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How to Boost Your Online Presence with SEO and PR

WebSite X5
Published by Incomedia in Web design · 30 November 2023
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a well-established strategy for boosting online visibility. On the flip side, public relations plays a crucial role in maintaining a positive brand reputation, which is key to winning over your target audience.

In other words, when you combine SEO and PR, you can have a potent tool in your hands.

The idea of  combining PR and SEO might seem new to you, but it’s entirely feasible. Your PR efforts have the potential to significantly impact your search rankings, boosting your online presence. That’s precisely what we’ll be exploring today.

First, we’ll cover the basics…

What is SEO PR?

SEO PR is the art of combining search engine optimization and public relations to enhance your online presence. Merging SEO and PR can involve optimising public relations content like press releases, guest posts, and so on, for search engines. Or it can cover the use of PR techniques to reach a broader audience and help enhance your SEO.

Typically, PR and SEO focus on different things.

PR is centred on managing your public image (how others perceive your brand) through the media like press releases, top-tier publications, and similar outlets by collaborating with journalists and thought leaders. On the other hand, search engine optimization primarily focuses on improving your website content to boost your site’s visibility and ranking position on search engines like Google or Bing.

For instance, if you were to launch a diner in a new neighbourhood, you might reach out to online news outlets with your press releases so they can cover your grand opening announcement. That’s PR. At the same time, part of your restaurant marketing plan might be to create a website. You might add specific keywords to your site to help potential customers find your restaurant online. That’s SEO.

You can combine SEO and PR in many ways. We’ll look at how you can do this later. Suffice it to say that while it can be hard to combine the two, the good news is, there are agencies that offer excellent digital and PR services you can tap into. Many of them are not even limited to providing online PR services. Since they have built strong relationships with mainstream media like TV and newspapers, they can provide traditional PR services as well.

How PR benefits your SEO

PR can benefit your SEO efforts in several ways. Here are some of those ways:

  • Earn high-quality backlinks
    Backlinks, also known as inbound links, are links from other websites that point to your website. Search engines typically view backlinks as an indication that your content is valuable and worth ranking. In fact, backlinks are one of the top three ranking factors on Google.

    When you have a strong PR network, you can build a rich backlink profile from reputable and authoritative websites with high rankings. You can even distribute press releases with your links to build this backlink profile. This causes search engines to view your site’s content as trustworthy, eventually boosting your rankings.

  • Increase brand's visibility
    Press releases are major PR tools that allow you to communicate important announcements or achievements related to your brand. When effectively distributed, your brand’s message can reach potential customers and other industry stakeholders on a wider scale and drive organic traffic to your website, which is good for SEO. It’s even better when you research and use relevant keywords to optimise your PR content so that it’s easy to discover by search engine users.

    In general, PR can amplify the results of your SEO efforts, which is brand visibility. Media coverage, for instance, involves getting your brand featured in news stories, articles, or other forms of content on reputable platforms. This helps your brand gain exposure to a broader audience. For instance,  The 2021 State of the Press Release report by Cision reveals that press releases can increase brand visibility by 68%.

  • Enhances credibility
    Press releases and other newsworthy content may be republished across online platforms. When people come across your brand on these trusted sources, it may also elevate your brand’s credibility, which can help your SEO efforts. These PR features may also include recommendations for your brand’s products or services.

    For instance, Girlfriend Collective had its anniversary sale featured on Well and Good.

    Well and Good, renowned for its authority in beauty, lifestyle, and fitness-related content, naturally instils trust in its audience. Therefore, when the audience finds positive mentions of Girlfriend Collective, they are more likely to embrace and trust the brand. So, they are likely to go to the brand’s site, share its content on social media platforms, among others. All these can be great for the brand’s website SEO.

How to integrate SEO and PR strategies to enhance visibility

It will help if you have some background knowledge about how to merge your PR and SEO efforts to improve your online visibility. That’s what we’ll look at in this section.

1. Perform keyword research and optimise your press releases

Before you start creating your PR content, conduct thorough keyword research. Identify keywords and phrases relevant to your niche. These will be the building blocks of your SEO strategy.

To begin, you can use tools like Google Keyword Planner, which provides insights into the search volume and competitiveness of specific keywords. See the example below:

Look up a list of relevant content topics. Then Google Keyword Planner will generate a list of keywords that will help you understand what your target audience is searching for.

Ideally, you want a list of medium-low competitive keywords. Besides Google Keyword Planner, tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Moz’s Keyword Explorer can provide valuable keyword data.

