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SEO - What is it, and why is it so important in PR?

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You’ve heard of SEO. You’ve participated in a company workshop about it, and have read some tips online, but you’re still not fully comfortable with it. Well, now is the time to embrace and engage with Search Engine Optimization: it is no longer a niche, technical topic, but a core foundation for your PR and business strategies.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of enhancing your online content to improve visibility in search engine rankings. As more and more people turn to “googling” to find products and information, SEO is more crucial than ever: the top five search results per Google search get up to 70% of all clicks.

Looking for a more in-depth guide? download our free ebook on the role of SEO in PR.

The core elements of SEO

There are some key phrases you’ll need to understand as you begin your SEO approach:

Search rankings determine where your content appears in the search results for specific keywords. This, in turn, suggests how many people will click to visit your page. SEO experts usually focus on three areas to boost rankings: relevance, trust, and user signals.

Selecting the right keywords is where all SEO efforts begin, and they can often inspire your entire PR strategy. Consider your brand identity and market placement, then identify the keywords you want to be ranked for. Your SEO efforts will aim at bringing you up to the top of the search results for that keyword.

There are three types of keywords to consider: head, body and long tail. 

Backlinks are hyperlinks leading back to your site when your brand or your product is mentioned on another website. Backlinks are a critical factor determining your authority and trustworthiness, both key elements for climbing the search rankings.

SEO and owned media

Branded content in your online newsroom or corporate blog can have a positive impact on SEO. PR can work alongside content marketing to use keywords strategically and earn backlinks. Even when optimizing for search engines, real readers should remain the target for your content. This means creating newsworthy, engaging stories for your audience, on a regularly updated platform.

SEO and earned media

Building relationships with journalists remains essential for PR professionals. Once you’ve found the right story, maximize your possibilities for coverage - and valuable backlinks - by pitching it to the right people. PressPage has a media and influencer database of over 820,000 contacts that you can use as a reference to get your story out effectively. The circular nature of the relationship between SEO and earned media becomes apparent as soon as you begin optimizing; by talking with the right people, your owned media channels become increasingly visible - and valuable.

Take the next steps and boost your PR efforts with SEO

Every small step you take in SEO is worthwhile: SEO is crucial for business success in today’s digital landscape and it will likely only grow in importance. Start with the most basic elements of SEO and make sure your online presence, newsroom, and websites are SEO-friendly. More than just another PR tactic, SEO is rapidly becoming an important business goal in its own right. As a PR professional, now is the time to embrace SEO and the value it will add to your PR strategies.

Get started with your SEO efforts right now: download our free guide "The Role of SEO in PR" today.

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