With a newly integrated and and constantly evolving digital landscape, marketing and communication channels are working together more closely than ever before. Granted, youâ€™ll see variations inÂ how well this is actually executed based on your business structure and the channels themselves, but the fact is: Channels canâ€™t exist in silos.
An easy collaboration exists between PR and SEO, now that good contentÂ and outreachÂ is an integral part of SEO success â€” and those two things are something PR knows all too well. So how can these two different teams help each other reach the same business goal?
Letâ€™s start with the most obvious: education.
Itâ€™s easy to get wrapped up in yourÂ specialty bubble, so when you start working with folks on other teams with other specialties, itâ€™s just as easy to forget that they donâ€™t know what you know.
PR professionals arenâ€™t taught about the impact that online earned media can have on SEO and keyword rankings, so before you dive in with your handful of requests, educate them on the hows and the whys. Do this in shorter sessions over a few weeks, rather than one long session, and most importantly, educate them on what theyâ€™ll be able to get out of the relationship.
This shouldnâ€™t just be one-sided, though. Just like PR isnâ€™t taught SEO, SEO isnâ€™t taught PR, so reach out to your counterparts to better understand their jobs and their roles. For example, media outreach is just one portion of the job of an SEO and content marketer, but itâ€™s an expertise your PR counterparts know and understand well.
Optimizing links in earned coverage
Next up: links. Your SEO team should be helping your PR team optimize the links in all of their earned media coverage â€” things like company press releases or non-paid stories. SEO can help choose links that have keywords that need a ranking boost, and they can also make sure PR is pulling the right URL to link to.
For example, at REI, if someone needed a link to â€œbackpacking tents,â€ they might pull the URL generated from an internal search queryÂ (i.e.Â https://www.rei.com/search.html?q=backpacking+tentsir=q%3Abackpacking+tentspage=1) instead of the landing page in the main navigationÂ (https://www.rei.com/c/backpacking-tents). The internal search page isnâ€™t indexed, so that link wonâ€™t provide any lift for that keyword.Â The same goes for any team thatâ€™s producing content that will include links.
But itâ€™s not just getting links within PR coverage thatâ€™s important. SEO should also consult with PR to make sure any links fromÂ paid sponsorships are nofollowed to avoid any search engine penalty.
Managing media outreach
Influencer outreach is a critical component in any marketing strategy, and depending on the size of your company, thereâ€™sÂ likely more than one team handling said outreach.
That makes things a little trickier becauseÂ you donâ€™t want multiple people from the same company reaching out to an influencer.Â It causes confusion with the blogger/writer/media manager/subject matter expert if theyâ€™re getting different requests from different people in the same company.Â
To help eliminate some of that crossover, set guidelines for the different types of outreach that different teams will own. For example, your PR team should own the relationship with mass media outlets, while your content marketing team owns the relationships with bloggers and subject matter experts.
Share these lists and send potential contacts to other teams before you make contact to make sure a relationship doesnâ€™t already exist. This can also help avoid any wasted time on pitching a source that isnâ€™t responsive if the other team has already tried. GroupHigh is a great tool that can help you manage this outreach.
Aligning messages and stories
With multiple teams managing outreach, youâ€™re bound to haveÂ multiple stories coming out around the same time. Have your SEO and PR teams (and any other teams who are responsible for creating content) align on the broader messaging and timing to ensure your brand is putting out the same theme of content and not mixing messages orÂ promoting two different things at the same time.
This doesnâ€™t need to be down to the specific topic; itâ€™s more of a high-level guiding principle. Keep a content calendar that aligns with business priority and seasonality.
Sharing amplifyingÂ content
Creating content is hard work (not to mention expensive work), and itâ€™s something both content marketingÂ and PR do extremely well for two extremely different audiences. Make your content word harder by sharing whatâ€™s already been created that other teams can pull from and repurpose.
For example, your content marketing teamÂ created an infographic for a third-party influencer who agreed it can be republished as long as thereâ€™s a link back to the original source. Your PR team can take that same infographic and pitch it out to their media sources, creating more links for the searchÂ team and an easy content placement for the PR team.
These combined efforts also allow both teams to influence more KPIs so they can better report how their activities are impacting multiple segments of the business. PR is likely eager to add tangible KPIs to their campaigns, and SEO has just expanded its team and impact without having to fight for additional resources, which we all know is a constant battle. PR can use keyword rank changes on pagesÂ they helped secure links to, and SEO can show how many more links or shares a piece of content got with PRâ€™s amplificationÂ efforts.
It all comes down to communication when working with other teams that have different KPIs from yours. Meet weekly or biweekly with your counterparts to make sure each team is up to date on what the other is working on to eliminate duplication of work and collaboration on similar efforts.
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.