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.

Face-to-Face Events

When finished, thoroughly research each source to find your best points of contact. Don’t just seek out the names and email addresses of page or section editors; also pay attention to specific bloggers or journalists who tend to cover subjects that are highly relevant to your business. It’s usually the journalist, not their editors, who generate the story ideas that drive editorial calendars. You’ll gain powerful advocates by capturing the interests of bloggers, columnists and journalists.

Also, remember, the goal is quality over quantity. Don’t try to contact every publication under the sun. Focus on those where you’d mutually benefit from an ongoing content relationship.

Spend a few weeks (or months) following the work of the people on your list. Link to their articles and blog posts on your own website content, and follow them on social media. Share their work and post about why it’s interesting. Leave insightful comments and contribute to their conversations.

Establish genuine interest in the folks on your list. A sales pitch is always more appetizing when it’s not served cold.

Finally, Establish a Relationship

This is when your public relations skills really get put to the test.

Journalists, bloggers and editors tend to be busy people. They’re usually managing several projects and deadlines. Also, they’re regularly bombarded with article ideas or contributor requests from other people like you.

Help make their lives easier, and you’ll instantly stand out from the crowd. Do this by explaining how your website content is newsworthy. Explain why it’s relevant now. And don’t shy away from humble bragging about your credentials — after all, you want your contacts to immediately perceive you as an expert in your field.

Or you could take a completely different approach. Rather than offer to share your content, offer to write a guest blog or article on a newsworthy subject. You could also propose a story idea and offer to be quoted. You could even offer to contribute information, statistical data, an infographic or other media in exchange for a contributor credit or byline.

In a nutshell, your pitch should answer three questions:

  1. What are you offering?
  2. How will your contact’s visitors benefit?
  3. How does your contact benefit?

Remember to include your contact information with each of your outreach attempts. Follow up after a few days if you haven’t received a reply. Don’t ask for links right off the bat — wait until you’ve made contact and have laid the groundwork for an ongoing relationship.

Conclusion

Public relations is about positive, ongoing relationships. It’s not about scoring one-time arrangements. Don’t let your contacts fall by the wayside after earning those coveted inbound links. Keep in touch as both a contributor and an interested follower, regularly submitting content ideas while actively engaging in your contact’s articles, blog posts and social media pages. Maintaining these relationships will only help your website’s SEO in the long run.

Want more tips to improve your SEO? Click here to grab a copy of our Ultimate SEO Checklist.

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 Forbes.com, Inc.com, MSN.com, 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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