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Here Comes The Bride: The Union Between PR and SEO

Until recently, PR and SEO have been living separate lives, fueled by their own desires to offer different solutions to marketing opportunities. However, that has all changed in the past couple of years. In fact, you could say that PR and SEO have walked hand in hand down the aisle to create a union. To be frank, it was more of an arranged marriage facilitated by Google, placing two systems together under the same umbrella, deeming them a better fit.

The Algorithm

So what do I mean by arranged marriage? Well, Google initiated a few changes to its algorithm. In effect, Google started to place more emphasis on “quality of content” and since the goal of every website is to rank highly amongst Google’s results page, this became priority. In order to qualify as quality content, you have to write insightful and engaging content while getting links from other reputable sites. These are called backlinks and it is one of the easiest ways to get your site to rank highly within Google’s algorithm.

Let’s give an example: Say you wrote an amazing article about the benefits of a new prescription drug and a reputable source, such as WebMD or the Mayo Clinic, picks it up, writes about the topic and then references your article. They will place a link on their website within their article that links back to your website. This is a backlink.

Now, this may be new to the SEO world, but PR professionals have been targeting large publications with the hopes of sharing great content in exchange for great links for a long time. Establishing relationships with key media outlets and making friends with both local and national journalists has been a necessity for the PR world. Google’s forced union between PR and SEO has brought the two closer together than peanut butter and jelly. Focusing on quality content and generating substantial links, PR and SEO now have similar goals, thanks to the changes in Google’s algorithm.

PR and SEO Objectives

We live in a world that loves to share … content that is. Targeting the perfect audience with engaging content that inspires them to share with friends, family and many more through social media outlets is the goal of any PR and SEO professional. The PR/SEO blend has catapulted a more substantial digital marketing campaign.

The overall objective is to have your content be engaging enough that the readers will want to share it with other people, whether it be through links from reputable sites or a share on social media. The latter is more commonplace in today’s society and is easier to obtain, with relatively equal use to your practice. Social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, have become extremely relevant platforms for gaining incoming links from your site’s new and improved content.

Let’s recap in bulletpoint:

  • Google’s algorithm
    • The change to Google’s algorithm forced sites to come up with more interesting and engaging material in order to rank highly
    • This forced a marriage between PR and SEO in an effort to create highly engaging content, increase brand awareness through backlinks and develop brand mentions
  • PR is about the contacts; SEO is about the content
    • The relationships built through public relations are integral to a company or practice and they can help to earn backlinks from authoritative websites that Google tends to appreciate
    • SEO provides the necessary information to create engaging and targeted content that rank highly within Google’s algorithm

Why They’re So Good Together

Even though Google forced the marriage between these two, they have since become inseparable. Technology can be a scary thing. This is where the SEO team comes in: to help PR understand what the Google algorithm is and then to explain what type of content is necessary to rank well in a Google search. Conversely, talking to and meeting new people can be equally scary. This is where the PR department jumps in. Creating working relationships with media outlets and journalists that are willing to share your content is invaluable. Both PR and SEO could function by themselves, but as Jack Johnson says, “It’s always better when we’re together.”