April 10, 2021

Digital PR and SEO

Digital PR and SEO: How To Combine Them for Best Results

Digital PR and SEO go together like peanut butter and jelly. Don’t believe us? 

Think of digital PR like the content you share on other websites, and SEO as the content you share on your own website. 

It’s all on the internet, and in Google’s eyes and your audience’s eyes, it all connects. 

The question is why not? Why not link your publicity efforts to your SEO efforts to get more ROI from both forms of online marketing?

Why digital PR and SEO go together

Digital PR and SEO go together for several important reasons

1. Content Promotion

Nearly all businesses struggle with content promotion. Posting on social media just isn’t enough. PR gives a way to promote valuable pieces of content to engaged audiences.

2. Rankings 

Publicity and quality backlinks are Google’s way of knowing that you are what you say you are. Contrast that with onsite SEO only, where your company is claiming to be something that no one else is backing up.

3. Authority

To be the top choice in your industry, you need to show up in the most important places for your audience. This means being at the top of relevant Google searches with your own website as well as appearing in relevant publications and events. That’s how you become omnipresent for the right people.

Getting SEO and PR to work together requires just a few foundational tweaks and then ongoing communication between the teams.

Why digital PR is a smart way to build backlinks

You have a shot at ranking for highly valuable keyphrases.

The ones that (if you ranked for them) would transform your business’s revenue.

But you only have a chance at ranking for these short tail, money making keyphrases if you’re prepared to do the work—backlink building. Backlinks tell Google that your content is worth ranking. In Google’s eyes and your audience’s eyes, PR is like having other people say your content is great, instead of just you saying it.

Here’s why digital PR is my preferred way to tell Google my content is worth ranking, compared to backlink outreach (cold emailing people to ask them to link to your content):

  • Gives you access to new audiences
  • Builds relationships with companies and content creators in your industry
  • Gives you content to share in your email list and on social media
  • More enjoyable to execute on
  • Doesn’t hurt your email domain’s deliverability
  • More reliable and affordable

How SEO offers extra ROI from digital PR efforts

I love press logos. I even collect them myself.

But I know that press logos alone don’t pay the bills. Most of my clients are B2B, so they care more about customer logos than press logos.

They want more press to reach new audiences and build relationships, not to brag.

I’m the same way. While I do get a dopamine hit every time I get a great new coverage, the main things that I care about are spreading my message, building my brand, staying top of mind with leads, and winning more clients and course students.

You can get ROI from PR without SEO.

But, SEO gives an added boost. 

PR increases your chances of ranking your best content. 

Your on-site copy and content needs to be well executed. You can’t use PR to drive backlinks to a crappy blog post or web page and expect it to work.

But if you have an awesome post or page that is SEO optimized, PR makes it more likely that it will rank. 

The question is why not? Why not link your publicity efforts to your SEO efforts to get more ROI from both forms of online marketing?

Now, let’s explore how to connect digital PR and SEO.

The best white hat digital PR tactics for SEO

So how to get digital PR and SEO working together? It’s all about the anchor text. You should use anchor text on external websites that matches the target keyphrase of the page or post on your own website that you are linking to.

Here’s an example guest post I wrote for Freelancer FAQs, with the anchor text “SaaS copywriter” linking back to my SaaS copywriter website, whose homepage is well optimized for that keyphrase. (I also have topical authority with multiple pieces of blog content about SaaS copywriting.)

You should aim to control at least half of the links you get on external websites. With top notch PR, like an Entrepreneur feature, you won’t be able to control what the journalist uses as anchor text, and that’s fine. You should still shoot for top notch PR.

But whenever you can control the anchor text, do so.

You can control anchor text in guest blogs and in podcast interviews, by giving the podcast host different SEO optimized pages, or simply by asking them to link to you with a specific anchor text.

Common digital PR tactics to avoid

Not all digital PR tactics work well for boosting SEO. Here’s what you should avoid:

  • Publishing guest blogs on websites with a DR below 30
  • Publishing guest blogs on websites no one actually reads (don’t just get backlinks, get in front of new audiences too)
  • Responding to HARO queries that are irrelevant to your business, or that you’re not really an expert on
  • Guesting on podcasts that aren’t popular and don’t have many downloads

How to get to get maximum results from digital PR

Essentially, you shouldn’t do digital PR just for the sake of SEO. You should also grow your brand awareness, so don’t just take any PR opportunity that comes. Do strategic research to make sure that you will actually reach new people and that these people are part of your target audience.

Once you’ve gotten some great online publicity, share it!

Offer this content to your audience via social media or your email list. 

This will help you stay top of mind with your leads, and continue to grow your authority. Plus, you’ll be serving your audience with awesome content they haven’t read or heard before.