‘PR is the new SEO’, or so the marketing blogs and media would like you to believe, but the reality is not so black and white, argues James Crawford, Managing Director or PR Agency One.
The rhetoric around PR and SEO has increased over the last few years but has stepped up a gear in recent months thanks to changes in Google’s algorithm.
Depending on your marketing and SEO knowledge you are probably either completely unaware or rather too familiar with the concepts of Google’s Panda and Penguin updates.
Regardless of Panda and Penguin his chart taken from my presentation at SAScon really paints the picture of PR as a discipline in the ascendancy.
As PR professional, the increasing relevance of PR in SEO whets my appetite in anticipation for earning extra fees from SEO PR practices.
But some are taking things too far. Penguin and Panda hasn’t stopped all non-PR or content strategies from being effective. The reality is that lots of tactics supposedly killed off by these algorithmic updates still work.
In addition, let’s not forget that SEO has many more strings to its bow than content generation and link building. Good SEOs are analytical, build great websites and are technical too.
So what is the point you are making?
The point I am making is that PR isn’t the new SEO, but that PR has become increasingly relevant to search marketing. To guide people through the minefield of SEO and PR I’ve produced some top tips:
1. If you just rely on PR and content strategies alone you will lose. Panda and Penguin hasn’t fixed Google just yet. Google is still broken and maybe in the future they will solve the puzzle but not just right now.
2. Don’t ditch tried and tested SEO tactics just yet (yes, you heard me correctly). Just make sure you use a trusted SEO partner who knows how far to push the boundaries.
3. Spend more time and SEO budget undertaking long term PR and content projects. Plan and create great content. Make it sharable. Appoint a PR agency that understands SEO PR.
4. Don’t be mislead that ‘boring’ or technical industries can’t make great or interesting content. I’ve been doing B2B PR in some very specialist niches for some years now and have done very well for myself and my clients.
5. Set PR agencies objectives on link building. You will be surprised how many PR companies won’t measure or report on link acquisition, so set them targets. Their articles will be published on high profile sites, often with authoritative links.
6. If you are undertaking SEO PR don’t forget the wider reputation-building benefits of the discipline Too many SEO companies which turn their hand to PR are obsessed just by link acquisition.
7. Use tools like Majestic SEO or Open Site Explorer to analysis the back-link profile and see which media titles your competitors are targeting. If they are getting more links than you then take a closer look at what they are doing and copy or do it better!
8. PR people need to think about how their campaigns work as onsite content. As well as long tail keyword traffic, think about why a journalist or blogger would want to link to this content? Why would anyone share it online?
9. Media train your spokespeople to drop a mention of a link into a broadcast interview or ask a print journalist to link to the source (which should be hosted on your website as standard).
10. PRs and SEOs have different personalities. If you are trying to integrate a team or agencies then be aware that PR professionals can be a territorial bunch. They don’t collaborate as well as SEOs.
11. PRs generally aren’t great at measurement. So here is an area where SEOs have the upper hand. The best PRs use SEO metrics in their measurement and can track conversions from social media and create goals and custom dashboards. Can your agency do this?
12. SEOs need to understand PR measurement too. Do most SEOs know how to measure reputation?
13. If you are an SEO and you think PR is all about press releases or infographics then you are doing it wrong!
14. SEOs, you can be newsworthy too. Think about making content based on the principles of proximity, timeliness, human interest, novelty, conflict, eminence and prominence, consequence and impact, visuals(press photos and video footage)
For more information on this subject please browse this slideshare presentation below or visit www.pragencyone.co.uk/blog
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