advantages of a strong referring domain.
As an example, consider you guys – Pixel Productions. With an AhRefs Domain Ranking of 66, it is safe to say you’ll have great content and are not looking for basic write-ups that add no value. Therefore, the chances of successfully pitching a “high-quality SEO article” to the editors are slim to none. Furthermore, it grossly undervalues the advantages of being featured in the publication.
With thousands of readers and a solid reputation, a single backlink without a brand story surrounding it represents a significant loss of opportunity. By creating a genuine narrative around your brand that is relevant to the readers of your content, you can achieve the following:
- Excellent visibility for yourself or your brand to aid in creating top-of-mind recall ● Genuine potential inbound leads from brands or individuals who were moved by your story
- Backlinks to your company benefit SEO.
All three are extremely valuable to any business, so focusing solely on link building and ignoring the “add value” aspect costs you money. By combining PR and SEO, brands can increase their reach and add value to the publications they work with.
If there’s one thing I want anyone reading this to remember, it’s to experiment with a PR-led approach to SEO outreach. There have been generations of perception issues in the public relations industry, but nothing changes minds like firsthand experience. So, if you have the opportunity, work with a public relations firm, freelancer, or even a journalist to assist you with your SEO.