SEO, or search engine optimization, is the practice of tweaking online content and catering to established ranking factors, all in an effort to improve the prominence of your web pages in the results for relevant searches. It’s so important in the Google-led information era that entire businesses make money purely through helping others rank.
PR, or public relations, has been around for a much longer time. Whether you’re a celebrity looking for some assistance in diminishing the impact of a scandal, or a business owner eager to get your name mentioned more widely and positively in the right circles, it makes sense to turn to a PR company.
Each of them has a lot to offer a company trying to grow online — so what happens when you bring them together? Well, it depends on how you approach it! Here are some basic tips for how you can join SEO and PR for maximum impact:
Build buzz with industry collaborations
Partnering with influential businesses in your niche is going to be a strong point of order for any PR advisor, because it’s such an easy way to build up your name. Instead of trying to approach people from a position of anonymity, you appear alongside companies and individuals they recognize and admire, giving you an implicit endorsement.
But if you partner with those businesses on content collaborations, you can serve both PR and SEO. In each case, all parties involved will participate in the promotion, ensuring that the biggest possible audience is reached — and the resulting content will be high-quality and hugely credible, making it extremely likely to rank well.
Be mindful, though, that each piece of content should only be published on one site, so you may need to reach an agreement to work on two pieces of content: one for your site, and one for your partner’s. Since each piece can link to the other, though — and since they shouldn’t be using the same keywords — it shouldn’t be a problem.
Work on the personality of your content
Let’s say you do a great job of picking up some solid rankings for hyper-relevant terms, and you start to bring in a fair amount of traffic. The content you’re offering might be pertinent and valuable, but how does it represent your brand? How do you come across? If you seem bland and forgettable despite the value of your content, that’s a major foul from a PR standpoint.
Look at it this way: if someone who read and enjoyed your content were asked about the topic by a friend, they could do one of two things. They could say “Oh, just search for [search term] and check through the results, you’ll find what I found”, which wouldn’t help you much — or they could say “Go to [your website], it was some great information”.
If you fail to show personality in your content, then providing people with lots of value won’t actually achieve anything for you. They’ll just take and take without giving anything back. Content saturated with brand quirks will get people talking about you, which will benefit both your PR efforts and your SEO performance through them linking to your site.
Use feedback to inform content creation
A big part of modern PR is reaching out to people commenting on your brand through social media and other relevant channels. When negative remarks are made, you can mitigate their impact, and even turn them to your advantage by mollifying the people complaining. And when positive remarks are made, you can help them get shared and publicized.
How you interact with people in this way is important for determining how you’re viewed, but it was wider significance as well, because feedback from people who’ve interacted with your brand (or simply expressed some interest in it) is extremely valuable for content production. What you ideally want to build is a strong feedback loop through which you steadily make your content better and more appealing.
For instance, you can strike up some friendly conversations through Twitter or Facebook and ask people what content they’d like to see from you. What do they have issues finding when making searches concerning your industry? You can then develop some new pieces to fill those gaps. If someone asks you what sets you apart from other brands, you can write some posts along the lines of “[your brand] versus [rival brand]” and try to win those ranking places.
SEO and PR fit quite neatly together, since one deals with how search crawlers perceive your site and the other deals with how people view your brand. By using these tactics, you can get them working together to enhance your online growth.