SEO Public Relations: How PR and SEO Work Together

Zac Harris    By under Digital PR.

Public relations and search engine optimization teams were previously seen as two very distinct marketing functions that didn't need to collaborate. However, in today's digital environment, that is no longer the case.

The two disciplines are now working more closely together to achieve a common goal: building a strong brand that drives traffic. PR experts have a wide-ranged skillset that works hand-in-hand with SEO such as audience targeting and relationship building.

By aligning your PR and SEO strategies, you'll be able to:

- Improve search rankings

- Increase traffic to your site

- Increase your company's credibility

- Attract more leads

- Boost your conversions

Let's explore how PR and SEO can work together in 3 key areas.

1. Backlinks and Outreach

To gain visibility on the search engine results page, it's important to have a backlink strategy that includes building high-quality links from well-regarded websites that are relevant and authoritative. These include national news sites, big industry blogs, and big industry brand sites. Because these are highly authoritative sites, it can be very difficult for SEO professionals to get their pitch accepted on their own.

This is where the PR team plays a critical role. Since their responsibility already covers building and maintaining relationships with credible sources, they can use their network to inch their way into getting your company's content published on such sites.

The PR and SEO team can design a mutual campaign, which we call SEO public relations, to amplify target keywords by placing them in online content such as press releases, infographics, and interviews. This is a unique opportunity to establish the company as a trusted brand on top media outlets while simultaneously boosting authority on your website.

2. Social Proof

Social proof is all about building trust with potential customers through case studies, testimonials, reviews, social media, and more. The persuasion power of social proof has been proven in multiple studies with results showing that 88% of consumers trust user reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Persuasion is at the core of what public relation experts do from managing reputations to public speaking to media outreach. In modern public relations, online content that the public finds valuable to share must be developed. This leads to building an open community that allows experiences, knowledge, and reviews to be shared which ultimately increases trust and respect in your company.

The social proof efforts from PR also have a positive impact on SEO. It can give you a boost on the SERPs because Google values sites that have fresh content, links from social media, social signals, and high-quality Google reviews. It's especially good to get reviews with target keywords!

Both the PR and SEO teams can work together on building a social proof strategy that encourages customers to share their positive experiences online. This can include strategies to:

- Capture customer quotes and testimonials for website content

- Run a Google review email campaign

- Include Google review opportunities in surveys

- Ask for reviews on social media

3. Brand Recognition

As you build high-quality backlinks and social proof, Google will consider your brand as a more trusted source and move your rankings up. For PR professionals, you need to continue positioning your company as a business leader, especially online so that it brings benefits to your site's SEO.

Here are some ways PR and SEO teams can work together to increase brand recognition online:

Write thought leadership articles

As you collaborate with your SEO team on building backlinks, it's important to develop impactful content for credible sites. One way to do this is by writing thought leadership articles on a specific topic. You need to think of a fresh idea or point of view that hasn't been covered before so that it can be picked up by these credible sites that like trending topics. The more you add to the conversation on a topic, the more likely it is that your company's brand recognition will grow.

Apply for competitions and awards

Winning competitions and awards are a great way to boost brand recognition and credibility online and offline. For PR teams, it makes it easier to pitch to journalists and media when your company has a string of accolades. Sometimes it'll even get the journalists and media to chase you for a story!

For SEO teams, many awards and competitions in the digital era have a badge that can be inserted on the home page which serves as a trust signal to potential customers.

Speak at conferences

Identify the top experts and speakers at your company so you can apply to do a presentation at industry conferences. Speaking engagements are an effective way to demonstrate expertise, boost credibility, and engage target audiences in a non-sales environment. You can also get easy backlinks to your site from conference websites when you're a speaker and possibly contribute small pieces of content before the conference goes live.

Final thoughts

Showing a high level of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness is part of the job for both PR and SEO teams. The two disciplines play a crucial role in building a brand identity that creates ripples all across the internet.

To learn more about how you can drive your PR and SEO efforts, read more about our digital PR services here.