The foundation of an SEO strategy should always include PR

The foundation of an SEO strategy should always include PR

The foundation of an SEO strategy should always include PR

To carve out space for your company in today’s digital-first landscape, it’s crucial to have a strong SEO strategy. While there are several factors that have a role in boosting your startup’s SEO, like blogging, mobile first website design, solid SEO website infrastructure, and YouTube videos, one lesser-known way to strengthen SEO is through the use of public relations.

PR has long been seen as a channel for increasing brand awareness and strengthening organizational credibility, but what’s not always well understood is the power that media coverage has on a long-term SEO strategy.

Here’s how PR helps boost SEO and a few ways to use it to your company’s advantage:

Nuts and bolts

So, how exactly does PR help out with SEO? The answer is simple: backlinks. When your company lands earned media coverage in reputable news media outlets with high domain authority, like Forbes, The Wall Street Journal or Business Insider, your website traffic will subsequently increase. And with the credibility of these sites attached to your brand, Google will begin to recognize your website as a trusted source for related content, which will help boost your ranking.

With enough solid media coverage, you can ultimately build a backlink strategy that’s constantly working for you. This ability to build out high-value links that the Google algorithm prioritizes gives PR more influence over SEO outcomes than many of the common tricks (link directories, tier 3 blogs, sketchy pay-to-play media outlets, etc.) employed by less reputable SEO firms.

PR tactics that deliver SEO results

 1. Earned media coverage 

Let’s say your company has an exciting product launch in the pipeline and you want to build momentum around the product prior to launch. Landing earned media coverage will help your company get the news in front of the right people: customers, prospects, industry influencers.

What’s great about earned media, however, is that not only does it momentarily put the spotlight on your brand, but it continues to work to your benefit even after the campaign is complete.

Once a publication with high domain authority writes about your company and, subsequently, adds a backlink to your website, you’ve essentially solidified your place on their website and boosted your own SEO in the process.

2. Brand awareness 

When executing a media campaign, many PR agencies will target a diverse list of news media outlets for your startup. And the more articles you can rack up, the more potential customers will begin to recognize and research your brand. That’s especially important for B2B companies with longer purchasing cycles.

This is crucial for a couple of reasons. First, an increased interest in your company could lead to more people conducting Google searches about your products or services. Secondly, an increase in searches around your brand will let Google know that your company is indeed legit and in demand, which will help boost your ranking even further. Google prioritizes brands with proven search volume and online presence, so it’s safe to say that an increase in brand awareness through PR will ultimately improve your Google ranking.

3. Thought leadership 

A component of earned media, thought leadership initiatives are key to boosting your company’s SEO. In order to build credibility, it pays for your company executives and key stakeholders to share their take on industry trends and submit contributed articles to industry publications and even mainstream media like Forbes.

A contributed article to a high domain authority site like Forbes can increase referral website traffic, not just through the published article on the website, but anywhere else the news outlet shares it, like social media or an email newsletter. Not to mention, a contributed article differs from a write-up on your company because it offers an opportunity to share your industry expertise, which in turn increases your brand’s credibility.

In addition to contributing articles to industry publications, consider adding speaking opportunities at conferences or industry events (now virtual thanks for the pandemic) to your thought leadership strategy.

4. Social proof 

Once you’ve earned media placements in top tech publications, don’t forget to include that press on your company’s website. This is a small yet crucial step in the earned media process that shouldn’t be overlooked.

By including either logos or links to the media coverage your company has received, you’ll be creating social proof. Social proof amplifies your company’s industry credibility and helps build trust between your brand and potential clients, stakeholders, or anyone visiting your website.


Dave Manzer is the founder of Swyft, a PR and marketing agency focused on tech startups.