For the past year or so every PR related survey I’ve read or articles that I have come across have always reiterated that SEO is one of the most highly desired skills in PR. As someone always eager to learn more about how this can benefit my work and our clients I headed off to London to take part in a CIPR day training course titled PR & Search Engine Optimisation.
It was headed up by Andrew Smith, as co-author of two bestselling social media books, MD of a specialist online PR, SEO and analytics consultancy and a regular speaker and media commentator on the integration of PR with social media, search optimisation and analytics who better to start me on my SEO journey?
The day began with learning the basics and getting to grips with what Search Engine Optimisation is and what its core concepts are. In simple terms when people refer to SEO they typically mean the ‘tools, tactics and approaches that sites can employ to get particular pages of content to sit as high as possible in Google’s search results’. We then looked in more detail at some key factors that impact Google’s search results and began to think about how this would work for our existing clients.
After getting my head around the jargon I was introduced to some key SEO PR tools which I know the Digital and Web team here at Shorthose Russell already use but it was great to have a real in depth tutorial in how they could be used specifically in relation to PR. I learnt how to analyse the links that are linking back to your website content, how beneficial the sources may be to your ranking and what type of websites are trusted by Google.
The day ended with measurement and evaluation. Traditionally PR has treated media coverage as the end goal and (sorry to generalise) it is SEO/PPC/Digital teams that are more comfortable measuring data and analytics. It is so important to define your own client goals, objectives and audiences whilst analysing what competitors are up to. Evaluation is also important as Google is constantly evolving, so you will need to continue updating your processes.
If I had to name just one lesson I took away from the course it would be that the best links come from high trust, high authority sites in a natural, editorial-style context. As a PR we already have the existing relationships with journalists writing for these high authority sites and using the skills that make us great at our job anyway is something that is highly desired by SEO professionals working together is an ideal combination for account success!