The not-so-secret affair between SEO and PR

Rumours have been flying around for some months now, rumours that SEO and PR have joined forces.  We hear lots of these rumours about SEO; it’s getting into bed with everyone, from content marketing to social media. And now the latest in its line of lovers is PR!  But truly how much of this is actually a secret?


become a thought leader in your industryThanks to Google’s focus on authorship, individuals hold great importance in search rankings. If you’re seen as a thought leader or authority in your field, you get kudos each time you write something topical. A recent video featuring Matt Cutts himself has highlighted this importance of people over links:

“Over time, backlinks will become a little less important. If we could really be able to tell, you know, Danny Sullivan wrote this article…or Vanessa Fox wrote this article, something like that, that would help us understand — okay, this is something that we can tell, 1) it’s an expert, 2) it’s an expert in this particular field.”

It’s the quality over quantity argument that has been reigning supreme since Google Panda: a mention from Danny Sullivan is worth a hundred mentions from a hundred nobodies. If you yourself can become an expert in your niche, your content is going to rank higher, be seen by more people and generate more traffic.

Making that special marketing relationship work

To make the relationship between PR and SEO work, SEOs need to understand the nuances of PR, more so than the other way around. PR isn’t just about spending millions of pounds on stunts that grab the media’s attention for five minutes, it’s about keeping the right people informed about your brand and delivering a key message.  The PR team is doing an important job – making sure journalists are kept up to date about the latest products, events and launches so that coverage can be gained from experienced, high profile ‘experts’.

The SEO’s job, then, is to advise the PR team on how to optimise their campaign to increase reach. This isn’t necessarily about just throwing in the right keywords; it’s about ensuring that those who may be outside the PR team’s range of contacts are also made aware of the content. Contact lists can be shared and compared to make sure the most relevant people are being targeted. SEOs can then focus on building awareness and leveraging online visibility for the content the PR team has produced.

Overlap management

Managing any potential crossover between PR and content is largely a question of effective communication. Often PR agencies have access to tools that update contact lists on a daily basis, which means the contact details for one blogger or another that the SEO team may also deal with is likely to be more current.

PR and SEO overlap managementThe SEO team, however, are likely to have access to tools that inform them which people are, in the eyes of the search engines, more influential. The SEO can look at a domain and receive details on its authority, the authority of a particular page within the site where a press release, for example, may feature, and advise the PR team which will earn them a higher quality source of traffic.

They can also advise the PR team on which key phrases to link back to your website, and where on the website they should be linking to. It’s not news that a user will more likely abandon a site if she is not pointed to the most relevant page. Since SEOs often have an understanding of user behaviour through conversion optimisation, split testing and website analytics, this can be beneficial for the PR team in ensuring the content linked to is relevant and informative.

It’s a delicate balance and requires a sound relationship between your two teams or agencies, but if employed well, a merging of SEO and PR can be a great boon to your business.

Have your say about PR

Let us know your experiences and thoughts on utilising PR in connection with an SEO team.  Leave your comments below!

Contact Kent SEO Agency for help

Kent SEO agency, Whitefish Marketing, look to work with businesses to develop their online presence, increase overall traffic to their website, and ultimately bring in more sales leads.  Contact our SEO team in Folkestone on 01303 720 288 for a chat about your SEO needs.


About Charli Carlton

Charli is head of content at Minerva Copywriting. When not producing great copy, she can usually be found daydreaming about exotic holiday destinations or in the pub with her mates.


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