Links back to a website are still one of the most important ranking factors to Google’s algorithm. Even with the emergence of social media and all of the updates, changes and modifications that Google continuously makes to their ranking algorithm, links are still the core of Google’s formula.
The materials, content and outreach created in the public relations world could be chock full of extremely helpful back links that could help get your client’s content on page one of Google. Are you reaching out to bloggers, websites and the media on your client’s behalf? How about creating articles, press releases and blog posts that will get posted on websites outside of your client’s? If not, you could be passing up valuable opportunities for your client. As a PR professional, your influence on these media outlets could be greater than what you’d originally thought.
Grasping the concepts of SEO and trying to manage your client work and stay on top of the latest PR trends can seem a little overwhelming. However, integrating some of these best practices into your workflow can create strong results for your client and keep your client’s SEM team very happy.
Tip 1: Know how Google ranks pages
Just the basics are necessary if you want to help with your client’s rankings, so some basic SEO knowledge will be very helpful. When relying on a search engine to generate traffic to a website there are two main factors that influence where that page ranks in Google’s Search Results.
- Relevancy: How relevant your site is to the search queries. Meaning, when I search for “Blue Widgets,” where is the phrase “Blue Widgets” located on your site? For best results the term (keyword) should be in the URL, page title, page description, heading tags and content.
- Popularity (Backlinks): How popular is your website? Search engines determine popularity by links back to your website. The quantity and quality of these backlinks influence a website’s ranking.
Backlink: A link from a website that points back to your client’s website.
Tip 2: Care about SEO
More often than not, SEO and PR will not be found in the same agency. Typically, the client will hire two separate agencies, one for PR, the other for SEO/SEM. First off, this lack of integration has its own set of issues, but most likely the responsibilities of generating traffic and improved search rankings will not fall into the PR bucket. So, if you’re on the PR side, why should you care about how your client’s website is ranking in search? You have a myriad of responsibilities of your own. Besides – that’s another agency’s task and not your own, right?
Wrong. What you do in the digital PR world could be full of extremely helpful backlinks that could help boost your client’s search rankings and be very helpful to the SEM team.
Tip 3: Mix links in
Tip 4: Create visual & shareable content
Tip 5: Ask for links
This tip is also found in my 5 SEO tips for PR Pros article, but it fits here too. If you catch wind of coverage that you didn’t pitch, go back and ask the author to include a link back to your site if there isn’t one already. It’s super simple, yet an effective way to grow a back link profile.