Media coverage can work wonders in promoting your business and getting noticed by your target audience. But these days digital PR has a dual role – in helping you move up the search engine rankings.
A PR approach will aim to achieve coverage for your company on digital media that’s read by your audience – whether that’s local and regional newspapers or specialist magazines or blogs. It’s about creating brand awareness (the traditional role of PR) at the same time as creating content that’s worth linking to or talking about on social media (the new role of PR).
A link from a highly authoritative source will not only place your brand in front of a new audience, it will also help your company climb the search engines.
If users then search for your brand name, or click a link to your website from an article, Google will take this as an indicator that your site is delivering valuable content to users, and push you up the search results accordingly.
However, achieving media coverage with SEO value isn’t as simple as writing a press release and emailing it to every journalist you can think of. A more considered approach is required.
What do you need to do to achieve SEO-friendly PR for your business?
Understand what your customers are searching for
To make an impact on SEO, it’s important to understand what keywords and phrases are being used by your audience. We work with our technical SEO colleagues to analyse the competitive landscape and make a realistic judgement about what a client is likely to achieve a ranking for in the short, medium and long-term.
We break down our analysis into brand, category and product set, taking data from various analytics tools to develop a keyword/phrase strategy. Most companies need a short, medium and long-term approach, especially if they want to rank for highly competitive keywords. Where possible, articles and press releases are developed around the keywords and phrases we want to target, as well as a company’s brand name; though quality, readable content is the priority.
Research the media you’re targeting
Few businesses are so newsworthy they can excite the national media on a regular basis. So you’ll need to look at the various media titles your audience consumes and target them with article ideas which fit with their editorial agenda. It’s about understanding the type of stories covered by each media outlet and pitching relevant ideas to them at the right time.
Remember: no news is…no news
Journalists want to report genuine news. Features writers want to cover interesting topics. Don’t pitch a lame idea – it won’t get covered and will ruin your chances of ever getting through to your media contact in future. Although you may be keen to get coverage RIGHT NOW, it’s best to wait until you can develop a genuine news story or article idea, otherwise your chances may be ruined. Read our blog post about what makes a great news story.
Think of what the media will need from you
If you’re pitching a story to a journalist, make sure you’re organised. Depending on the story, they’ll probably want to interview a Board member, receive or arrange a professional photograph and ask questions you might not want to answer! The key is: be prepared!
It’s a good idea to look media-friendly by creating a news area on your website in which to house press releases and announcements, photographs and briefing documents. The easier it is for journalists to access the information they need, the more likely they are to write about your company.
Don’t give up
Only journalists and editors can decide whether to run a story. No PR professional can guarantee that a story will be published. There’s always uncertainty with PR – yes, the results can be phenomenal, but they’re rarely guaranteed.
Want to know more? We are always happy to answer questions about any aspect of digital PR or SEO. For further information please contact us.