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PR and SEO; a seamless integration.

The author

Helen Robinson

Digital Media Account Director

Our appetite for finding information online – in particular through mobile – is growing voraciously and Google is constantly exploring new ways to ensure it’s serving up the most relevant content to its audience.

In a world where an incomprehensible amount of content is published every day, a “build it and they will come” mentality just doesn’t work; brands need to build relationships with target publishers and influencers, and offer them the most relevant and high-quality content.

This means that in the past few years, internal SEO teams have been facing the very same issues presented to PR teams for years, namely; how to engage the right journalist, at the right publisher, at the right time, with the right content.                                              

But what does this mean for the relationship between PR and SEO - two disciplines that comfortably sat separately for many years?

Bringing together PR & SEO teams

Both PR and SEO teams still serve separate functions and will meet different objectives. Your PR team won’t be able to provide advice on making your website technically proficient or how to increase organic conversions. Although circulations are generally declining, print coverage will still be a huge focus for a PR team - but holds no value online.

Similarly, your SEO team won’t handle crisis comms or advise on your new brand ambassador. However, certain PR strategies - sponsorship and blogger engagement - can have a negative impact on your SEO if not done correctly - so a joined up approach is vital.

Building a relationship between your PR strategy and SEO strategy should be a key focus for marketing managers. Both teams should have a thorough understanding of each other’s areas of discipline to truly make the most of the investment in both channels.

But there are some things to consider when bringing together these two disciplines internally. Here are our top tips:

  • Ensure your SEO agency/team has an input on any PR content such as blog articles, press articles, press releases etc. to ensure they include the right key phrases and any relevant links
  • Share media lists and outreach plans across agencies/teams to avoid coverage from undesirable sites from either an SEO or PR perspective
  • Consider joint campaign brainstorms to generate holistic campaigns that achieve both PR and SEO goals and create content that appeals to the media online and offline
  • Keep communication open and understand that both PR teams and SEO teams have goals to meet and results to deliver and it’s not helpful to have the teams competing against each other
  • Make sure the impact of both teams’ work is considered within tracking of results and attributed accordingly. For example, print coverage generated from a SEO campaign or referral traffic from a PR campaign.

To truly harness the full potential of both your owned and earned media, you need a dedicated team of professionals with a full understanding of how they complement each other.