As you can see in this case study, “off-site SEO”, to coin a phrase, offers brands exposure through free and organic web-based content, aiming to drive traffic to their site. Sound similar to PR? That’s because it is. SEO as a practice has been leaning more and more towards traditional PR tactics to gain results, however some SEO professionals are still getting it wrong. Similarly, PRs can find themselves stuck in the printed past.
It’s time to sit down and hash it out; what can SEO-ers and PR practitioners learn from each other?
THE BOOK OF PR FOR SEOS
This reliable marketing buzzword is about creating a good narrative, whilst tying in existing stories to create reactive PR. Stories that tie in with the news agenda can be more valuable, in addition to building stronger relationships with readers who will clamour for more.
The reason for this is because on the most basic level, the ‘news’ is about what is currently going on in the world, so journalists will of course be searching for stories that tie in with a time of year, event or ongoing story. This can also apply to the audience digesting the content, as they will be much more likely to engage with something currently relevant to them, than something they could take or leave no matter when.
Go for the big names
Old-school digital marketers can get hung up on bloggers and smaller sites, which is an outdated approach, but one that’s often followed due to the belief that the big names of the national press are unattainable. We say: don’t ask, don’t get! Create a story or piece of content that’s good enough, and the big brands will write about it.
Coverage above links
Digital marketers: channel your inner PR and put less stress on the pursuit of links. As a PR-SEOer, you will consider different things:
- New and exciting stories by different journalists will open up opportunities for new content.
- The quality of the stories being run. Jumping on existing quality stories and coverage will also set a benchmark for your own content (quality above quantity).
- Timing. As opposed to creating content for the sake of it, at times that don’t coincide with larger areas of press, releasing content at the right time and tapping into a news agenda can prove to be beneficial.
Remember: Links should come naturally.
Working and thinking more like a traditional PR will boost your site’s chance of coverage, and if the content you have created is good enough for the stories, links will find their way to your site organically.
THE BOOK OF SEO FOR PRS
Remember the importance of online
Sad to say (depending who you are), but the worth of print media is ever-depleting. Gone are the days of ‘column inches’. Even AVE (advertising value equivalent) is making its way out the door. With a dizzying amount of online-only businesses, SEO is simply unavoidable. That means PR efforts needs to be focused online.
Clue up on SEO best practice
Know anything about exact match anchor text? If not, it’s time to swot up. Online coverage you’re gaining, and links you’re building, could actually be detrimental to your content if you’re not doing it right.
Understand the worth of SEO
If you’re working alongside someone driven by SEO, their link-building desires might confuse you. Is the coverage alone not good enough? Know though, that a link within your online coverage can not only enhance SEO visibility, but could bring visits (and therefore sales), as well as all-important PR reputation building.
Think outside the box
At times, traditional PR can be extremely product-focused, however with the rise of ‘Content is King’, and the move to multimedia content, thinking outside of the box to gain coverage for a brand or client is crucial. This means not having to be overly product-focused – but instead looking further into your industry and the stories you can create from it.
The persisting value of links should never be underrated, but neither should column inches or even a good relationship with a journalist. It’s always worth remembering that PR takes on many different guises, and expansive SEO-driven content marketing efforts aren’t necessarily valuable for all of your clients. Local businesses, for example, could benefit more from working with an influential group of local bloggers, than a huge national coverage campaign, from which they can’t fulfil demand created by the exposure. However, in most cases high-authority coverage is worth more than it seems – and quality SEO, as with quality PR, should never be underestimated.