Why You Need to Add PR to Your SEO Strategy
By bringing SEO and PR together, marketers can ensure their public image stays consistent and undivided... across as many channels as you want.
Add PR to SEO? Come again, guv'nor?
Surely that's the wrong way round. After all, top agencies have built billion-pound businesses on their PR expertise. Isn't SEO just that geeky guy in the basement muttering about SEO press releases?
No. It's not. With over a quarter of media budgets spent online – and with web, email and mobile the glue even when the campaign's offline – online is no longer a channel; it's the environment. (When did you last see an ad without a URL?)
Which means SEO isn't for tech-heads anymore. It's the core approach any marketer needs to adopt.
Which is great for PR companies. Because in a way, PR has always been SEO – even before the web was heard of.
Think about it. Isn't PR about:
- Getting your message across to your market?
- Connecting your content to the people asking for it?
- Reaching a broader audience by nurturing a smaller group of influencers?
Surprise, surprise – all of those describe SEO too.
It's about making sure the message says the right thing, reaches the right people and is easy to find.
The time to add PR to SEO is now
For a time, SEO was a dark art. Trickery like link farming and content spinning gave practitioners a bad name. And search engines now rightly mark you down for it.
(None of them were approaches any respectable PR agency would recommend.)
Then the web grew up.
Today, the best SEO is no different to creating the best content. They're the same task.
For decades, PR practitioners have built their careers on crafting spot-on messages, telling their clients' stories to diverse audiences and making them part of the conversation. And today that's the job of SEO too.
Ask any experienced PR person what they actually do. You'll find your SEO geek would recognise it.
That's why SEO isn't just for the web. Apply its principles –write in a way that answers the questions people have, make it easy to find the information they're searching for – to all your communications, and your PR spend will get a welcome boost.
So SEO isn't part of your PR strategy.
It is your PR strategy.
(At least one PR company in Birmingham speaks of the two disciplines in the same breath.)
But before you dash into the boss's office to restructure your PR strategy, can we give you one idea that brings it all together?
It's that adding PR to SEO enables a unified voice.
How PR+SEO lets you speak with one voice
In most marketing agencies, broadcast, direct/CRM and PPC/web are handled by different teams. That's understandable; they're different disciplines.
Silos in agencies lead to a confusion of voices in your comms.
But if the brief to your agency specifies an SEO-friendly approach to content - even if that content's offline – your brand image across all media has a far better chance of consistency.
Because what your customers see on a poster will chime with what they read in the press. The tones and phrasings decided by your SEO inform every print ad, every TV execution, every radio spot.
And agencies will snatch that brief out of your hands with a whoop of delight. (Contrary to popular belief, creatives like a tight brief. Precise ground rules give creativity a solid place to stand.)
That's where your unified voice comes from. It's all in the way adding PR to SEO can join together different channels.
All PR is SEO. And all marketing is content marketing.
It's not a new idea. But it's one whose time has come.