The main key highlight for me during SAScon 2013 (search, analytics and social media conference) in Manchester was the frequency that the PR and SEO crossover was mentioned during the sessions.
This is not a new discussion, but it’s certainly even more relevant than ever now that Google has just rolled out Penguin 2:0.
Just to quickly re-cap, Google has made a number of changes to its algorithm over the past few years, which has penalised websites with bad content and bought links, for example. Google is trying to create a natural and organic algorithm where good quality websites and content rise to the top of searches.
It’s no surprise that SEO, PR, social media and digital marketing are seeing much more of an overlap in methods and tactics. After all, we are all trying to achieve online visibility and awareness for our clients, and ultimately see sales and conversions due to our hard work.
It was clear during this two-day conference that SEO as an industry is evolving. Many agencies and consultants said they has changed their business proposition from SEO to digital marketing or content strategists, for example.
Two of the key points that I heard being discussed over and over again were: relationships and influence. To create outstanding content with high authority links means using the ol’ PR skills of building relationships and identifying influencers.
These skills may not come naturally to those traditional SEO consultants who are used to communicating by email and not having to build relationships with online editors and bloggers.
However, these are some of the key parts of a PR executives’ job. We are used to planning out content strategies, product launches and mail outs in great detail and spending time creating the right package to get a journalist’s attention. We are used to picking up the phone to find out who we need to speak to and how we can best work alongside them.
I think that one of the biggest challenges to SEO agencies will be that clients may find it difficult to understand how long it actually takes to create high quality content marketing and blogger outreach programmes and gain fewer, but higher quality inbound links.
Overall, it’s clear that SEO work, content marketing and PR disciplines are overlapping even more than ever. It makes sense to really make the most of any marketing budget and ensure there is a completely integrated campaign, with every person or agency communicating with the other properly for us all to achieve the most out of what we do best.
Read my SAScon 2013 round up part one.