Getting your website to appear for a lot of search terms, also known as SEO, can seem very complex – full of algorithms and computer wizardry. While there is a technical element to it, PR plays a bigger role than you may think.
This post strips out all the technical jargon and explains how understanding the role of PR in SEO is as simple a choosing a great cup of coffee.
So let’s start with two cups of coffee in front of you for you to choose between. One is cracked and falling apart while the other is a perfectly decent cup.
Without thinking, in this scenario, you would choose the stable cup rather than risk the broken cup crumbling in your hands and covering you in coffee.
Here the cup represents the state of the website – the thing that is holding everything together. Google wouldn’t want to send people to a broken website and this is one area to leave with the technical experts who can make sure the website is technically safe, robust and open to Google.
Once your cup (or website) is nice and solid what would you look at next? You’d probably peer in to check the contents of the cup. Would you choose the cup that looks like it has a silky coffee looking substance in it – or one that looked like murky water with flies buzzing around?
Google also now checks what the website contains and how relevant the content is. So if a website looks like it has in-depth, useful and relevant content, Google is likely to send traffic to it as the content likely to answer what the searcher is looking for.
This is where PR teams can start having an impact – if you are regularly contributing great content to your client’s website, then it will be helping Google pick that website over another.
But what if you have two solid cups (websites) both containing what look like great coffee inside, which one would you choose? Your choice could now be swayed if there are lots of people recommending one over the other.
Here’s where PR starts to play a big part. Every time you secure a piece of online coverage and it has a link to your client’s website, Google sees that as a recommendation for that website. The more recommendations a site has, the higher they will appear in the search results.
This is why we make it easy to report links from coverage in CoverageBook.
Finally, you are getting closer to that coffee, but recommendations are not just about numbers – influence is a factor too. So you are even more persuaded if people you know have recommended one coffee over the other.
Again, Google is also more likely to be influenced by publications that are widely known and who they trust, along with influencers who are knowledgeable in that area or niche. These are the types of places you are probably already getting constant coverage on, but are you demonstrating the impact you are having here?
One way of measuring influence is to report on the Domain Authority of your coverage. Domain Authority is a score from Moz which is a good prediction of how strong a website is in Google’s eyes. It’s another metric that we gather for you automatically in your CoverageBook reports.
So that’s it, a super simple guide to the role PR plays in Search and how to report it. If you want to read more about PR and SEO, check out An Introduction to SEO in Public Relations by our very own Stella Bayles.