How Digital PR and SEO Work Together

There are all kinds of people who have worked well together for years and years, happily and productively. There’s Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorcese. Barack and Michelle Obama. The marketing world’s equivalent of famous duos is search engine optimization (SEO) and digital public relations (PR). Together, SEO and digital PR will help your website rank highly, ideally on page one, of Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

how digital pr affects seo

What Do Digital PR and SEO Mean?

SEO is a set of practices that help get web pages to rank highly on any given search engine’s results page. Google uses over 200 factors to decide where to place a website in search engine results for any given page. You can pay Google to be featured on page one through Google Ads. But when you combine SEO with digital PR, you increase your chances to appear on page one without paying anything. 

You may be wondering how digital PR differs from public relations (PR). According to the Digital Marketing Institute,Digital PR is a strategy used to increase awareness of your brand using online methods. In many ways, it’s similar to traditional PR, but it offers the opportunity to reach a much broader audience that can’t be reached with only offline methods.”

Before the internet and social media, public relations specialists tried to increase awareness of a brand or cause by mailing press releases and contacting journalists in the hopes their product or cause is mentioned or hosting events that promote the cause or product. Digital PR specialists have the same goal – promoting awareness of the brand or cause – but their methods are different. Digital PR is all about:

  • Controlling a brand’s online identity
  • Reaching out to journalists via email and social media to get mentioned in news stories
  • Creating content for social media and websites
  • Posting in online communities related to a cause or a company’s product line
  • Encouraging customers to leave online reviews and responding to both good and bad reviews
  • Engaging with social media influencers
  • Encouraging other companies and news organizations to link to their client’s website 
  • Producing video content
  • Managing pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns
  • Creating social media ads

How Does Digital PR Affect SEO?

Search engine optimization is about making sure your website is “high quality” in Google’s eyes. 

Google won’t exactly tell people what SEO tactics propel a company to the top of SERP but experts have found some answers. They have found out that there are over 200 factors, with the biggest ones being a brand’s online presence, backlinks, keywords, and site loading speed. We’ve written a lot about the last two bullet points, keywords and website loading speeds, in the past. In this post, we want to focus on a brand’s online presence and backlinks. These are two areas that digital PR specialists, like us at SEO Design Chicago, are experts in. 

Use Digital PR Strategies to Prove Expertise and Experience

Google claims that it crawls sites and determines if the content exists to help people find information, not just sell them products. They say they use a mix of traits to make this determination. The factors are experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, or what Google calls E-E-A-T. That means you should have many pages on your website that contain content that is trustworthy, professional, and makes it clear that it is coming from a source with experience and expertise. At SEO Design Chicago, we have over 30 writers on call to write compelling, human-first content. We are happy to “ghost produce” content, which isn’t unethical or illegal. 

We don’t want to give away all of our secrets for free, but here are a few.

Your SEO PR strategy should include:

  • Consistent production of social media content that shows a company “owns” a space or product
  • Maintenance of new pages on a website, often in the form of a blog, that includes author bios that prove the creator is experienced and an expert
  • Regular posting of reviews from satisfied customers who encourage others to use your service
  • Consistent participation in online and social media groups related to a cause or product line

pr backlinks

Outsourcing Digital PR

You can do these SEO boosting, digital PR strategies on your own. However, content creation isn’t as easy as it may seem. Technology is always changing and there are always updates to laws and ethical codes of conduct about what’s appropriate and what’s not. That’s why so many companies outsource PR help. A recent study found that 34% of small business owners outsource PR work. They see that the benefits of digital PR justify the cost. The same study found that 59% of business executives are happy to give work to third-party vendors because it saves money. After all, you don’t need to pay benefits to third-party vendors. But it’s not all about saving money. The study found companies prefer to ask for expert help in areas they don’t specialize in.

Plus, outsourcing digital PR and SEO work actually helps small companies. The number of North American freelancers grew by 22% between 2019 and 2020. A freelancer is essentially a small business. Freelancers often contract work with other small businesses – and they’re doing this by choice. Younger working professionals want the flexible work opportunities freelancing careers offer. So hiring a freelance SEO improver is a win-win for you and the PR they help you bring on board. 

Understand the Role of PR Backlinks in SEO

Hyperlinking to your own website, linking to other websites, and most importantly – getting other websites to link to your website – is collectively called link building.

Experts have long theorized that link building is one of the most important factors in how Google, Bing, and other search engines rank your website. Google is trying to make its SEO algorithm more transparent by posting updates about what makes a website rank above another website, but the language isn’t always consumer-friendly. That’s led to some misconceptions, but there is one thing we know for sure: Links still matter to Google in 2023. 

The second thing that we know for sure is that building links still takes time, patience, and outreach. This is what digital PR specialists do for you – create PR backlinks to improve SEO. Google couldn’t be more clear that their search engine algorithms are still designed to detect high-quality, unique content. They want other websites to link to your website, showing that you are a trusted source of information. Google recently suggested “Tell people about your site. Be active in communities where you can tell like-minded people about your services and products that you mention on your site.”

When other people link to your site, Google sees it as a vote of confidence in your site. They think, “If a human took the time to tell another person about a website, there must be something good there. So let’s rank the site a little higher in our search results.” Google is basically trying to be an amplifier for word-of-mouth recommendations.

digital pr strategies

Why Hire a Company for Digital PR and SEO

You may know how to hyperlink words to a webpage, but an actual link-building strategy takes much more time and thought. Finding quality hyperlinks – links to research and not your competitors – takes effort. Getting other websites to link to yours requires that you write thoughtful requests. In addition, fixing broken hyperlinks can be mundane. You could do all of these things on your own, but you probably have better ways to spend your time. At SEO Design Chicago, we offer packages to help you start or revamp your link-building strategy. Our team of professionals can:

  • Optimize the outbound links on each webpage on your website, focusing on quality, not quantity
  • Make sure you aren’t accidentally linking to competitors
  • Fix broken links on your website, which is especially important if you’re linking to pages that no longer exist 
  • Create buzz in communities focused on your company’s business. If you can get people linking to your site, Google ranks you higher
  • Reach out to other websites, offering to link back to them if they link to you
  • Try to get media outlets and other organizations to create content that mentions your company
  • Train your employees on how to build and improve on links

digital pr and seo

Is There Really a Need for a Press Rankers Digital Agency?

Yes. We understand that no business owner wants to spend money unnecessarily, but where your website ranks on SERPs is something you can’t skimp on. Even if you mostly do your business in brick-and-mortar locations, people need to know you exist, and how to find you. And Google is the first place most people look for information. 

At SEO Design Chicago, we provide all kinds of SEO and digital PR services. We can train you on how to do this on your own, maintain the practices for you, or get you started. Get in touch with us to learn more.

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