PR and SEO, sitting in a tree…

December 2, 2015 |

I’ve worked, albeit on and off, in search engine optimisation (SEO) for nearly 20 years. Back when I began it was so different and it was called ‘submission’! Getting listed on DMoz and Yahoo was worth of a round of drinks and a bottle of Bells from the client.

Things have obviously now moved on. Before joining Tank PR, I spent two years supporting the teams at a pure SEO agency with content, link building and social media and moving into PR after this was, quite simply, the best thing I could possibly do for my clients and sanity.

A plethora of much needed changes c/o Google have shifted the landscape and have put more emphasis on unique, high quality content that’s linked to from quality websites. Gone are the days of spammy link farms, lame news releases and grey-hat tactics. Content is not king. Good quality content and good quality in-bound links are king for SEO.

PR, by its very nature, creates stories. PR people come from a foundation of good journalism. If you want good solid stories and links from high quality sites (like news publications) then good PR is irreplaceable SEO gold.

In my experience many pure SEO companies don’t truly get this. Sure, they get the fact they need good inbound links, but they don’t ‘think in stories’, and often lack the ability to articulate them enough to drive engagement. Good solid link-building isn’t about technology, it’s about telling the stories that readers (and Google) will find interesting. Links should be crafted to be of value, not an afterthought based on numbers.

PR finds the editorial opportunities and makes relationships with those who have ‘the power to print and publish’, giving articles credibility. We have the ear of the nationals (DM me to ask just how many national pieces we had in broadsheets and red tops in the last few months) trade press, local journalists and bloggers. We have access to the upcoming news agenda and most editorial opportunities. We keep a constant eye open for opportunities for our clients, looking at where they can add value to the conversation and provide support for journalists when it’s wanted. In short, we can get the links that have real impact for the search engines and genuine longevity.

Naturally the door swings both ways. A good writer now has to be able to craft a press release or article with seamless SEO keyword value. Both disciplines are learning a lot from each other, which (frankly) is why I’m here. I really do think that good PR is the future of SEO. I wouldn’t be working here if I didn’t.

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