How SEO and Media Relations Go Hand In Hand

With the onslaught of 24-hour news cycles, consolidated newsrooms, and the possibility of AI-assisted writing, it’s getting harder to get journalists’ attention. PR Firms in Raleigh, NC are battling for top-of-mind awareness. If journalists receive as much as 100 pitches daily, how does one stand out?

Search engine optimization (SEO) can help cut through the clutter. Make sure the right people find (and actually open) your pitch with these SEO strategies.

Optimize your press release for search.
Insert primary keywords, company names, and locations into headlines, sub-headlines, content, and boilerplates. Keep your prose natural and conversational as Google penalizes keyword stuffing. Otherwise, your content could be flagged as spam. Pro tip: only 50-60 characters of a headline will appear in the search results, so keywords should appear before your content gets cut off.

How do you determine which keywords to use?
If you don’t have a dedicated SEO team for this task, McKeeman Communications, a Raleigh, NC, PR firm, recommends studying your niche and keeping track of relevant topics and questions that prospects, customers, and other shareholders ask. The common phrases that emerge should help build your keyword list.

Google’s search engine results display just as many image results as they do text-based results. An image’s alt text is the copy that appears in place of an image on a webpage if the image fails to load, and it makes the image clickable. Including images with highly relevant alt text increases the searchability of your press release.

Another best practice is to select a distribution service with high online exposure. PR Web, for example, has a website distribution of 30,000 bloggers and journalists.

Know the web authority of the publication you’re pitching to.
How trustworthy is the site, as determined by Google? Backlinks are important because these are signals to search engines that other sites vouch for your content. A backlink from a trusted website will increase your own site’s authority and search ranking. On the flip side, if a low-authority site includes a backlink to your website, this might reduce your trustworthiness as well.

Google does not disclose its metrics for determining a site’s authority. However, this Backlink Research tool developed by Moz lets you check the backlink profile and Domain Authority of any site. It’s not exact, but it’s a good indicator.

Optimize your email pitches, too.
Journalists typically search for keywords related to the story they’re writing about in their email inbox. Then, they reach out for more information or to schedule an interview. You might not get a response right away, but a keyword-rich email will make your pitch easy to find when the need arises.

Own the narrative.
There are journalists who won’t include backlinks to your website. A workaround for this would be to contribute a bylined article. This gives you the opportunity to incorporate essential keywords and backlinks. It shouldn’t be just any link, however; include anchor text leading to a specific blog post, an FAQ page, a white paper, an archived newsletter, or other content you provide for free. Doing this tells Google that you are an expert on a particular topic.

With these SEO strategies, you can drive media relations efforts, which in return, creates more value for the organization. Interested in learning more about SEO and Media Relations? Get in touch with us today.

One of the top PR firms in Raleigh, NC, McKeeman Communications is in the business of building brands and reputations. If you want to learn more about how your media relations can benefit from SEO, call (866) 341-2650 or email info@mckeemanpr.com

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