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Is PR good for SEO?

Last week I joined a PR & SEO webinar hosted by PRMoment. The event showcased some great speakers, lots of insightful thoughts, strategies and real life examples of how digital PR, SEO and social media can work together to create brand awareness, drive traffic and convert leads.

Here are some of the key take-aways - including why I've included a Halloween picture!

As we are all now aware of, public relations is an essential part of any search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy. Both can earn influential links and social proof that reinforces brand cache, traffic, conversions, goodwill and more.

Some of the key points that Shannon Peerless , Managing Director at 10 Yetis, made are worth remembering! Essentially the goals of digital PR and SEO are exactly the same. They're about increasing brand awareness online, reinforcing brand credibility, driving traffic to your site and ultimately delivering leads and sales.

It’s important to remember that through algorithms, Google sees links from high quality sites to your site as a signal that your site is relevant and is serving great content. So the more decent ‘backlinks’ you build (links from high quality sites to your website), in turn your search visibility improves. Better SEO equals better online brand visibility.

An interesting point of discussion amongst the group was that inferred or implied links – when a journalist mentions your brand but doesn’t include the hyperlink – will increasingly become just as important as a hyperlink as algorithms can work out in what context your brand is mentioned.

Google/Bing etc. have been talking about this from as early as 2016. This is especially important as large volume media sites are recognising the value of backlinks and in many cases, now charging for them.

Louise Parker, Head of PR at Propellernet, discussed ‘How to SEO up your PR campaign’. Before your PR campaign goes live, create or identify somewhere that journalists can link to. A homepage is acceptable but a campaign landing page which includes all the relevant information is so much better and more targeted.

On that page include internal links to the rest of your website. Don’t use subdomains or microsites as these are not recognised in SEO rankings! Always include links in your press release and ask for your links to be added!

Google analytics is great as you can see how many people clicked from the original site, how much time they spent on your site and the amount that was converted to sales.

Robyn Gravestock, Digital PR Consultant at Builtvisible talked through a really interesting campaign produced for their client, Towergate Insurance. The campaign was to increase awareness/sales of their caravan insurance product. They identified a rapid increase in demand for caravan holidays due to the pandemic and understood that lots of these potential customers were new to caravanning.

Through research, they discovered that cooking in a caravan is challenging and it was a topic of wide online conversation! So they created a bespoke caravan recipe book that was available to download on the insurance page of the website.

As a result of providing this high quality content, sales significantly increased. The recipe book example shows that concepts that solve your target audiences’ issues, drive impact beyond the number of links built. As always it’s about great content!

Last up was Carrie Rose, CEO, Rise at Seven, she gave a fascinating insight into how she works with some big brands such as Pretty Little Thing and PlayStation to tie together SEO, social media and PR.

Always start with ‘what’s the story/what’s the PR hook?’, then consider if you can create or adopt a trend and leverage search. Can you put your client in the middle of a trending topic? Use Google Trends to understand data on search demand for what you are promoting.

BuzzSumo is a great vehicle for understanding consumer trends. It’s the world’s largest bank of social media engagement and built on the insights of over 8million articles. Users can sign up for a free 30 day trial to test out the service.

Its also worth considering TikTok trends; although of course these insights are focused more on a youth audience and rapidly change and evolve. Carrie Rose’s example perhaps better suits B2C and/or millennial brands so remember that Google Trends can help you understand global conversations.

As I write this, topics around Halloween are rising rapidly and Google searches for Halloween costumes have risen by 400%. By using these research and insight tools, you can ensure your campaign is relevant or reverse engineer a campaign to become relevant.

Over the next few weeks, here are the content trends worth knowing about:

  • Cop26 - content around climate change and local Scotland searches around impact on the city of Glasgow

  • Also as you might expect, Christmas content is on the rise!

  • Anything to do with veganism or vegan recipes are a growing trend too - this volume search is likely to increase over time

And finally!

Digital PR isn’t just about links, it’s about building brands and driving traffic. Whatever digital marketing tactic you employ, the strength of your brand is fundamental so social media, Influencers, TikTok – they all have a part to play in your story too!

Contact me for more insights on how to join together your PR and SEO campaigns.

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