It’s no secret that when it comes to Google, you’d like your website to be at the top of the page looking down at your competition. The question is, how do you get there? The answer may surprise you. Most companies are solely focused on digital marketing strategies that fix what is on their website to improve search engine rankings. Yet, the key to landing at the top of the organic results is increasingly becoming the utilization of PR articles to create quality SEO backlinks. Public Relations is the single most powerful tool for increasing domain authority.
Understanding Googles search engine results
Getting to the top of the Google search engine results page depends on two key elements.
- What’s on your website.
- How many other sites link back to it.
By now, almost everyone has heard of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This is the process by which you increase your position within a search engine’s unpaid results. This is often called natural, organic or earned results. Everyone’s goal should be to appear on the first page which is usually the top ten. There are two paths that can help you achieve this.
The first is understanding what is on your site – the content, the user experience/interface (UX/UI) and the code hidden within. Then how do search engines rank your page based off this information. The focus here is on optimizing your site so that the information can be easily found and indexed by a search engine. Keywords and key phrases are a critical part of this, but there is a lot more to it.
The biggest issue with this path is that search engines are very secretive about what you really need to do to manipulate this to your benefit. It’s more of a guessing game that some have been able to figure out over time. However, Google is well known for making changes to its algorithm without notice.
While fixing what is on your website is incredibly important, it can only take you so far.
What are backlinks?
The second, and more critical pathway to increase your search engine results is understanding how a search engine looks at all the information that is on other sites throughout the internet. You can think of it like the cool kid in school. You (your website) can be dressed in all the trendy clothes and look cool, but if you are sitting all alone in the cafeteria everyday, then you are not viewed as one of the popular kids.
This is where SEO backlinks, or how many other sites are linking to your website, becomes incredibly important.
How do backlinks help?
Search engines use backlinks as a tool to determine how relevant your site is. If a lot of other sites are pointing to your website as a source of noteworthy information, then search engines rank your site higher.
While optimizing what is on your website is relatively easy, it is much more difficult and time consuming to generate quality backlinks. This need for valuable link building is where implementing public relations becomes critical for success.
How does PR create quality backlinks?
The power of PR lies in its ability to secure placements in prestigious online publications that also include a backlink to your site. As more and more content gets published online, these backlinks begin to add up; e.g. the more kids are coming to sit at your table. This provides the needed credibility for Google to move your site higher up the rankings.
However, not all links are created equal. High-authority website register as exponentially better. A high-authority domain website is simply one that Google already knows and trusts, as opposed to some guy blogging in his basement on a low traffic site. One link on a high-authority website can be the equivalent of 100 or even 1,000 SEO backlinks from other low-authority sites.
Trade publications are almost always high-authority publications.
Black hat SEO
Most companies who specialize in optimizing your search engine results want nothing to do with generating SEO backlinks on high-authority sites. They love it when they get them, because it makes their job of moving you up the page that much easier. However, in almost every case these SEO firms do not have the established relationships with the publications to get PR articles posted on high-authority websites.
So, what some SEO firms will do is try to buy links from link farms or build fake web pages that are designed only to include backlinks to your site. These tricks are often referred to as ‘black hat’ SEO. If Google discovers someone trying to deceive its algorithm, you run the risk of getting blacklisted. This would mean your site will not appear anywhere within the search results. You may as well not even exist.
Can press releases help Backlinks?
Furthermore, those PR distribution sites that promise they can “send out your press release and you’ll dominate search engines like Yahoo!, Google, and Bing” are not going to work either. Google knows about these sites and they generate little to no SEO value.
What is the best link building technique for SEO?
With PR, you are able to reach your target audience with powerful messaging that can build brand awareness and credibility, shorten sales cycles and generate qualified leads, but you also got those very valuable SEO backlinks on high-authority websites.
This is why companies that are looking to drive organic SEO results are increasingly turning to public relations agencies that have a history of link building. In doing so, you get the value of great PR, and a big boost towards your goal of landing that coveted, top spot on Google.