The power couple that is PR & SEO

The power couple that is PR and SEO

It’s normal for a myriad of marketing activities to be happening simultaneously with the aim of boosted impact. You’ve heard the “it takes 6-8 touchpoints to gain a sales lead”, it’s all about awareness followed by nurturing of a potential customer. But there’s a power partnership that’s been breaking down two marketing silos even more. Public relations (the digital side) and search engine optimisation. PR and SEO work together and benefit each other, because the goals of each activity are so aligned.

For people outside the profession, PR often only relates to a press release in their mind because the main goal of PR is to get media attention and mentions. We think ‘reputation management’ is a better term for PR as it has more clarity. Awards recognition, lobbying, public comment, speaking at events, reporting and media exposure are all part of PR. The element of PR that specifically works in harmony with SEO is the publishing of quality content with quality digital links.

  • Getting inclusions and links from high-value media and influencer sites
  • Generating and seeding engaging content
  • Raising a brand’s profile on and offline

To be seen high up in Google’s search results pages, you need to take on-site and off-site optimisation actions working with target key phrases. When Google began to place more importance on quality content, SEO was no longer solely focussed on technical actions and digital relationships needed to be increased. Various types of content need to be produced and shared, adding to the Google and Bing knowledge graphs.

  • Attracting visitors and serving them engaging content
  • Conducting online activities to increase the visibility of a brand and its products/services in SERPs
  • Adding to the knowledge graph

How the power couple met
People spend twice as much time online as they used to 12 years ago. So this means that the way people research, shop and buy has really changed, and marketing has had to evolve alongside this change. Lines therefore became blurred between disciplines and SEO and PR were no exception. Quality links and content has become the bond between the two areas of digital marketing.

If we look at the pillars of search intent; informational, navigational, transactional…

PR and SEO work together with the pillars of content

And compare them to the foundations of a press story;

Who – What – Why – Where – When – How

…there are great similarities.

At events including MozCon, Brighton SEO and the PR Week conferences, you’ll find traditional PRs, marketers and copywriters up on the stage talking about content, link generation and working with the latest technologies. Explaining what can be achieved from PR efforts to the CEO can be difficult, but the measurable results that SEO provides make this explanation easier. There are commercial outputs when PR and SEO work together.

How can I make PR and SEO work together
Collaboration. The first thing is to ensure the people handling your PR and SEO have strategies that are working alongside each other and that they are communicating effectively.

Create content for growing trends. Look for story angles that work with current news headlines, trending products, people or places, for example. And all kinds of content; images, videos, graphics, articles and so on. You should be onto a winner because you’re providing hot topic content, for high volume searches and on subjects media outlets are looking for new stories on. If your content solves a problem, or even better, a search query, then you’ve backed the right horse.

Create custom landing pages. They’re great for user experience and SEO. How are they good for PR? Here are 5 reasons:

  1. Deeping the message – extra information, images, comment
  2. Shareability – making the content easily shareable
  3. Resource for reporters – particularly good for large elements like video, full survey data etc
  4. SEO – making the content essentially live forever
  5. Measurability – tracking and behaviour

Local SEO efforts. A key thing for local SEO is to build local relationships and bring offline relationships online wherever possible. An example is if you are sponsoring your child’s football team, ask for a digital link as well as having a printed ad in the match programme and logo on the shirt. You can also include local content on your website where it is helpful for your site visitors.

Gain trust. Engage in influencer marketing, or a simple base version of it, by growing relationships with social media users that have a substantial audience that would have a natural interest in your offerings. Links to your site act as endorsements in the eyes of the search engines. Also, encourage reviews and don’t spread these too thinly across the various places these could be collated.

All of these suggestions assume your website has got the basics of SEO right first of all e.g. mobile-friendly, secure protocol, good hierarchy, good site speed.

How do you know if you’ve got it right?
Increased, relevant, organic leads and increased organic web traffic are the best figures to be measuring. Then you’ll know that having your PR and SEO work together is a worthwhile effort and spend; the creation of a real marketing power couple.

Do ask us any questions you might have in our Facebook group #ShakeItHUB online

Rachael Dines, Director of Shake It Up Creative

Categories SEO