SEO and why it's increasingly becoming part of the PR agency role

A question we are often asked when pitching for potential new business is this; should we use a separate specialist to take care of our SEO?

The fact is that PR and SEO are integrating, meaning they are becoming one and the same thing. In fact, we look at it in a slightly different way and predict that the days of pure SEO are limited as Google becomes better at identifying and stopping manipulation. Gone are the days when techie SEO agencies could simply regenerate content with inbound links in a scatter gun approach. Now, if you want effective SEO then you need to get great content written by a PR agency that is persuasive and valued by your potential customers.

In fact, using a digital channel to generate business to business sales leads is very difficult if you are using poor quality content (or content, for example, simply copied from your website or brochure). That’s where using the services of a PR agency that understands the construction and manufacturing sector comes in. Dedicated agencies like Dragonfly PR will be able to create original content, based on extensive keyword research that is valued by your potential customers – that will generate engagement on social media and reader comments - and therefore is ranked highly by Google.

What is SEO?

There are two kinds of SEO. Internal SEO makes up around 20% of the total and simply means designing your website so that it ranks in Google searches. The other 80%, includes the written content, preferably generated by PR, which is press releases, case studies, white paper articles, blogs and thought leadership pieces, all including backlinks to your website. 

A relatively recent addition to this part of SEO is social media and that is one of the reasons why we now devise social media strategies alongside our PR strategy for clients in the construction and manufacturing sectors. That’s because Google now prefers content that is promoted via social platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn, because it is viewed as more relevant and less likely to involve SEO trickery. In simple terms social ‘shares’ are difficult to fake and Google knows that.

We’ve all heard the stories in the past of how it’s possible to trick Google with ‘black hat’ strategies (not so anymore). In reality SEO now has to be much more subtle than that and requires a long term approach of adding high quality content that written by PR professionals like us. Google is now far too clever to let companies get away with SEO manipulation that allow them to artificially increase their rankings.

Does PR or SEO generate sales leads?

If you are working with a PR agency that understands your industry they should be writing great content that you need in order to implement a highly effective ‘SEO strategy’. If you’re currently working with a separate SEO and PR company you really need to ask yourself; why?

Of course, both would argue to the death that they should be the one to get their hands on your marketing budget, but you only have to ask yourself: what do my customers want to see online; a) interesting, original and useful written content written by a PR professional that understand their needs and your industry, or b) bland, regenerated content that is posted on who knows what (random) websites. PR wins hands down every time, which is why – for business to business sales leads  – we forecast the demise of pure SEO – to be replaced with digital PR.

A bold statement, true, but we have to face the fact that all external SEO is potentially a form of manipulation apart from writing, recording, tweeting or videoing real and relevant content that benefits those who search for it. PR teams are skilled in creating this content and getting it placed on relevant websites where it’s going to be ranked by Google. That means the leading magazines and journals in the construction and manufacturing sector. The majority of these articles are published in the magazines (which is great for branding awareness) as well as appearing online and being tweeted on social media, which is exactly the kind of content that Google values when deciding where your business is going to appear in search results. It really isn’t that complicated, whatever your SEO agency would have you believe!

So in a nutshell, if you want excellent SEO then you need to get great content written by a Public Relations agency that specialises in your industry, and then put their efforts into generating comments and engagement online as well as opt-ins from your social followers. That is traditional PR!

As a marketeer you ought to consider the benefits of investing in high quality, relevant and interesting content that your potential customers want to read. When it comes to generating sales leads in the construction and manufacturing sector there really is no substitute for persuasive PR – on and offline.

Dragonfly PR is a dedicated agency with over 15 years’ experience in helping b2b companies across Yorkshire and the North West to generate results. We can put together an outline proposal that will help you meet your business objectives, through generating sales enquiries, increasing traffic to your website and positioning you as the experts in the field. For more information or to speak to one of our team about your PR and communications requirements, call 0114 349 5345.

To find out more about our on and offline PR strategies, incorporating all the good quality SEO you’ll ever need, click here.

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