Before I dive into this let's just make it clear that by "PR" I am referring to Public Relations, not Google's PageRank. In early October, Google's John Mueller mentioned in a video Google+ hangout that they are unlikely to update the Google Toolbar PageRank in the future. (Note: he mentions this at the 20:30 mark)
OK, now back to why SEO and PR should be combined...
Dictionary.com defines public relations as:
1. the actions of a corporation, store, government, individual, etc., in promoting goodwill between itself and the public, the community, employees, customers, etc.
2. the art, technique, or profession of promoting such goodwill.
SEO strategies have changed a lot over the past few years. With such a large focus now on attracting high quality brand mentions it requires getting other websites to talk about you. Creating this buzz requires a PR approach, and one could even argue that PR needs to be part of the "new" search engine optimization era.
Here are four reasons why you should be combining SEO and PR strategies moving forward:
1. High quality content helps you earn links.
When creating a PR campaign the piece of content that you are sending out to media contacts has to be amazing. The title needs to instantly grab their attention and the body needs to suck the reader in. Media outlets are pitched all day long, so it takes a very well thought out piece of content to attract their attention and result in them mentioning you.
This same approach should be taken for every single piece of content that you produce, whether it is for your own blog or for an outreach campaign to earn links.
2. PR relationships can help attract authority links.
The relationships that are built through public relations are the relationships that SEOs drool over. Theses relationships with journalists, reporters, and editors can help you earn links from authoritative websites that Google loves. A few links from large authority websites hold far more weight than hundreds of spammy links that were built solely to attempt to manipulate the search rankings.
3. Authority brand mentions or "implied links" will become more important as SEO advances.
If a brand is popular and lots of people are talking about it wouldn't it make sense that they would have mentions all over the web, rather than just links? As mentions become more popular PR is going to come more into play. The more media outlets and websites that mention your brand, the more of an authority you will be viewed as by the search engines.
4. Using PR outreach can amplify a social media campaign.
Sharing your content on social media helps to expose it to more people, which can also result in earning links, but using a PR approach can amplify your social reach significantly. Get industry partners and other influencers to also share your content on social media. When done right it can result in exponential social growth, introducing your content and brand to potential new customers as well as outlets that could reward you with a link or brand mention. Google's Panda Patent makes it clear that brand mentions will become more of a signal in the future.
SEO and PR will always remain their own entities, but that doesn't mean you can't combine them and create a very effective online marketing strategy that produces the kind of results that Google loves, and rewards accordingly.
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