Traditionally, search engine optimization (SEO) and public relations (PR) had little in common; each had distinct goals and required distinct approaches and skill sets. That is no longer the case. Thanks to changes in search algorithms and in how the public consumes content, PR and SEO are now inextricably intertwined. As Moz recently reported, a good PR strategy should draw on SEO, and can boost SEO; similarly, SEO and content marketing should not neglect PR.
Part of the shift is due to Google algorithm updates. The most recent updates, Penguin and Panda, reward quality content over SEO tricks. While SEO is still important, methods designed to boost search engine ranking without providing quality content, such as SEO footers and hidden content, are punished in Google’s results.
As a result, SEO and PR now have similar, mutually compatible goals. SEO marketers seek to create high-quality content that captivates the audience, and which may also earn media attention and social media engagement. Similarly, in the digital age PR cannot neglect the importance of SEO, since the audience is overwhelmingly consuming content online.
For content marketers and SEO experts, this means that modern content marketing must be approached as a comprehensive process that results in great content and draws on aspects of both PR and SEO.
Strategies traditionally associated with PR are now also essential to SEO. For example, content marketers are not just concerned about generating content, but about building connections. Having relationships with industry giants and journalist can be invaluable, in everything from getting the opportunity to write guest posts to collaborating with connections to pull PR stunts.
The results of combining SEO and PR in a marketing strategy can be substantial. When done effectively, businesses may see an activity and sales boost related to a PR stunt that lasts far past the initial event. Increased brand awareness, increased site traffic, higher search engine rankings and a bigger social media presence may all occur, and can translate into more conversions.
At minimum, this strategy allows for the effective dissemination of information so that audiences find and engage in content. At its most striking, approaching content marketing with both SEO and PR in mind provides a platform for content to be picked up by both online and traditional media sources, and even go viral.