How SEO Enhances Digital PR
Good PR has been essential to business success for decades. While Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a new concept by comparison, it’s equally important in a market ruled by online search results. To be successful in today’s economy, your business needs a solid marketing strategy that incorporates both digital PR and SEO.
This may sound like an overwhelming task, but it’s not as challenging as it seems. Although there are many differences between digital PR and SEO, they can complement each other quite well. By considering both SEO and PR best practices, you can develop an extremely effective marketing strategy for your business.
What is SEO?
SEO is all about helping your potential customers find your company’s website. That means you need to make sure your site ends up near the top of the list of a search engine’s results and that visitors who click to your page end up staying there instead of navigating back to the search results page and going to a competitor’s site.
While getting on the first page of search engine results is a good initial SEO goal, it’s usually not enough. Statistics show that 70% of clicks go to the top five results of a Google search. So, what you really want to do is ensure that your page ends up in that top-five search results list.
The factors that affect your site’s search ranking are complicated, but here are three qualifiers to keep in mind:
- User interactions
Google and other search engines reward trustworthy sites with higher rankings. Having relevant keywords on your site can also improve its performance. Finally, search engines monitor how visitors interact with your site; you want your visitors to stay and read the pages on your site rather than quickly clicking away.
SEO is a complicated world that’s constantly evolving as search engine algorithms change. Most business owners find it far more cost-effective to hire an SEO professional than to try a DIY strategy.
What is Digital PR?
Public relations has historically been centered on human interaction. PR professionals build working relationships with journalists and editors so they have a network of people to cover their clients’ news and company milestones. Through this earned media coverage, a proper PR strategy allows companies to build third-party credibility for their brand, products and services.
While those human relationships are still essential in PR, there’s a digital component now. PR experts must now build a brand’s presence online, in addition to the more traditional offline spaces. This means collaborating with social media influencers and bloggers, as well as journalists and reporters.
The core elements of PR, such as brand identity, brand awareness, reputation and media coverage, are still there. However, PR professionals must also think about online engagement, social media followers, website traffic and search engine rankings.
SEO Goals vs. Digital PR Goals
It’s essential to understand that SEO and digital PR are not the same thing. Specifically, the goal of digital PR is not link-building, whereas curating high-quality backlinks is a fundamental SEO practice.
Even though SEO and PR have their own unique goals, there is some overlap when it comes to creating online content. An effective digital PR strategy earns coverage that boosts SEO, and good SEO practices provide more PR opportunities.
Additionally, both digital PR and SEO are based on the same concept: building trust. A PR expert’s job is to make stakeholders like journalists and consumers see your company as credible. An SEO professional’s goal is to build trust with search engines.
Essentially, both SEO and digital PR are focused on building up your company’s reputation and increasing positive exposure in the right places. A strong SEO strategy shows Google your brand is trustworthy, and digital PR ensures that your current and potential customers get the same impression of your brand when they visit your site or read the news about your company.
How SEO and Digital PR Work Together
With the right strategy, your SEO and digital PR efforts can support each other and lead to better results in both areas. Let’s look at how the main elements of SEO can enhance your company’s digital PR work and vice versa:
A lot of SEO work revolves around choosing the right keywords and then incorporating them into your site correctly. However, you can also use your keyword research to direct some of your digital PR work. Understanding which keywords you want to focus on can help you hone your brand identity and marketing materials. Additionally, you can strategically include keywords in press releases and branded content.
Branded Content/Owned Media
Content creation often plays a role in both SEO and digital PR strategies. For example, content marketing through blogs and social media posts is a popular SEO strategy. However, content also plays a big role in digital PR; press releases and news stories are simply different types of content than blogs.
A strong digital PR strategy can create more high-quality content about your brand that gets published on authoritative sites. You can also develop value-oriented content (e.g. a how-to guide or e-book) with the goal of encouraging your readers to share it with their networks. This increases your overall brand awareness and trustworthiness, both of which are good for SEO.
Earned media (e.g. organic news coverage and publicity) plays a big role in digital PR. Fortunately, success in this area automatically generates new SEO opportunities. For example, landing a partnership with an influencer can provide excellent digital PR results and lead to backlinks, which are fundamental to an effective SEO strategy.
Creating a Cohesive Marketing Strategy
Your company needs a solid digital PR plan to build brand awareness and reputation. But the ubiquity of internet searches means that PR isn’t enough anymore. Instead, you need to sell your brand to search engines, as well as to real people.
Fortunately, a good SEO strategy can inform your digital PR campaigns. Likewise, digital PR best practices can help you reach your SEO goals. The best marketing strategy will incorporate digital PR and SEO elements to ensure you see results in both areas.
A note from our guest author: Digital PR and SEO are both highly specialized fields, and success requires in-depth knowledge and expertise. If you’re looking for expert SEO management for your business, SEO Rocket is here to help. We create customized SEO flight plans designed to meet your specific goals. We’ll help you develop a marketing system that incorporates the best of SEO and digital PR for outstanding results. Schedule a consultation to get started.