How PR and SEO can work together
26th June 2017
Our Senior Account Executive in Madrid, Oscar Bouzas, an ex-journo and former social media strategist for the UN, shares his top tips and key insights into the benefits of linking PR with SEO.
PR and SEO have traditionally been two independent and highly differentiated disciplines. One has a longer, more establised and understood legacy, the other is born from a digital world. Nonetheless, both are constantly evolving and becoming increasingly sophisticated and sensitive to the changing buisness and marketing landscape. But how do these two disciplines converge, and how can this benefit brands and impact their communication strategies and tactics?
Here’s some of the best day-to-day tips to note when it comes to combining the practice of PR and SEO:
PR’s ability to secure pieces of online coverage in influential media is a goldmine for the exploitation of incoming links. The earned nature of PR works hand-in-hand with the linkbuilding process (getting external pages to link to your website page), and it’s this organic quality that is most favoured by search engines. By aligning the strategies of both disciplines, a brand is able to control and choose the best keywords for the anchor texts – the terms on which website hyperlinks are placed. Otherwise, working separately and without that common endpoint, SEO loses an amazing opportunity to get the most out of these new incoming links, and likewise PR misses a trick.
2. Measure and rule
SEO and analytics teams work together to optimise their strategy based on data. Why not take advantage of that insight in other departments? If users show interest in a topic, media will want to satisfy that demand. That’s where PR’s creativity comes in to close the loop, creating potential coverage opportunities for clients.
3. Trends and Seasonality
Seasonality is vital for editorial calendars. Key dates such as the arrival of summer, a bank holiday or an international film festival are repeated every year. Tools like Google Trends or Buzzsumo help us to predict what content will be in demand in the upcoming months. This seasonal calendar across every market and culture means that PR can anticipate media hooks and the best SEO actions that will generate impact for clients. Preparing ahead means campaigns can be implemented on time, in the right way, so as to best position a client and amplify their brand campaign.
4. Content is key
It’s a perfect match: SEO demands content, whereas PR provides content. A collaboration between both disciplines when creating content can optimise resources and improve efficiency – especially time management. This includes ensuring there are suitable keywords for SEO that also meet a brand’s criteria for key messaging and USP. Aligning these two disciplines when it comes to transmitting key brand messages in external communications is a win-win strategy for both, and ultimately benefits the brand.
5. Media, bloggers and influencers
Hard-earned relationships between PRs and journalists, bloggers and/or influencers can help SEO teams to reach places that would otherwise only be possible through paid contributions. For example, a quality link on an influential website, or influencers sharing branded content through their social channels will ultimately multiply the impact of a digital campaign.
6. Prevent and cure
An online crisis can wipe out a brand’s reputation in minutes. The collaboration between PR and SEO can prevent a digital disaster or, if the damage is already done, it can help clean it up. SEO can apply ‘disavow’ techniques which minimise the effect of negative incoming links, while they also work to amplify the positive mentions generated by PR in the media. This way, less favourable results for the brand will disappear from the first search engine results page (SERP). And as they say, the best place to hide from unwanted attention is Page 2 of Google search results – no one is looking for you there!
For more information, please contact Oscar.Bouzas@mcsaatchi.com.