How PR Can Boost SEO for Businesses of Any Size
In the same way that back alleys don’t make for great shopfront real estate, relegating your website to the nether regions of the searchable internet is a good way to doom your business to failure in today’s information age.
Business success, in that sense, depends very much on search engine optimization (SEO), and public relations is still a great way to power up your SEO. It should surprise no one to note that good PR is as important now as it was when press was synonymous with “newspaper.”
The benefits of SEO, the process through which websites increase their relative ranking on search engine, are fairly straight-forward. Better SEO means higher, more frequent appearances on search engines, which means more website visits and more social proof, which means more business.
Most businesses are familiar with that basic dynamic, even if they don’t know exactly what it consists of.
So Where Does PR Fit In?
The short version is that when a site with a high SEO ranking publishes a story about you or your company and includes a link to your website, your site not only becomes easier to find, but that same link will give people to come to your site from the larger one.
For example, this Start-up was featured on the Wall Street Journal: Startup Stock Exchange Ready To Take Startups Public–In Curacao. In the second paragraph (where it can be easily picked up by GoogleNews and other search), there’s a link to the company’s website.
What Advantage Does This Offer Over Regular SEO-Boosting Strategies?
Search engines use a series of complicated algorithms, specific to each individual engine, to work through an immense and constantly expanding list of websites. Depending on what group of words you plug in, and what order you put them in, the algorithm spits back a different set of results.
Your website’s SEO ranking is the probability it turns up on the first page for any given search term. If you’re wondering why that matters, ask yourself when you last clicked through to the sixth page on a Google search.
The problem is that search engines change their algorithms, almost daily, so the method behind the madness is never quite the same. Some of the changes are minor tweaks. Others change the whole game. Good SEO is the kind that’s durable regardless, and that’s where PR comes in.
That article on the Wall Street Journal will continue to have a high SEO ranking for a long time indeed. And no effort is needed on your part to keep it there. The Startup Stock Exchange didn’t need to buy keywords, they didn’t need to construct a complex SEO strategy, it was just a matter of getting in contact with journalists with a PR campaign.
If you do manage to get your company on major news site, the more links that appear on the page, the better. The more pages they appear on, the better. As would be the case in regular print media, multiple links on lower ranked sites can make up for a lack of top-tier coverage, though the big names are always preferable.
The trickle-down theory of media--that smaller sites generally tend to mimic larger sites--is just as applicable online as it is in print. That said, being featured on many sites of PageRank 3 and lower may actually damage your SEO ranking.
Internet Provides Its Own Unique Opportunities to Network Across SEO Channels.
Guest posting on blogs, for example, is a good way to build connections. Linking to other sites on your own can also encourage cross-linking, as the other sites--which will be able to see who’s linking them--have a vested interest in boosting their SEO via yours.
How to go about achieving PR goals is a topic for another day, but if you don’t want to end up in the back alley of the internet, then a good step is to be proactive about seeking out media coverage.
At the end of the day, the main utility of the using the PR strategy of SEO is that you don’t need to in-depth specialist knowledge in SEO to get the results you need to grow your business.