Can PR benefit my SEO? That’s what we were discussing in this week’s Friday Facebook Session.
PR stands for public relations and refers to how to strategically present your company to get the desired image and outreach you need.
SEO stands for search engine optimisation which is all about tailoring your web content so that you get higher rankings on search engines so your business is more likely to get organic traffic.
Sometimes PR and SEO can work really well together and other times they need to be kept separate for them to work.
Here are our 5 tips on how to get PR to benefit your SEO:
1.Understand what each discipline is and the purpose of your activity and the differences in your activity.
“It’s about understanding your objectives really, so say how your marketing objectives right at the beginning and understanding there aligning different tactics to the objectives that you’ve got an understanding that if you want to develop your SEO, if you want to increase your domain authority, which might be one of your SEO objectives for example, then an outreach strategies might be the right approach. Using PR as part of that might be part of the tactics that you implement, however, the primary goal of PR isn’t necessarily to increase the domain authority of your domain. So you’ve just got to use the different tactics for what type. PR is about awareness, it’s about affecting a conversation, it’s about gaining traction in the public kind of mind if that’s the right words, whereas outreach which is very similar to PR which is getting in touch with other website owners and placing content on their website is very much about getting links back to a website or maybe brand references for that company in order to help ranking in Google”
When it comes to making content for your website, it’s all about building the right traffic and using social media to help further your search engine optimisation. When your PR supports your SEO and Google ranking, PR and SEO can work nicely together and help you get some great rankings.
It’s all about your objectives and what you envision for your business. PR is about getting more awareness for your company or news. With SEO and backlinks, however, you are probably setting out to improve your domain authority.
The content from these two disciplines will probably look quite different.
PR is more focused on news content and personal pieces such as reporting on work outings or introducing new employees. Backlink blogs are much more informative and serve to give the reader some important information they may need about you.
It’s important to recognise these differences and know when and how to use them. Make sure the content is relevant to what you need and be clear on your objective when you are planning your content.
Don’t go into your backlinks blogs with a PR approach and vice versa because it probably won’t work and you won’t gain much traffic or outreach from them.
Be sure to aim for the right websites and audiences to get better results. Backlinks tend to be for someone looking for something specific and who wants to know a particular thing about a subject or product. PR pieces tend to be broader and not really focus on anything, it’s more about the reader getting to know about you.
2. Choose the right publications.
“It’s about creating content somewhere that creates content about your niche or about the industry that you’re in because there used to be all these link farms where there were just lots of websites and they just had all kinds of crap on them they weren’t even like a news website which is slightly curated they just had anything and every topic on them so Google started saying ‘well actually we want the places that you get links from to be relevant to your content and were gonna weight the links more favourably that come from those relevant websites’. In industry, that’s probably like industry publications, it might be suppliers in your industry or even competitors in your industry”
Talking and collaborating with other businesses and competitors isn’t a bad thing. Having another company that specialises in the same field as you to back you up can give your claims more credibility. It’s important to make sure that you collaborate and cross-pollinate with businesses that are relevant to your industry.
The higher the website’s domain authority, the better the credibility, but appearing on a website similar to your own is more likely to be seen by your target audience and bring in more business.
To find out more read our blog on What Is Eat?
3. Get your story right.
“The only priority journalists have is their end readers. If they don’t keep that readership level up, if they don’t keep people engaged in their publication, generally that’s the end of their job. They don’t give a shit about us as SEO agencies or even the backlinks. It’s never been on their radar, it’s not a priority. So when we are thinking about how are we gonna write a PR article that will help with your backlink building, you’ve got to think of the end person reading that. Have you got a story that is of interest specifically to the readers of that publication? Coz if you’re just contacting people with a generalised press release saying ‘hey aren’t we ace’ or ‘we’ve got this new client’ or ‘we’ve got this new staff member’ and you are sending this out to multiple publications it’s gonna stand less chance of success than if you really tailored that press release, it doesn’t have to be a completely personalised press release every single time but tailor at least a bit of it. Who is that audience likely to be, what are they going to be interested in? So it might be a geographical region, it might be a specific sector, it might be an event it might be they have a political lean that they are a bit more leftie than they are righty. Think about that because that’s who the journalist is trying to please”
When it comes to PR you generally think of new product launches and new developments in the business. Unless it has some sort of relevance to other people, such as creating new jobs in the area, it probably won’t get much notice from the average reader.
