Why SEO Is a Critical Part of Every PR Strategy

Businesses have always counted on public relations to strengthen their brand reputation. However, the traditional ‘push’ PR tactics are neither relevant nor effective in today’s inbound world. The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report reveals that 75 percent of consumers use various strategies to avoid the traditional forms of marketing.
So, how can we devise effective PR strategies? SEO can help!

Effective SEO can help Google recognize your business website as a trustworthy and relevant source of information in a specific segment. Though the techniques used in SEO and PR are different, together they can significantly improve a business’s authority, credibility, and brand image. SEO has a huge influence on the outcome of PR campaigns as it can optimize the PR content, improving its reach to larger audiences and converting leads into loyal customers.

Read on to know why SEO needs to be an integral part of your PR campaigns.

1. SEO Gets Your PR Content the Required Visibility

Traditionally, a lot of effort and communication went into attracting a journalist’s attention to a specific topic or piece of news. However, today, the internet is the key source of information for all, including media professionals. Therefore, optimizing your PR content for a target word or phrase in Google search can help get it at the top of the SERP, giving your business the visibility it needs.

Let’s say, an authoritative publication like Forbes is working on content related to ‘smart fitness trackers for busy professionals.’

google search result

If you own a business selling the smart fitness range, you should make sure that your content ranks at the top of the search results for this keyword, earning you a brand mention. Else, your competitors stand a chance to rank higher.

2. Poorly-Optimized PR Content = Missed Business Opportunities

SEO is not just a buzzword! It represents a huge opportunity for PR professionals to make themselves discoverable by the search engines and influence customer decisions. Research by Forrester throws light on the importance of search through the customer life cycle, from discovery to engagement.

customer life cycle

Thus, a strong SEO strategy will empower you to influence purchase decisions at various stages of the customer journey, translating into a sustainably robust lead generation funnel.

Let’s look at some more data!

An analysis by BackLinko of Google’s CTR data revealed that the top 5 results get 98 percent of organic CTR, after which there’s a sharp drop in the number of organic clicks. So, if your PR content isn’t optimized for page one of the SERP, you don’t exist!

Google CTR stats by backlinko analysis

Running a PR campaign that incorporates the target keywords into your press releases can boost your brand’s visibility and trustworthiness. This significantly improves the chances of reputable publications and popular local sites linking to your research or releases, improving your online credibility.

Thus, it is critical to optimize all your content, namely press releases, expert opinions, whitepapers, and blog posts to build an authoritative image and attract as much traffic from Google. Working with a local SEO agency can help you achieve the desired organic traffic and ranking from Google. SEO professionals will analyze your site’s technical SEO, on-page, and off-page strategy and help you build a robust SEO campaign.

Improved visibility and online credibility also help in crises where a negative customer review or comment can mar your image. In such cases, people usually visit the company’s website, press center, online newsrooms, or corporate blog for information.

Plus, your competitors are looking for such opportunities to gain an edge over you. If these pages are properly optimized, they will feature on the first page of Google’s SERP. This will significantly reduce the negative impact and improve your brand’s trustworthiness.

3. SEO and PR Complement Each Other

PR and SEO can work together seamlessly to improve brand awareness, reputation, social proof, trust, authority, and lead generation. While PR aids in relationship-driven link building with authoritative third-parties, SEO takes care of the technical aspects of search, getting your content the required limelight. Thus, your events, posts, interviews, creative campaigns, and press releases will all gain additional visibility and traffic.

This ultimately results in improved online authority. External experts too are willing to mention and link to websites with high authority – not just because of their high ranking but because of their strong backlink profile. This acts as a trust signal or social proof, helping customers purchase decisions and declare brand allegiances.

4. PR Can Benefit from the Insights Offered by SEO Analytics

PR is primarily relationship-driven. SEO offers a reliable way to measure the effectiveness of relationships, ideas, and campaigns. This helps PR strategists make informed decisions on whether or not a campaign is worth continuing.

With effective keyword research, backlink research, and competitor analysis you can not only measure the success of your campaign but also develop an effective PR strategy. Further, tools, such as Google Analytics, Moz, and SEMrush can provide valuable information on the type of traffic your site is getting. These insights can help you identify new opportunities that haven’t been tapped yet.

5. SEO Ensures Brand Consistency

The role of an omnichannel brand experience in the success of a brand cannot be underestimated. To get your brand message to the right people, on the right platforms, and at the right time, it’s critical to create a cohesive and integrated customer experience, regardless of where a customer reaches out.

SEO can work with PR to ensure that your customers see a consistent brand positioning and messaging across various channels. Brand consistency strengthens brand identity, thus creating a lasting impact on the target audience.

Summing Up

Incorporating SEO as a part of your PR strategy will go a long way in improving your brand’s online presence, trustworthiness, and credibility. By combining the two, you will not only impress Google but also stand a chance to earn precious authoritative backlinks from reputed sites and blogs.

Make sure you optimize your PR content today to improve your reach and brand reputation.

Tim Ferguson is the Director of SEO at Right Mix Marketing, an SEO-focused link building agency that helps startups, small & medium businesses and enterprise clients with custom link building services.. He takes care of all the clients from closing to delivery. If you want to inquire about link building services of Right Mix Marketing, you can get in touch with Tim on [email protected]