Search Engine Optimisation, known as SEO, is the term used to describe a process we go through to ensure our website ranks as high as possible in search engines, such as Google. Here’s how PR can boost your SEO.
Google accounts for approximately 63,000 searches every second, equating to roughly 2 trillion searches each year*, which means that we need to be proactive with SEO to get a high ranking in our ideal clients’ online searches.
Consumers will be choosing gifts, services, courses and many other purchases from the first three pages of Google, so competition is high – but the benefits are even higher. Google can put your website in front of thousands of potential customers who are looking for exactly what you are offering and are ready to part with their hard-earned cash. Don’t let the competition put you off because there are plenty of ways you can help your website to rank highly in those prime search engine positions.
A holistic approach to SEO is necessary because search engines need plenty of proof that you’re an excellent business that can provide their audience with exactly what they need. For example, you might have your website SEO technicalities really on point, but if you put out terrible content elsewhere, this will work against you. Make sure any blog posts or articles you publish online are well written, interesting to your client base, free of grammatical and spelling errors, and longer than 300 words.
So how will PR boost your SEO?
Traditionally, PR was all about getting featured in glossy print magazines and landing jaw-dropping interviews on TV and radio. While this is still an integral element to the world of PR, there is a new kid on the block: digital PR.
The way we consume data has changed and online publications are fast overtaking traditional print publications – simply because they’re instantly accessible and often free. This means that our PR strategy will heavily rely on digital print media.
Along with opening up a whole host of new PR opportunities, digital PR has also given businesses and entrepreneurs the power to boost their SEO.
When you land coverage in an online publication, most of the time the story will include a URL link to your website, which is called a backlink. It’s there so that readers of the publication can find out more about you and your business.
What that backlink also does is tell Google that you’re worth your salt. If online magazines, newspapers or blogs have high domain authority (DA) – scores range from 1 to 100 – this means Google ranks the quality of their content and they are considered a respected source. In turn, if they are linking back to your website, they are telling Google that you are also to be respected. There are several tools online that you can use to check out your own website’s DA and the DA of other sites, too.
As an example, if you had several articles published by high-ranking DA websites, Google will take this information and rank you a little higher in its search pages. With any luck, when your ideal clients are searching for a business like yours, Google will show them your website listing in the first few pages.
While PR may be one of the oldest business strategies, it is still so important for businesses and very adaptable – it is considered by many professionals to be one of the best ways to boost your SEO.
Six ways you can use your PR to strengthen your SEO.
Always have your search terms at the front of your mind.
You want to be showing up in Google when your ideal clients are searching for your area of expertise, so start thinking about what they would be searching for. Then ensure that those terms are being used in the content you’re putting out: your blogs, your social media and your press releases.
Don’t overdo it though. If you use the same words over and over then Google will penalise you for this. Try just a sprinkling of keywords and plenty of variety!
Find out what journalists are looking for.
Journalists will plan their content far in advance and you should take this as an opportunity to find out what they are planning to write about and offer them your expertise. Twitter is heavily relied upon by journalists looking for stories and if you search for the hashtag ‘#journorequest’ you will find plenty of press requests to get stuck into!
Other places to look at are Journolink, Qwoted and HARO. These are dedicated platforms for journalists and sources to connect, so don’t let the mind gremlins talk you down – journalists need sources from all types of business and your knowledge is valued.
Check out new digital content as it appears.
We already know that online is the place to be, so try checking out articles that are being written in your area of expertise. This will do two things: first, it will inspire you to think about what journalists are writing about and what they’re interested in and secondly, it will give you the names of journalists who are interested in similar areas.
Google Alerts is a great tool for this; set them up with your keywords and you’ll get fresh articles delivered straight to your inbox, as they appear!
Put yourself out there.
Do you write a great weekly article on LinkedIn? Then why not send your top three articles to a few publications and pitch yourself as a guest writer?
Right at the heart of PR is relationships and putting yourself out there regularly is what will ultimately pave the way for new connections with the press.
So if you’ve got something to say then create some press releases and send them out – build connections and make sure that you maintain them.
Traditional PR was often done face to face and it’s important to make sure that we are enriching our communications wherever possible. One of the best ways to do this is to meet with journalists offline.
This is understandably more difficult with COVID restrictions and many people working from home, so be sure to find out where journalists are working from and if they are open to meeting in person.
Maybe you’re opening a new restaurant in the city? You could invite them to try it out! Or you’ve got some great products to share with the press? Why not drop into their offices with some samples and a delicious coffee? If the digital age has changed anything, it has made offline connections much more special.
Keep your strategy at a consistent and steady pace.
Good PR is all about building relationships and the best way to do this is to be consistent and make personal connections with each journalist. Sending press releases out in a blanket fashion has its time and place, but the best relationships are formed when you do a little research about the publication and its readership, and show them that you’ve done your homework – remember things they’ve told you and build a dialogue.
The easiest way to do this is to pick a dedicated time each week to send out a handful of good-quality emails, then log your conversations. That way you can continue the relationship and the conversation, even if you’ve nothing new to send. Don’t be a one-hit wonder!
If you want to get yourself, your brand or your products featured regularly in the press and grow your brand exposure, there are many ways to learn from me. Check out my services here. Not sure what you want to do with your PR? Book a free call with me here.