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How Public Relations and Earned Media Will Improve SEO

Updated: Jan 14, 2021

It is no secret to businesses that marketing a product or service effectively is a crucial part of maintaining sales and online traffic. In today’s digital age, companies are constantly competing to be at the forefront of the minds of consumers; not only are there a vast array of social media sites that evolve almost daily, but also the additional factors of website traffic, digital advertising, public relations, and search engine optimization (SEO). For those who don’t know, earned media is defined as any material about you or your business that you have not paid for or created yourself, and search engine optimization is the process of growing the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing the visibility of a website or a web page to users of a web search engine. Businesses are able to pay for site traffic and advertisements, which are beneficial in the short run, but the best way to create a consistent following and improve SEO is through great public relations.  

Most consumers look to resources and people they know when making a purchasing decision and tend to trust those more than basic advertisements. Examples of earned media include postings on social media, word of mouth, and other forms of outreach such as a TV news segment or a written article on a respected media outlet. In order to make a long-lasting impact on a company's SEO, a link to their website in addition to the placement is essential. 

An article from PRDaily connected with prominent marketing professionals to get insight on this topic. According to Andy Crestodina, co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer at Orbit Media, “while the benefit of a press mention boosts a brand, it may be short-lived. The spike in referral traffic may be brief. But, when you’re able to get a journalist or blogger to link to a piece of content on your site, that link is likely to last. It’s rare that sites delete pages and links. And, this will increase your SEO.” Crestodina also mentioned that these links provide credibility and authority, which ranks them higher within a search engine, making it more likely that the media will remain prominent during a search. Most consumers are not willing to look past the first or second page of results when searching for a product or service. Public Relations professionals are able to provide some of that credibility, making them a huge asset for your business. 

Though PR, Earned Media, and SEO go hand-in-hand, they are not considered the same. Public relations can increase earned media, which in turn can increase SEO. PRDaily also posted an article with tips to improve your company’s SEO. Some of these recommendations include:

  • Write For Your Audience: Not only do businesses need to be aware of their target audience, but also what they need, what they do, and who they listen and talk to. The content that businesses deliver must be presented in a way that can offer solutions to the needs of their customers. It is important to remember to refer to these products and solutions using a dialect that customers tend to use. For example, if you reference smart homes as “connected homes,” but the audience is more likely to search for “smart home technology” versus “connected home technology,” you will have more success incorporating smart home language into your content.” Recognizing keywords and incorporating them into a search will bring about much better results. 

  • Be Aware of Trends and Timely Topics: Think about the industry or seasonal trends that may incite your audience to seek out relevant information online and create content to support those searches. These trends and topics should be combined with fresh content that will consistently drive traffic to your site. This requires a unique marketing and branding strategy that sets you apart from the competition and makes your brand more desirable. 

  • Conduct Keyword Research and Include in Titles, Headlines, and Copy: As previously mentioned, using the proper dialect is crucial when trying to reach a target customer base. Choose keywords that are relevant to your business, not just those that are top-rated. Tapping into niche topics that relate to your audience can help drive traffic to your site. In addition, Google scans content much the same way humans scan content. Make it easy for search engines to determine what your content is about by including relevant keywords in places that are easy to spot. If it makes sense, consider putting keywords at the beginning of the headlines.

  • Build Relationships with Subject Matter Experts and Industry Influencers: This is where the idea of PR, earned media, and SEO come full circle. The cited article states that “when you invest the time to partner with true subject matter experts, your content will be higher quality and more useful to your audience. You may want to rely on a mix of experts within and outside your organization. The former can help further your organization’s profile as an authority, while the latter can cast a wider net and help get your content to people you may not already reach.” 

Utilizing influencers is a great way to generate publicity in your business sector, especially when those influencers are passionate about your industry. Consumers who follow and respect these social media stars will trust their opinion of the product or service, and be more likely to consider purchasing it themselves. Having an influencer post a link to a website or product tends to bring a massive amount of traffic to a business for a considerable period of time. Not all influencers require compensation to post products. Reaching out to prominent influencers in the industry and offering them product samples may be all it takes for them to consider promoting a brand on social media. 

As explained by PR Daily, “when a company makes an announcement, industry news sites are often the first to cover the news. When they cover it, they usually share it on social media. Then, the brand will also share it, and chances are that a few partners or other fans of the brand will share it, too.” It is recommended to try different ways to reach your audience based on the tips provided and determine what mix of public relations and earned media brings about the best results for your business. 

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