Three Steps to Maximize SEO Through PR

As the world becomes an increasingly digital place, potential clients, partners, donors and other key audiences are more and more likely to discover a brand or organization online. PR firms therefore must prioritize SEO and a client’s standing in search in their PR and communications strategies.

What Is SEO?

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of improving an organization’s standing in online search tools, ensuring that it shows up at the top of search results for its name, relevant terms and for its services or offerings. According to Google, SEO is about helping search engines understand and present content. Doing it well requires an understanding of how search engines work and employing tactics across owned and external links to improve the ranking of an organization. 


Part of SEO belongs with SEO experts and web developers, for example optimizing site maps, URLS, etc., but public relations can play a pivotal role in SEO as by developing content for an organization’s website, supporting internal teams to develop the right language and links to employ across social media and most importantly, securing references and backlinks to the organizations on high-quality sites. This can include media hits that mention clients and link to their site or social media and also press releases that get picked up by hundreds of news sites throughout the country. 

Employing PR for SEO

There are three key roles PR can play in improving SEO for an organization. They are:

1. Keyword Optimization 

Take a look at almost any website, and you may quickly find that it is not fully taking advantage of proper keyword use. Search engines need to be able to understand what websites are about so that they can index and rank them accordingly. This doesn’t mean you should stuff a handful of keywords anywhere you can – this can actually lower your ranking as it can be read as spam. It means doing a little research and looking at the variety of ways people search for what you offer. For example, if someone is looking for a law firm to represent them after a car accident, they may search for “car accident law firm,” “car accident attorney,” “car accident lawyer,” “auto accident attorney,” and the list goes on.

Using simple keyword research tools can help you identify opportunities and ensure you capture the most popular terms. A good PR firm will use a variety of tools to make decisions on which keywords should be targeted. Once you’ve identified the proper keywords, integrate them into the places search engines weigh most heavily, such as your title tags, meta description tags, h1 tags and body copy.  

2. Link Building

Let’s be honest. Good link building is hard work. It can take a lot of time and be tedious to manage. This is precisely why most are not doing it. But the SEO community is united in the consensus that the number and quality of inbound links to a website is one of the most important factors when Google determines how highly that website should rank. What’s one of the best ways to get a large number of natural inbound links to your website from credible websites with high domain authority? Earning press coverage!  

A good PR firm will assist in getting online placements on authoritative news and informational websites. Some more advanced and contemporary link building activity includes using brand monitoring tools to find mentions of your company, product or service online and then manually reaching out to the website to provide a link. Regardless of how you decide to build links to your website, link building should be an ongoing effort. In the world of link building, slow and steady wins the race.  

3. Content Production 

If you truly want to garner a lot of traffic from those performing searches online, you will need a lot of content. Content adds to an organization’s online brand awareness, expertise and authority and  is how Google determines what your website is about and what phrases it should rank for. Make sure you use the keyword optimization information above when posting each article. Once your content production engine is running, find creative ways to repurpose that content for social posts, newsletter content, podcasts, guest blog posting, and so on. Your PR partner can work with you to offer suggestions to implement the right keywords across owned channels. 

Why You Should Consider An SEO Strategy

Great SEO is a team sport – it requires cooperation from an internal team, an SEO expert, content writers, web developers and a PR firm. With all working in coordination toward a shared goal, you too can be first in your audience’s search results. As a PR firm for nonprofit and mission-driven organizations, we work thoughtfully with your team to develop an SEO, media relations and content strategy to elevate you in the ranks of Google and other search engines.

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