Come up with a campaign concept to help you plan your PR and make sure it gets the best possible outreach. Try to plan an overarching narrative that will be in all of your content and help tie the press release together.
You need to make sure you understand the industry you are writing for and how to get the most from that industry with your content. Be sure to really research the industry and do industry surveys, use this research as the foundation for planning your press release.
4. Make their job easy
“Write the press release in such a way that they don’t even have to touch it. So it’s written as though they have written it, target their audience, understand their audience. Put your links in, they might remove the links, they tend to remove links and you sometimes have to beg them for the links.”
It’s very unlikely a journalist will keep a link in. Sometimes they might leave a link in an online publication but only if it’s natural and relevant. It’s very unlikely they’ll include a “click here” link. journalists work in a similar way to the Google algorithm. They prefer natural links that make sense.
People want tips and insight about the industry, click here links and links that only link back to certain pages of your website don’t look good and won’t appeal to the reader.
Don’t forget, the reader doesn’t know anything about you or your product so remember to explain who you are and what you do clearly and concisely. You need to act as if the reader has never heard of you or your industry at all, so make sure your press release includes everything they would need to know.
Include a picture. Often journalists would rather include a picture, by providing it yourself you can control what the picture is of and make sure it is of a high quality and that it reflects your brand.
5. Get the backlinks right
“This is about understanding the backlinks that you need strategically. So it’s working out the types of backlinks that you need. So you are going to have to figure out the number of backlinks you need of various different domain authority levels, that’s one way to look at it. Then you can think about it from the perspective of what percentage of backlinks you need with follow vs no-follow tags associated with the links”
Review your competitors and see what domain authority they have. Go to Moz Link Checkerv and put in your competitor’s website. The results are basic but it gives you enough of an indication of what domain they are at and how many backlinks they have. If they have 14 backlinks and you have 3, then you know you need to be aiming for around the same as them. Remember to search your online competitor and not who you think your competitor is.
Backlinks aren’t about quantity it’s about quality. It’s sometimes better to have one good genuine backlink from a website than to have ten irrelevant weak links on a page. It’s better to reference a website once than to link the same website several times as it won’t add anything after the first one.
Anchor text is the text that is on the link itself, it might say click here or it might be the word. You want your primary keyword for the link to be in the anchor text, be careful you don’t do it for all of them. Use partial keywords phrases or keyword variants. Make it look as natural as possible.
It’s all about adding value. Link things that will add to your page and give the reader a new insight or information on the topic. Click here and links to other companies homepages won’t harm your SEO but it won’t add value and will do little to improve your content.
Reciprocal links used to be a big thing. People would make deals with websites saying ‘we’ll link you if you link us or post this specific thing about us’. Google cracked down on this so trying it is not really a good idea. Google wants natural organic web content.
Good to know
You can use PR and backlinks to help with reputation management as well. If something happens for whatever reason and your company is getting bad press or is linked to bad news, this can be a great way to rectify some of that.
Backlinks blogs and guest blogs will help with your organic listing but then if you also get some press releases on the news section of Google that will fill your companies news listing with positive stories.
You only really need to do 5-10 articles to push that negativity down in the search results and a short burst can be really impactful.
SEO backlinks are some of the more nerdy and in-depth applications of SEO. If you are an amateur and aren’t sure what you are doing with SEO and Backlinks then you might be safer going with the PR option.
If you think your company is ready for SEO, Growtraffic can help. We offer a wide range of marketing services, but we specialise in SEO and content marketing. If you would like expert help making a success of your long term marketing strategy, get in touch with our team.