When Google set about changing its all-important search algorithms, it placed a higher than ever priority on the relevance of content and the quality of links. This, more than anything, is why SEO must be part of your PR strategy.Google's algorithmic tweak brought the PR and SEO industries closer, to the point that in many ways they now go hand in hand. Both rely on high-quality content to attract visitors and develop relationships that build brand awareness – while also contributing to the commercial side of the business.
This is nothing new. Insightful, relevant content has always been perhaps the single most valuable tool in Public Relations, where the goal of earning media coverage dictates that all PR professionals must possess superior writing skills.
What is relatively new is the coming-together of PR and SEO specialisation, where SEO must be part of a PR strategy and where a shared focus on message-driven strategies presents an opportunity to target audiences like never before. Here are some of the ways that can be achieved:
Keep your website ticking over with content
Your site should feature new (or constantly-updated) user-orientated content, ensuring that visitors engage for longer periods at a time – and bumping you up the Google rankings for relevance.
Make that content unique and insightful
The better your content, the better your links. Investing in original content is more likely to earn you links to reputable mainstream and trade media; stories and features can also be pitched to boost your search results.
Make sure your site is set up to suit Google
We all need to be liked by the search giant, and that means optimizing your site so that Google can easily recognise and understand your content. Good site design, logical structure, clear navigation – good. Massive images, unnecessary animation – bad.
Repurpose your content – don’t copy it
Repurposing content for alternative applications (social posts, blogs etc) is a valid and valuable form of content-creation, but Google does not like straightforward duplication. Again, this comes down to an investment of time and resources but it’s definitely worth it.
Don’t try to trick the system
There are no shortcuts to improving your SEO ranking, no matter what some might tell you. Any attempt to distort the search results in your favour could cost you dearly as Google routinely punishes such manipulation by down-ranking the perpetrators. Play fair!
Consider partnering with a PR agency
All of the above underlines why SEO must be part of your PR strategy - no matter what business you're in. A smart PR firm can not only provide you with the most advanced SEO technology and execution, they can also back it up with a media relations service that will bolster and complement your online efforts.