PR is predicated on the need for a person or organization to manage the dissemination of information between that entity and the public. The aim of PR is to be seen, read and viewed. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine. Both PR and SEO are concerned with increasing visibility, yet communications and SEO teams rarely reside on the same floor or choose to meet up for coffee.
This is a missed opportunity. SEO and communications leaders should sit side-by-side, connect for lunch and glean insights to help each other reach their goals.
Here are some of the ways that SEO can help PR:
Zero in on the highest-quality websites and media outlets
An SEO expert can share interesting information about media outlets, and their findings might just surprise you. While PR professionals tend to lean on things such as circulation numbers provided by outlets themselves, SEO teams can provide third party data that paints a very different picture. By reviewing metrics like an outlet’s search ranking score, unique visitor count, and keyword ranking, you can ensure that your message is reaching your target audience in the best possible way.
Create more relevant content by tapping into trending keywords
Ask your SEO team to tell you about the currently trending keywords and topics in your industry. This valuable data will shift your perspective, provide guidance on the topics that you should focus on, and help you to craft stories and draft press release language that includes trending terms in which your audience has an interest.
And remember, that when you’re creating content using relevant and trending keywords, you are further fueling the positive cycle of improving your search rankings.
Communicate your ideas more effectively
You may not anticipate that search engines can give you a lesson on verbiage, but the content structure is another area where PR and SEO overlap.
Search engines love structure—all the way down to the sentence level. In addition to using proper grammar, aim to avoid run-on sentences and overly complex language.
You can further support readability and search rankings with the correct use of on-page tags like H1s, H2s, H3s, and image alt tags. Search crawlers—like human readers—use these elements to get a sense of what your content is actually about.
Drive more traffic with backlinks
Communications teams regularly create and share interesting content. A steady stream of content presents the opportunity to drive audiences to your website via backlinks (links directed towards your website).
Backlinks help human users reach your domain. And search engines — such as Google — rank websites with quality backlinks much higher than those that do not. This is particularly important since Google changed its practices to place more importance on the quality and relevancy of website content, as well as the number of premium sites linking to your site.
Social media channels such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter can also serve as a valuable source of links to your website.
Provide data to prove your success
Ask your SEO lead to provide data that will help you improve your PR team’s campaigns. For example, search experts are able to review clickthrough rates, keyword rankings, traffic metrics, domain authority, and much more. SEO experts can also measure overall indicators of marketing success, such as improvements in search engine rankings.
What are you waiting for?
PR and communications leads have a very good reason to ask their SEO counterpart to lunch. With SEO insights and data to provide direction, PR professionals can optimize content to show up on the first search results page for those Googling any given term. They can help you to increase traffic to your website and help you to increase your website’s domain authority.
In the meanwhile, there are a number of websites that you can follow to brush up on your SEO knowledge such as Search Engine Land, Moz and Search Engine Journal. And, of course, Google itself. So, what are you waiting for?