Why your PR agency needs to know SEO – September 2017

Why your PR agency needs to know SEO

By Louise Roberts, Managing Director, Sphere PR

Google something and the clever bots instantly present you with a selection of websites it thinks are relevant to your search term. Google ranks websites by the number, variety and potency of links coming from other websites and the way users behave on that site.

Featuring on page one of Google is a huge business advantage. It can also be a possible reputation issue. Try Googling your own company in incognito mode and see what it finds. Is your brand website prominent? Is it accurate? Are there any negative articles or reviews? If the answer is no, you need to address your SEO.

Is SEO part of your PR agency's toolkit?

Now you can see why I am saying that your PR agency, now more than ever, needs to understand Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – where a site is ranked highly for relevant search terms - should be a part of your PR agency’s toolkit.

Traditionally you have relied on your agency to build relationships with journalists and influencers, create PR content and safeguard your corporate reputation. However, there is an urgent need for the content they produce to be written with an understanding of SEO. But the number of PR agencies offering SEO services is still minimal.

Integrating SEO into PR campaigns

PR firms should be increasing their search offering as part of an integrated approach to their clients’ PR. More importance needs to be placed on the planning phases of PR campaigns. Just achieving coverage in key editorial titles does not automatically mean that the content will be seen by your target audience.

Earned media is increasingly viewed through filters, controlled by algorithms within search engines and social platforms that hugely influence what publisher content is visible.

It is also massively affected by the strategic editorial partnerships that the social channels themselves have with the publishers for the distribution of their content.

Where are your audience spending time?

You need to be 100% across which platforms your audience spends its time on and how those platforms are curating the content is crucial to ensure that your PR content is being seen.

Is understanding algorithms really necessary?

Understanding algorithms has now become a key component of a PR agency’s role. Does that mean that all PRs need to become data analytics experts, well probably not, but the reality is that more and more of our daily choices are dictated by algorithms.

Google is where many searches start, and now we are seeing a limited number of product and brand recommendations based on purchase history and previous search behaviour.

Algorithms have made an impact on all aspects of our lives, influencing everything from what friendships we have, what films we watch and even who we date, fall in love with, and marry.

PR campaigns that achieve cut-through

This newly curated world we live in simplifies our choices and limits our exposure to lots of other brands. The real challenge for your PR agency is to understand how its campaigns can continue to achieve cut-through.

Clever, compelling content is clearly key, but that is not where it ends. Having a thorough and holistic understanding of the consumer touch points available to clients’ brands and how to develop a strategy that will make a real impact across multiple channels is the priority.

PR is now more complex than ever, which means that there needs to be a lot more focus on strategic planning. You shouldn’t just be creating content for content’s sake, because if you aren’t creating anything meaningful and relevant, there really is no point in your wasting your time, effort and PR budget.


Get in touch with Sphere PR now for a meaningful discussion about SEO and how it should impact your PR campaign strategy and planning:

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