Think PR and SEO Are Unrelated? Think Again

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

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

Use PR to Shift Your SEO Strategy

SEO is too often exclusively associated 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 genuine online presence, you should also consider other options. Jason Hennessey, CEO of digital marketing agency Hennessey Digital, noted that while building backlinks to your site is important, a more natural approach to take is focusing on public relations, thought leadership and brand development.

These three factors often work in concert to boost your organic SEO results. Rather than focusing on statistics and backlink value, Hennessey recommends using your PR efforts to establish yourself as a thought leader on larger online publications. While not easy, once you break through to a larger site, you can begin to cultivate more awareness and respect for your brand.

In addition, if you’re writing PR content for brand awareness on a larger publication, you can piggyback on the momentum of the publisher. By writing for a site like Entrepreneur or Inc you can rest in the fact that your PR content will rank in search engines, regardless of your brand’s personal SEO.

Related Article: Pandemic Lessons for B2B Marketers: PR Still Matters, Especially for Sales

Use Quality Press Releases

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

Investing in high-quality press releases is a great way to get your message out to the world in a more effective manner. Not only that, but it can impact your SEO, too, in more ways than one.

First, you should always write a press release with detailed information. Research and purpose should be present in the text. Also, summarize the entire release in the first paragraph to get your point across from the get-go

If you do this, your release has a better chance of impressing someone and being picked up by a larger news outlet. When that happens, you can grow your organic brand awareness, which will elevate your SEO.

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

Quality press releases act as digital fertilizer for your SEO. They will raise your site’s domain authority in the Google search algorithm and help propagate your brand across the internet, as well.

Develop Serious Long-Form Content, Too

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

Long-form content can be a huge boon for 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 spill over into the SEO realm as well. Long-form content is well-known as a content marketing form that ranks well in search engines and gets more backlinks.

As such, it’s important to invest in serious, authoritative pieces of longer content. Consider keywords to focus on and utilize SEO factors like headers and linking to enhance the resource.

When complete, you can share it with your audience, journalists and other PR-related outlets. Once it gets some traction online, you’ll be able to enjoy the dual benefit of great publicity and better search engine traffic.

Long-form pieces of content should comprehensively cover topics that you know your target audience is interested in. Resist the urge to lengthen them with filler language or overstuff them with keywords. Instead, structure the article as a skimmable resource, loaded with information that hits a topic from every angle. Again, the goal here should be positive, high-quality PR that will impact SEO and not the other way around.

Related Article: For Compelling Content Marketing, Think Like a Journalist

Recycle Your Press Releases

No, this isn’t a call to copy and paste information online. That’s a very bad idea, as Google hates to see duplicated information. However, you can still leverage a quality press release or other announcements throughout your digital marketing network.

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

From there, post it on your social media channels in the hopes it will be liked, shared, searched and also generate some traffic to your site. All of this activity can help improve your site’s SEO, and it takes some valuable time out of the marketing content creation process.

PR and SEO: An Unlikely, But Successful Relationship

PR and SEO don’t feel like a match made in heaven. The former caters to customer-facing areas like brand awareness and lead generation. The latter is pinpoint-focused on search engines. And yet, there are many ways to utilize your PR efforts to tangentially boost your SEO.

All you need to do is take the time to strategize each PR activity that you engage in. Ask yourself how it can benefit your SEO and what minor tweaks and adjustments you can make to ensure it does the most for your digital marketing in every sense of the word.

Currently serving as a communications director for Oracle, Steve Olenski is a true unicorn in that he has the unique ability to combine real-world marketing experience with a highly impressive journalistic background. A regular contributor to Forbes for 10 years, his work has also appeared in other leading publications including Ad Age, Adweek, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Marketing Land, MarTech Today, ESPN among many others.