Public Relations & SEO: Does it really matter?

As an agency specializing in hospitality technology public relations and content, we often get asked about the relationship between PR and search engine optimization (SEO).

SEO PR – in other words, incorporating SEO into digital PR practices – is a fairly new concept. For years, PR and SEO have worked separately (and successfully) at generating traction for companies big and small. But, with 88% of PR specialists confirming that digital storytelling is the future, it was only a matter of time before the two married. Both SEO and PR are powerful tools in their own right, but combining the two can achieve the perfect balance between building a brand’s reputation and dominating search engine rankings.

Incorporating SEO techniques into PR is an effective way to elevate a message, announcement, or story to the media, helping to boost brand awareness and ensuring news reaches as many channels as possible. It’s about creating newsworthy content to acquire coverage and links that support a company or client’s search engine optimization efforts.

Here, we’ll dive into how PR can feed into SEO and the benefits of combining the two.

What is SEO?

While public relations enhances brand positioning and awareness through quality media coverage, thought leadership, and communications, SEO focuses on helping companies climb the ranks on search engine page results (SERPs) to ultimately increase online visibility. SEO is about improving the quality and quantity of online traffic to a website or web page. SEO techniques include targeting keywords, maintaining a “healthy” website, and obtaining high-quality links from third-party sites.

While SEO used to sit alone, it’s now most commonly used as part of a wider marketing strategy combined with other approaches, including pay-per-click (PPC), email marketing, social media, content marketing, offline advertising – and now, public relations.

How does PR feed into SEO?

Coverage in industry press is not only crucial to elevate a brand or thought leader’s reputation; it’s also excellent for SEO. Here are the different ways PR works side by side with SEO:

High-quality backlinks from reputable press

Search engines decide the value of content or a web page by the number of outside sites linking to it – so the more press obtained through PR, the better it is for a client’s SEO. However, it’s important to note that the quality of these press mentions matters; links and mentions from unreputable sources and sites can damage a website’s domain authority.

A PR professional ensures their client secures regular mentions and features in reputable industry press – and when ‘big’ publications mention you, Google learns to trust you more, pushing you up its rankings and improving SEO.

Brand recognition

For years, we’ve seen Google favor big brands in search engine rankings. Results for competitive phrases and keywords are dominated by well-known and reputable companies, which makes it difficult for smaller brands to boost their SEO and climb up the rankings. The only way to compete is to establish a company as more of a “brand”, by building sector authority and reputation, enhancing thought leadership, proving credibility, and building trust – in other words, quality PR.

Domain authority

Domain Authority (DA) is a metric first developed by SEO software Moz that predicts how likely a domain is to appear in the SERPs compared to its competitors. A DA score ranks from 1 to 100 – the higher the number, the higher the probability of better results in the SERPs.

To define this metric, the SEO tool considers the quality and quantity of links a webpage receives; every website starts with a score of 1 and begins to climb as it gains backlinks and popularity. With this in mind, every backlink from a reputable publication with a high DA is crucial; think of it like some of the authority from that publication “rubbing off” on a site.

Trust and authority

PR, whether it be thought leadership articles or press mentions, not only establishes trust with industry peers, customers, and stakeholders, but establishes trust with Google too. The more SERPs trust your brand, the more likely they are to rank your content higher, suggest you more frequently in results, and recommend you to searchers.

PR & SEO: a match made in heaven?

So, does PR & SEO work together? Yes. And, it’s not just a website’s SEO that benefits from PR; optimizing press articles and bylines with competitive keywords can lead to more coverage views, enhance media visibility and increase the number of people exposed to your message.

This is why it’s crucial for brands to work with an agency specializing in both PR and SEO content. At Abode Worldwide, we’re proud to be experts in both. Our team ensures everything we put out for our clients is optimized and lands in the most reputable industry press – while helping your brand climb the ranks on Google.

Want to learn more about how public relations and content work together? Find out more here. If you’d like to chat to us about how we can help boost your reputation and increase brand awareness, get in touch today.


About Amy Deverson

With a strong background in content writing and a degree in English & Journalism, Amy works in our public relations team. She harnesses her journalistic skills and experience working on transformative copy campaigns to support our team and help clients achieve their PR goals.

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