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If you’ve been an SEO professional for any length of time now, you have already figured out that you must incorporate a PR strategy into your work. Both SEO and PR existed for many years on their own with no overlap, however, the two very much rely on one another now. So why the change?
Ever since modifications such as Google’s Penguin update, SEO professionals have had to come up with alternative methods of obtaining backlinks. Although backlinks are the most well-known (and maybe the most important), role PR plays in SEO, it is not the only role. How else can public relations boost your SEO?
Creating brand awareness is what PR is known for. PR practitioners know how to get your brand on reputable websites, and the more your brand appears on these sites, the higher your Google rankings will be. The more Google sees a name, whether it be on various news sites, social media or other company’s blogs, the more it will recognize and trust it.
Maintaining a positive image is also a big part of PR and certainly affects SEO. One of the easiest methods of reputation management is monitoring reviews on websites like Yelp, TripAdvisor and Google reviews. Reaching out to past customers to request they leave a good review, as well as apologizing and offering services to those who have left bad reviews are two helpful methods of maintaining your reputation. Having 4-5 stars next to the SERP helps your company’s click-through rate tremendously.
Valuable Content Creation
As we all know, there is a lot of copywriting involved in SEO. From landing pages to blog posts to social media content, having an excellent writer is something that should not be overlooked. PR professionals are trained in AP style and have vast experience producing these materials as well as press releases, feature articles and others. Incorporating a PR touch to your website could help your SEO because Google rewards sites with more pages, and pages with more copy.
Also, blogs have the ability to rank extremely well for certain keywords, which is why regular blogging has always been an important part of SEO. Producing valuable content is time consuming due to the extensive research, planning and drafting that is required, thus, it is best left up to your PR team.
Finally, the backlinks. Getting meaningful backlinks to your site is the main reason PR is so valuable for SEO. Backlinks from credible sites build domain authority, ultimately upping your Google rank. In fact, backlinks continue to be one of Google’s top ranking factors. As previously stated, the Penguin update made it difficult for SEO specialists to continue their usual link building strategies, so they had to come up with alternative methods. Creating genuine content and delivering it via traditional PR channels is now the best way to get backlinks.
Link Building Strategies
Knowing that PR is practical for link building and actually being able to execute the process are two very different things. For those new to PR, the traditional approach includes tactics like drafting press releases and feature articles, then pitching to reputable media outlets. This doesn’t mean throwing together a keyword-loaded story and sending it to a few generic email addresses. Getting published requires writing a newsworthy, relevant article and pitching it multiple times to many editors / bloggers who you’ve researched in advance. This approach can take weeks or even months but is quite effective.
If you don’t have time for the traditional approach, there are a few quicker options for link building. Monitoring sites such as HARO or #journorequest can be fairly useful in connecting with editors and appearing as a source in an article. Guest posting is one of the most popular methods, and when done properly, can also be a very good option.
Even these simpler means of obtaining a backlink still involve basic PR skills such as researching, writing, pitching, etc. So, if your business is backlink lacking, and you haven’t introduced PR into your SEO game plan yet, perhaps it’s time you rewrite the plan.