Public relations, and its core skills of creative campaign creation and media relations in particular, are uniquely suited to boosting a brand’s SEO.
The kind of campaigns PR creates, and the editorial coverage it generates, outweighs anything any paid-for content can deliver with regard to boosting Google page ranking.
The online outlets that us PR professionals are targeting for editorial coverage are the high authority sites and money-can’t-buy outlets that are the SEO holy grail. And it all comes down to the traditional public relations skillset – creative campaign ideas and creation, well-written content, an extensive knowledge of the media and journalists’ needs and relationship building.
How do PR campaigns support SEO?
Creating a campaign that generates real consumer interest, solves a real problem or engages on a hot topic is at the core of what a good PR agency does for its clients. This content is what gives journalists the reason to share brand campaign information and, crucially, link back to the brand website.
Any successful creative PR campaign includes a digital marketing strand with the primary objectives being to increase website visits and to boost SEO i.e. the Google search ranking. So, when we’re planning a campaign, an intrinsic element is creating a reason for consumers to visit the website and, critically, a reason for journalists to link to the website.
A strong call to action is what’s needed to deliver these – something that only visiting the brand website can offer. Whether it’s to follow through and make a purchase (after the compelling reason to do so in the base copy) or to get further information or experience something above and beyond what a journalist can include in the story.
You can find out more about this, what to do and what not to do in our blog post about integrated campaigns – the SEO edition here.
What content do you need for successful PR impact on SEO?
In addition to the campaign content outlined above, and in our previous post, to drive the inbound links, you also need to create well-written, newsworthy releases for media. This gives us what we need to grab the journalists’ attention with a timely reason to run the story.
This all comes back to ensuring you have thought about the lay of the land, that you know what’s ticking the boxes for your key journalists and that you weave in relevant hot topics or deliver real solutions to consumer issues.
Then it’s about selling that story. Picking up with your trusted media contacts (and making new ones) to pitch the relevant angle to them and share the content that they need to make it work for their outlet. There’s nothing that beats good old fashioned media relations!
The skilful use of SEO keywords throughout all content further increases the power of PR coverage in enhancing a brand’s online visibility.
Will only links on the likes of the BBC make a difference?
The short answer is no. While the BBC is a high authority site and securing brand coverage there serves as a reason to pop a bottle (which we may have done when they included our Rabbie’s Bridgerton tour story recently) , the key is relevancy.
Driving inbound links from sites that have a natural relevancy to the brand reiterates why the business’s website should rank highly around your search terms. Which is why we were almost as delighted with the Rabbie’s Bridgerton tour coverage secured on the Visit Britain, TimeOut and a raft of other national websites (The Times, Mirror, Express and more).
And contrary to popular opinion, it’s not only follow links that will do this. Having a no follow link is not the end of the world. Neither is having no weblink in an article at all. A follow link is, of course, the optimal aim, but simply having good brand coverage on a relevant website that incorporates your SEO keywords demonstrates your worth to Google and all counts toward your SEO ranking.
It all goes back to creating integrated campaigns. PR has unrivalled worth when it comes to driving the valuable inbound links but it needs to work hand-in-hand with all other aspects of your digital marketing activity. We work side-by-side with digital and SEO agencies on a daily basis, all working together to make sure brands are getting the biggest bang for their buck on all sides and pushing them up the all-important Google search rankings!