Laura Sutherland: Tips on how to integrate PR and SEO


PR and SEO can and should exist side by side.

One of the biggest challenges for PR and SEO is assuming either everyone knows everything or no-one knows anything. First tip – understand what people know and don’t know!

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I took part in a ‘Mozinar’, a webinar delivered by Moz. Whilst I understand a fair amount about SEO, sometimes it’s good to have refresher.

Google’s algorithm updates present an opportunity for PR practitioners, mainly because we’re constantly generating content and we’re feeding Google with quality stories and ‘honest’ and relevant links. The updates discount spam and people trying to cheat to get ranked higher.

Objectives should be the same for PR and SEO – everything needs to sit centrally, including strategy, reporting and evaluation. One point made on the Mozinar was that reporting was about reporting, not targeting. Everything has a value and whilst we’ve come away from meaningless AVEs in public relations measurement and evaluation, and moved onto Barcelona Principles, simple wording on the value of the activity could help people understand why it’s important.

Develop a scalable process

Processes are important and once you discover what suits your work and the media you work with, it can be scalable and replicated across different activities. A suggestion for how you could go about developing your process is to follow this route:

  1. Build your lists – ensure they are up-to- date
  2. Draft a news story or blog post ensuring it contains keywords and links (but hold it, don’t publish quite yet). Tip: do a quick keyword analysis and ensure the links go to the most effective pages
  3. Sell it in to key media
  4. Then publish the post
  5. Push the link out via social and email marketing
  6. Monitor reaction and coverage – reacting when necessary
  7. Roll out any other materials
  8. Evaluate

The anatomy of a story which you could package together

  • Headline and summary
  • Image
  • Quote
  • Social screen grabs of people’s tweets etc – demonstrate everyone is talking about it
  • Prepare FAQs
  • Key fact sheet
  • 72 and 300 dpi images
  • Link to media page
  • Contact info
  • Company background
  • QAs with clients, business owner etc
  • Top Ten highlights

It’s impossible to get through everything in one post, so I’ll follow up with other tips and suggestions for integrating PR and SEO later.

My top tips for integrating PR and SEO

  • Do a year plan which allows the online and offline activity to work together, including social and email marketing too
  • Develop a process for news announcements – timing is everything and it’s also nothing
  • If possible, break your support material up into a few different posts e.g. one for news, one for a blog, one for a video, one for images from ‘the activity’ – Google likes a drip feed of content
  • Get to know how to construct a great release which is SEO friendly
  • Keep your lists up-to- date
  • Build relationships with influencers – define, evaluate and engage with them

Laura Sutherland is runs Aura PR and is the founder of #PRFest

She is an independent, Chartered PR practitioner and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).

She has 15 years’ experience in public relations, events and communications working across a variety of sectors. From luxury automotive brands and global manufacturing to high street fashion, design and culture, Laura’s exciting career has taken her across different sectors and indeed countries.

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