SEOs have been using PR tactics to gain links for years, but now more than ever link building is becoming increasingly reliant on both areas working in tandem to gain the most it can from both sides. While the two may seem wildly different in approach, both marketing pillars essentially have building trust at their core, either from search engines for SEOs or from a client’s publics for PR.
With such a crucial shared value forming the basis of both fields, doesn’t it make sense to respectively reach goals –likely quicker and more successfully – together? Despite this, it’s rare to find SEOs and PRs working in harmony to gain the most from each field.
In this blog post, I’ll outline five tips to a harmonious relationship between PR and SEO in order to get the best of both worlds.
Work closely together from day one
Introducing the two teams doesn’t have to mean mounds more work; all it takes is some extra transparency and clearer communication.
Request an introductory call to be booked in between PR and SEO as soon as possible. Likewise, if you’re an agency or a client, share background information of the current working relationship between SEO and PR with the wider team.
Establishing this relationship from the get-go – as opposed to further down the line when expectations have already been solidified – will ensure that the exchange of relevant information is entrenched in the process.
Learn from each other
When you’re an expert in something, it’s easy to forget that other people don’t know what you do.
In reality, there’s so much that both PRs and SEOs can learn from one another. For example, while there are many important ranking factors, links remain to be one of the most important for Google and other search engines.
As SEOs, we know what makes a good quality link, where we need them and how many we need – but a PR wouldn’t necessarily know this or understand fully why links are important. Likewise, a client’s PR team will likely know what secures the brand coverage in top tier and relevant publications. Outreach is just one part of SEO, whereas it is a pivotal part of any PR’s day-to-day.
At Builtvisible, when talking through any of our Digital PR, link building and promotion strategy projects we always push to have PR in the room as a lot of the link-building tactics we need to get signed off are likely going to be PR focused. We can then explain to the client and their PR team or agency there and then why we want to do something from a link building and SEO perspective.
Understand the benefits of Digital PR beyond building links
There are so many other benefits of Digital PR outside of just building links that can not only benefit your SEO, but your brand too – below are just two examples of this.
Brand recognition & awareness
For a long time, industry experts have been talking about how brand exposure, even when links aren’t included, can contribute to SEO. Search engines such as Google are becoming more advanced every day, with many people now believing that brand mentions alone can have an impact on SEO – even more so if the brand or client mentioned is on highly authoritative, relevant domains and surrounded by key terms.
Online reputation management
Digital PR can influence what a prospective customer’s first impression of a brand is by influencing what they may find in the SERP. A new customer who discovers a brand online, for instance, their first impression will likely be of the SERP and not a brand’s website. It’s easy to see then how a piece of negative coverage would harm a person’s perception of your brand and – ultimately – decrease conversion rates. In contrast, a relevant piece of positive online coverage can increase conversion rates and, in turn, revenue.
A Digital PR’s job is to help communicate the impact and importance online earned media can have on SEO and the subsequent metrics that can make a tangible impact on revenue and sales.
Align your messages where possible
Historically, Digital PR was focused on building links at scale, but there’s so much more to Digital PR than just that and, as discussed, this knowledge and understanding is one of the most valuable assets to the industry. This is particularly true for clients who have always relied on simple link metrics as a measure of success for Digital PR campaigns.
In some instances, Digital PRs and SEOs might come up with a concept that, while news- and link-worthy, will have very little to do with a client’s products or service offering. As a result, the campaign wouldn’t put the brand in front of the right people.
Links from arguably irrelevant websites would likely have little-to-no impact on the metrics that can make a tangible impact on revenue and sales, e.g. referral traffic and conversions – even if they’re beneficial to brand exposure and SEO to an extent, trustworthiness and quality still need to be considered.
A successful Digital PR campaign should put your company or your client in the right place, in front of the right audience at the right time – producing useful content with a relevant target audience at the forefront of the idea is key. This is where PR and SEO working closely together from day one will help to streamline the process of generating a campaign that will both build links and land coverage that matters.
Share outreach to maximise potential
When it comes to outreach, eliminating crossover and ensuring existing relationships are maintained can be a bit of a sore point for PR teams and SEO teams working together. At Builtvisible, we believe that working closely with our client’s PR teams and taking the view that we’re all part of a wider, singular team helps to maximise the potential of any campaign, no matter its size.
A main goal for our clients is to get them links and coverage on websites and publications they’ve never been featured on before to increase and diversify their backlink portfolio and reach in the SERP. This can be a great first step to building out a process for dividing outreach targets as the likelihood is that there isn’t an existing PR relationship there, so identify these early.
Secondly, well ahead of your target outreach date, share lists between those that will be working on outreach to ensure existing relationships can be flagged and no time or resource is wasted. These conversations should be had during client onboarding so that guidelines and ways of working can be streamlined from day one, even down to preferred formats for sharing lists.
When two become one
PR and SEO have developed in many interesting ways over the past few years and are now two marketing disciplines that overlap in more ways than ever before. A good working relationship, solid strategy and a thorough understanding of who you’re trying to reach is key, and this will differ vastly between your clients or company. This guide encompasses just a few ways in which you can make this process as simple and effective as possible.
By combining your SEO and PR efforts, you’ll draw on the collective strengths of both teams and ensure your efforts stand out in an ever-crowded market.