2017 Is the Year Every PR Professional Will Take an Interest in SEO

I’m typing “What are the best art exhibitions of 2016?” into the Google search engine. My results show an article from The Telegraph, and two from Time Out. There are more results, but I can choose between two reputable publications, so there’s no reason for me to scroll further.

How many times will you venture beyond the first page of Google search engine results? Not very often I’d imagine, unless you’re looking for a specific web page, and no one wants to see their coverage ranked beyond the first page of the search engine results.

As digital transformation continues to shape our society, the role of a public relations professional is also evolving. Clients will increasingly demand the standard readership statistics of the publications they have been featured in, alongside more detailed data that can specifically tell them how many people have read their message – suddenly securing coverage is just the first step.

The intersection of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and media relations campaigns that can drive online lead generation will follow the development of digital capabilities.

SEO develops the quality of your content

Search Engine Optimization is the act of developing the quality of your content to become more appealing to people, and as a result, ranked as a strong piece of content on search engines.

Heather Baker, CEO of TopLine Comms writes for PR Week: “If you use PR to support your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, you can create a consistent, reliable source of leads for your marketing department. I’m absolutely blown away by how few PR agencies have cottoned onto this.” Barker then goes on to say that if you can incorporate links to your site with the coverage you’re securing, then you will see a tangible improvement in your site’s rankings – and I conclusively agree.

Now is the time to collaborate

You know how to create content that can meet the expectations of leading publications, and an SEO expert will know how to build a strong link. Therefore, by collaborating to strategize a digital marketing campaign for 2017, you will be excelling your chances of securing coverage that attracts more engaged readers and is placed higher in the search engine ranks.

To secure coverage in a leading publication, with a link included, is the ultimate goal, but there are other ways you can collaborate to enhance the visibility of your clients. Work together to create a content calendar that will merge the media stories PR professionals devise with the content marketing concepts that will concurrently increase brand visibility and drive traffic back to your client’s website.

Use PR Events and Stunts to Drive Traffic

While the SEO team is unlikely to have a direct involvement in the creation of events and PR stunts, it is nevertheless a contributing factor to increasing your client’s visibility in the search engine rankings. Through generating media attention, more people are likely to actively search for your content and have an interest in clicking on links to find out more information.

Ask Influencers to Share Your Link

Influencers in your industry have an unprecedented level of power to reach out to your target audience, so they’re not to be dismissed. Invite them to speak at your PR events and consistently engage with them through social media with valuable commentary. To tweet a leading figure in your industry with praise may be a kind gesture but it is not the strongest method for sparking engagement and developing relations. Offer an insight that shows you have taken a real interest in their work and then follow up with an open question to encourage a conversation. Do this consistently, and you will find the influencer more willing to share your links and content.

Use Links in Your Social Media Content

Once a media outlet has published your story, spread it like wildfire on social media. Every platform your company uses should also include links that will encourage people to take an interest without using paid advertisements. This will heavily depend on the quality of your content.

With this approach, the chances of your content being included in those first few search engine results will become a greater possibility in 2017. PR revolves around producing quality content and developing strong relations, and search engines prioritize well-written content, so the ideals behind PR and SEO work well together and will surely develop.

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