As an integrated marketing communications agency, M/C/C has several different teams – Strategy, Public Relations (PR), Social, Advertising, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Creative – all working to increase our clients’ presences in their industries. While each group may have their own approach, collaboration among these teams is critical to succeeding in today’s marketing landscape. Take for instance PR and SEO.
Back in the day, SEO specialists were considered code monkeys. They spent their time on client websites stuffing keywords and surfing the net looking for anywhere and everywhere to post a client’s content or links. Then came Google’s Penguin and Panda updates. At the highest level, Google implemented these algorithm changes to prevent spammy content from influencing its search results. So with that, gone were the days of thinking about SEO based solely on quantity of keywords or links.
Enter public relations. Receiving media coverage through a third-party plays a significant role in enhancing a company’s image and having links from those credible sources can have quite an impact on your search rankings. Would you rather have 10 links from sites like the New York Times or 2,500 links from a no-purpose website? Google places more importance on a few high-quality editorial links than thousands of low-quality links because they are more difficult to obtain. By having these sites promote your company and share your website’s information, the value of your website will increase, ultimately leading to improved search results.
With an emphasis on high quality, unique content that is linked by quality sites, SEO strategists are no longer plugging away in their dark offices but actively collaborating with their PR counterparts strategizing on how links can be included in client content. Together, they are focusing on topics that are relevant, crafting stories, finding editorial opportunities, getting media coverage, seeking links and building relationships with reporters and editors.
Mike Cherenson, a former chair and CEO of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), shared his perspective. He said, “The future of SEO is not in the technology, it’s in the ability to tell stories that readers and Google will find interesting…and that’s public relations.”