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Does PR help with Search Engine Optimisation?

19th February 2024

The short answer is yes!

Let’s dive straight in:

Backlinks: Backlinks are links from another website to your website or content. PR activity often results in high-quality backlinks from reputable websites. These are a crucial ranking factor for search engines like Google and having authoritative sites linking to your content can boost your website’s SEO.

Brand Visibility: Output such as press releases, media mentions, comments and award announcements can increase brand visibility and awareness. When more people are aware of your brand and search for it online, it can lead to an increase in brand searches, which is a positive signal to search engines.

Social Signals: PR campaigns often include social media outreach and engagement. Social signals, such as likes, shares, and comments on social media platforms, are considered by search engines as indicators of content quality and relevance. So, a strong social media presence can indirectly contribute to better SEO performance.

Content Promotion: PR professionals (in theory) produce high-quality, informative content, pitching it to authoritative publications and leveraging social media to amplify organic reach. This aligns perfectly with Google’s E-E-A-T criteria.

Which leads us to our next question…

 

What the heck is E-E-A-T?

E-E-A-T stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. It’s a set of guidelines that Google uses to assess the quality and credibility of web content. Here’s a breakdown of each component and how PR can help:

Experience

Specifically, the first-hand experiences of people in your business who are the authors of the content you publish.

This becomes even more important in the context of content being produced by generative AI. AI can never replicate a human’s first-hand experiences. At best, it can make assumptions based on existing online content. This human experience and insight is a key differentiator between human and AI-written content.

You can demonstrate this experience by sharing the faces behind your business. This will enable you to:

  1. Show that there’s a real organisation behind your site.
  2. Highlight the expertise in your organisation and in the content and services you provide.
  3. Show that honest and trustworthy people stand behind your site.

Expertise

This refers to the level of knowledge and expertise demonstrated by the content author in their respective field. Google looks for content that is created by individuals or organisations with relevant expertise, qualifications, or experience. For example, medical advice should ideally come from qualified medical professionals and tips on evading tax and never answering a question directly should come from a politician.

PR can help highlight the experience and expertise of individuals or organisations by showcasing their achievements, credentials, and industry recognition. This could include securing speaking engagements at conferences, contributing articles to reputable publications, or arranging interviews with journalists to discuss relevant topics.

Authoritativeness

Authoritativeness – although difficult to say – relates to the perceived authority of the content creator or website within its industry or niche. Websites that are recognised as authoritative sources by their peers, experts, or the wider community are more likely to rank highly in search results. Factors such as backlinks from other reputable sites, mentions in reputable publications, and industry awards also contribute to perceived authority.

PR can help establish authority by positioning individuals or brands as thought leaders in their respective fields. This can be achieved through media coverage, endorsements from respected figures, and participation in industry events or panels. PR also plays a vital role when things go wrong, by addressing negative reviews, customer complaints, and promoting positive brand stories.

 

Trustworthiness

Trustworthiness refers to the reliability and integrity of the content and the website itself. Google seeks to promote content that users can trust, which means content should be accurate, well-sourced, and free from misleading or deceptive information. Factors such as clear authorship, transparent affiliations, and secure website practices (such as HTTPS encryption) contribute to trustworthiness.

PR can help you build trust with your audience by managing your reputation and fostering transparency. Earned media is more valuable to SEO in building trust than paid media because it’s secured through merit.

 

In summary, E-E-A-T is an important consideration for Google’s search algorithms as it aims to prioritise high-quality content created by credible sources. Websites that demonstrate expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness are more likely to rank well in search results and earn the trust of users.

PR boosts your SEO strategy by supporting E-E-A-T signals and building credibility with both users and search engines alike. By integrating PR and SEO strategies, businesses can enhance their online presence and achieve better search engine rankings, making them more visible to their audience.

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About Ben Hollom

I’m a former agency owner, strategist and head of marketing with over 25 years experience, I now work with ambitious agencies and businesses, using my experiences on both sides of the agency – client relationship to support them on their journ...

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