Leverage PR To Clean Up Dirty SEO

Have you lost a whole lot of website traffic recently? You may have been struck down by dirty SEO.

Anita T is an award-winning marketing consultant with 15+ years of experience.

The allure of quick and cost-effective solutions to boost search engine rankings can be all too tempting for small businesses. Many, eager to see instant results, turn to platforms like Fiverr to hire SEO services at a bargain price. Well, we've all been warned that when something sounds too good to be true it usually is, and in this case, it rings true—"cheap" tactics often do more harm than good. However, there is a solution. Public relations (PR) can help clean up the mess left by questionable SEO practices and restore a brand's integrity.

Here’s how:

The Impact of Poor SEO

Before we dig into how to fix dodgy SEO, let me briefly explain its impact. Some SEO services utilise what industry experts describe as 'black hat'. These black hat practices are often utilised by cheaper SEO services simply because well, they're easier. Makes sense right? Right.

Dirty SEO practices like keyword stuffing, cloaking, or using private blog networks to boost rankings can offer temporary results, but the results tend to be detected by clever Google bots at some point, leading to a dreaded traffic drop, instead of the increase you paid for.

Worse yet, according to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, these techniques can lead to a site being demoted or even removed from search results altogether.

Assess Your Search Engine Presence.

Discover why you've lost website traffic: The first step in recovering valuable traffic you may have lost is to conduct a comprehensive audit of your existing search engine situation. Work with a professional to identify any black-hat techniques that were used and begin phasing them out—now.

From here on in, commit to white-hat SEO practices that are endorsed by search engines and bring long-term benefits. This includes quality content that is of actual value to your audience, carefully considered keyword integration, and creating a smooth website experience for your audience.

PR teams as the facilitator of valuable content

In the Academy of Marketing Studies Journal, search engine specialist Dr Shweta Tewari highlighted that SEO drives 150% higher ROI than paid advertising but one of the biggest challenges is the scalability required which can be integrated with public relations efforts. Ultimately to improve how people feel about your brand.

PR teams tend to be full of creative and clever minds that can produce content that is of legitimate value to your audience. This content, posted on your own channels, or snaveled up by content-hungry journalists, helps reposition your online business content to search engines, too.

Leverage PR to Create your Brand Narrative

It has been said in certain techie circles that search engine optimization and public relations are one and the same. (Lewis, 2014). They aren't, but they certainly intertwine.

PR can shift the online conversation around your business from one that's haunted by the past, (e.g. bad reviews) to one that's showcasing credibility and future aspirations. Work with a local PR agency or PR consultant to develop and share press releases that strategically position your business and showcase it in its best light.

Positive feature stories on authoritive sources such as the news will build stronger references to your website, amplifying online marketing efforts and ultimately reducing the cost per lead for your business.

Invest in GROWING YOUR Community

Investing in the community both on and offline is a multi-channel approach to ensuring an improved online presence.

Online: Promote quality content on your own social media channels to grow your online presence and your audience. This often doesn't cost a whole lot but can secure you an increase in audience and engagement that search engines notice.

Offline: Investing in your network and community offline can boost PR efforts and can give your PR team creative story angles. Network, participate in or sponsor local events and demonstrate your business dedication to contribute positively to your local area and industry. This improved public perception, leads in turn to a stronger brand reputation over time.

Maintain Adaptability

Continuous monitoring of SEO strategies supports compliance with any updates to search engine guidelines. Tools like Google Analytics and various SEO audit tools can help keep track of progress and highlight areas that need further improvement​.

Use PR to build a strong online presence

Navigating away from the repercussions of poor SEO practices is no small feat, but with the right PR strategies, it is entirely achievable. Google’s goal has never changed. They have always rewarded the best websites that follow white hat SEO strategies for whatever keywords were being searched. (Tewari, 2023). By prioritising ethical practices and leveraging the power of public relations, businesses can recover lost website traffic and reposition themselves in search results.

In the online world, quality tends to win in the long run.


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