We recently blogged about the importance of Domain Authority (DA) in SEO, and how PR activity plays a key part in improving your website’s DA. Having considered the basics, in this blog we look more closely at why PR and SEO need to work together and explore further ideas on building SEO into your campaigns and strategies.
If you missed our first blog – Domain authority, SEO and PR – the basics – perhaps have a quick read now to give you the background. It explains how the DA scoring system works and why it matters. If you’re not convinced, consider that Gorkana now lists DA for all publications on its database – a clear indicator that PR is waking up to SEO.
How PR and SEO influence organic visibility?
A constant stream of links from different authoritative websites, usually placed by PR teams within the content they have crafted, has proven to have a significant impact on organic visibility in search results.
PR and SEO are different things but when PR and SEO efforts are combined, they enhance each other and score the best marketing results.
At the heart of each skill are similar intentions, including brand reputation management, social media marketing, building brand awareness and trust, increasing your brand authority, and securing your brand new leads. The digital marketing space is becoming increasingly important for marketing strategies with SEO PR activity ensuring that Google search results deliver what’s needed.
SEO analytics can help PR create strategies that are based on data and will work. SEO professionals should leverage PR professionals’ networking skills to drive quality link building.
SEO PR strategies ensure a brand’s visibility by combining tactics such as guest articles, guest posting, interviews, newsjacking, amplifying content, etc.
A range of assets and content will help you to place meaningful backlinks onto a variety of different sources and websites. It’s this variety that ultimately helps nudge your website up in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
PR activity and campaigns that can help SEO include:
- Thought leadership
- Strategic partnerships
- Influencer campaigns
- Business profiling
- White papers
- Digital assets
- Creative assets
- Knowledge sharing
- Community management
- Good deeds
- Case study profiling
- Internal data
SEO as part of your PR strategy
Of course, most PRs are naturally thinking about a lot of these ideas already, but if you’re not considering its impact on SEO as you set out your strategy, a lot of your hard work could be in vain when it comes to your client’s online visibility.
Expertise, Authority and Trust (EAT) in the eyes of Google should be at the centre of all PR and SEO strategies. Cathy Edwards, VP of User Trust for Search at Google, said: “Google launches changes to their search algorithm 6x per day (roughly 2,000 per year) which requires 200-300 thousand experiments per year.”
Consider the following:
Are you pitching to the right places?
Map out the DA of the publications you want to approach – they don’t all need to be really high, but they should be towards the top of the publications in the industry you’re targeting. PR professionals create strong communications and messaging to the right audiences and aid relationship building. Ensure your brand’s online search results are positive. Use the combined efforts of PR and SEO to ensure that your brand’s appearances in Google search results are positive and engaging content.
How influential are they?
You may not get a backlink from some of the bigger news sites, but a positive brand mention on a very influential website can be important too.
Is a range of sources mentioning your client?
Look to get as many different types of sources mentioning and linking back to your site as possible. Yes, press coverage counts, but so do reviews, social shares and mentions in forums. Think broadly.
Are you embracing social?
Aim for every relationship you build to have an element of social built in. Ask editors to run a few social posts as well as the feature; if bloggers don’t have time to write a blog, ask them to post on their social accounts instead (or even better, do both); make sure the client’s website has social sharing buttons on every page. The list goes on.
Measuring PR activity against SEO
Measurement is where the two teams can really work together. As PRs we should be monitoring and measuring:
- Number of links
- Pieces of coverage (online and offline)
- Influencers engaged
- Brand mentions
- Social sentiment
Meanwhile, SEO can look at onsite statistics, including:
- Engagement stats – the amount of traffic/page views, average time on page, bounce rate and social shares from the pages
- SEO stats – organic visibility, rankings for core terms
How have the onsite stats changed or improved in line with the PR activity that has taken place? How much direct traffic have the backlinks provided? Has organic search for your brand increased with the increase in brand mentions and better brand sentiment? If you can draw correlations between the two, your reports will be a welcome read to clients and you’ll build up brilliant case studies for future pitches.