Considering PR as the New Face of SEO: Shifting the Boundaries of Marketing

When people talk about SEO becoming a moribund and increasingly ineffective method of marketing, they are failing to recognise the true nature of the current industry. While it has undoubtedly evolved considerably since its inception at the turn of the century, for example, it remains vital to the modern businesses a marketing strategy.

In fact, it is the individual disciplines of SEO that have come under scrutiny from Google in recent times, rather than the practise as a whole. This means that once independent concepts such as PR and content marketing now represent the acceptable face of SEO, although there are some agencies that have been slow to recognise this change.

Recognising a Gap in Knowledge: What Marketers Know that PR Firms Don’t

In particular, there appears to be a gap in knowledge between the understanding of marketing professionals and those who work in PR. The former have quickly recognised the evolving nature of SEO practices, for example, with 52% of respondents in a recent e-consultancy survey suggesting that their SEO and PR professional worked closely together on developing outbound marketing content. A further 71% said that they have begun to train their PR staff on the fundamental basics of SEO, enabling them to become more effective at their jobs.

Conversely, independent PR agencies have failed to recognise this trend as quickly. From the same survey, 61% of PR companies claimed that they do not have a sufficient supply of in-house SEO knowledge, which means that they continue to rely on a qualified agencies to work alongside them. While a trained and knowledgeable SEO agency can deliver excellent results, failing to adapt to changing trends and develop in-house skills is something that could cost companies and their clients dearly.

The Bottom Line: Collaboration in the Quest for Engaging Content

The convergence of SEO and PR should not come as a surprise, especially given the emphasis that is now placed on developing high quality, informative and relevant marketing content. This drive has helped to remove much of mystery and uncertainty surrounding SEO, which is now far more transparent and focused towards a clear goal of engaging consumers. This is extremely compatible with the purpose of PR, which seeks to inform and share information between brands and customers.

In effect, modern SEO agencies must strive to create quality content that features a natural, viral element. This will make it both compelling and easily shareable, so that brands are able to reach out to a wider social demographic. With this in mind, not only are the roles of PR and SEO professionals exceptionally similar, but there is also considerable scope for collaboration in the quest to improve sales conversions and drive brand awareness.

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