SEO and PR are intrinsically intertwined in the era of digital marketing, making it essential for organizations to consider both at all times. To delve deeper into understanding the intersection between the two, our team hosted an AMA with Jim Brown, who has accumulated over 20 years of experience in leading companies from $1M to over $10M, specializing in SEO, and running his own enterprises. Here are some key takeaways from our conversation:

Demand Creation Versus Demand Capture

Creating awareness for something non-existent requires storytelling and PR. The process of demand creation initiates at the top of the funnel with awareness. This awareness is nurtured through storytelling and conveyed via various channels such as advertising, videos, social media, and media coverage. By leveraging these channels effectively, organizations cast a wide net to make their audience aware. Once awareness is established, the audience is directed to the organization’s website, landing page, or other experiences to guide them further down the sales funnel.

SEO, on the other hand, excels at demand capture. After generating awareness and demand through storytelling, the audience initiates searches, presenting an opportunity for SEO efforts to capture their attention.

Content Must Serve the Searcher’s Intent

Search engines have evolved to predict searchers’ intents accurately. Consequently, it’s crucial for organizations to have multiple funnels feeding their content systems (earned, owned, paid, etc.). Failing to consistently feed new content into the system may result in missed opportunities for search engines to provide relevant information to searchers.

Both PR and SEO rely on high-quality content to engage audiences and enhance visibility. PR professionals craft content such as press releases, guest articles, and media pitches to secure media coverage and foster relationships with journalists. SEO professionals develop content optimized for search engines, incorporating relevant keywords and topics to boost rankings and drive organic traffic. It’s a multi-pronged effort – new content (blogs, landing pages) are ingested by the search engines and served up to users, earned media (interviews, contributed content) also offer signals of expertise, information, etc that search engines use to determine if a client’s website is the best source to provide a user. And, inversely, these two things can inform each other, you can earn a piece of coverage that you turn into a blog post, or you can write a white paper and build a landing page that you craft into a byline that gets posted in a publication. Make these two things work together and harder for your comms program. 

Backlinks Are the Second Highest Ranking Factor

A diverse array of backlinks is essential for Google to assess credibility. Earning quality links from media publications, even if they’re no-follow links, signals to Google that the information provided would be valuable to searchers. Backlinks are seen as votes of confidence by search engines, enhancing a website’s authority and search rankings. These links can be earned through interviews with linked company names, contributed content containing keywords and links to significant landing pages, or through podcasts, video interviews, and mentions. Google utilizes these signals to determine when to display your company to searchers.

If PR is the beginning of the story for awareness, SEO can help shape it and hone it over time. You can’t have one without the other or you’re missing out on opportunities and your narratives aren’t working as hard for you as they can be. Only together are PR and SEO at their most effective so every marketer and comms professional must deploy them in tandem. To learn more about how PR and SEO can work harder for you, connect with SourceCode