SEO and PR – a match made in heaven?

If there’s one thing that has become unambiguously clear to marketers who have been paying attention, it’s that PR and SEO are almost inextricably entwined.

The boundaries between the disciplines are becoming more and more blurred as the quest for organic link earning enters a new (and ever evolving) era – with serious implications for how brands should plan their search marketing strategy.

As Sam mentioned in his previous post, SEO itself has changed dramatically from its early days of meta keyword density and duplicated content – so much so in fact that many consider the term outdated.

SEO in 2016

No longer can marketers rely solely on a few magic ‘strategies’ to pull in the easy win. Search engines got smarter, and as a result, so too did the industry.

What we see now is a requirement for cross-platform, collaborative working. Effective SEO professionals know the value of traditional marketing & PR principles in order to ensure that content gets coverage and engagement.

Similarly, the best PR agencies understand the requirement to optimise content for the web and track the digital imp0lications of their coverage. Becoming more effective with search marketing analytics to monitor results is the logical next step.

The recent success of campaigns such as  NetBet’s Multicultural Championship is testimony to such an approach.

Initially beginning as a campaign targeting higher tier national news sites, charities and football associations, the creative piece quickly gained traction among the social channels.

Working alongside the PR team’s success, our search marketing team were then able to pitch additional content to other football related sites for powerful amplification.

Blueclaw Multicultural Championship

What this highlights is that now more than ever there needs to be clear and open channels between the promotional and communicative departments of a business – but how can SEO and PR work better together to meet their required goals and KPI’s?

Collaborate and educate

From a search marketing perspective, the opportunity to learn PR media outreach techniques has proved invaluable to our organic efforts. Whether you have separate departments co-ordinating SEO and PR or even if you have separate PR and SEO agency partners, collaboration is key.

At Blueclaw, instead of a one-size fits all prospecting plan we now have a multi-pronged approach at our disposable that allows us to engage with higher tier and influencer level sites.

PR teams need to know how their hard earned relationships have the potential to improve SEO value in line with technical best practice. SEO teams of course should also, in turn, help PR professionals out with the links in their earned media.

Directing teammates towards the best ranking keywords and landing pages to use on their PR press releases for example is a great way to share – and boost rankings, direct high quality traffic and powerful engagement from interested customers and influencers.

Coordinate your outreach and keep a calendar

This may sound obvious but if your company consists of numerous teams all completing their own outreach, it is vital to have a centralised theme. Mixed messages around your client will only lead to problems, particularly if your search and PR departments are promoting the same linkable assets, stories and content pieces.

By no means should this require a massive, coordinated strike from both teams, nor something that should take up large chunks of working time.

Something as simple as a shared content calendar should improve working efficiency and help communicate priority between teams. In addition, short 30 minute meetings once or twice a week should help set the framework required to address the main overarching messages both SEO and PR need to bring to the brand.

Spread (and share!) the wealth

As most agencies are aware, truly impactful content takes time to think through and produce to the a standard that will have a real impact – but it is still an integral part to the daily work of both PR and SEO professionals.

Instead of investing in wholly new content for each campaign, consider sharing or repurposing existing assets between departments that have proved successful in previous campaigns.

The important point is that the process helps simplify the placement process for PR freeing up precious time for them to outreach their targeted media sources or building new relationships.

Similarly, this sharing approach to getting coverage means that search marketers can ride on the back of the PR exposure and pitch for blog and middle tier level link prospects – dividing and conquering to delight, inform and excite the potential customers of clients, wherever they may be.

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