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SEO and PR — and why they need to work together

Econsultancy recently undertook a survey with 250 marketers about their knowledge of SEO. 52% said that PR and SEO work closely together in their organisation, however we were surprised to read that 61% of PR agencies stated that they do not have sufficient knowledge of SEO in house.

Although many agencies separate PR and SEO as two services, as a multimedia marketing agency whose services include both, we recognise that now more-than-ever it is important that we connect the two together.

Here are our top reasons why:

Media and Content Marketing

As PR professionals, a key aspect of our role is dedicating our time understanding the relevant media in order to target the right journalist and publication with the right angle. The distribution avenues have become much more widespread. Over the last decade there has been a change in the media landscape with more print publications becoming available online. Many are now founded as online-only publications; for example BuzzFeed is a popular site and in November 2013 attracted over 10 million users.

Whilst PR uses content to build brand awareness and reputation, SEO uses content to drive traffic to websites and get them high on search engine rankings. However, with Google's recent changes to its guidelines on how websites are ranked on the search engine,  SEO professionals are focusing more on creating quality content that people want to share, rather than just link building, in order to get its clients' sites at the top of the search engine. With the same cohesive aim, together SEO and PR can increase a website's visibility whilst positioning the company as a thought leader in the market.

The traditional press release

There has been a shift from the traditional press release to the social media press release. No longer is it just about targeting journalists' inboxes with the latest company news; there is now the opportunity to reach customers much more directly.

Companies now have the power to be publishers by uploading their news onto their website. Statistics show that over 80% of the online community use search to find things. Online press releases can be optimised with relevant keywords for greater exposure so that it reaches your desired target audience.

Within the press release, you can now upload interactive content, such as multimedia videos and images, providing interactive content and increasing the chances that these visuals will appear in image searches.

Social Influencer and Blogging

Just as companies can post their thoughts online, so can their customers. Blogs and videos provide a platform for customers to write their own reviews on products and services, and are becoming just as popular as publications. According to Hubspot, 81% of consumers trust information and advice from blogs.

For example, The British Blogger was ranked as the most popular beauty blog by Cisco. People go to the site to read reviews of beauty products - to learn which ones are good and which ones aren't so good before they buy anything. Blogs are likely to have a powerful influence over their readers, as well as being ranked high on search engines; just like online publications.

According to Google guidelines, having a strong Social Media presence is just as important as your website presence. By identifying and pushing out your content to online influencers, you are encouraging them to share it with their followers. The more active you are across your social media channels, including Google +, Facebook and Twitter, the more you are increasing your chances of higher rankings.

Networking

PR teaches us the art of building relationships with journalists, bloggers and partners to encourage them to share content on their publication which endorses you. Since most PR links are quality ones, this can consequently boost the website's traffic. SEO ensures that we reap maximum PR benefits; it teaches us that in an article only relevant keywords should be hyperlinked to your website, and it is more effective to link deeper within the website than to just the homepage.

PR practitioners are now leveraging the tools and tactics available to them to push content out in the public domain. Some are even turning to Twitter in a bid to get the attention of the editor, and share their thoughts on an article they might have just published.

The agency you choose must have a good working knowledge of SEO themselves and implement it regularly to give their clients the best possible service.

For more information about our PR and SEO services, contact us by email at or call 01895 619 900.

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