It takes two to (really) tango

The coming together of SEO and PR is essential for digital marketers. As digital PR becomes increasingly important for brands, it’s vital to understand the entwined relationship of SEO and PR. Both serve the same purpose­­ – getting eyeballs on great content to build brand affinity. Here are some key considerations when adopting an integrated SEO-PR approach to your digital marketing.

Take two steps back
To implement SEO-PR collaboration, agency teams need to understand the purpose of each service. It’s no use forcing integration without context. Get both teams in one room and have them explain what they do, how they do it and why. The similarities and intersections will become evident.

Now take two forward
SEO aims not only to enhance visibility of websites, but to also make those websites relevant and valuable. Google decides whether a website is delivering interesting, accurate and valuable content based on a whole lot of criteria. One of which is inbound links.

This is where PR steps in. By syndicating interesting, well-crafted and value-added content that credible publishers, affiliates and bloggers publish on their sites (with links back to yours) you’ve created advantageous back-links that immediately enhance your site’s organic rankings with Google. And improve your reputation with potential and existing customers via the perceived endorsements of those sites.

Make sure it’s in sync
Timing is critical to success. To get the best results, your owned content should be consistent in theme and – importantly – informed by keywords based on user research. Following the same themes on your paid search, digital and social media marketing will be even more powerful (but that’s another story for another day).

Rehearse and relearn
Keep a close eye on analytics. They will inform you how best to optimise your content. For example, if your data is showing that users are spending time on one page, it’s beneficial to create content that advances and builds on that content and guides your users further towards conversion.

In addition, the collaboration of PR and SEO allows you to report on a more granular level. SEO experts can append a tracking tag to web PR pieces and report on click-throughs, as well as that user’s website behaviour. It means SEO specialists can account for spikes in traffic and gain useful insights into users’ engagement with the content. It’s mutually beneficial – both parties can report more accurately and prove the value of what they’re doing.

Get up close and personal
In my opinion, it’s key that PR and SEO teams sit close together, attend the same meetings and prepare integrated reports. The multiple-specialist-agency model, with different agencies performing different aspects of digital marketing on one brand no longer cuts it. If these powerful digital marketing initiatives are not integrated, they’ll be out of step – and lacklustre.

The finale
The powerful combination of SEO and PR will improve the performance of your website, enhance your brand or business reputation, convert traffic into leads and, ultimately, into customers. In today’s highly competitive and cluttered world wide web, it’s the very least you should be doing for your brand.

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