Strategies & Tactics

Make SEO a ‘Super-Empowering Opportunity’

January 5, 2018


SEO may stand for “search engine optimization,” but those initials could also represent the super-empowering opportunity that smart PR pros will take full advantage of in 2018.

As a PR communicator, you produce content or arrange for reporters to write stories about your company or industry that are full of the words and ideas that your customers search for on the internet. That content is one of the two key things search engines like Google care about.

The other factor that search engines consider when deciding what content to put in front of consumers is the domain’s “SEO impact” (sometimes called “domain authority”), which is measured with tools like TrendKite or Moz. In the context of a website, a domain is its registered address, such as for the Public Relations Society of America.

Media sites like or are examples of high-authority domains with high SEO impact. Press releases often don’t provide the SEO boost that many PR people hope for, because they’re typically placed on low-authority domains that attract few eyes. Google’s algorithms interpret that lack of engagement to mean the content is of low value.

But when you do have a one-two punch of rich content placed on high-authority domains, you can take advantage of that powerful circumstance in two ways:

  • Give your website an SEO boost. Backlinks — links to your site from other sites — are currency in the SEO world, so always ask for them. They lend a media site’s authority to your site, boosting yours in search so that more people find you.
  • Get extra entries on the search-results page. A search-engine results page (SERP) typically lists eight to 10 organic search results, meaning they’re not ads. The higher you are on the page, the more clicks you will get.

Let’s say that you and your competitor hold the top two spots on a search-results page. If you plan your pitches to reporters around the words and phrases that your customers search for, those stories when published will show up in search results — giving your brand more exposure and traffic, and possibly also pushing your competitors down or even off the first page of search results. I call this strategy “SERP blocking,” and it helps give you the lion’s share of traffic and clicks when people search.

The more digitally fluent you become as a PR communicator, the more valuable you’ll be in 2018. Including SEO in your pitching strategy is a great place to start. 

Erik Huddleston

Erik Huddleston is CEO of PR-analytics firm TrendKite in Austin, Texas.


Wendy Bourland says:

I found this article very helpful. Thank you for writing it.

Jan. 26, 2018

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