PR and SEO: Different acronyms, same ultimate goal

By Justine Daley

A few weeks ago, I was at the Digital Marketing Meetup when someone asked the question: how does PR affect SEO, and vice versa? The question was asked as if they were two separate things. As we all know, in this digital age, the two are blending more and more with every Google algorithm update.

Justine Daley is a copywriter at GNGF.

Justine Daley is a copywriter at GNGF.

And why shouldn’t they? At the end of the day, the goal is the same: increase a brand’s business. At GNGF, I think SEO first, PR second, but through my time in PRSA, I’ve met people who think the opposite. And while the methods vary, the data doesn’t lie; and the most accurate data we can collect (in terms of understanding a web presence) is through Google Analytics.  

Below are three key analytics an SEO-thinking public relations pro should know and love:

 1. Referrals: How are people getting to your brand’s website? Social media? Media mentions? Referral data is ultimately an exhibition of your strengths. If most of your referral sources are social media sites, i.e., Twitter, Facebook,  Pinterest, but you don’t have many media sources, you know where to focus your next strategy.

2. Unique visits: Are new people finding your brand or not? If this metric remains stagnant, the answer is most likely no. Monitor these unique visits after a press release, media mention, or social media campaign; did they increase? If they did drastically, you can assume your campaign was quite effective. If not, you might refine your strategy next time around. 

3. Keywords: Public relations efforts will naturally increase branded queries, i.e., the business or person’s name; however, you want people to know more than the brand name. Non-branded search terms are just as important if not more so; you want people to associate the brand with what the brand does. If your top queries are all branded search terms, you’ve got a good start, but hone in what non-branded terms you want to gain notice for, and incorporate those into your content.