If SEO or PPC Matter, Remember Integrating Public Relations

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I will say it until I am blue in the face – “Integrated marketing works best.”  The market is crowded and consumers are distracted. Amazingly, I can’t tell you how many companies we meet that spend five or six figures monthly on one individual marketing stream, rather than diversifying their spend. As CEO of 5WPR, my experience has shown that this to be a major mistake.

Above the noise

Why spend time and effort on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or Pay per Click (PPC) when you don’t do your all to also capture organic mindshare and market share? Companies that spend on Google are already way ahead of the curve in knowing that search is often the first place anyone interested in you or your company looks. But you should also work with a Public Relations agency to ensure that great stories are secured – with the right links in high page rank outlets.

Content is and always has been king for search engines – so make sure you get good placements in the right media outlets. By creating placements in the right outlets, SEO can take those media placements and turn them into long-lasting organic traffic, and organic business builders for your company.  Search Engine visibility offers the chance to have people read and notice the story – even if they never read the original publication you were featured in.

Some ideas I wanted to share with the online community which have worked for some of the thousands of clients we have served at 5WPR:

  • Pontificate Often & Regularly:  As an example, many in the professional services industry love to “hear themselves talk.” Use it to your advantage as we do – we have doctors, lawyers and accountants blogging regularly on high ranking sites about issues of importance. And guess what – within those well-written, thought provoking articles, include some relevant links (And yes, I practice what I preach).
  • If Only Your Mom Reads the Press Release… its ok.  As long as the links are right, using distribution sites (PR Web, PR Newswire, etc.), linking with the right keywords can help you radically affect rankings. We distribute news releases regularly forSEO purposes. Given the amount of links you can secure, the news wire done right is effective – and media sees it.
  • If the Media Says It, People Believe It: We represent a major player in a very competitive industry who simply wants to ensure the company is included in every round-up story on the industry. With us aggressively targeting reporters who cover the company’s space, it’s nearly every time that media covers the space they are mentioned.  And with every mention comes a hyperlink – and as long as he’s mentioned alongside his competitors he is happy.
  • As I say often, content is king: Websites need regular updating, and by adding media placements from Public Relations efforts to your sites it’s considered a content update (Update your site map to Google.).  Along with the incoming links you can also outbound link to your company in the stories.
  • Say It & Say It Again:  Create a website or blog “Company in the News”.  You can make your positive news stories rank higher and protect your brand when inevitable negative stories come.

This integrated approach strategy is really quite simple – Search engine visibility is key and Public Relations is a very effective tool to drive sales, demonstrate traction and improve search engine rankings.  Expect me to continue to pontificate on why it all works best when you do a lot of different things.

Photo credits: Above the Noise – courtesy © JERMVUT KITCHAICHANK – Fotolia.com

Ronn Torossian
Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, a Top 25 US PR Agency. He is author of best-selling PR book “For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build... Read Full Bio
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  • A word to the wise–online PR, just like any other link building tactic, can/has been/will be abused by spammers. Don’t flood the web with fluff just to get a few links. Wait until you actually have something newsworthy to talk about. Danny Sullivan actually just wrote a great article about PRWeb (http://searchengineland.com/how-prweb-helps-distribute-crap-into-google-news-sites-140597) that deals with the amount of junk “news” companies try to spin into a press release.

    Online PR, when done right, is a great link building tool and can definitely help with your SEO and online brand presence. But you have to treat it with respect.

  • I agree, good point Nick. Just like you shouldn’t make changes to your website just for SEO purposes, you shouldn’t send out press releases just for SEO purposes either. If you don’t think your release includes anything newsworthy, and wouldn’t feel comfortable shopping it around on it’s own merit, don’t put it on the wire just because it has favorable link text in there.

    The point about using recent media hits for your website, in a “in the news” section of your blog for instance is good, just remember to use the text of the article and not just a PDF, i see a lot of this for some reason still.

  • Richard Ros

    Will PR firms also try to do link building or only content creation ? Many questions i have after reading this article.

  • I agree completely with not simply using press releases as a link building strategy. This is merely a flow on benefit from it’s main purpose which is creating more buzz and exposure for your business surrounding newsworthy events. When you focus on this the press release will be much more interesting , beneficial and it’s chances of getting picked up by more news sites will be higher. This is where you get the real SEO benefits begin to show.

  • Joey Art

    Press releases seem to have a dual focus – attracting media and also link building. But it seems it has to be focused on both and not either or.