Stavros Vichos, Head of Marketing at Access Self Storage explains how you can use PR to boost your SEO strategy...
No doubt you have a good idea in your head about what PR can and can’t do. If you need to build brand awareness and support the sales function, PR can help by boosting a company’s reputation using a targeted media approach. The outcome is not always easy to predict but it’s an ever-evolving industry; the companies that achieve the best results from their PR campaign are the ones combining their efforts with other digital disciplines.
Essentially, you can use PR to create a link building strategy that supports your search engine optimisation (SEO) efforts. The result being a significant increase in leads to your business.
Why is SEO even worth thinking about?
SEO is how you make your website more attractive to search engines and people. Doing this ensures that your site pops up at the top of the search rankings when prospects are busy looking for your types of products or services online – and the higher you rank, the more likely they are to buy from you. In other words, a properly optimised site is a lead generation treasure trove.
The benefits are huge but ranking at the top of the page is no easy feat. There are rules and only one website at a time can rank first for a certain search term. Unless your SEO strategy is better than all your competitors vying for the number one spot, you’ll fall short of the mark. And, it’s worth noting that should you get to the top of the pile, you’ll need to protect your position night and day.
So, how does link building fit into SEO?
Generating links from other sites across the web is one of the most important parts of any SEO strategy. The higher your number of links, the more reputable Google (or Bing or Yahoo etc.) considers your website. The search engine will see these links as an endorsement of your website and push your site higher up the rankings. In fact, Google’s Andrey Lipattsev recently admitted that the amount of links a company has, is one of Google’s top two ranking factors.
What does PR have to do with link building?
The quantity of generated links is important but so too is their quality. Google reviews links carefully and a link from bbc.co.uk, for example, is worth far more than a link from say, welovespam.pw. Use Moz’s Domain authority figure to estimate the value of a link – the higher it is the better.
A key thing to realise for whoever is in charge of your PR and whoever is in charge of your search engine marketing (SEM) efforts, is that good company content can work harder than just getting a media hit. Commentary, articles and blogs are a rich source of links that can be used to significantly improve your SEO rankings. Whoever is doing your PR should be asking for a link with every piece of content they place online. It’s important to remember to make them ‘follow’ links (as opposed to ‘no-follow’) so that Google recognises them. Link building can be done without PR, but a lot of the time good PR will be the only way of getting a link from certain outlets; directories won’t fuel you with links for ever. However, even if you don’t get a link from placing an article online, PR can help you get a ‘branded mention’. Should your company name be mentioned in a reputable blog for example, it will give your brand a boost in the eyes of Google. However, this is definitely a supplementary tactic rather than one to rely on in isolation.
At the end of the day, if your PR agency is running stories without asking for links, then you are missing out on a massive opportunity to generate a steady stream of ‘link juice’ to your website. You can and should use your PR contributions to help boost traffic and sales. It’s not just about media coverage, it’s about making that coverage work for you.
The B2B PR Blog is a resource for both PR professionals and people working in B2B industries on how to devise and implement successful B2B PR campaigns. The blog is managed by b2b pr specialist Heather Baker, founder TopLine Comms, an inbound marketing and B2B content marketing agency and takes contribution from anyone sensible in the industry with something intelligent to say. Follow Heather on Twitter @TopLineFounder or contact her via email on [email protected].
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