Many business leaders and marketing have not seen the importance of enhancing the bond between PR and SEO. They see SEO as the sole domain of “geeks” and “techies”. Meanwhile, PR are considered as the domain of “creatives”, good writers and those who are good at forging strong relationships, whether with stakeholders, the media or other audiences.
But the truth is, once communication and marketing channels are planned in synergy, they work well together to maximise the value of effectiveness of both disciplines to an organisation. Communication and marketing experts should reach out to each other more often to learn from each other, and organisations that find a way to do that are already reaping the benefits.
Here are a few ways that SEO and PR professionals can share expertise to improve the results they achieve for organisations, whether in-house or agency side.
1. Media outreach
PR professionals are experts at placing great content in the right publications for their client. However, while this content could be in the right publication for the target audience, outside of the circulation or traffic for that publication, it is hard for PRs to place a metric on a piece of content and demonstrate a real ROI.
Likewise, SEO experts work hard to find relevant websites with a high domain authority and to secure backlinks from them. Aside from contributing to efforts to boost the domain authority of the website in question, does this offer any real additional value? Will that link be included in a piece of content that will direct genuine traffic to the client’s website and result in an enquiry or lead?
SEO and PR should share their target media and website lists, with the goal of placing content (with those valuable backlinks) that is genuinely interesting and relevant to the target audience. PR teams can also learn a lot from SEO experts about how to optimise the content they are already distributing for their clients.
These efforts would add to each team’s individual efforts and create a more effective media outreach approach. Concerted effort on this element of activity will also avoid the potentially embarrassing situation of a publication, industry expert or influencer being approached twice by the same brand.
2. Sharing calendars and messaging
Marketing sub-teams sometimes have problems with operating in silos which means that messages may get lost and the impact of different marketing campaigns can get diluted if too many things are going on at once.
This can be particularly true if communications and marketing services are outsourced, and where the individual teams don’t sit around a table together regularly to plan activity.
The solution to this problem is to have an agency meeting to plan for the year ahead. Ideally, each agency will bring ideas for campaigns that they think will generate results for the client. At the meeting, these ideas can be developed using the skills of both the PR and SEO experts, and any other agencies that aid the company’s marketing efforts. The final campaigns agreed on can then be put into a clear timeline so everyone can work towards the same goal.
It’s an approach that sounds like a no-brainer, yet I’m astonished how many businesses don’t take this tack. And we know it works. For example, when GoCompare implemented an overarching communications strategy, which included PR, digital marketing and advertising, it saw a daily increase in website traffic and helped establish GoCompare as a household name.
3. Amplifying content
Content should also be shared across teams. For example, the PR team could share press releases with the SEO team who would then suggest ways to further optimise them to rank for a company’s identified keywords.
It has become “the norm” for different teams to focus on what they specialise in, and not concern themselves with the work of others. This needs to change. As the lines between different silos of marketing increasingly become blurred, it makes sense for the agencies and freelancers within those disciplines to work together. It’s about smarter working, and while that may involve stepping outside comfort zones, it’s the best way to achieve business objectives faster and more cost-efficiently. So what are we waiting for?