If you still think that PR and SEO are two separate activities that have to be operated by different teams, this blog post is meant to change your mind.
The modern digital world is not about the plain SEO sitting there in a vacuum. Instead, it has to go hand-in-hand with a good PR strategy. A strategy that will connect all the dots between your business and the whole online community.
Why PR and SEO are connected?
Oh, yes! In 2021 it’s not a secret that Google takes the number of backlinks to your website among the most important ranking factors. And I deeply doubt that it will change someday. Having high authoritative websites linking back to your site creates a long-lasting trust and reputation. Not only from Google but from other users as well. Unfortunately, earning backlinks has become harder right now. Plus, it’s not enough to get a link, but it has to be given from a website within your niche. And even if you achieved this, you have to make sure that the earned backlink is properly and logically placed. Otherwise, there will be no point in your wasted time and money.
You have to earn backlinks and that’s where PR comes into play to do what it does the best – to win media coverage in online publications.
Fancy website and social media accounts don’t impress anymore. Current circumstances expect your business to have a wider online presence than those you can create using your own channels. Having a high authoritative website mentioning your company or a publication sharing a review of your product or services – is what attracts attention and builds your digital footprint.
Implementing PR will cover your recognizability while simultaneously increasing your rankings. The general strategy is simple: you earn the attention of the media and their trust, they give you backlinks in return, high-quality backlinks improve your positions, and let more people find your website. There are many ways to get backlinks for free, but pairing your efforts with a good PR strategy will give you much more than just links.
Hope the reasons I provided won’t let you ever wonder why PR is so hyper important for your SEO success. The next question that has probably arisen in your mind is how to get the desired coverage. Don’t worry, I will answer it in a minute because in this article I want to provide you with 8 proven ways that will increase your online reputation while getting you trustworthy media coverage.
How to Get Sustainable Media Coverage?
Maybe you haven’t been using it, but almost every industry has media networks. These were created to share knowledge and news about specific niches. Although these places are not always laying on the surface so you could easily find them, when you finally do, you can start using their full potential to work to your advantage. Because media networks are mostly informational resources, it makes them the perfect place to connect with journalists that may be interested in collaboration or are looking for opinions, advice, or tips from businesses in this particular industry.
Do some proper research and use such platforms to get long-lasting relationships with media and sustainable coverage.
Journalists are always looking for something interesting to write about. Why can’t we then make their life a bit easier and let them share a word about our business? Yes, we can and that’s why press releases have been used by both big and small businesses for a long time (and I personally doubt that this will ever change).
The most important thing in writing press releases is that they have to be catchy and newsworthy for readers. No one wants to read (and especially publish for free) some self-advertisement about how awesome your business is. That’s why you have to make people get to this conclusion by the value you provide and the benefits they will potentially get from using your services or products.
I’ve discovered this technique not so long ago myself. Social media platforms are great places to discover PR opportunities when you know where to focus your attention. For example, on Twitter, you can follow hashtags like #journorequest or #PRRequest. These are used by journalists in different industries when they are looking for a contribution in order to write stories.
Here, you can go even further and combine it with relevant hashtags to your niche. For instance, add a hashtag like #seo in order to filter the newsfeed and narrow the search results to increase the number of relevant opportunities you may get.
Also, you can use special tools like Twilert that will do the search for you and notify you whenever a certain hashtag appears.
To start, I have to stress that it shouldn’t be about the hype in the first place. Instead it should be about the initial desire to help others. The media loves to cover stories about businesses that help others and not only wish to gain profit from its clients.
That’s why I suggest you to do your research and partner up with a charitable organization. This will help to increase the trust of media and bring your reputation to a totally different level. This doesn’t have to be huge like building a hospital but a contribution of a small amount of each deal for a good cause will be more than enough.
If you’re still not using this to your advantage, you’d better start. A traditional approach is offering your services or products in return for the coverage. What you’re willing to trade with a journalist depends on what business you have (and on the level of your creativity of course). It can be an opportunity to use your digital product for free for some period of time, or offering free samples of what you’re selling online, and anything valuable basically.
However, you have to be ready to get an honest review. Some will be positive, but others will be without flowers and butterflies about how the person feels about your product or service.
HARO, or Help A Reporter Out, is by far one of the best platforms that connect journalists and sources who have valuable information to share. Although it was originally created for journalists to find missing pieces for their stories, right now it’s used by SEO agencies, business owners, influencers, and bloggers who wish to get media coverage. Using HARO is free (but there are paid options if you want to get more control over filters and what requests you’re receiving.
Respona has an incredibly detailed guide about What is HARO & How Does It Work?. Check it out if you strive to get more juicy information.
Who doesn’t love to dig deeper when it comes to reading testimonials! And reading all sorts of feedback about the companies you’re dealing with (or only making a decision to deal with). This helps a lot if the person is uncertain about whether or not to give away his or her money for some services and products. That’s why in order to earn trust from both media and customers you have to think of the ways you can ensure how people might benefit from you. The perfect way to do it is to share your customer’s stories.
Well-written stories are priceless for PR. People love buying from people and journalists are not the exception. They will always opt for tasty content about how your product has changed someone’s life. Instead of listening to your preaching about your main features.
This is one of the most used tools that you can implement in order to significantly increase your exposure and credibility while building your digital footprint and earning backlinks from authority websites in your niche. This approach, however, has been modified. Earlier guest posts were used just to get that precious backlink but now it’s mostly used to share expertise and establish yourself as a thought-leader while getting a backlink in return.
That’s why I highly recommend you to write valuable and original content for your guest posts not just for the sake of link building, but to primarily use a PR perspective of it.
I hope I managed to prove the importance of PR and how it should be intrinsically linked with SEO. Remember that although the main purpose of these activities is to earn backlinks to your website, you always have to make sure you’re doing it right and that you create decent value within every guest post, product review, or press release. Use my tips wisely and your efforts will eventually pay off and you will be able to impress Google while building your online reputation at once.