PR and SEO—more integrated than ever: 4 campaign tipsBy Pratik Dholakiya on May 18th, 2017 | Reading time: 4 minutes
PR and SEO are no longer two different entities—they go hand-in-hand. Whether you want your website to rank high on the SERPs or gain attention through PR campaigns, quality content and links matter the most. High-quality content created by SEO specialists can be used to pitch industry influencers (bloggers and publishers) who have connections with PR professionals. By merging these skill sets, you can develop stronger digital marketing plans.
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Consumers are spending more time on various digital platforms to fetch news and information. This means PR professionals must push their boundaries and look out for ways to reach out to their audience via channels that they are using the most. PR practitioners must proactively integrate SEO into their PR strategies, instead of treating it as an afterthought.
In this post, we will share four SEO tips that will help your PR campaigns succeed:
Produce highly optimized, shareable content
Creating high-quality content is a must when you are looking to pitch media personnel and reach out to influencers. High-quality content also gets shared quickly, thus improving the visibility and expanding the reach of your brand. This is exactly what Axon Optics did to make its PR campaigns successful.
Axon offers eyewear that blocks specific light sources that trigger migraine. Their PR team focused on the brand’s USP to attract media attention. They used valuable insights from doctor-led research materials and created useful, easily-consumable Q&A videos. The PR team created videos because text-heavy content often becomes too overwhelming for busy journalists and readers. The videos were offered with follow-up links where the complete original research/data was available to readers.
Their videos could be used as reference by journalists or bloggers writing about migraine issues. The more shares the videos get on high-authority sites, the higher will be their reach and trust amongst customers. Again, videos can be easily shared and consumed across various devices, so they create a deeper impact on people.
Think about link-building
SEO has evolved over the years and has grown beyond simply determining keywords. In order to become successful at SEO, you need to focus on acquiring strong and authoritative links that will increase the credibility of your brand and improve search rankings. Wondering how link building can help PR campaigns? Take a look at the example below:
Shiree Odiz, a third-generation diamond dealer and jewelry design firm, launched a campaign named ‘SEO Idol.’ The company held a contest to find their own SEO Idol. It encouraged individuals and SEO companies to compete against each other to win a grand prize of $10,000 and become Shiree’s new SEO strategist. By the end of the campaign, there was a lot of media buzz around it and an enormous amount of links were generated (through blogs and PR mentions).
You can use the same principle in your outreach campaigns. Create an event that the media, bloggers and influencers in your niche will be willing to cover. This will help you earn a huge number of links. The added bonus – you can get lot of attention and required social proof.
Keywords are important
Using right keywords is crucial to the success of PR campaigns. Your efforts will go in vain if your audience fails to discover the content you share. By using the right keywords, you can make sure your content is easily discoverable by your target audience. Look for keywords that journalists and other media professionals might be searching for.
The targeted keywords should be used for optimizing press releases, corporate blogs, newsletters, media kits, white papers, etc. Keywords should also be used along with hashtags for social media promotions.
When building a comprehensive list of keywords here is what you need to do:
- Use keyword research tools such as the KWFinder, Moz’s Keyword Explorer, Keyword Tool, and other similar tools to get keyword ideas
- Find variations of the keywords
- Check your competition
Make sure you track the performance of your content based on the keywords used.
Keep branding messages in alignment
As the digital landscape evolves, it becomes even more important for PR and SEO teams to work together. However, the two teams work on two completely different perspectives. The SEO team is more focused on website traffic, number of backlinks, etc., whereas the PR is more focused on stories and establishing relationships with reporters, journalists and influencers. When combined, these two teams can come up with a strong outreach strategy.
However, the biggest challenge is to keep both the teams on the same page. To make sure PR and SEO teams stay on the same page, here is what needs to be done:
A. Know your audience
Creating buyer personas will help you understand your targeted audience’s needs, preferences and how to engage them to make sure they keep coming back to you.
B. Understand the brand
Both teams need to understand their brand better. This includes understanding the products/services—how they are positioned in the market, how they can help the customers, and find out how they are better than that of your competitors.
C. Create useful content
Creating useful content is important to offer great experiences. However, the two teams should work towards the same goals:
- Helping people solve their real life problems
- Enhancing their social experiences
- Create easily consumable content
- Create content to establish authority in your niche
D. Communicate constantly
The two teams must communicate regularly to make sure they keep updated about the status of the projects, goals and deadlines. By communicating constantly, the two teams can help each other stay on track and improve their outreach. By using advanced tools such as ActiveCollab, Jira, WorkZone, Basecamp, etc. the teams can define their projects and set goals. They can stay updated about the status of their projects and avoid all confusions that might make them deviate from staying aligned with the company message.
Integrating SEO into your PR strategies will help you increase website traffic as well as improve awareness of the brands that you are working with. By having a better understanding of SEO, PR professionals can develop stronger PR strategies and ensure better results for their clients. PR practitioners who understand the importance of SEO will always succeed, whereas those who overlook may fail to keep up with the ever-changing needs of the modern digital environment.