Saying the PR industry has changed since I started my career just six years ago is an understatement. No longer is my day about writing, drafting and pitching press releases. Now it is more about the integrated marketing mix encompassing both social media and SEO. As these disciplines have become more prominent for brands, PR consultants need to become more rounded when considering a client strategy. However, PRs don’t have to be technical wizards to help clients increase their rankings on Google, instead greater website exposure can be gained by combining effective SEO tactics into a campaign strategy.
Here are a few simple ways SEO benefit can be gained from PR activity:
- Think about website links – There are now only a few publications without an online presence and therefore there is an ideal opportunity to gain high quality online links from PR coverage. Simply asking a journalist to include a link to a client’s website can deliver huge SEO benefits.
- Integrating keywords – Asking a client to share their main keywords used on their website may not be the first thing on a PR consultant’s mind when engaging in a PR campaign. However being aware of what words a website is optimised for is now a must for PRs to incorporate into campaign activity.
- Ensure your news is ‘worthy’ – Just like when pitching a press release, if it’s not newsworthy it won’t get picked up. In the case of SEO, quality content is king and search engines are likely to view articles or press releases that don’t have any editorial credibility in a negative way. Content that has been produced with the primary aim of containing lots of keyword links can have an adverse impact on rankings. Therefore make sure press releases and articles are not being written for the sake of it.
- Utilise PR editorial skills – Skills that PR consultants have carefully refined, such as copywriting and editing, can be utilised for SEO benefits too. For example, ensuring a website’s content is well written, useful to the reader and relevant to specific keywords and their synonyms is a job a PR professional should relish.
- Blog posts – Keeping a website fresh is another way for it to be viewed positively by search engines. Therefore, hosting a blog on your site, which is updated on a regular basis with interesting content that is relevant to your industry, will help to encourage search ‘spiders’ to regularly crawl the whole site, therefore having a positive impact on your rankings.