Why PR Matters for SEO

Kate Lobel
By Kate Lobel

Traditionally, digital marketing is split into several different channels. Although from an outside perspective it may seem like these departments work independently from one another, that is actually far from the truth. While each team may focus on their own specialized offerings and strategies, they still need other departments to form a complete and all-encompassing digital marketing strategy.

One unexpected relationship within the digital marketing world is between PR and SEO. Even though these two departments may seem to be complete when it comes to their practices, they actually support each other a lot more than you think. In fact, if it wasn’t for PR, SEO would not be able to fulfill its complete strategy and vice versa.

A perfect example of this is with PR Placements. Landing a PR placement can be a great tactic to also help SEO for many reasons. Before we explain any further, it’s important to go back and cover the very basics of SEO. Once we fully go over the ins and outs of SEO, you will then be able to understand the relationship it has with PR. Below is a summary of SEO fundamentals and how it functions as a digital marketing strategy.

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What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the process of getting web traffic through organic or free search results. These search results are shown on Google and other search engines. When implementing an SEO strategy, no payment is involved. This is not like a paid advertisement that shows at the top of a search engine results page, also known as SERP. For your website to rank high on a SERP, it must be viewed as a reputable and informative website by the search engine’s algorithms.

So how is this done? Well, when a search engine is ranking the websites on a SERP page, it has a crawler that searches through web content looking for valuable information on a specific topic. Once that information has been indexed, it is then put through an algorithm that attempts to match it with your search query (or the long tail keywords you type into google).

The way a SERP page shows up is not by coincidence. The pages that come up on a SERP are not randomly selected and put in whatever order. It’s put together by Google through this process that was just described above. Now, there are endless factors that go into this algorithm, but some of the most important are how informative and relevant a piece of content is to a search query and the domain authority of a website (which we will explain in a later section).

So, if you want your website to show up on the first page of a SERP, there are several techniques to follow. This is where SEO makes its entrance. SEO is meant to do exactly that. An SEO strategy will consider meta descriptions, title tags, web content, keyword research, and many other variables to make the site more informative and Google-friendly. Although there is no single clear answer to getting on the first SERP page, there are many strategies that can help you work your way up in the rankings.

Aside from these on-page SEO strategies, it can also work with off-page approaches as well. An example of this is with link building. Link building helps SEO tremendously when it comes to improving your websites domain authority. The best way to increase your website’s domain authority and keyword rankings is by securing strong backlinks back to it. If an authoritative company backlinks to your website, it will improve your attractiveness to Google and help to improve your domain authority. Not only will these links help to create brand awareness for potential customers, but it also helps from an SEO perspective as well.

What is Domain Authority?

Now that we’ve talked about domain authority so much, it’s time to explain it. Domain authority is an SEO metric tool created by Moz. This number is basically a search engine ranking score that predicts how well a website will rank on a search engine results page (SERP). These rankings are on a scale of 0 to 100, 0 being the least authoritative while 100 being the most.

To put this into perspective, a brand new site that has just launched will have a score of a 0. Google, on the other hand, has a score of 100. Other major media outlets such as Entrepreneur and NYT are normally in the 90’s. When it comes to well-known and informative blogs, these ones are usually in the 30-50 range. As a site improves their SEO strategy, creates valuable content, and receives more backlinks, its rankings will increase.

Domain authority is a ranking factor – and it’s a big one! If you want to rank on page one of Google, you need to have a competitive domain authority to rank with the other sites ranking for that same keyword or search query. Once you have a high domain authority, you will be receiving a higher quality and quantity of leads coming to your site. As you can see, SEO can be your best friend if you want to improve your domain authority and start ranking on google.

How Does PR Effect SEO?

Now that you have a general idea of SEO practices, it’s finally time to see where PR fits into this entire equation. Below are some of the main points of how PR helps create an effective SEO strategy.

Helps Keyword Rankings

As we know, one of the most important components of a PR strategy is to create PR placements. These placements are meant to be on authoritative sites that have a high domain authority score. When you are able to land a PR placement, you will hopefully have control over what page you want to link to and what the anchor text should be. This is very important when helping SEO efforts.

By strategically selecting what you want your anchor text and link destination URL to be in your PR placements, you can drive rankings for that specific keyword and even see keyword lifts. Keep in mind that you might not always have the privilege of picking out which URL they use or what anchor text they choose. That’s why it is always important to request this to the editor. If you are allowed to choose the anchor text, make sure it is a keyword that can help you rank.

Helps Domain Authority

As we’ve discussed, domain authority is most heavily impacted by backlinks. As a website gains more backlinks, the domain authority will increase. This is because the link essentially counts as a vote of trust to your website if someone is linking back to it and some of the link equity from that site is passed through to yours. Having backlinks to your website is an excellent way for improving your overall domain authority.

You can look at the domain authority of a website and the higher DA the site has the more impact it will have on your site. A link back from a site with a stronger domain authority will make a bigger impact on sites with lower DAs. No matter what domain authority your site currently has, every company can benefit from strong backlinks. Keep in mind that the more backlinks your website has, the higher your domain authority will be, thus increasing your site’s exposure to a wider audience over time. Once your site’s domain authority increases, it will then begin to improve on SERPs.

Conclusion

To wrap things up, improving your site’s domain authority is what’s going to get you ranking on google. The goal of any website should be to strive for page one, and that is going to be done through your SEO strategy and PR placements. These two strategies are perfect for each other when it comes to developing an effective digital marketing plan.

PR placements are a lot more effective than just brand awareness. Securing backlinks to your website are essential for improving your overall domain authority. If you want to organically rank on google or other search engines, then it’s imperative to implement an effective SEO and PR strategy that supports one another.

As you can see, PR and SEO go hand in hand. Both these channels work together to improve the overall visibility of a website and without one another, their efforts would not be utilized to its fullest potential. If you want your website’s domain authority to improve, try incorporating both SEO and PR into an effective, cohesive team.

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Kate is the director of Public Relations at Power Digital Marketing with an extenisve background in traditional media relations and digital marketing with the goal of bridging the gap between brand awareness and ROI.