Quality connections form one of the most important factors in any online presence in 2017. Online presence is one of the best ways to form connections and get exposure. This means that public relations (the leaders of traditional and outbound marketing) and search engine optimization (the leaders in online and inbound marketing) must come together in order to be successful. PR must drive SEO.
Queens University of Charlotte's Online Master of Arts in Communication prepares graduates to work in the fields of both traditional and online marketing and presence building. Whether PR specialist or SEO expert, graduates will learn to effectively build a presence and connect with key collaborators, customers and clients.
Why SEO needs PR
Google's Panda patent in 2013 set the stage for quality links and connections to be the most important aspect of any SEO strategy. A job which was once more a matter of technical skill and quantity began to focus more on creating quality content, and getting attention from other creators of quality content. Link building evolved into connection building.
In order to rank high in search results now, content must be widely read and shared, and linked to from other quality sites. High quality content earns links, and so does media coverage. In addition, building traditional PR connections can lead to more links – and therefore better SEO. The two fields now complement each other, creating better results than either could deliver alone.
How to Enhance SEO with PR
There are a number of steps these two groups can use to build the success of online content.
Combine goals, research and voice:
Aligning the goals of PR and SEO, creating joint personas using research from both disciplines, and creating unified messages can help enhance the value of both fields. Perhaps even more important, creating a unified brand voice ensures consistency and quality in communications. This means creating a consistent list of keywords.
Use PR expertise to guide content creation:
PR pros know what kind of content their customers will consume, value, and share. They should use this expertise to guide SEO content creation. While SEO experts create quality content, using the best keywords and sharing across social media, PR pros should also be pitching it and drawing as much attention to it as possible from high-quality link builders.
Connect with quality influencers:
These high quality link builders include the media, other businesses, and other quality blogs and pages with a high level of visibility. Connecting with these influencers increases the chances that they will share and link back to your content, making that content much more visible, linked to and shared – in other words, effective.
SEO is a vital part of building a web presence, but as it evolves it must join forces with PR to create strong results. Getting a link even a text link from Forbes is now weighed much more heavily than any blog comment, and ensuring that content is high quality and relevant to an audience in addition to being keyword rich is vital.
Making PR drive SEO is no longer the icing on the cake – it's the very core of marketing work across a variety of channels. With great opportunity comes great responsibility, and creating quality communications now depends on a unified strategy.
If you're interested in a career in PR and marketing, consider an online MA in Communication from Queens University of Charlotte. The degree gives graduates the skills they need to drive influence in the modern world in a convenient online format.