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How to Combine PR and SEO for Improved Success

How To Combine PR And SEO For Improved Success

In the world of digital marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is unavoidable. Between general and local SEO, even before considering its subsets, all businesses may enhance their digital presence through it. Naturally, the same holds true for Public Relations (PR) – from brand advocacy to damage control, it offers timeless benefits. More notably still, one can combine PR and SEO for improved success, as the two overlap somewhat. Should this prospect interest you, this article will delve into the 3 most noteworthy ways to do so.

What is SEO?

First, for the sake of consolidating information, let us define SEO. If you’re familiar with it, you may safely skip this section.

SEO is a series of practices that seeks to optimize content for search engines. In doing so, it intends to let content rank higher in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS). These practices range from on-page optimizations, like content formatting and image alt. texts, to off-page practices like link building. Thus, to better focus on an individual area, SEO typically sees 3 main subdivisions:

  • On-page SEO
  • Off-page SEO
  • Technical SEO

Other subdivisions may then focus on different, more specific fronts. Examples include local SEO, which focuses on Google My Business (GMB) and Google Maps, and Instagram SEO, which specifically caters to the platform of Instagram.


SEO guidelines

As regards specifics, then, Backlinko notes 13 main ranking factors. Namely:

  1. Content quality
  2. Content uniqueness
  3. Full page crawlability
  4. Mobile-friendliness
  5. Backlink quantity
  6. Domain Authority (DA)
  7. Anchor texts
  8. Site loading speed
  9. Keyword usage
  10. RankBrain
  11. Search intent match
  12. Content freshness
  13. Expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T)

However, should you follow the very first link in their aforelinked article, you’ll find the full list covers 200+ factors.


SEO specialists

Thus, SEO is far from a simple endeavor – even before you seek to combine PR and SEO. Should you now begin to engage in it, it’s highly advisable that you avoid DIY SEO projects. Such efforts may, by all means, offer valuable hands-on experience, but they also present the risk of lasting long-term damage. Instead, specialists can offer solutions, be they agencies or freelance marketers. With their guidance, you may find which SEO subset best suits your goals, where your campaigns warrant improvements, and how you may gauge your efforts’ success.


Combining PR and SEO for improved success

With the above context in mind, let us now explore how you may combine PR and SEO for improved success. To do so, we will delve into 3 substantive synergies between the two; strategy consolidation, backlinks, and social media outreach.


#1 PR and SEO: ethical drivers through strategy consolidation

First and foremost, SEO offers proverbial fuel to PR through strategy consolidation. To be specific, SEO offers such valuable insights as:

  • Optimal content subjects and keywords through keyword research
  • Content engagement and effectiveness
  • Traffic sources and audience behavioral trends

In this regard, to combine PR and SEO means to align the two teams in the sense of content strategies. That is, the two need to take up specific initiatives from start to finish, with an express two-fold intent:

  1. Reach audiences effectively, and
  2. Project an ethical message.

Basic PR tenets aside, there is a very specific data-driven reason for this perspective. According to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer, audiences continue to perceive business as a competent but unethical institution:

An ethical/competent axis, placing NGOs in the ethical/incompetent quarter, Government and Media in the unethical/incompetent quarter, and Business in the competent/unethical quarter.

Moreover, as regards final revenue, ethical drivers are 3x as effective as perceived competence as regards company trust:

A pie chart dubbed “ethical drivers 3x more important to company trust than competence”, qualifying competence at 24% and ethics at 76%.

Thus, the two teams need to address this phenomenon in tandem. To do so, consider such endeavors as charities and similar events as a fitting example. Where SEO analytics can offer insights into cause marketing, PR can elevate its execution. In turn, SEO can broadcast this message effectively, bolstering your brand image. 


#2 PR and SEO: public relations through backlinks

The second way in which one may combine PR and SEO is through backlinks. Backlinks are links from other websites to yours, which offer distinct practical and SEO benefits:

  • Traffic. Whether Follow or NoFollow, all backlinks produce referral traffic.
  • Conversions. In addition, such referral traffic typically attracts audiences with higher conversion rates, as they’re already invested in your niche.
  • DA. Finally, Follow backlinks from authoritative sources, in particular, can boost your own DA, enhancing your SEO.

Understandably, then, link-building strategies are fundamental to SEO. Moreover, they are also instrumental to PR, as some of the best backlink strategies hinge on good PR.

Consider, for example, link-building toward high-DA backlinks. To do so, SEO teams may follow a process like the following:

  1. Identify high-DA websites through such tools as MozBar and SEO Review Tools.
  2. Engage in the Skyscraper technique, offering more valuable content than they typically publish.
  3. Reach out and offer said content containing a backlink.

Here, the overlap between the two is twofold. Initially, such outreach does hinge on good PR; a reputable brand’s polite email has the highest chances of success. Then, succeeding in acquiring a backlink this way acts as an endorsement and also paves the way for future relations.


#3 PR and SEO: effective social media outreach

Finally, PR and SEO combine as regards social media marketing. Here, too, optimal social media outreach is instrumental to both; PR teams may bolster your brand image, while SEO teams may acquire more traffic and insights.

In this regard, consider such factors and practices as:

  • Content subject, tone, style, and timing. SEO insights are not limited to one’s website alone, by any means. Rather, keyword research and engagement analytics translate very well into PR-driven social media content strategies.
  • Influencer marketing. Similarly, the booming influencer market offers an excellent way for PR teams to project their message. Consider how audience insights can inform your choice of influencers, as well as exact campaign goals.
  • Cause marketing. Finally, as outlined above, cause marketing is now more prevalent than ever. Where brands’ PR teams may struggle to reach audiences, SEO teams can offer enhanced digital visibility.

Of course, the benefits of such endeavors go beyond PR and SEO alike. Numerous studies have illustrated, on no uncertain terms, that brand advocacy thrives on social media, directly affecting final revenue. The same holds true for customer service, when increasingly more consumers opt for social media outreach over help desks. Thus, picking the optimal social media platforms to engage in and refining one’s content and strategies is universally beneficial.




To summarize, there are multiple ways to combine PR and SEO for improved success. From projecting ethical drivers effectively to building backlinks for PR standing and refining social media outreach, the possibilities are endless. Hopefully, while rudimentary in its scope, this exploration should help you align PR and SEO toward continued success.

For more PR tips and tactics that can help make your job easier, read these posts about ways you can pitch more effectively and amplify your results.

Keep an eye out for the latest news about OnePitch and be sure to subscribe to our weekly podcast newsletter for PR tips directly from journalists!

Nick Djurovic

My success in the field is an uncanny product of having a Bachelor with Honors in Mechanical Engineering, Psychology, and Psychotherapy. With all these skills under my belt, I turned my focus to understanding and mastering Programming & Developing, as well as improving other processes. In 2019 I co-founded Digital Dot, a digital marketing agency based in New York. I adore WordPress, and I'm dedicated to a loving relationship with search engines and social networks.

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