Clients aren’t demanding SEO services from PRs. Should PRs take the lead?
|28/08/2012||Posted by Chris Lee under Blog||
Last week I drafted a post for Econsultancy with the deliberately provocative title “SEOs will slaughter careless PR agencies”, which generated a whopping 32 comments (and counting). The vast range of feedback goes to show how much legs the SEO and PR debate has and while talking with my colleague Uday Radia at CloudNine PR he raised an interesting point: are PR clients even demanding SEO services and deliverables yet?
Where PR and SEO collide
Given that most PR professionals agree that organic SEO is important and that the right PR approach could help search rankings, why is this not already on the corporate agenda?
Potential Culprit 1: Client-end ignorance Many marketing managers are old school and took a while to get on board even with social media. They may have thrown some money at pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns but probably on the whole do not understand organic search and how their PR agency – when armed with SEO knowledge – could really make a difference.
Culprit 2: PR agency ignorance Still stuck in the mould of coverage reports, SEO – like social media did – offers PR agencies so much opportunity to upsell if only they themselves could upskill and articulate a PR-led SEO strategy to clients. Those PRs who haven’t already got the knowledge need SEO training.
I very much see the monthly report of clippings and interviews evolving – as it has for many to include social media metrics – to include keyword rankings, inbound links generated and other relevant metrics from Google Analytics, which every client should let their PR agencies access.
Do you agree?
PRs need SEO training and should practice their own SEO
PR agencies should be doing their own SEO and I’m helping a couple of London-based PR agencies to do this right now. At Rainier PR (now Speed Communications) SEO was a massive part of our inbound marketing and the main reason we won “Best Business Blog” from Communicators in Business way back in 2007. We used the blog and associated outreach to remain top three in Google over three years for our keywords.
As with social media, the best way PRs can get to understand the basics of SEO and PR’s role in ranking on search engines is to practice themselves, getting to grips with analytics tools, listening to experts podcasts, reading the right blog posts and taking on some quick and simple SEO training for PR agencies. The rewards are massive so if you’re not already – get on it!