Many companies are doing digital PR, but few know the secret of mixing it with highly effective SEO tactics.
By William Furney, PR & content strategist, Reachology
As businesses increasingly shift their marketing spend online, instead of solely relying on traditional media to get their messages out, some may wonder how to get digital PR and marketing right. There are so many channels and all kinds of audiences, and knowing which tools to use, how to address various demographics and how to keep it all going can be extremely daunting — even for the most seasoned PR pros.
Further compounding the complex task of communicating and interacting with online audiences and building brands’ presence in the digital sphere is search engine optimisation (SEO) — priming a website and its and different content so that it will be visible by Google and the other search engines. A while back — not so long ago — lots of firms engaged in shady SEO practices to build their credibility on the internet, with links from non-relevant, spammy sites they hoped would pass website authority on to them, to make their sites more prominent and gain more traffic.
But with Google devising and rolling out changes to its all-powerful core and other algorithms to counter such “black-hat” SEO tactics, many firms have had to clean up their online act and engage in above-board SEO measures along with digital PR and marketing. And so, combining these online practices gives companies a workable, authoritative way forward and allows them to properly get ahead in the digital realm, without fear of penalty and losing their rankings. Not everyone is so clear about what’s involved, though.
Why digital PR strategies slump without SEO
With so much content on the internet — millions of blog posts are written daily, on the more than 1.9 billion websites, for instance — snaring attention and getting your digital PR strategies noticed can often be an uphill battle. Attention spans online are notoriously short, after all, and you only have a split-second to make an initial impact before people move on.
Before you even get to the eyeballs seeking out compelling content, it’s vital that you ensure your digital PR material – whether created by your own company or a digital PR service – stands the best chance of appearing where it should. That means everything from press releases to social media announcements, content marketing, earned linked building and more should contain SEO elements like relevant keywords and metadata so that it’s picked up by Google and returned high up in users’ searches.
Otherwise, there’s a high probability of all your digital PR strategies getting lost in the vastness of the online world and disappearing before anyone has even seen it. This results in a poor return on your PR and marketing spend, if you even get one at all – and in a post-pandemic world that has pushed the internet even further to our work and leisure lives, no company can afford to lose out in such a damaging way.
How to combine digital PR with SEO?
We’ve mentioned how companies had been trying to game the search-engine system and gain higher rankings, and even despite the algorithm changes to weed out such underhand practices, some are undoubtedly still at it, and perhaps also wondering why they’re not getting all that far. One of the beauties of digital PR is its ability to gain natural, or organic, backlinks to a website, with stories in major media that editors love and draw in readers — these are the kind of “earned” links to companies’ sites that Google wants to see.
Creating this kind of powerful content with effective SEO techniques and also ensuring that your website is up to scratch too, and meets Google’s SEO requirements — Core Web Vitals is one of the latest — further boosts your presence online. This will result in more exposure in search, higher rankings, greater traffic to your site and, ultimately, increased brand awareness, customers and sales.
So rather than trying to pull one over on the search engines with nefarious SEO tricks, the combination of digital PR and SEO is the professional and ethical way to promote your company online and protect its reputation. There’s also the bottom line to consider, should another algorithm update further penalise businesses for not complying with best online practices and essentially wipe them off the web, as many have discovered to their cost.
It’s PR for the digital era, done right.
Leading digital PR service Reachology offers clients an innovative digital PR and SEO mix that will dramatically boost their brands online. Get in touch now for a free initial consultation and find out how your company can profit from us.