SEO has ruined the way many businesses approach PR. The constant chase for higher search engine rankings has caused some to focus all of their PR efforts on attaining more backlinks to boost their search engine placement. The obsession with SEO and link building has gotten to the point that some PR folks view media coverage that doesn’t include a link back to the company’s website as useless and a waste of time.
If you ask me, that’s flat out crazy.
Look, there’s no denying that PR and SEO go hand-in-hand, and that’s a good thing. Doing a great job with PR has the added benefit of increasing your search engine presence, but SEO shouldn’t be the sole factor influencing your PR decisions. If all you’re worried about is getting as many links to your website as possible, you’re missing the point of PR, and you’re also not caught up with the way Google works these days.
Positive media coverage that reaches your target audience is always a good thing, even if the story doesn’t link back to your website. Remember, the point of PR is to get your message across to your audience. You’re trying to raise awareness, establish your brand, earn the trust of your target audience, etc. It’s not just about getting a higher position in Google.
Also, if your mindset when pitching the media is that you’re just trying to get links, chances are that your pitches will fall flat. When pitching journalists, your approach can’t be that you’re just trying to get their sites to link to you. Your approach needs to be that you have an interesting, worthwhile story that has value and appeal to their audience.
Any positive media mentions your brand receives should be viewed as PR wins for your campaign, even if they don’t have links. And here’s the other thing, just because a story doesn’t have a link doesn’t mean that it won’t help your SEO. All media mentions of your brand contribute to your SEO efforts, regardless of whether or not there’s a link.
First, you need to remember that getting media coverage often leads to a domino effect. One site covers your story, and then other sites pick up the story, too. Some of those other sites may, in fact, link to your website.
But even if no one links back to your site in their coverage, those stories can still deliver real SEO value. Now, Google tracks what it calls “implied links.” Any time a website mentions your brand, Google sees it as implying support or popularity, so it counts as a vote in your favor, regardless of it there’s an actual link attached to the mention. The link is implied.
No matter how you look at it, a positive brand mention in the media is a good thing, link or not. So, it’s time to stop obsessing over links and start pitching better stories.
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download Five (5) Free PR and Press Release eBooks ($67 Value) here: http://www.ereleases.com/offer/bundle.html