If no one can find you, it doesn’t matter how great your product is, how effective your services are, or how savvy you are as an entrepreneur. That’s why PR is the secret to great SEO rankings.
Having a great website is a critical first step, but what many business owners don’t realize is that there’s more to building web traffic than simply creating a website. The most important secret in improving your site’s rankings and getting you the traffic you’re after is this: public relations.
Let’s back up a bit with some explanation on how search rankings work before we delve into the really good stuff – how PR can improve your page ranking and create the web presence that your business needs.
How Search Rankings Work
When you search for something online, the results are listed in a very specific order based on Google’s complex mathematical algorithm that determines which websites are the most relevant to the user. According to a guide published by the BBC, a website’s page ranking is based on more than 200 factors. Google keeps the details of the algorithm to themselves, but search engine optimization (SEO) experts can identify what most of the factors are, and which are the most important.
Every website on the internet is evaluated against these factors, which Backlinko describes in detail, and they are given a score on their place within those factors, based on what a user is searching for. The websites that rank first are the ones with the highest scores across all 200 factors. The catch? As the players recognize what they need to do to rank, your listing gets moved around, so your work isn’t over once you establish a good ranking. A successful site should always be working and evolving to maintain and grow its ranking.
Key Factors that Influence Search Rankings
Of the 200+ algorithm factors, there is a key group that are important for businesses to become familiar with. SEO consultant, Mark Walters lists that “the following are all important ranking factors….
- Keyword usage
- Site structure
- Site speed
- Time spent on site
- Number of inbound links
- Quality of inbound links”
Unamo published a great list of the 30 most important factors to know, and which qualify as On-page factors and Off-page factors. Here’s how some of these factors affect your website ranks.
On-page factors include things that you do on your own site that you control. For example, you decide how many keywords you use on your site, what they are, where you use them, and how often. Since keywords can appear in content, headings, and titles, it’s up to whoever is writing the site’s content to include the keywords. There are many ways you can use your keywords to improve your site’s rankings, as described by Moz Pro, like “Be hyper-relevant to a specific topic (usually a product or single object)” and reference the subject several times throughout your content.”
Off-page factors are things that other websites do that concern your site but are out of your control. Off-page factors are important to understand because they’re the ones that we rely on others to change. Neil Patel wrote an in-depth post on off-site SEO, stating that “Off-page SEO simply tells Google what others think about your site.” His post describes the following important factors:
- Number of linking domains – This refers to the number of other websites who have included links to your website from somewhere on their site.
- Links from other website’s home pages – Links from another website to yours are even more influential when they come from the other site’s homepage.
- Diversity of links – Having a range of links from a variety of sources.
- Use of contextual links – Links that are part of a site’s main content are more influential than links to your site that appear in a sidebar or other secondary area of the other site.
- Social connections – Search Engine Land touts that “social media metrics such as Facebook likes and shares or Twitter mentions and retweets have a high correlation with high ranking.”
- Infographics – According to Patel, “In my experience, I’ve found that infographics generate 37.5% more backlinks than a typical blog post.”
How PR Can Improve Search Rankings for Your Business
It’s not that simple to get other sites to link to your own, especially if they’re popular and have lots of people clamoring for their attention and links. While you can approach sites and ask them directly to link to you, this door-to-door approach is not very effective because you can only reach a small audience this way and it’s not significant enough to improve your search ranking.
On the other hand, good public relations will get people talking about your brand and will encourage them to start linking to your site, without you even doing anything. PR solves the problem of not having any followers or visitors by attracting people to your site in other ways. Forbes published a list of some alternative ways to use PR to increase your web presence, most of which are designed to get your brand noticed and get people talking about you.
A real-life example of how PR improves search rankings comes from a study conducted by the PR and SEO experts at Fractl. When the host of the 2015 Miss Universe pageant announced the wrong name of the winner, it garnered media attention from around the world. In comparing the month after the 2014 pageant to the month following the 2015 pageant, MissUniverse.com saw a 199% increase in press mentions and a 123% increase in organic website traffic. Press, even if it’s negative, starts a conversation and compels people to visit your site for more.
PR Support to Increase Your Ranking
A weak page ranking means that your site will be buried by Google and you won’t receive any hits from search traffic. As a Google user yourself, you probably know that most people don’t make it beyond the first few search result pages, or as SEO marketer Connor Addis puts it, “81% of potential customers searching on Google do not go past page one.” Without a high-ranking page, you’re essentially invisible online.
Using PR strategies is an excellent way to make a name for yourself in your industry while getting people talking about you. The more press you get, the more links you’ll get to your site, from social media posts to reviews, links from relevant or high Domain Authority sites, and contextual links. Great SEO Rankings are within your reach and requisite traffic are within your reach!
If PR isn’t your specialty AWC takes the work off your plate so you can leave the hard stuff to us and free up your time and resources for other areas of your business. We’ll employ PR strategies to dramatically increase your footprint on the web, make you part of the conversation, and drive those sought-after links to your site.
David is the Founder and Director of article-writing.co, the fastest-growing content creation agency in North America. He has transformed companies by offering high-quality content that has impacted their SEO ranking, revitalized websites with engaging and industry-relevant blogs and website copy, and championed successful email campaign copy.