Conversations around the integration of PR and SEO are nothing new. Several years down the line, though, are we confident there is enough information-sharing between the two disciplines? The adage, 'You don’t know what you don’t know,' rings true. Often PR and SEO departments act independently, unaware of their influence on each other’s results or how they could help one another.
Whilst sharing resources is mutually beneficial, this post looks at something else: How PR pros can use SEO data to shape strategy. SEO data can inform communicators about which sites to target, topics to focus on and how to get the most longevity from media coverage.
Using domain authority to prioritize target press
While readership metrics are more important to PR, there’s value in being able to identify the SEO merit of a site. This will dictate how prominent your content is within the search engines, and how long it remains visible.
There are numerous data that tell a story about a website, but domain authority (DA) is a good place to start. DA is a number between 1 and 100 that predicts how likely a website is to rank in search engine results pages. It's calculated using several factors.
Pretty much every SEO tool will give you access to a DA feature. You can also run a limited number of free searches on the Moz Open Site Explorer. This will provide a DA figure for your target press in seconds.
It’s worth bearing in mind that a low score doesn’t necessarily mean a bad site. A low score could just mean a newer site, as age is one factor that makes up this score.
Using link profile tools to identify new publications
Link profile tools have several benefits. Mainly, they tell you which sites linked to you over a given time. This is useful for identifying coverage you might have missed. These tools are especially valuable in uncovering sites and online magazines to target.
Tools like SEMrush’s Backlink Gap and Moz’s Link Intersect tool allow you to find sites that link to your competitors but not to you. After all, if a publication is featuring multiple other companies in your sector, there’s a good chance it might be open to collaborating with you too.
Link profile tools also are ideal for getting an indication of what the competition is doing.
Using keyword research tools to establish topics of interest
The crossover between SEO and PR isn’t just about amplifying coverage. Use SEO data at the ideation stage of campaigns, too. Keyword research tools show what your audience is searching for and the questions it's asking around a topic, giving you something to tap into with content.
You don’t need to be tied into lengthy, expensive contracts. Google's People Also Ask feature is great for considering what audiences want to know around a subject. Meanwhile, Google’s Keyword Planner can provide search volume estimates with just a Google Ads account.
Another free tool, Google Trends, shows you the popularity of certain phrases over time, as well as other interesting search trends.
In short, it is important to incorporate the benefit of SEO data at every stage of your PR strategy.
Joe Friedlein is founder and MD of Browser Media