The Closing Gap Between SEO and PR
SEO as we once knew it has changed. It has changed so much that it is almost unrecognisable. That is not to say it is dead, but rather that it has evolved. There are so many elements to consider from Social Media and branding to the technical elements as well as the all important link building.
However, link building itself has evolved so much (largely for the better) that obtaining a multitude of low quality links will actually cause more harm than good. As a result, more and more SEOers are striving for better quality links from highly authoritative websites. In effect, to get a good quality link, an optimiser must possess the skills of someone working in PR – and many believe this is the future direction of SEO.
PR or Public Relations is the process of managing information between an organisation and the public. Many businesses (as well as successful or famous individuals) have their own PR people, to help garner a positive image. Historically, this would involve the management of information delivered to more traditional media outlets, such as television, radio and print. However, with new technology and the Internet, the rules have changed, and now brands and individuals concerned about their media image should also consider new media.
Comparing the use of PR in traditional media with new media does not do online PR much justice. There’s a great deal more to the benefits of gaining some mentions online, something that can hugely benefit your website. In this respect, PR can very much help any website’s SEO efforts, because natural link building is still a huge ranking factor. Let’s look into this in more detail.
Along with a host of other factors, the authority of your website can be determined by the quality and quantity of links directed towards it. Links from websites that are deemed authoritative in the eyes of search engines, like the BBC website for example, are absolute gold dust in terms of SEO value – because it is such an authoritative website. So, let’s say that your business gets a positive mention on the BBC website. Whilst this will be seen as good PR in a traditional sense, if you are able to receive a link from the website, then this will be good from an SEO perspective too.
With your website’s ability to rank well in the search engines determined by the quality of such links, more and more SEOers are becoming hell-bent on sourcing links from good quality websites. And so, this is why and how the world of PR is closing in on SEO.
Some of the ways this is currently possible is through the creation of content that is hosted on other sites, with the piece being accredited to the business or company you are writing for (or about). In the SEO world this is known as Guest Blogging. Additionally, you could host a great deal more content, accredited to the business or company you are working for, such as traditional content platforms as well as videos and Infographics. However, one of the best ways to source links from those high authoritative sites is with PR. There are many online PR platforms out there such as Help A Reporter Out and Gorkana. Both of these platforms give you the opportunity to source excellent spots for you to write, or give a quote. With many news agencies providing links in exchange for your opinions, this will raise your profile and your rankings in one fell swoop.
So, as you can see, for best-practice SEO, many online marketers are sourcing guest blogging opportunities or PR mentions from those looking for content and quotes. In this respect, the once two separate worlds of SEO and PR are closing in on each other, fast.