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SEO and PR in 2016 - How SEO and Public Relations go hand in hand
The good old days...
Just to clarify, when i talk about PR here, i mean Public Relations, not Page Rank.
In August 1978, the World Assembly of Public Relations Associations defined PR as:
"the social science and art of analyzing trends, predicting consequences, advising organizational leaders and implementing planned programs of action, which will serve both the organization and the public interest"
That last sentence about planned programs of action, serving both the business and the public is now paramount in the world of SEO. In the early days of SEO, it was simply about optimizing a Website for ones Keywords, and then building as many Backlinks as possible from Websites with the highest possible authority one could gain access to.
With the advent of the fierce mistress known as Google, and her many Updates, Content and Relevancy are now essential. No longer can you write keyword stuffed, spammy ill-thought out pieces with a sneaky hyperlink discreetly placed for a service or product in the vain hope that it will help a Website rank. To appear higher and higher in Google, one must now write insightful, well thought out pieces that deliver relevant, useful information that someone will actually want to read. Hang on, isn't that what Public Relations agencies do? See where i'm going with this... :-)
How Social Media has affected SEO and PR
Running parallel to the symbiotic nature of SEO and PR, and perhaps even the instigator, is the emergence of Facebook, Twitter and other Social Media platforms that have conquered the modern world.
The Likes and Shares aspect of Social Media reinforces the essential fact that if a business wants to succeed in this ever changing digital landscape, one must create engaging content that is properly targeted to your audience. Executing this well, not only boosts brand awareness, but encourages people to share what they have read or seen with their friends, followers and around the Internet, thus driving traffic and increasing interest in the product or service: The precise aim of any PR and SEO Company!
Both Public Relations agencies and Search Engine Optimizer's now utilize these platforms to great effect, and perhaps more interestingly, have blended their skillsets for PR activities that can massively increase traffic and sales if SEO aspects are mixed. For example:
- Content Calendars
- PR Stunts
The Holy Trinity
Content is King
Content Calendars have been at the heart of PR for years. The creation and scheduling of topics, stories and content to coincide with a Businesses strategy are essential to Public Relations, but now increasingly apply to SEO.
For example, Brand or Product launches, Seasonal occasions or the opening of Venues that are relevant to a client, must be included in a Content Calendar that is made available to the SEO team or individual, as it allows them to prepare for the necessary content creation so they may post Articles, write Blogs and create Links that garner interest and bolster the Website in time for the occasion, launch or grand opening.
Content has become the foundation that any Marketing Campaign is based on, and has bound Search Engine Optimization and Public Relations together.
What Marketing Channel would you use to launch a new Product?
What the future holds...
Now we know that PR and SEO have become one and the same, we need to look at how the two departments move forward.
Communication in any business is essential. Not only do the two teams need to work seamlessly, but they must communicate with one another. Not only can problems arise with a particular marketing channel in one department, that has a knock-on effect on the other, there can also be a risk of doubling the workload.
PR's use of Social Media platforms for the distribution of content and the garnering of Interest, are also superb ways of gaining incoming Links to a Website based on real interest from real people that share and interact with the content. Of course, Backlinks from respected, world renowned Publications are still fantastic, but it is easier to forge relationships with prominent bloggers and Social Media users that have a vast readership base and online following, this not only gives you the potential for exponential, natural linking to your Website as the reader base shares your content, but genuine traffic from people who are interested in your product, service or information.
Long gone are the days of spamming someone's Comments section to gain a Link from their Signature, and thank goodness they are!
StarPR - SEO/SEM Manager