Published
519

The big buzz among agencies lately is that PR and SEO are changing directions and hitting each other head on. You’ve probably read a lot about how SEO is dead (again), and how Google killed the PR agency. Sides are forming and the battle to be the lasting agency has begun with articles popping up all over digital media claiming either SEO or PR will prevail. 

But as Rebecca Scully, managing director at PR agency Smarts, eloquently points out on The Guardian, “there’s so much more to learn from all sides. So rather than all this talk of killing the PR or SEO agency why don’t we all learn a little from one another instead.”

At Relevance, our digital outreach and SEO consulting teams work in tandem to build online presences for many brands. But if you’ve never had exposure to SEO (or PR), how do you go about integrating both online tactics? I’m no PR genius, but I’ve learned a few SEO basics every PR working in the digital space should know.

Quality of search algorithms leads to quality tactics

The digital landscape looked quite different just ten years ago. Search wasn’t as intuitive, and online marketers were beginning to figure out how to optimize websites using link-building and keyword optimization tactics. As Google progressively improved its algorithms to identify useful content and spammy links, SEO shifted to content marketing, earned media and online brand awareness. The progression of search engines and search marketing is a great place for PR pros to start to understand why SEO is becoming more like PR.

old-seo-new-seo

As search engines have gotten better at serving up relevant—and, more importantly, useful—content, SEO has focused more on quality over quantity. But the root tactics are still an important part of SEO – content marketing and digital PR are only of slivers of the SEO pie chart.

Here’s a quick list of SEO need-to-knows:

Link building

When most people think of SEO, they think of links. Before Google refined its SERPs with algorithm updates like Penguin and Penguin 2.0, the quantity of links pointing to a site was a top SEO indicator. Link building has evolved from blog and forum commenting to guest posting to content marketing.

Links are not dead; in fact, they’re still a big piece of the puzzle. However, the quality and naturalness of links now trump quantity—and that’s where PR comes in. Online outreach and promotion of truly useful content leads to natural linking, which make for happy SEO and PR pros.

Architecture

Architecture has always been, and probably always will be, a top SEO priority. Think of it like this: Your house can be beautifully designed and inviting to those on the outside, but if it’s a hot mess on the inside, your guests probably won’t want to stick around. It’s the same with websites. Clean architecture improves user experience, lends itself to higher engagement and allows Googlebot to more easily crawl your site and decipher your content.

Content marketing, then and now

Then: An SEO would identify, let’s say, “purple tickle monster” as a highly searched phrase for a website. Next, a copywriter would shove the phrase “purple tickle monster” in every corner of a Web page. I’m talking 100 exact match uses in 500 words – it got dark in those days.

Today: Spam is now easily recognizable by both users and search engines. So SEOs, and marketers in general, turned to content marketing and create useful, relevant content for a highly targeted audience.

Links, architecture, and content have long been the big three of SEO. But as the numbers of search and Internet users have grown, more and more factors are playing into good SEO each day. Forward-thinking SEOs are striving to create clean, useful sites and promotional content to build strong brand presence online. This means developing social, PR and CRO strategies in addition to SEO best practices.

Digital marketing channels—not just PR and SEO—are converging. And the convergence point is headed straight toward customers. It’s not about which tactic will win. It’s about incorporating the best, most customer-focused aspects from each channel to develop truly useful brands. “After all,” Scully went on to write in her TheGuardian.com article, “in SEO, PR, content marketing or whatever you want to call it –we’re all heading in the same direction.” So instead of battling, let’s learn from each other and create some really kickass content for customers.

519
Contributors

Our publication contributors combine decades of experience with unique insights into the content promotion and distribution industry.

headshot
Chad Pollitts Co-Founder Relevance
headshot
Jay Baers Marketing Strategist, Speaker and Author
headshot
Gini Dietrichs CEO Arment Dietrich
headshot
Jason Fallss Social Media & Public Relations Thought Leader
headshot
Jayson DeMerss Founder & CEO AudienceBloom
headshot
Ann Smartys Brand & Community Manager
headshot
Janine Popicks Co-founder & CMO Dasheroo
headshot
Brianne Carlon Rushs Content Director Kuno Creative
headshot
Arnie Kuenns CEO Vertical Measures
headshot
Pam Didners Global Content Marketing Strategist & Author
headshot
Kelsey Liberts Marketing VP & Partner Frac.tl
headshot
Chirag Ahujas Head of Marketing WorkflowMax
headshot
Erik Deckerss Professional Writer Pro Blog Service
headshot
Jessica Stephensons VP Marketing ExactHire
headshot
Bernie Borgess CEO Find and Convert
headshot
Michael Ferraris Online Marketing Consultant Pen Cap Online Marketing
headshot
Larry Altons Freelance Writer and Editor
headshot
David Tiles Founder & Director Nimble Media
headshot
Dan Steiners Co-Founder & CEO Elite Legal Marketing
headshot
Jonah Blisss Founder CMO ContentIntent
headshot
Andrea Lehrs Promotions Supervisor Fractl
headshot
Fernando Labastidas Co-Founder Content Propulsion
headshot
Dan Moyles Creative Dir. Marketing AmeriFirst
headshot
Dennis Yus Chief Technology Officer BlitzMetrics
headshot
Arnaud Roys VP Marketing Augure
headshot
John Rughs Copywriter/Content Marketing Specialist
headshot
Justin Spicers Content Researcher, Producer & Editor
headshot
Michael Beckers Marketing Support Spec. Teradata
headshot
Anna Johanssons Freelance Writer
headshot
Amanda DiSilvestros Content Editor and Writer HigherVisibility
headshot
Sujay Maheshwaris Founder & CEO Netcurate.com
headshot
Kelly Coulters Online Marketing Strategist
headshot
Taylor Radeys Senior Consultant PR 20/20
headshot
Rodger Johnsons Public Relations Leader & Consultant
headshot
Simon Pensons Founder & Managing Dir. Zazzle Media

Subscribe


Get the latest content promotion news and insights everyday.


Champion Sponsors

Relevance is proud to present our Champion Sponsors that help make our site possible.

Cision Logo PRWeb Log Haro Logo

Thank you for subscribing please check your email for verification.