Public Relations is about managing the flow of information between an organisation and the public. How does PR relate to SEO? Online PR has its own set of objectives, but has a lot in common with SEO. PR professionals looks to get a company or product mentioned in well-read and authoritative press, whether that’s a print publication or a news website, to help spread company messages and awareness of a brand. An authoritative website picking up a company story can be a great win for PR, increasing exposure of a brand or message, but it can also fulfil SEO objectives; gaining links from trusted and authoritative news sites can help a website rise up the search rankings.
The problem with online PR in the past is that it has tended to ignore SEO. This means that these company or product mentions are rarely accompanied by the keyword-rich hyperlinks which can help a website gain better visibility in search rankings.
The Google Panda update has seen many SEOs re-evaluate the importance of branded links, as a pose to the keyword-rich links we traditionally target. A new focus on branded links gives the advantage to PR content, as a company can be openly mentioned, recommended or talked about without the risk of turning an editorial piece into an advert.
Online PR still means public relations – but news releases can be utilised for SEO purposes. Following simple best practises such as including keywords and hyperlinks in press release titles, sub-headings and copy can help contribute to an SEO campaign, so PR firms who do not understand the potential SEO benefits of PR activities are missing an opportunity. Kelvin has written for eConsultancy about the PR industry getting into SEO and how PR professionals can make better linkbuilders.