Public relations isn’t just for mega-brands: Small firms can build a following too, by substituting elbow grease for budget.
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Are you wondering how your competitors got higher rankings on Google and managed to get so many mentions in the media? Well, while you were busy optimizing keywords for your website’s SEO, your competitors were using public relations (PR) strategies to promote their business and get free links at the same time.
Many businesses make the mistake of thinking that PR strategies are only good for big brands and that it’s difficult to get media coverage without a big marketing budget. The truth is, you can actually develop a PR strategy without even touching your marketing budget. We’ll show you how.
How PR helps improve SEO.
Now, you’re probably thinking how does PR and media coverage improve SEO? Public relations is not just about press releases and news coverage.
PR also comes with many more additional benefits. It can build backlinks to improve your website domain authority, which is a direct ranking signal Google uses on its search engine.
Whenever you send a press release, popular publications will write about your business while linking to your website. This automatically gives a free backlink to your website.
Related: How to Build SEO Backlinks: A Beginner’s Guide
In addition, you’ll also receive brand recognition and build authority. You’ll even be able to create an “as seen on” section on your website to brag about all the publications that published a story about you.
How to get started.
The key to a successful PR strategy is understanding your market and positioning your tactics to get coverage on the right publications to reach your target audience.
Before you start reaching out to the media, make sure to set specific goals to measure success. For example, if improving SEO is your goal, you should focus on getting published on websites that offer “do-follow” backlinks.
Many popular blogs place a “no-follow” tag to outbound links, especially on the comment section. This type of link still helps generate traffic to your website but adds less SEO value from a domain authority perspective.
Once you find the right websites to reach out to, you can use these four simple tactics to develop an effective PR strategy.
1. Create a guest posting campaign.
Guest posting is the easiest way to get free media coverage. This method allows you to publish stories featuring your products on popular blogs and also to link back to your website.
Here’s how it works. First, you find a blog in your niche that accepts guest posts. You can find one from a detailed list of over 300 websites. Then, you reach out to the publication to pitch a blog post idea. If it accepts the idea, you can deliver the article while mentioning your business or including a link to it in the author bio.
The publication gets a free high-quality post to generate traffic to their website and you get a free backlink to your website. It’s a win-win deal.
2. Join popular PR platforms.
Another great way to get published in blogs and publications is to join popular PR platforms. With this strategy, you don’t have to write the content for the media, they will write the stories for you.
Related: The New PR: 5 Content and News Distribution Strategies You Need to Master
There are many popular PR websites you can use to connect with journalists and blogs. HARO (Help A Reporter Out) is one of the most popular places that allows businesses to reach out to publications to share their stories.
You can also use sites like PRWeb and PR Newswire to publish press releases to get the media come to you for stories.
3. Use the skyscraper technique.
You don’t have to be a billion-dollar brand constantly making news, to get the attention of the media to generate links and build awareness. Even if you’re a small business that’s just starting out, you can use the power of quality content to get other publications to link to your website for free.
The skyscraper technique is a popular strategy many websites use to build links. This method involves creating an in-depth guide or a resource on your own website and then reaching out to publications asking to link to your guide.
4. Use an email outreach program.
A lesser-known PR strategy that most businesses forget about is keeping track of brand mentions. Many websites will often write stories about your business without even you noticing, and you can use those stories to build more links to your website.
Setup a Google Alert to be notified whenever a website mentions your brand or product. Then, you can reach out these publications to thank them and ask for a link back to your website. Most websites will gladly link to your website to add value to their articles.
Related: 7 Essential Tools for Easily Building Your Personal Brand Online
Today, there are plenty of tools you can use to create a successful PR strategy with even a tiny budget. You can even develop and maintain a PR campaign all by yourself.
Whether it’s getting more links or more visitors to your landing pages, creating a proper PR strategy is the best way to stay ahead of your competition and grow your business at the same time.
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