When it comes to public relations, I think most companies can agree that it’s beneficial. What I think is harder to agree on is why it’s beneficial.
Yes, public relations boosts brand awareness and builds thought leadership, but beyond that, what can press mentions do for a brand? Believe it or not, public relations done right can actually have a positive impact on your company’s ranking in Google search results.
As a PR professional, this is an area I’m familiar with, but I sat down with the real expert on the topic – Recovery Brands’ resident SEO guru, Andrew Garcia. Here’s what he had to say about it:
Q: What is the SEO value of public relations?
The first thing to know is that there are two types of SEO – ‘on-page’ (i.e. your website) and ‘off-page’ (i.e. anything outside of your website). Public relations is very impactful for the latter, as it helps to garner authoritative backlinks (links to your site from third-party sites) that have a direct impact on keyword rankings. This is huge because backlinks are the ‘bread and butter’ of off-page SEO. Why? The quality, quantity and diversification of backlinks are one of the strongest authority signals taken into consideration when Google is serving up results to a relevant search query.
Q: Would you say that authority is one of the most important ranking factors for Google?
100%. Google is primarily concerned with serving up the most relevant and accurate data in order to answer a search query. To do this, it will use a number of authority signals across the web to help determine which pages to serve up, and in what order, for a specific query.
Authority has a strong influence on rankings, as does relevance. Since you may find a lot of content on the web that speaks to the same topics, Google must then use authority and relevance to help determine the ranking of this content.
Q: Do social links have the same SEO benefit?
There isn’t much evidence to support the theory that links from social platforms influence content. The links themselves typically have a nofollow attribute, that prevents the spamming of social platforms for the purpose of manipulating search engines. Social media is great as a content promotion, conversion and engagement tool, but the direct links that come from these social platforms don’t have any real influence on search engine rankings.
Q: What are some of the best ways for people to discover if they are missing out on backlinks?
Tools such as Moz’s Opensite Explorer, Ahref’s Site Explorer, Google’s Search Console and Majestic’s Site Explorer can provide an accurate snapshot of a company’s current backlinks. If you’ve got a fully established SEO program, these sorts of tools are great for identifying opportunities to improve link building strategies. However, active listening tools such as Google Alerts and Social Mention, are more beneficial as baseline tools. These free platforms deliver notifications of brand mentions, which allows users to see when someone is talking about their company but maybe not linking to its website.