An enterprise is only as good as its brand image. You may have the best product out there, but if your marketing isn’t compelling enough, you will lose out to the inferior competition.
That’s why you need to make sure that your business is efficiently positioned for maximum exposure and online reputation. For this, you need to make sure that your Public Relations (PR) policy and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques are on point.
PR and SEO may be functionally separate entities, but the confluence of the two is what you need for a robust marketing strategy. In simple terms, PR makes sure that your business gets mentioned in the media, whereas SEO gets your website on the first page of Google.
So what are the benefits of integrating PR and SEO into one cohesive strategy? Let’s have a better look.
The Google Search Engine Results Page or SERP is the page that an average user sees when searching for something on Google. You need to make sure that your business is right there on the first page of SERP. Many factors determine your chances of making it there, but good PR and SEO are your strongest weapons.
A robust PR strategy will ensure that your brand messaging is on point. It will also help you in gaining exposure at events and campaigns.
Good SEO, on the other hand, gets the positive brand message manufactured by your PR team higher up on the search page and any negative results related to your brand moved down.
“Mere Exposure Effect” is the name given to the phenomenon where an average person instinctively goes for a product with a recognizable brand name than a generic one. A good combo of PR and SEO ensures that your business becomes that name.
Good PR makes your business the talk of the town and gets your name out there in as many print publications and online articles as possible. Good SEO ensures that you are in front of your target audience whenever someone searches for something related to your business domain.
How consumers view your brand is heavily dependent on what they associate your brand with. The average customer heavily leans on these indicators when choosing to be loyal to a brand or simply making a purchase decision. A good PR play ensures that your brand always stays in a positive light.
PR efforts to enhance the brand image of your business include such things as participating in charity events, celebrity endorsements, or a joint marketing campaign with an already established name brand.
The SEO side of social proof is just as important. As your business gets more and more mentions on third-party websites and the number of backlinks to your site increases, Google starts viewing your brand as a “trusted authority” and the higher you go in page rankings.
Contrary to popular belief, PR is very necessary to generate leads. In social events and content campaigns, your PR team’s tactics ensure maximum initiation of customer interest in your business.
A good example of PR efforts in driving lead generation is that of LinkedIn. They opened a chain of pubs known as “Linked Inns” and hosted social events that reflected their business’s core values: making connections and networking for career growth.
These types of campaigns get people thinking about what your business stands for, and the interest generated trickles down into positive search results and a growing customer base.
SEO has always been regarded as a great tool for business-to-business lead generation because of its cost-effectiveness.
Good SEO makes sure that your brand gets organic attention by appearing in as many search results as possible. The more traffic your website gets, the more trustworthy it becomes for Google’s algorithm. This improves your search rankings and is a self-sustaining cycle.
PR thrives on establishing and maintaining good customer relationships and being in the positive limelight whenever possible. A strong PR strategy includes looking out for business trends and how you can leverage them for better exposure.
However, there are many ideas and campaign strategies that do not work for one reason or another, and trying everything to see what sticks isn’t fruitful.
SEO helps in determining whether a PR strategy is worth pursuing or not. By having a sense of what metrics search engines use to determine “quality content,” better PR campaigns can be designed. These metrics include social media analytics, competitive analysis, keyword search analysis, backlink research, and more.
Without the help of PR, SEO can get too technical and somewhat aimless. In the SEO world, good PR means getting backlinked from trusted websites and media outlets.
This is only possible if your PR team has been successful in cultivating good industry connections.
Link-building today is more relationship-driven than ever, and PR specializes in that. By leveraging the sizeable network of the PR team’s contacts, SEO can help you secure high-quality backlinks, and the whole process of link-building for your brand becomes much easier.
By now, you’re aware of how a symbiotic relationship between PR and SEO works. So how does this collaboration work out in practice?
A good approach would be to have the PR and SEO departments collaborate to devise marketing and outreach strategies, identify promotional opportunities, and spot social media trends while discussing and refining each other’s approach.
The two departments must keep one another updated about all campaigns and events that the company chooses to participate in, online or otherwise.
This is necessary because the PR wing takes care of how the company is positioned and promoted in various events, whereas the search team keeps track of whether the PR efforts were successful by monitoring online conversations and social media analytics.
Balancing PR and SEO is a truly winning formula for any company that can efficiently coordinate the two departments. At the end of the day, it’s about having the best of both worlds and enjoying compound returns.