Picture this: your company wants to boost its sales with an incentive program. What do you do? You identify your target audience, establish clear goals, select the right reward structure, and develop an extensive digital marketing campaign that ensures that your offer will get to as many prospects as possible.
That’s all great, but have you considered the possibility of merging your PR and SEO efforts?
Here’s the thing: in this ever-changing digital landscape, marketing and communication channels can work together like peanut butter and jelly. Collaboration between your PR and SEO efforts can ensure an extensive reach, helping you promote your organization and acquire quality backlinks at the same time.
The purpose of this article is to show you how PR and SEO can work together and how you can use public relations strategies to boost your link building efforts.
How SEO and PR Work Together to Develop a Business
Your SEO team can benefit from the knowledge and experience of your PR department and vice versa. Here are just a few instances of how this two apparently distinct branches can work together to help grow your organization.
SEOs Can Teach PR Professionals How to Optimize Links in Earned Coverage
If you are serious about search engine optimization, then you should know that press releases and media stories represent great opportunities and one of the top link-building strategies according to experts. However, your PR team may not know how to optimize them and make the most out of their earned media coverage.
That’s where your SEO department can come to the rescue.
They can help PRs identify the links that have the highest potential for boosting your company’s ranking and ensure that they are using the right URL. Maybe your PR team will use the URL generated from an internal search, which is not indexed and, therefore, won’t benefit your link building strategy.
At the same time, your PR and SEO should work together to ensure that any paid sponsorship, such as for a B2B corporate event, are “no follow” so that you don’t risk a Google penalty.
You Can Set Clear Guidelines for Media Outreach
Influencer outreach is an excellent way to expand your reach and put your business in front of the right audience. But, if different people from your organization reach out to the same thought leaders with different messages, then the result can only be confusion and a lot of wasted time and energy.
When your PR and SEO teams are in sync, they have clear guidelines and understand their roles and responsibilities better. For example, on my blog, my PR team knows that they are responsible for the relationships with mass media while my SEOs are in charge or reaching out to thought leaders and subject matter experts in my niche.
Your Message Becomes Aligned
When your SEO and PR departments don’t communicate effectively, you risk sending inconsistent messages to your stakeholders and suppliers. A cohesive group, on the other hand, can agree on a common theme and unite their efforts to communicate the same message on every channel.
How to Use PR to Build Quality Links
The latest Penguin update made it clear that Google will no longer tolerate backlinks from questionable sources that add little to no value to users. Not only that, but the algorithm is now real time, meaning that any shady tactic can be recognized and penalized on the spot.
This change enabled SEO and PR to converge as webmasters have become increasingly careful about what they publish and the sites that link to their pages. A solid PR strategy can help advance your link building efforts and keep them in line with Google’s guidelines.
Here are a few tips that can help your B2B organization acquire quality backlinks with the help of your PR team.
Your PR Will Focus on Building Relationships, Not Just Links
SEO professionals are so caught up in the nitty-gritty of their methods that they tend to ignore the human factor. They treat subject matter experts and thought leaders as link generating machines, ignoring the benefits that a lasting connection can bring.
PR professionals, on the other hand, are very careful about the early exchanges with media outlets and focus first and foremost on building strong relationships. As such, the journalists perceive the company as a relevant channel and reach out to them for news and stories instead of the other way around.
SEOs could copy this approach from their PR colleagues and focus on building open and honest communications with influencers in their niche.
Create Something That Publications Will Want to Link Back to
Press releases are great for getting media coverage and quality backlinks because they provide value. They share important news and stories about the company, such as the launch of a new product, the financial results of the last quarter or a change in management.
But, because exciting events don’t happen every day, you need more than just press releases to keep publications on their toes and eager for more. Focus on creating quality content that is worth linking to. Understand that media outlets, as well as blogs in your niche, don’t want to link to your homepage or the product page. They want valuable stories that will trigger the interest of their target audience,
For example, if your organization conducted a survey, you can publish the data of your study on your blog and link to it in your press release. That way, media outlets can link to a relevant page on your website and not just to your homepage.
Learn to Plan Like a PR Pro
Most PR professionals don’t send press releases on Mondays and Fridays. And, it makes perfect sense if you think about it. On Mondays, journalists are trying to plan the week ahead and go through all the messages they’ve received during the weekend. On Fridays, they are busy wrapping things up and avoid starting new projects. So, to ensure that their press release won’t get lost in the Inbox mess, PR professionals send their messages during the middle of the week.
Your SEO team can apply this strategy too to their outreach efforts. Have them review the blogs and websites that they want to reach out to and come up with the best schedule.
There was a time when organizations kept their marketing and communication efforts separated. But, in the overly connected world, we live in today, converging your SEO and PR efforts makes more business sense than keeping them divided.
Kostas Chiotis is an outreach and content marketing specialist who has worked with some of the top UK and U.S. digital marketing companies. He is the foundr of Iris Signals, a content marketing agency.