Promotion of websites is a highly profitable, competitive industry in which everybody from NYC Public Relations(PR) Firms to small-time Search Engine Optimization (SEO) businesses compete for a piece of the cake. Amid the super highway of information, it’s due to the need for more knowledge that SEOs and PRs possess about the other that neither can offer an affordable and effective solution that can yield a return on investment (ROI) in the scale of their customers.
Let me explain.
THE TROUBLE WITH PUBLIC RELATIONS
PR is a business that creates awareness across different platforms for clients while sticking to a pre-determined budget. It’s an industry populated by people who communicate, able to distribute information to specific media with an alphabetical database, a press release, and some really good interpersonal abilities. However, despite all their advantages, one of the most criticized aspects of PR is their inability to yield tangible ROI.
Larger companies can see the general advantages of a properly executed PR campaign. However, smaller businesses need to see the immediate benefits of many blog posts or help to afford Custom Myspace Tools developed to launch a new product. In the end, large numbers of medium-sized businesses are removing PR from their marketing strategy.
THE TROUBLE WITH SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
On the other end of the spectrum is search engine optimization (SEOs). They are technically skilled problem solvers. SEOs can alter a website to make it more visible to Google and other search engine sites (the tools that more than 90 percent of internet users use for new sources or additional information online). SEOs depend on their technical knowledge and ability to create “backlinks” (links coming from other websites) to gain traction in Google search results for their clients.
However, in the past few months (06-07), search engines have become “smarter” and have made traditional ways of creating backlinks less efficient. Many SEOs have shifted towards what they call “link bait,” tapping into social media (blog forums and more) to generate backlinks. Of course, “link baiting” is an edgy term for online public relations, and it’s something only the most skilled SEOs can master, and many PR professionals are now attempting to master.
WHY PR AND SEO SHOULD BE BEST BUDS
When it comes to “link baiting” (and really the promotion of online generally) is involved, Public Relations firms have an advantage. Based on their expertise, contacts on and offline, and additional resources already devoted to building the online presence of their clients and trust, Public Relations firms are better at securing mentions and hyperlinks on authoritative websites than SEOs competitors.
Of course, just the fact that a PR agency gets a mention in a dozen blog posts or even makes it to the top page of Digg.com isn’t a requirement for an increase in the client’s bottom line. With the assistance of an SEO consultant or an SEO company, PR firms could show actual numbers to prove the worth of their services by converting online media into dominance over search engines.
Suppose PR could harness the expertise of a search engine optimization specialist. In that case, they could resolve the issue of tangible ROI and extend their services to include more medium size companies, ecommerce websites, and others. What if a PR Practitioner could present your client with an official document that reads, “Look, we’ve got your name known to your market, here, here, and here, and because of that, you’re now the number one result in search engines when you type in the top keywords. …”
Also, SEO companies can reduce your workload by half by eliminating the building of links, showing your clients more significant results, and having them featured on popular sites or blogs? What would they be willing to invest with you? How many keywords would they like to be able to
YES, BUT WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
It’s a synergistic relationship. You must indeed pay another company and reduce the margins you earn; however, it is mutually profitable. In addition, if both parties can work together with solutions tailored to their respective industries, where both parties stand to earn an income from providing services to each other and products, the relationship will strengthen.
By investing in SEO and outsourcing it to a third party, Public Relations Firms will be able to keep their more prominent clients with more frequent visits and set their sites on medium-size firms that had previously hidden their cash when they heard the word “press release.” Similar to outsourcing PR to companies such as Search Engine Optimization, firms can serve more significant numbers of clients and deliver more effective results.
The most important thing to be aware of is that neither PR nor SEO firms possess all the pieces of the online marketing pie as of now. PR’s strengths lie in generating awareness, not necessarily technical expertise. SEO is the complete opposite. They’re an absolute Yin and Yang and an Odd Couple Bonnie and Clyde, Simon and Garfunkel, Best Buds eager to meet each other in the maze of servers, bandwidth, and the free information on the internet.