SEO and PR managers wear several hats. From website optimisations to fielding media questions and pitching stories, they cover a lot of ground within the digital marketing space. But how can they work together? The answer is simple: They already do. A strong story or piece of optimised content is fully dependent on promotional efforts to gain exposure to the right audiences and reversely, without a strong story or resource, there’s nothing to pitch.
Related: Online Reputation Management
How Public Relations Support SEO
When it comes to digital marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO) and public relations go together like peanut butter and jelly, creating the perfect, delicious sandwich of success and camaraderie. PR and SEO are two advantageous, individualistic forces — but when combined, businesses can leverage the superpowers of them both.
Having a strategically planned out and targeted campaign with PR and SEO together can provide a business with improved analytics, heightened success in today’s ever-increasing digital landscape, and a competitive edge when framed against other businesses in the present ecosystem.
PR and SEO Cross-Training
A PR professional is not traditionally trained on the impact that online earned media can have on SEO and keyword rankings. For this reason, creating a dual partnership between these two forces can greatly heighten a business’s marketing and PR positioning. As two forces to be reckoned with, these teams can link up to educate one another and demonstrate how PR is essential for a healthy SEO strategy and how SEO is required to produce strong digital PR results.
Optimising Links in Earned Coverage
An SEO team should support PR teams in optimising links. PR teams typically work to draw eyes to a certain topic, company or page — and without SEO’s expertise, this simply would not be possible. With both SEO and PR relying heavily on content, this partnership works wonders with link optimisation and subsequently, getting the highest number of eyes possible.
Brand mentions and quality backlinks from other relevant publications are some of the top ways SEO and PR can work together to help create brand awareness, drive referral traffic, as well as reinforce web presence. SEO managers spend countless hours vetting link opportunities to promote web assets on external websites. Performing outreach to various webmasters and web managers with the hopes of establishing connections to gain as much exposure as possible is a heavy lift that can really move the needle for most brands — so every bit of help counts.
Friend, Foe, or Both — Does Influencer Marketing Support PR & SEO?
Journalists have become a new subcategory of influencers. With reporters consistently weighing in on topics like politics, healthcare, public policy, antitrust, and everything else under the sun, PR talent comes at a strategic point here given their role in media relations. Getting a traditional influencer’s eyes on a link will be just as important as getting a prominent reporter to look over a page as well.
Influencer marketing is a key component for both PR and SEO efforts as it can build diverse and strong link profiles, provide intriguing and unique content, and foster optimal engagement. With today’s ever-evolving and increasingly heightened digital economy, the lines between who is an influencer and who isn’t have blurred substantially. Anyone from your next-door neighbor to your peers to your grandmother can be considered as “Influencers.” This creates unique opportunities as well as challenges for SEO and PR Outreach Specialists to target the most relevant individuals to gain exposure while avoiding random publishers that can have a negative impact on both your site’s backlink profile and brand reputation.
Related: How to Perform a Light Technical SEO Site Audit
Aligning Messages and Stories
Have your SEO and PR teams (and any other teams who are responsible for creating content) align on the broader messaging and timing to ensure your brand is putting out the same theme of content and not mixing messages or promoting two different things at the same time. For example, your content marketing team created an infographic for a third-party influencer who agreed it can be republished as long as there’s a link back to the original source. Your PR team can take that same infographic and pitch it out to their media sources, creating more links for the search team and an easy content placement for the PR team.
Preferred PR Strategies
One of the unfortunate obstacles in PR, particularly from a marketing standpoint, is having media link back to the correct blog or URL. As daunting as it may seem, it’s always important to remember who you’re working with:
Another human. Groundbreaking, right?
The best way to try and persuade media to link back to the correct link is to be honest and transparent and to ask ahead of time. Similar to most human-to-human relationships, it’s always best to ask for something earlier, rather than last minute. When it comes to working with editors, journalists will usually have a tougher time editing articles when they are already published, rather than including the original and desired links from the get-go.
This is, by far, one of the most important lessons to understand when working with media from a strategic PR background. Ensuring that all of your materials (infographics, links, digital assets, etc.) are ready beforehand will be optimal and reduce the back and forth when the respective article is live and an update is needed.
Think of it this way — you’re working on a project with a teammate and you’re set to present the final touches in front of the superiors at the end of the week. Instead of requesting your partner to make edits to the project when the presentation has already kicked off, it’s always better to make sure that everything is buttoned up far ahead of time. The same goes for making sure all materials, links included, are ready ahead of time.
When it comes to actually pitch a reporter, if there’s a chance to hyperlink to the materials needed, always be sure to include those in the body of the pitch, as this will likely resonate more with media rather than pestering them at the last minute for new changes.
Critical SEO Tactics and Considerations
If you’re wondering, “What is E-A-T? And why is it important for SEO?”, then you’ve come to the right place. Earning Expertise, Authority and Trust (E-A-T) in the eyes of Google (and most importantly from Users) is no small feat. In fact, Cathy Edwards, VP of User Trust for Search at Google, recently shared that “Google launches changes to their search algorithm 6x per day (roughly 2,000 per year) which requires 200-300 thousand experiments per year.” Therefore, Google invests a lot of time and resources into yielding results with optimal page experiences that match both user search intent and are non-spammy.
Take a look inside at how Google works:
With an optimal user experience (UX) in mind, promoting quality content and linking to relevant resources is an excellent effort to provide knowledge and deeper insights on relevant topics that will further reinforce your site’s E-A-T. So how does one go about reaching out to external websites to promote quality content and resources? We’re glad you asked. A great rule of thumb is to keep PR pitches succinct and concise while covering the 3 basic W’s: What, Where, & Why
Bridging the Gap Between PR & SEO
Competitive SEO and PR strategies are ever-changing, and leveraging all channels is essential to staying ahead of the game. The truth is, there is no gap to bridge between marketing channels. PR and SEO are symbiotic marketing forces by nature and work together holistically to achieve a common goal. The real question you should be asking is, “How can I be more strategic about digital PR and SEO and attribute wins to these combined efforts?”
Want to see our SEO PR strategy in action? Check out our PR & SEO case studies to witness the proven results that are achieved when these epic forces collide.