To carve out space for your startup in today’s digital-first landscape, it’s crucial to have a strong SEO strategy. While there are several factors that have a role in boosting your startup’s SEO, like blogging, mobile first website design, solid SEO website infrastructure, and YouTube videos, one lesser-known way to strengthen SEO is through the use of public relations.
PR has long been seen as a channel for increasing brand awareness and strengthening organizational credibility, but what’s not always well understood is the power that media coverage has on a long-term SEO strategy.
Below, we’re sharing why PR helps boost SEO and a few ways to use it to your startup’s advantage.
How PR Boosts SEO
So, how exactly does PR help out with SEO? The answer is simple: backlinks. When your startup lands earned media coverage in reputable tech news media outlets with high domain authority, like Forbes, WSJ or TechCrunch, your website traffic will subsequently increase. And with the credibility of these sites attached to your brand, Google will begin to recognize your website as a trusted source for related content, which will help boost your ranking.
With enough solid media coverage, you can ultimately build a backlink strategy that’s constantly working for you. This ability to build out high-value links that the Google algorithm prioritizes gives PR more influence over SEO outcomes than many of the common tricks (link directories, tier 3 blogs, sketchy pay-to-play media outlets, etc.) employed by many SEO firms.
How PR and SEO Work Together
Earned media coverage
Let’s say you recently secured funding and want to make an announcement to establish your industry credibility. Or, you have an exciting product launch in the pipeline and want to build momentum around the product prior to launch. In either case, landing earned media will help your startup get the news in front of the right people. What’s great about earned media, however, is that not only does it momentarily put the spotlight on your brand, but it continues to work to your benefit even after the campaign is complete.
Once a publication with high domain authority writes about your startup and, subsequently, links to your website, you’ve essentially solidified your place on their website and boosted your own SEO in the process. This is why it’s essential to work with a tech PR agency that not only has strong relationships with the media but is also data-driven and understands the SEO landscape.
When executing a media campaign, your tech PR agency will target a diverse list of news media outlets for your startup. And the more articles you can rack up, the more potential customers or investors will begin to recognize and research your brand. This is crucial for a couple of reasons. First, an increased interest in your startup could lead to more people conducting Google searches on your startup. And second, an increase in searches around your brand will let Google know that your startup is indeed legit, which will help boost your ranking. Google prioritizes brands with proven search volume and online presence, so it’s safe to say that an increase in brand awareness through PR will ultimately improve your startup’s Google ranking.
A component of earned media, thought leadership initiatives are key to boosting your startup’s SEO. In order for a startup to build credibility, it pays for startup founders and key stakeholders to share their take on industry trends and submit contributed articles to industry publications and mainstream media like the Forbes Technology Council.
A contributed article to a high domain authority like Forbes can increase referral website traffic, not just through the published article on the website, but anywhere else the news outlet shares it, like social media or an email newsletter. Not to mention, a contributed article differs from a write-up on your startup because it offers an opportunity to share your industry expertise which in turn increases your credibility.
In addition to contributing articles to industry publications, consider adding (virtual) speaking opportunities at conferences or industry events to your thought leadership strategy.
Once you’ve earned media placements in top tech publications, don’t forget to include that press on your startup’s website. This is a small yet crucial step in the earned media process that shouldn’t be overlooked. By including either logos or links to the media coverage your startup has received, you’ll be creating social proof. Social proof amplifies your startup’s industry credibility and helps build trust between your brand and potential clients, stakeholders, or anyone visiting your website.