By: Lauren Devlin
If there’s one thing you probably already know about digital PR, it’s that a well-planned campaign can take a brand viral within minutes. But what you may not know, is that backlinks and SEO play a major role in boosting that virality. In fact, having a good grasp on SEO in general has incredible potential. Did you know that 93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine? That means if you haven’t included SEO in your marketing efforts yet, you need to start doing so immediately. But it also means that if you’re doing PR correctly, your SEO comes naturally.
The real question is, what would happen if your content did go viral? Are you confident enough in your SEO skills to rest assured knowing search engines will boost your PR efforts?
If you are, great. If not, keep reading.
We know a lot about digital PR and SEO, which is why we’re here to help you make sure your PR content is giving you the most value for search engine optimisation. Ready?
Considering how effective PR can be when paired with great SEO, it is definitely worth your time. However, just like bad publicity can harm your brand image, so can bad SEO. Therefore it is very important to already have a solid strategy in place. Not convinced? Here’s some examples of “good vs. bad PR” that show the power of publicity. Unfortunately just like bad press… bad SEO practices known as ‘Black-hat’ is something to avoid. Make sure you don’t try to hack the system like North Face.
Read on to gain insight with our checklist including how to make your PR invincible with SEO.
Now, we already know SEO and ranking factors are constantly evolving and we also know that quality scores, relevancy, and bounce rate all matter when calculating which content Google serves first. But why does this matter in terms of PR?
Digital PR is constantly evolving and follows a similar formula of creating quality content. However, PR mostly deals with press releases, web copy, and social content. Circulating this unique content is done by building relationships with journalists, reputable sources, and more recently – influencers. Naturally all of this content will be published on websites and social networks, and therefore will benefit greatly from search engine optimisation.
Therefore, in order for your PR to work in tandem with your SEO efforts, both have to be designed with quality content in mind.
We’ve come up with the following checklist to ensure your SEO and PR strategies marry up.
- Are you building positive relationships?
- It’s important to connect with local journalists and influencers for SEO and PR. Reaching out politely and professionally is always good practice and being friendly will foster positive relationships. Too many businesses treat business relationships as transactions, so put yourself in the receivers shoes before hitting ‘send’ on that email requesting a backlink.
- Make sure that your backlink request is relevant and appropriate for the topic in question. Pestering journalists and bloggers for mentions and backlinks on irrelevant content will not only hurt your SEO, but it will negatively affect your professional relationships.
- Are you building high quality backlinks?
- You may be getting backlinks, but it’s important to note that they pass “link juice” as “do-follow” links. This is essential if you want your backlinks to carry any weight.
- You can use sponsored content to your advantage – but make sure you choose worthwhile sources. Look at the domain authority (is it a trusted website?), social following and engagement, and demographics before investing in sponsored content, otherwise it could be budget wasted that could be better spent elsewhere! *Be careful. There is a difference between paying for links and genuine sponsored content. You only want the latter.
- Are you encouraging engagement?
- Get the most out of your public relations by engaging with your audience. Answer questions in the comments of a post if possible, generate a buzz and before you do, ask yourself “Would I share this content?”
- Are you updating old content?
- No one is interested in small stories that happened years or even months ago. It’s all about what’s newer, better, and trending. Make sure you update your content to include more accurate and/or updated data. Evergreen content is a wonderful thing.
- Are you sharing your own press releases?
- Be your own fan and tell everyone about your news. Even though it may not be the most exciting information to you, everyone loves to hear about trends, studies, and booming business. Recruiting new staff? Expanding your location? Tell the world about it with a great press release and the backlinks will follow. Search engines love content that has social proof, so get sharing!
- Is your website mobile-friendly?
- Make sure text is easy to read and optimised for all mobile devices. Most people are reading on mobile these days. Be sure they can do so without issue.
- All images should scale correctly and content should fit within all device screens. Above all, don’t sacrifice site speed in favour of a nice-looking piece of content. If your post takes too long to load, you’ve already lost your audience.
Off-page SEO will come easily when you have content worth sharing. When you spend time building your reputation, make sure you are getting the most out of your content with a solid SEO strategy.
Of course, there is a lot more to both PR and SEO, so if it all sounds like a lot of work, or you aren’t getting anywhere with your current efforts, get in touch with us. We’d be happy to help.