Do you assume PR and Search engine marketing don’t have anything to do with one another? Assume once more

PHOTO: Ben Roset | spray out

Public relations is usually associated with things like brand awareness and generating buzz about a company or product. But PR can help other areas of your digital marketing strategy in many ways.

Here are some of the best ways you can use your PR efforts to boost your SEO.

Use PR to change your SEO strategy

Too often SEO is associated solely with things like backlinks, keyword density, and alt text. While these strategies can work, they should never be your only form of SEO.

If your business is interested in building a real online presence, there are other options you should consider as well. Jason Hennessey, CEO of digital marketing agency Hennessey Digital, noted that while building backlinks to your website is important, a more natural approach is to focus on public relations, thought leadership, and branding.

These three factors often work together to improve your organic SEO results. Rather than focusing on stats and backlink values, Hennessey recommends using your PR efforts to establish yourself as a thought leader on larger online publications. While it’s not easy, once you get to a bigger website, you can cultivate more awareness and respect for your brand.

Additionally, if you are writing brand awareness PR content for a larger publication, you can draw on the publisher’s momentum. When you write for a website like Entrepreneur or Inc, you can rest assured that your PR content will rank in search engines regardless of your brand’s personal SEO.

Related Article: Pandemic Lessons For B2B Marketers: PR Is Still Important, Especially For Sales

Use high quality press releases

Writing your own content as a guest and thought leader is not the only way to end up in a larger publication. You can also try press releases. A marketing team creates press releases in the hopes that a journalist will pick up your story and write their own version of the information.

Investing in quality press releases is a great way to get your message across more effectively. Not only that, it can have multiple effects on your SEO too.

First of all, you should always write a press release with detailed information. Research and purpose should be included in the text. Also, summarize the entire version in the first paragraph to get your point across from the start

If you do, your publication will have a better chance of impressing someone and getting a bigger news agency. In this case, you can increase your organic brand awareness which will improve your SEO.

Second, use your publications as an opportunity to share your company’s URL. You may not get the backlink effect you would with other online publications, but including a link can still drive organic traffic to your website. You can also take the opportunity to focus on specific keywords that you want to associate with your brand.

High quality press releases serve as digital fertilizer for your SEO. They increase the domain authority of your website in the Google search algorithm and help to spread your brand on the internet as well.

Develop serious long-form content as well

Long content can be intimidating. The good news is, for the most part, you don’t have to write lengthy blog posts or detailed white papers. However, it has been statistically shown that it is important to produce at least some long-form content.

Long content can be a great boon to your PR as it helps in areas like brand awareness. It also establishes you as a thought leader in your field and can even generate leads. The benefits also affect the SEO area. Long-form content is known as a content marketing form that ranks well on search engines and gets more backlinks.

It is therefore important to invest in reputable, authoritative, lengthy content. Consider keywords to focus on and use SEO factors like headers and links to improve the resource.

When it’s ready, you can share it with your audience, journalists, and other PR-related media outlets. Once it gets some buzz online, you can enjoy the double benefit of great advertising and better search engine traffic.

Long-form content should comprehensively cover topics that you know will interest your target audience. Resist the urge to lengthen it with filler words or overload it with keywords. Instead, structure the article as a skimming resource, filled with information that hits a topic from every angle. Again, the goal should be positive, high quality PR that affects SEO and not the other way around.

Related article: Think like a journalist for compelling content marketing

Recycle your press releases

No, this is not a call to copy and paste information online. This is a very bad idea as Google hates seeing duplicate information. However, you can still enjoy a high quality press release or other announcement throughout your digital marketing network.

You can use your PR as a creative touchpoint for a variety of SEO-related activities. For example, imagine a scenario where you are writing a press release to announce a new product. You can also share the information via an SEO-optimized blog post on your company website. Once published, you can share the blog post on your email chain to generate organic traffic for the post.

From there, you post it on your social media channels in the hopes that it will be liked, shared, searched and also generate traffic to your website. All of these activities can help improve your website’s SEO and they take up valuable time in the marketing content creation process.

PR and SEO: An Unlikely But Successful Relationship

PR and SEO don’t feel like a heavenly combination. The former is geared towards customer-centric areas such as brand awareness and lead generation. The latter is precisely geared towards search engines. And yet there are many ways you can use your PR efforts to tangentially increase your SEO.

All you need to do is take the time to plan out every PR activity that you will be involved in. Ask yourself how it can benefit your SEO and what small tweaks and adjustments you can make to ensure that it is doing the best for your digital marketing in every way.

Steve Olenski is currently the unicorn as director of communications at Oracle as he has the unique ability to combine real marketing experience with an extremely impressive journalistic background. He has been a regular contributor to Forbes for the past 10 years and his work has appeared in other leading publications including Ad Age, Adweek, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Marketing Land, MarTech Today, ESPN and many others.

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