Ever heard of a marriage between the Public Relations (PR) and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) teams in an organisation? Unlikely, right? Or, actually maybe there is a match to be made in the race to gain Page One Google status for brands. Stamie Jasenec, The 6AM Agency’s Account Manager explains.
It is highly likely that in this age of the ‘new normal’, which has catapulted digital decades ahead in just 6 months, PR and SEO are the two teams that can best lead brands through this global pandemic crisis harmoniously, as they reap the rewards of a partnership where both contribute to heightened success for their clients’ brands, winning the always on goal of achieving Page One ranking, in this ever competitive digital space.
Here is the news! Today, successful SEO digital marketers and PR folk are combining forces to reach audiences that go beyond traditional offline tactics, in a match that arguably has been made in heaven, without even knowing it. The quality of written content generated for PR stories and the placement in quality media platforms, is helping to drive Page One rankings like never before. When coupled with smart SEO tactics, it can deliver a powerful result.
So, what has changed to bring on this unusual match between PR and SEO?
In essence for a long time, it was smart meta-descriptions, tagging and link sharing which formed a large part of SEO success. However, since Google broadened its focus to the quality of the content it is curating and serving, the relevance to the audience coupled with the power of influential (aka influencer & KOL) sharing, PR, which is generally responsible for quality, relevance and influencer/KOLs for brand communications, has become as important to drive rankings, as has the brilliant work of SEO folk.
As a brand, maintaining a strong online presence requires having an active and engaged audience. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a vital tool and one of the many methods used by brands that are looking to harness their online reputation and increase visibility to new and existing customers.
Looking at and comparing the fundamental purpose behind both PR and SEO, it’s easy to see that they can work hand in hand.
Interweaving brand key messages into SEO strategies ensures that the right message is reaching the right people. In the modern-day battle for brand awareness and Page One ranking in a cluttered environment, SEO tactics should be interwoven into all PR campaigns and strategies.
This will help to enhance brand recognition and salience of a brand through clear messaging and brand storytelling.
Not yet convinced? Here are the reasons why SEO is the new frontier of PR.
Meaningful content and articles have proven to be a highly effective way of building brand exposure and reaching new audiences. As Google becomes more advanced, industry experts see branded search as an increasingly important metric in search rankings with brand mentions potentially replacing links.
Creating engaging stories that resonate with audiences is the basis of all PR campaigns is fundamental to success. Add an expert to that and the value for search engine optimization is further elevated.
Building Quality Connections
As Sir Richard Branson says, “Succeeding in business is all about making connections”.
When it comes to PR, it’s crucial to know what media publications are relevant to your brand, which will help deliver awareness and engagement to the right audiences. With the content living outside of your brand’s owned channels, an authentic and trusted voice advocating your brand will help develop a deeper connection and salience with target audiences. And, Google rates that highly.
Consumers also connect with brands through internet searches, so ensuring key messages are considered and implemented where relevant here is also important.
Consistent key messaging that is brought to life through all communication channels will allow for more meaningful and transferable conversations.
Tracking and Improving Brand Engagement
Sharing press releases online is another great way to manage and communicate a brand story and further bring key messages to life. When developing these, it’s important to also look at them with an SEO lens to ensure they work harder to communicate the right message. From this, interest can be generated from both media and consumers on the story your brand is trying to tell, converting to further media coverage and consideration.
PR tips for maxmising SEO
When your leaders are interviewed by journalists and the articles are published, this builds authority and drives leadership for your business.
Remember to maximise every opportunity by ensuring interviewees include relevant keywords, which will help optimise the content of the publisher, further driving ranking success for your brand.
Make sure that when you post the media coverage on your website, you include the link to the host publication media interview, to leverage SEO. Remember, that when people are searching for support and expertise in their business – for example health communications expertise, most quality published media, will rank highly in search, built on leadership in a specific category.
Wherever possible, supply written content, creative content eg infographics, slideshare presentations, podcasts, video interviews and any other assets which add value to a digital PR piece. This all helps to drive SEO success for brands.
At 6AM, our PR experts are SEO-led, coupled with nearly 2 decades of strong relationships with top-tier and well-regarded publications and journalists in their field to develop brand stories for our clients. Such stories can be utilised and tweaked across numerous channels eg social media, digital, earned and owned, and in different variations, which helps to extend messaging and connect with target audiences in the best way possible.
For a free 30 minute audit of the SEO power of your brand PR, email firstname.lastname@example.org or text + 61 400 200 441