By Becca Krug, Senior Account Director at davies tanner
The lines between PR strategy and SEO content strategies began blurring around a decade or so ago. Today, we look to the possibility that the two may well reach the point of total convergence. To clarify the current state of play, we’re looking at where the two are similar, where they are different and how they can work together for the good of the business.
As a PR professional, you produce great content, secure coverage (online and elsewhere) and plan for the online coverage to include backlinks to key pages on a specific website. You do it to promote your business (or that of your clients) and build brands through quality media your target audiences see.
As an SEO professional, you produce great content, secure coverage online and plan for the coverage to include backlinks to key pages on a specific website. You do it to help your business (or that of your clients) climb the search engine rankings, because search engines give priority ranking to sites that have backlinks from influential sites.
Search engines are getting smarter
There’s a twist. As search engine algorithms get smarter, readability and user experience have become important factors influencing page rank. So, where previously a badly written blog with the right backlinks could boost your search engine position, that’s no longer true. Well written, useful articles are required. It’s an important point, as it blurs the lines between SEO and PR even more, because no PR worth their salts would distribute badly written content.
What is your SEO doing to your brand?
What we have here are chunks of PR and SEO doing the same job. It could be good – a kind of two for the price of one – but we must remember, both are working towards different objectives and this means, the actions of the one could dilute, or worse, do damage, to the other.
For example, a well written SEO piece written from the point of view of company X, will not help the PR effort of company X if it does not follow the correct tone of voice and promote the relevant brand messages. Just because its well-written doesn’t mean it’s right. Any good brand practitioner will tell you that no content should be ‘off-brand’.
What is your PR doing to your page ranking?
The reverse is true of a PR piece. SEO strategy is very specific about where articles should be placed. Coverage on a lesser known, less reputable site, which to the PR would be OK, because some targeted, albeit niche, eyes are on it, is not necessarily OK from an SEO standpoint – the backlinks could count against the site, lowering its page ranking.
We’re at a point where, if PR and SEO are going after the same territory, something needs to be done. The solution is communication and discipline, something both SEOs and PRs should be good at. PRs and SEOs must understand what the other does and the way they do it. Get both disciplines to talk, and together they can create a win win – SEO content and PR copy that covers all bases to achieve joint objectives.
Whenever you need help or advice on PR and SEO, feel free to call us here at davies tanner We’re the UK’s leading independent hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism PR agency and we’re here to help you.