How Traditional PR Can Boost Your SEO

It’s easy to overlook traditional public relations when considering how to improve your website’s search engine rankings. But in cracking down on superficial search signals, Google elevated the importance of earning inbound links from trustworthy movers and shakers, and that’s where PR can be invaluable.

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Dust off those people skills: Good PR can give you a huge advantage for improving your website’s SEO.

It’s easy to overlook traditional public relations when considering how to improve your website’s search engine rankings. For years, marketers could use low-brow tactics such as link spamming and keyword stuffing for easy (and sizeable) bumps. Recently, though, Google refined its algorithm to reward websites that offer intuitive and valuable user experiences. It’s impossible to game the system like 10 years ago.

But in cracking down on superficial signals, Google elevated the importance of earning inbound links from trustworthy movers and shakers.

Inbound links from authoritative, credible, high-volume websites can take your SEO to new heights. These links bring attention to amazing content and attract shoppers to online store fronts. Google considers these high-quality links as endorsements of your website’s content and credibility. And there’s no better way to win these links than with old-fashioned public relation skills. Read on to learn how your PR strategy can improve your website’s SEO.

Not Being Spammy Isn’t Good Enough

In the Wild West era of SEO, marketers used all kinds of dirty tricks to gain inbound links. They’d buy links from high-traffic websites, spam forums and blogs with automated comments, and create fake online profiles. They’d also turn to link farms — companies that build scores of thin, low-quality websites for the sole purpose of linking to other sites.

Fortunately, those days are long gone. Try any of those tactics, and Google’s advanced algorithm will blow your website’s SERP rankings to smithereens.

That said, building links that don’t cause alarm bells at Google isn’t enough to boost your website’s SEO. Google’s algorithm is tuned to reward inbound links from trustworthy, authoritative websites. These links must also be from websites that are relevant to your industry, and those websites must have credible, relevant link networks of their own.

Your SEO won’t get much help — if any at all — from inbound links posted to your friends’ personal blogs and websites. Even an inbound link from someone who blogs about your industry probably won’t move the needle. It’s not enough for inbound links to be compliant. They must also be impressive! Think about websites that people look to for information. We’re talking regional and national newspapers, popular consumer websites and highly reputable trade magazines. Earn inbound links from those sources, and Google’s algorithm will notice.

Of course, the next logical question is “how do I get inbound links from such high-profile sources?” How can you get one of your better remodeling projects featured in Better Homes & Gardens, or how can you entice the New York Times to feature your restaurant in its Food section?

It Starts with Great Content

Having great people skills ultimately doesn’t matter if your website isn’t worth talking about. And whether your website is deserving of attention depends entirely on the quality of your content.

By now, you might be sick of hearing the old SEO adage that “content is king.” It’s true, though. Investing in unique, remarkable content is more important now than ever. Over the years, Google used artificial intelligence to analyze countless digital signals generated by how people react to certain types of content. Thanks to this effort, Google’s algorithm is incredibly proficient at determining whether content is valuable and engaging. In today’s SEO landscape, none of your SEO efforts will gain traction if your content can’t grab attention.

High-quality content is also part of your sales pitch when asking for inbound links from your industry’s movers and shakers. They should see your amazing content and want to link back to your site! Your outreach won’t be taken seriously if your content is dull, useless or irrelevant.

Next, Make a List

Before reaching out to anyone, make a list of all the websites, blogs, newspapers, magazines and other editorial sources where you’d like to earn inbound links.

Author: Phil Frost

Phil is Founder and COO of Main Street ROI. Phil leads the company’s operations and is primary creator of Main Street ROI’s marketing training programs. He is an expert in search engine marketing, website analytics, and sales funnel optimization. Phil’s marketing thought leadership has been published on,,, and many other major business media outlets.

Phil earned his Master of Engineering Management degree from Thayer School of Engineering and Tuck School of Business and his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Engineering degrees from Dartmouth College. While attending Dartmouth, Phil started every game on the varsity football team as the defensive safety.

Want more SEO tips? Get your free copy of Phil’s Ultimate SEO Checklist. Want more AdWords tips? Get your free copy of Phil’s Ultimate Google AdWords Checklist.

One thought on “How Traditional PR Can Boost Your SEO”

  1. @Phil Great suggestions. Having been on both sides of “earned media” it’s critical to provide information of value that’s relevant to the people you want to reach. Tell don’t sell.

    The P.R. people I work with as a research analyst understand this. Their challenge is to convince their client of this before I interview them. Talking non-stop about your features and benefits is much less valuable to me than how you can make my readers’ lives simpler and easier.

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