Search engines and SEO are fast evolving. Twenty-five years ago, they didn’t exist. Ten years ago, Google was easily manipulated by black hat SEO tactics. And today? Well, today things are much different. Algorithms are sophisticated and, as a result, SEO has evolved and plays by different rules.
Public Relations, on the other hand, is a much older tradition. Over its 100 years (more, depending on who you ask), PR hasn’t change much and only with the popularity of the internet and social media was forced to evolve in order to stay relevant. At first glance, it seems PR and SEO are completely different and don’t have much to offer one another.
SEO is no longer about keyword stuffing and blackhat link building. Pagerank requires authentic, quality inbound links, which requires outreach and press. And who’s better at outreach and press than PR professionals?
Benefits of using Public Relations and SEO Together
Many think of PR as press releases, promotional events, and interviews. While these things are all part of PR, PR is actually so much more. It’s modern, it’s digital, and it’s intertwined with the practice of SEO.
While the benefits of using SEO and PR are many, below are the top eight reasons why you should be using public relations to maximize your marketing efforts.
#1 Killer white hat benefits
SEO, even when done with good intentions, can occasionally land you in hot water with Google. The wrong links can cost you and well-intentioned SEOs with poor understanding can get you penalized.
With proper PR outreach, you can secure high value links from reputable media outlets, boost awareness of your brand, and gain additional links indirectly through exposure. This is only scratching the surface, but in short, PR can create a snowball of whitehat benefits.
#2 Media mentions results in backlinks
Typically most media outlets will link to your website once they’ve mentioned you. This is especially true if you’ve built a great relationship with them already. And everybody knows how important backlinks are when it comes to SEO and driving traffic to your website.
#3 Relationships are key to high quality links and mentions
Speaking of relationships, PR is all about them. SEO consultants are often busy on so many strategic elements that relationship building can be difficult, or at worst, an afterthought. PR professionals are focused on building relationships, as a solid relationship can result in more circulation of press materials, better link opportunities, and even the outlet contacting you when they need something.
#4 Bigger media outlets have a large audience and drive traffic
Many PR agencies have connections or “ins” with large media outlets. These outlets almost always have a larger audience than small blogs or sites, which can result in more exposure than several small SEO wins.
While this large exposure may not translate directly into a domain authority boost, it can help you receive additional coverage from other outlets, resulting in guest posting opportunities, and again, have a snowball effect.
#5 Increases ROI for your content
As any content creator will tell you, content’s journey is hardly over when it’s published. PR allows you to get every ounce of value out of a piece of content, as you can promote it, share it with appropriate outlets, and in help it get the attention it deserves.
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This type of promotion will not only drive more traffic to that piece of content, but can also lead to guest posting opportunities, as outlets may be impressed by your content and want an original thought piece from you.
#6 Help increase brand awareness
It should go without saying that PR in general results in more brand awareness. PR specialists aren’t necessarily concerned with links in the same way SEO specialists are, so they will often target outlets that an SEO normally wouldn’t.
This can result in more ground being covered, increased awareness, and potentially lead to untapped audiences seeing your brand for the first time.
#7 Be seen as an expert in your field
Thought leadership is prized among marketers and brand leaders in general. Guest posting and professionally pitched pieces from a PR specialist can help you make an appearance on major outlets, and as a result, build your reputation as an expert in your field.
#8 You control the message
When someone writes about your business or brand, you’re mostly at their mercy when it comes to the description they use and the anchor text linked to your site — if there’s even a link.
When you pitch and write a piece yourself, you’re in control of the company description and the anchor text being used. It’s your brand and nobody knows it like you, so this is a huge perk, as it leaves little room for interpretation and results in more consistency for your brand.
Give PR a Chance
Public Relations has dramatically evolved and is hardly recognizable when compared to the traditional PR marketing. It’s modern, digital, and incredibly effective — especially when paired with SEO efforts. The line between PR and SEO continues to blur, with many PR efforts essentially being in-depth guest posts or pitches that pack tons of whitehat value.
Whether you go with an agency, hire a specialist, or start training your own SEOs on PR practices makes no difference. Any of these three routes can help your company get more bang for its buck, broaden its audience, and drive results that keep on giving.
Author: Carli is a Senior Digital Marketing Consultant with SEO agency CanIRank, who believes the best way to improve search rankings is with an integrated approach to SEO and public relations. When Carli isn’t pitching journalists, she spends her time riding her horse and raising chickens on a farm in Southern California.