Once you have your keywords, incorporate them into your press releases. But don’t just add the relevant keywords into the PR content body. Optimize the titles of your press releases as well.

If you publish your optimised press release on your own website, you can increase the likelihood of it appearing in search engine results pages given a search query. That can increase the chances of publications and influencers taking notice of your announcement, and giving you media coverage.

2. Create high-quality content for other high-authority sites

Here’s another way you can integrate PR and SEO for improved online presence: create high-quality content for other sites. Guest posting on high-authority sites isn’t just a great strategy to enhance your authority as a brand for PR. It can also help you build a strong backlink profile that can improve your website SEO. When you guest post, after all, you typically also incorporate links from your site. Remember what we said about backlinks and their importance to SEO?

Be sure to incorporate the right keywords naturally into your guest post and structure the content with clear headings and subheadings.

  • Use H1 (Heading 1) for the blog title
  • Use H2 (Heading 2) for major subheadings
  • Use H3-H6 for smaller sub headings

Add images, videos, or other visual content that emphasise important points in your content to help readers absorb information better. Also, adding SEO elements like image alt tags and video captions can ensure that your content is accessible and well-optimised.

Just as important is ensuring the guest post is high-quality in the first place. That means it should provide real value to your audience. It should be informative, engaging, and well-researched, offering solutions or insights that resonate with your readers.

Follow these tips and you won’t just increase your chances of your guest post being published in the first place. You also increase the likelihood of securing more guest post opportunities from the same site. Plus, you enhance your brand credibility, too. We already know how that can also help your SEO efforts.

3. Utilise PR outreach for link-building

Another effective PR and SEO hack is to engage with influencers, bloggers, and media outlets in your industry. You can share your press releases and other types of website content with them and encourage them to link to the same.

But this is only effective when your content aligns with the audience’s interests. According to Muck Rack,  33% of PR professionals say that topical relevance is the most important factor in getting your content published. You should also take note of this when planning your PR outreach.

Use platforms like LinkedIn or X to find potential thought leaders or influencers who may have an interest in your content. Social listening tools like Mention, Hootsuite, or Buzzsumo can help you find these popular thought leaders or journalists.

But before you share with them your content they might want to link to, make sure they somehow already know you. That means you should have engaged with them (and even helped them) in some way. So, you can maybe regularly promote their own blog posts, join conversations with them on social media, or simply like their social media posts prior to your outreach.

To increase your chances of success, personalise your outreach messages and highlight how linking to your content can benefit them. For instance, you can say linking to your site post on how to build an email list in their own article on email marketing trends can give their readers a deeper understanding of the topic.

4. Harness social media platforms to create a buzz around your brand

You can use social channels to create a buzz around your brand for PR. Platforms like Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, and LinkedIn can showcase your brand personality. They can also help increase your brand visibility, amplifying your PR efforts. In fact, you can even go viral.

When that happens, more people will know about you, including site owners and journalists who may end up linking to some of your site content and people visiting your site. Again, all these can help boost your SEO.

So, post engaging content that can help you get Instagram likes, Facebook shares, and LinkedIn and X comments.
You can post social media polls, like this one:

Or create posts with nice visuals, like this one:

You can also promote your PR content to boost your authority on your social channels. To get even more reach, consider promoting your content through targeted social media ads. These ads allow you to fine-tune your audience reach by demographics, interests, and behaviours, ensuring that your content reaches the right people who are most likely to engage with it.

Also, make sure you engage with your social media audience. Respond to their comments. You can even like, share, and retweet their own posts for as long as the content aligns with your brand values.

In closing

Combining the power of PR and SEO is one effective way to boost your online presence. PR provides an opportunity to earn quality backlinks and increase your organic visibility, and brand credibility, all of which can directly and indirectly boost your SEO efforts.

To maximise PR and SEO for your online visibility, conduct thorough keyword research and optimise your press release, and create high-quality content for high-authority sites. You also need to use PR outreach for link building and leverage social media platforms to distribute and promote your PR content.

By doing all of these, you’ll be able to enhance your overall online success as a brand. Good luck!

By Chris Norton, host of the UK’s 7th largest marketing podcast, Socially Unacceptable, and Founder of award-winning B2C specialist PR agency Prohibition. His social media training blog is listed in the UK's top 10 PR blogs. For tons of digital PR tips, you can follow Chris here @chris_norton.

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