PR has always been a staple of any business for building up brand recognition and ensuring the public knows both who you are and what you provide. However, recent years have revealed the importance of SEO (search engine optimization) to boost brand recognition. So when SEO & PR are combined, so really great things can happen!
Without the right awareness and search engine presence, websites will not gain the right traffic to their site, leading to potential lost revenue. Even multi-award winning healthcare communications agencies are having to adapt quickly to accommodate this competitive PR market.
But how can using SEO in tandem with PR help drive customers to domains and results in more sales and higher revenue while improving company reputation?
Backlinks are when another domain places a clickable link on their page back to a relevant page on your website. This is seen as a 'vote of confidence' by search engines.
By using PR, you can approach websites of high authority with new campaigns or product releases. In turn, when they feature your business and place a link to your website, search engines will see this as a 'vote of confidence' by this domain.
This will then improve your ranking on search engines to help climb to that sought-after first page result, directly using SEO and PR.
Be careful, simply placing a link on a site can actually do more harm than good. Search engines will penalize a site that is placing a backlink in a bid to manipulate its position in the SERP. Links should be natural, and there to add value to the content they are embedded within.
With an endless number of websites out there all fighting for the top spot, it's difficult for consumers to know who to trust. Though search engines in general have got far better at weeding out the "less credible" websites, there is still a certain level of perceived risk in the mind of digital users.
If you have successfully been featured in well-known publications, online or offline, brag about it. Place these media outlet's logos on your page under an 'as featured in' banner.
This will give the perception to visitors that you are a trusted brand and they are more likely to engage with the site for longer. Dwell time and engagement can have some impact on your performance in the SERP.
The more users who bounce from your page immediately, the less likely a search engine will see your site as serving the user the content they require and could result in poorer-performing rankings.
Ranking for keywords relevant to your industry and your brand is vital in bringing the right type of people to your site. Unfortunately, there are some keywords that are just too competitive and ranking for them will far exhaust limited budget and time resources, especially if you are new to SEO.
Instead, you can 'create' your own keywords. New products and services often coincide with new terminology generated. Use PR to spread awareness of these new terms.
The public will read of these new terms and search them in search engines. As these keywords are unique to your brand and competitors will not be trying to rank for them, you will appear high, if not first, in the results.
Even if the user does not remember your brand name, they will still be able to locate you with ease.
This is one of the easiest ways to gain great results. Search for domains that have previously mentioned your brand or products but have not featured a backlink.
Reach out to these websites via email, phone or even social media and ask them if they will place a backlink within their article. If the page mentions a specific author, try to reach out to them directly.
These domains are under no obligation to place a backlink so it won't always be successful, however, this outreach isn't in vain.
You can use this time to build relationships with these journalists so the next time you have a new outreach campaign to outreach, they are more likely to open your correspondence if they already know you.
As you begin to be featured within the media, the public will begin to associate your brand with your product or service.
As these users search terms start to encompass your product with your brand name, search engines will start to associate the two together.
Therefore, when others search for your product or service, but without your brand name, search engines will associate your brand with that product or service and may favour your website over another.
This will lead to more brand awareness and potential sales from those who were not aware of your business.
There may be a keyword you are desperate to rank for but it is just too competitive. This doesn't mean you can't make progress with this.
Use PR to get articles placed within authoritative sites that do rank for those keywords with a link back to your page. Therefore, when users search for those phrases and click onto these ranking pages, they will be let to your brand through backlinks within relevant content.
This will bring substantial traffic to your site, whilst also ensuring those visitors have a genuine interest in your brand, reducing bounces from your home page and increasing dwell time.
By implementing even just a few of the above tips, you will begin to see not just a higher number of traffic to your website, but also higher quality. Remember SEO does not happen overnight, it is a long-term investment but with the right knowledge and utilizing SEO alongside PR, you can begin to see a positive change.