Many years ago, SEO and PR appeared to have no overlap, but now they are inextricably linked (pun intended). Let’s take a look at this new intimate connection between SEO and PR.
What Is SEO?
SEO is an acronym standing for “Search Engine Optimization.” It refers to the numerous techniques content creators and marketers use to push their content onto the masses in a digital space via search engines like Google. Content creators and marketers need the general public to see their content, given this content is a necessary component of selling a product, service, idea, or figure and making the money that is critical to continuing business operations and protecting personal livelihood.
A lot of elements are involved in SEO, but here are the most prominent:
Backlinks, part of a strategy called “link-building,” refer to links on third-party webpages leading back to the creator or business’ content. Backlinks may appear on news websites, influencer social media, blogs, and video descriptions. The reason link-building and backlinks matter is because search engines consider content that has been referenced in multiple third-party sources more authoritative and trustworthy.
• Keywords and Keyphrases
Keywords or keyphrases are the terms internet users are most frequently typing into search engines when trying to solve a particular problem or find an answer to a question. Content that plugs keywords or phrases more often than other content, especially within headers, will rank higher on search engines—that’s why it’s important for content creators and marketers to know what their target audience is typing into search engines and tailoring content to include those search conditions.
How Does PR Fit in With SEO?
Once upon a time, search engine crawlers—that is, the bots search engines use to organize and label web content—weren’t as smart as they are nowadays. It was easy for anyone with web content they wanted to promote to manipulate crawlers into ranking their content higher on the search results.
These days, rising on the ranks of search engines isn’t as simple. As soon as search engine developers realized their crawlers could be tricked, they revised their algorithms and crawlers became more sophisticated. That isn’t to say keywords and backlinks don’t matter anymore, but creators and marketers are expected to be more economical when they fit keywords into content and ethically acquire backlinks from external content creators.
Backlinks have become particularly crucial; however, not just any backlinks will do. And this is where PR comes in. The link-building has to be organic and the third-party web users who link content on their own have to carry authority. In other words, they can’t seem spammy.
Generating PR Buzz for Digital Use
How PR (public relations) and SEO fit together is probably starting to make some sense right about now. If link-building is important in search engine rankings, yet it must be naturally formed through legitimate third-parties, then content creators and marketing departments must foster healthy relationships between themselves and other content developers or must create content that people who run webpages would consider worth sharing. To foster these previously mentioned healthy relationships and understand the mechanics of producing share-worthy content, one would need to be skilled at PR.
There truly is no proper SEO strategy without consideration of PR. Anyone who wants search engines to rank their content (and therefore their name or brand) at the top of search results must consider how other people, particularly those with power in digital media, perceive their public image.
The content that does best is the content that’s interesting enough to go viral, and having a good grip of PR increases the chances of going viral. Thinking about the SEO principle of keywords prior to posting content may also increase chances of content being seen, though, so it doesn’t hurt to research and incorporate keywords into content development. However, the magic is mainly in content being deemed buzz-worthy and being linked on authoritative third-party sites, which drives traffic to your content and boosts search engine rankings. PR can’t be ignored in SEO planning anymore.
Luke Miles | Staff Writer