Why good SEO & Online PR should go hand-in-hand

Small business PR

‘Online PR’, Digital PR’ whatever we like to call it, is a great way of gaining exposure for your business or personal brand. Whether it’s by writing an expert piece of content for an industry website, or featuring in a business interview; the effect is the same.

More people get to learn about your skills and expertise while linking them to your business. Win-Win.

Although online PR can be a much cheaper approach to gaining exposure than traditional large-scale PR, it does take time, something every small business owner lacks. It also takes a level of know-how about the way the internet works, where to find opportunities and how to reach out for the opportunities.

Just like PR, Search Engine Optimisation is yet another prime tool for gaining exposure for your business, except SEO directly serves your business aims, not a personal brand.

For those with a lesser knowledge of SEO, to put it simply – It’s the process of optimizing your website to speak more fluently with the search engines e.g. Google. By speaking to Google fluently, it moves you further up the search results, therefore giving your site more traffic, and usually more customers.

But in order to optimize your site effectively, you need to prove to Google that other websites are talking about your website… Are we seeing the connection yet?

A match made in internet-heaven

In order to help the search engines decide if your website is really worth being at the top every-time someone searches ‘Air conditioning london’ it looks at signals across the internet where other website are linking back to you.

Although these links and signals can be manufactured, there are much more powerful ways of doing it. For example writing an interesting article about how air conditioning can make your office more productive, then adding a link back to your company website.

This way your offering of useful information and insights into your industry serve a double purpose. You have a real article online that will be viewed by potential clients, displays you as an expert in your field and can be shared forever more on your LinkedIn – PLUS – you have a link pointing at your website which Google and other search engines will value, leading them to move your business website up the search results.

The real Win-Win.

The catch

I alluded to this at the beginning, but getting this perfect combo of online PR and improved search rankings isn’t as easy as it sounds. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. You need to create high-quality content, and most small business owners just don’t have the time or experience doing so.
  2. You need to find a relevant site online to be featured on or to submit your article to, which again isn’t straightforward.
  3. You need to know how to approach the situation and reach out to website owners and bloggers who would be interested in letting you create content on their site. Which for some industries, like our air conditioners, is a real far-cry.

Good SEO

The reason this article wasn’t titled ‘How SEO & Online PR go hand-in-hand’ is because not all SEO is good. We’ve all been bombarded by cold emails telling us that for £100 we can appear at the top of Google for ‘Air conditioning london’ but do we really expect:

a) This to be true

b) This company to spend time seeking out PR opportunities online – or

c) Our website to stay at the top for long if it ever reaches there.

Although there’s sometimes a question mark hanging above Search Engine Optimisation services, that shouldn’t be the case when you encounter a real SEO agency.

These are the types of agencies who understand you want sustained growth for your business, and will work to not only optimise your actual website but will build relationships and PR opportunities online for you and your business.

Rounding up

Admittedly there are many more layers to both a bulletproof PR strategy and SEO strategy, and each should be treated separately.

However sticking to my common theme of a small air conditioning service provider, which applies to many small businesses out there. The effect that high-quality SEO and online PR have on a business can be profound especially in an age where clients and consumers are turning towards the internet for everything, including deciding on how credible their potential air con contractors are.

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