This is a guest post by Robbie Harper, the Founder of Blue Bridge Communications, a PR firm specializing in building bridges between your story and your audience. Visit their website by clicking here.
What comes to your mind when you think of public relations (PR)? If you are like most, images of white house press secretaries and political and corporate spinsters come to mind. Despite these connotations, PR has much more to offer today and thanks to the Internet, it may very well be entering its Golden Age.
Public Relations has a few different facets, but probably the most popular is media relations. Media relations can be defined simply as the relationship that a company or organization develops with journalists, while public relations extends that relationship beyond the media to the general public. Tactically, media relations often involves pitching journalists on a story idea that you are used as a source in or in an article that you write personally.
What you may not have known is that today, media relations and search engine optimization (SEO) go hand-in-hand like a married couple. Both media relations and SEO are simply about getting others to recognize that you are an expert and have something to contribute to your industry. The two have similar processes that involve:
...there is one more step that separates the “men from the boys,” and that is getting an inbound link to your site on that website or publication you are targeting
However, when it comes to properly utilizing PR and SEO to grow your business, there is one more step that separates the "men from the boys," and that is getting an inbound link to your site on that website or publication you are targeting.
When a page on your site gets an inbound link, the page gets “points” through Google’s indexing processes and receives a small SEO boost. The more “points” Google gives your site, the higher the preference the page is given in search results.
When trying to attain an inbound link, follow the following 4 tips:
Simply Ask. Many of our parents taught us, ask you shall receive. When sending information to an editor or journalist, include a simple request such as, “I just ask that you link back to this page should you decide to use this data in your story,” at the end of your email. More often than not, he or she will grant your request and will effectively credit his or her source.
Provide a relevant link. The link that you give should always be relevant to the story they’re writing. For example, if you’re pitching a location-specific story, provide a link to a page that is dedicated to service or product offerings in a specific city or region. If you do not have a relevant link to provide, either link to the home page or create a blog post that relates to the journalist’s article.
Pay attention to domain authority. Domain authority measures the power of a domain name and is a major factor in search engine rankings. A higher domain authority helps new pages of content get indexed more quickly and increases the chance of ranking in search results. Examples of publications with extremely high domain authorities would be The Wall Street Journal and the Huffington Post.
Pay attention to niche publications. Don't just focus on the quantity of inbound links, but focus on the quality. It makes sense for you to reach out to publications that share the same base as your typical customer or client. After all, the next step in the process is to convert traffic to your site to loyal customers.
The bottom line is that media relations and SEO need to be front and center in your integrated marketing plan and your budget. This is something that you can’t afford to ignore. When these elements work well together, along with a solid content marketing strategy, SEO tends to take care of itself.