Why good PR can support your website and help with SEO

Posted under PR, SEO

PR and SEOGenerating positive PR is one thing – maximising its benefit is another.

Good PR helps build profile and target your audience with relevant messages but rather than simply sitting back and admiring the profile generated from some decent coverage, it’s really important to ‘sweat the asset’ to ensure that the maximum number of potential customers or stakeholders hear your story.

Optimise your press releases

In your press releases – remember include keywords and links to other relevant areas of your site. Choose descriptive anchor text for the your links, and avoid things like ‘click here’.

Links are brilliant for SEO but be careful, if you overdo the anchor text with keywords it can look forced and too prefabricated which Google frowns upon. Dawn talked about the dangers of press release over optimisation in a recent blog.

Maximise the benefit of PR coverage

Your website is the first place to start to maximise PR coverage. Most good websites will have a news or press section on them where you can promote your media coverage.  This could take the form of a brief summary of the original feature with a direct link to the source, assuming of course it was online coverage. Scanning copies of print coverage infringes copyright laws so it is imperative that you make sure you are within your legal rights before doing so.

Media coverage – either on or offline – is great for brand awareness. You can mention it legitimately in your email marketing and across your social media channels, again with relevant links. The chances are the article, and with it your brand, will get shared and travel even further.

In many cases, a piece of PR coverage instigated as part of your own PR content plan may end up being used in a third-party publication.

Don’t underestimate the value of third party links, especially reputable ones. Links from popular news/blog sites not only come with an SEO benefit, your website will also benefit from referral traffic from those sites. If a publication covers a story about you and doesn’t link to your site, there is no harm in asking for one.

Fresh content

All companies or organisations like to demonstrate that they are current and fresh – and the perception that regular media coverage creates is of a set up that is on the move, making things happen.

Press releases can also provide useful blogging material. But don’t simply repeat the copy that your have distributed to the media and other outlets. To aid SEO you need to remember at all times that Google is looking for unique, original and in-depth content. Your blog needs to take a different angle; it could also include additional images (with alt tags), infographics or other graphics (pie charts, tables, etc). You need to treat it as a piece of art that needs carefully crafting. If it’s done well, there’s much more chance it will get picked up by third party sites and then you’ve given your SEO a massive boost.

Maintaining this type of PR content is key. Google loves to see fresh and regular new content posts across all platforms including your website. Keeping this up is tricky so always start with a plan of action – this provides a schedule with timelines to follow and should help you gain some momentum, especially if you’re working on specific campaigns where there are important messages to keep repeating.

When it comes to planning, use your website to promote forthcoming PR activity like launches, events, seminars and special packages or offers.  See it as your shop window. You wouldn’t leave a shop window display looking the same for too long – and the same can be said of your website.  It should be a living, breathing, changing landscape that reflects the pace and dynamism of your business.

Static websites that never change say more about your business than you would think. They suggest a lack of attention to detail; a failure to engage with your audience; a company that isn’t moving forward and that is out of touch with modern online marketing and PR. If that’s not bad enough, you will also be doing a disservice to your SEO activity.

PR and SEO are now virtually one of the same thing – never write a word for the web again without thinking about its SEO value. And if you don’t believe me, there are plenty of experts out there saying just the same.

Peter Corder

A former journalist, Peter founded Media Matters back in 1994, having worked for a number of newspaper publishing groups across East Anglia and the East Midlands in senior editorial roles.

He began the business from converted outbuildings next to his home near Stamford before moving to offices in Lynch Wood back in 2007 to cope with increasing client workloads.

Peter has now stepped back from the coal-face of the business but still provides support to the Media Matters’ team and to some clients.