How often do we read fake news?
Recent US presidential elections have shown us that disinformation can be as valuable as information.
In fact, how often do you read information that is denied within 24 hours of its release?
There is a valid reason why people create fake news.
Even if incorrect, such information leads to curiosity and people asking questions.
Why am I even mentioning this? It has to do with history of SEO and public relations.
Keep on reading, I will explain myself in a bit.
Golden age of PR SEO
All is fair in love and SEO.
In fact, almost every SEO expert has used gray or black hat methods at one point in their career. One of the most notorious strategies was PR link building.
“PR link building was creation of fake news”
SEO expert would pay for a link on a news blog. Then, news blog would create a fake story and link to you as the source.
With this method you could accomplish two things:
- Get an easy link from news website
- Get some nice exposure and traffic
After a while Google decided to put a stop to them.
Needless to say, these supposed news articles were really spammy, without any valid information to back them up.
Given that they didn’t provide any real value to readers Google saw them as some of the worst on the web.
As a result, many news websites that indulged in such practice perished when the next Google update came along.
Transformation of PR SEO
After such niche slashing, you’re probably wondering how PR SEO is still relevant.
“You cannot put a price on exposure”
Even though most news websites are stirring clear from blackhat practice the fact remains that they still need news.
On the other hand, SEOs still need links and exposure.
Naturally, PR links exists up to this day and if you think about it almost every type of a link (including guest posts) can be regarded as a public relation link.
However, in this article we will focus on big media outlets and influencers as entities that can do the most for your exposure.
Transformation of PR SEO can also be contributed to general changes to Google.
Today, Google is a strongly user-oriented search engine.
Although we cannot neglect all the positive effect of links, there is so much more to consider.
In fact, marketing has become much more inclusive wiping boundaries between SEO and other marketing methods.
These two images from marketingprofs.com can easily demonstrate the difference:
Images taken from Marketingprofs.com
But marketing isn’t the only thing that changes.
SEO has changed a lot as well.
There are so many things to be considered when optimizing a website.
You have to have good relationships with other bloggers and influencers (ideally you should know them personally), to have effective SMM and to connect your website with other promotional activities.
To sum it up, search engine optimization expert has to have a full bag of tricks!
Real value behind PR SEO
We need to be more precise.
Here are 6 main benefits that you’ll receive when news website promotes or shares your content:
- You will get a high-quality backlink
- You will get additional exposure which may increase your traffic
- Other professionals may notice you as they are likely reading news from the biggest news blogs within the niche
- It gives you bragging rights and improves your biography
- It works well in conjunction with other promotional activities boosting individual campaign
- Helps social media marketing
Getting published on a big website or just getting a link from it can be a career defining moment for you. Exposure is immense and it can take you places which were previously unreachable.
Even if you’re a authoritative website with lots of followers, you should still promote your company on other web portals.
Why? So that everyone can see your message.
How to manage your public relations
Every company regardless of its size should have an outlet through which it can communicate with its users and consumers.
Unfortunately, the biggest issue here is your reach.
Even if you create an awesome piece who will actually see it?
This is why you need to reach out to big outlets that can share your message with more people.
Lines between PR and SEO become blurred at this point.
“While theoretically different, PR and SEO work in unison”
In fact, when you create a piece for news website should you call it a PR article or SEO guest post?
It is really hard to tell.
Here is how the process should look like:
Find the thing you wish to promote
Have in mind that PR is not necessarily about sales.
You can use it to raise consciousness about your brand, products or something else. It is a method for communicating with stakeholders.
Nevertheless, you need to decide on what your message is going to be.
When I say targeting, I don’t refer to media outlets (not yet at least). Instead, I am referring to end users. You need to discover who the target readers are and get in front of as many of them as possible.
Creating the message
Message comes in a form of content. Whether you’re using a video, article or pictures, two things need to be clear: what is the main goal of your content and who needs to read it.
Finding the right news outlet
Now that you have everything set up, it is time to contact the right media outlet.
First and foremost, you will have to pitch websites that might be interested in your content. Second, you need to make sure that the right people (potential customers and professional contacts) visit this website.
Otherwise, you won’t create the necessary effect.
How to manage your SEO?
As I mentioned, PR SEO is something that requires both an SEO and a PR team. Each team has different duties but consultation is necessary when making the decisions.
Here are the things from SEO perspective:
Find the thing you wish to promote
While your SEO team shouldn’t have the deciding input when it comes to creating general message, SEO experts need to find the right way to utilize the article. Here, I am mainly referring to finding the right keyword.
If PR team has already determined what the target audience should be, SEO team should use Google analytics to check different news websites and discover the outlet with optimal readers.
- Creating the message
During this step, SEO’s task is to perform the necessary on-page optimization shaping the article so that Google can easily and quickly pick it up.
Finding the right news outlet
Lastly, SEO team should use PR team’s list with news websites and find the ones that have the best traffic and highest authority.
Although you will probably pitch numerous websites, it is always better to prioritize those who can do more for you.
Potential issues with PR SEO
Of course, I am talking about the ideal situation.
Truth be told most companies do not have funds for both these teams (Public relations and SEO). So, one and the same people will likely manage the whole process.
In a way, this can be good as it can prevent conflicts between team members. On the flip side, this means that you will likely lack expertise in one of these fields.
Nowadays, the SEO team usually performs the entire job.
Given that SEOs know a lot about content marketing and targeting, they can easily manage both.
But in some cases, this can prove to be disastrous as SEOs do not have as much experience (on average) when dealing with news outlets.
Most of these processes are rather easy to perform.
The biggest issue comes with news websites and how they perceive your message.
Images taken from Moz.com
This is why the problem occurred in the first place.
News websites need to present news to their audience. That being said, whatever you wish to pitch has to be:
- Valuable for the community and its readers
- Highly shareable by the readers in order to achieve the desired viral effect
Although doing PR SEO looks like an easy task, it actually isn’t so.
What are the odds that you’re the first one to reach some news?
The best way to approach the issue is to create a new concept.
After getting initial traction and proving to some of the experts within your niche that this concept is valid, you can pitch news website and tell them you have something that might change the industry.
Always have in mind that news have to be innovation not replication.
On the other hand, influencers’ blogs are much easier to reach and pitch. All you need is for an influencer to respect you and your work.
Influencers are much better starting point than news websites as:
- You always know who to contact
- News sites are much stricter when using other people’s content
Good relationships with influencers and news websites are necessary to propel your website.
No matter how big you are, you always require new channels for reaching more people.
It is an endless cycle.
Even with all the theory and strict guest posting requirements, it all comes down to one thing: knowing the right person. This is something that can open a lot of doors for you.
Have you ever tried HARO? What is your experience with advertising on major media outlets? Tell me in the comments!