SEO strategies and best practices have changed so much over the last few years that the industry is starting to bleed over into another popular industry--public relations. In fact, many theorize that SEO is now more PR than what was once called "SEO," and there are some convincing points.
Taking a step back, it's still true that both SEO and PR have a goal to bring awareness and credibility to a brand. The difference has always been that one focuses on doing this through search rankings (SEO), and one focuses on doing this by getting others to talk about the brand (PR). Both have their place, but their goals (and how to get there), are now more similar than ever.
Top Reasons SEO is Moving Toward a PR Future
Below are some of the reasons that PR practices are the future of the SEO industry:
- SEO is now stricter about quality than quantity of both links and content. PR pros have those authoritative relationships SEOs need to help gain that quality.
PR pros have already-established, real relationships in the industry and with news organizations that can get you links that are earned and not built.
These types of authoritative sites help you build credibility and trust within Google's algorithm. Earning these types of links hold more weight and can lead to better search rankings. So it's important to enlist some of those PR practices to form these meaningful relationships.
- Leveraging Social Media can contribute to SEO success. PR pros know how to use social media and get other partners/ influencers to help promote quality content.
Social media is a great place to get your content more visibility, which could result in more natural links and mentions along the way. More authoritative influencers typically have a large following with a targeted audience. A tweet or share from one of these relationships could mean lots of new eyes on your business.
- PR pros have unique insight into what an audience wants to read.
PR pros are up on current affairs and know what people are reading. While SEOs spend a lot of time analyzing data from Google as well as trying to understand user behavior (keywords), PRs really only have to worry about what an audience wants to read. This insight could help SEOs create more interesting and engaging content that is more likely to be shared and linked to.
- SEO is now more about brand mentioning and being viewed as an authority.
While it's obvious that links from PR relationships help, many companies forget this last point. Simply the mentioning of your brand from reputable sources is going to go far for companies in today's SEO world. One of the biggest goals in any SEO strategy is to get search engines to see that you are an authority in your industry, and any mention of your brand on a credible website is going to help you get there.
It's clear that many PR practices and skills are now incredibly useful for SEO, however both PR and SEO still have their own initiatives. The key is creating that balance and relationship so that the two can help each other. You can learn how to create a successful SEO and PR relationship here.
The moral of the story is this: Now, what Google seems to value most is what public relations professionals are so good at doing--building high quality relationships, publishing high quality content and getting people talking about your brand.