3 Ways PR Can Contribute to Your SEO Strategy

By Andrew Poulsen, PR Technician, Sonnhalter

You can have the most beautiful website to ever exist, or have a smooth e-commerce system that buyers will love, but if they don’t find you, is it worth it?

First and foremost, make sure you’ve got your site setup with SEO in mind. Create the appropriate tags and optimize your other settings… especially make sure your site is turned ON for search engine indexing.

After that, strengthen your SEO with content and PR. At Sonnhalter, PR encompasses traditional public relations and media relations, as well as social media and content strategy and development. Generally speaking, PR elevates your brand. When your brand is elevated, your search engine rankings benefit.

Here are just three ways that PR can contribute to your SEO strategy:

Earning Back Links

Regardless of which version of search algorithm the web is on, links back to your website are good. However, these links need to come from quality and relevant sources… sources like the trade journals PR works with on a regular basis. Earned media in and of itself is a powerful marketing tool, so work with your PR team or agency to reach the journalists and influencers in your space to ensure that your company is included in relevant articles. Also, provide them with access to the appropriate landing page links and keywords you’re trying to boost.

Increased Exposure via Press Release

Creating a press release is one of the oldest PR tactics in the business, and yet it is still the rabbit in every PR team’s box of magic tricks. That’s because, even in the digital age, the press release is still one of the most effective tactics for getting company news to your target audience. But with the countless pitches and stories editors and influencers receive daily, it’s important to write and format press releases in an SEO-friendly manner to cut through the noise and quickly grab their attention.

Writing a press release that is SEO-friendly can not only improve your brand’s visibility online, it can also attract better media coverage and enhance your website’s standings on search engines. Here are some quick tips to help make your press releases stand out.

  • Keeping headlines short and concise is one of the golden rules of newswriting, and the same rule applies to press releases. This is because when your press release appears on a search engine, only the first 55 characters (including spaces) of the headline will be visible, so you’ll want something that will compel readers right off the bat. To do so, make sure you are avoiding unnecessary words in the headline that might devalue the press release’s SEO. For example, instead of saying “Company Inc. is Now Operating its Business Out of its New Headquarters in San Antonio, Texas,” make the language snappier by saying, “Company Inc. Moves Headquarters to San Antonio.”
  • Think like a journalist. Similar to writing headlines, the sentences in the body of your press release need to be short and declarative. Journalism 101 will tell you that basic newswriting should follow the “Inverted Pyramid” structure, where a story’s most relevant details are at the top and the less important details are found near the end of the story. If the average reader is only going to skim your press release for a few seconds, you’ll want those first couple sentences to answer the “who,” “what” and “where” quickly. One way to do this is to get rid of any unnecessary adjectives or flowery language. News is objective, and using phrases like “one-of-a-kind” or “groundbreaking” can come across as salesy, which can steer away editors or bloggers looking for stories.
  • Using a quote from a source can add flavor to your press release without making it sound like an ad.Quoting an executive from your company can add personality to a press release and make it seem more compelling. However, authenticity is important, so avoid language that is grandiose or too jargon-filled.
  • Find an image to accompany the press release. A great headline will get clicks, but a headline paired with a strong image will do you one better! Having a relevant and high-resolution photo (at least 60 by 90 pixels) to accompany a press release not only makes it more clickable, but it also makes the story more useful to editors looking to publish it.

Keyword Research

Whether it’s a press release, website or company blog, having your PR team choose the right keywords is paramount to getting more eyeballs on your content. When deciding what keywords your company should use, brainstorm the kind of keywords you think your target audience is looking for when they’re searching for products like yours online. If you need help thinking of keywords, there are plenty of online tools that can help you find keywords and provide useful stats, such as Google AdWords or Moz’s Keyword Explorer. After you create a list of keywords, try to weed out some of the ones that are less relevant to your core brand and will likely bring the wrong kind of traffic to your site. Closely monitor the keywords to see how they’re improving web traffic, and don’t be afraid to experiment and tweak your keywords if you feel like they are underperforming.

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