What’s the difference between SEO and Digital PR?

21 Jan 2022
SEO Minty Digital Team

The worlds of SEO and digital PR often collide when it comes to strong content marketing and a great brand story. While SEO focuses on improving business search engine visibility to increase rankings, and generate leads and revenue, digital PR is a promotional tactic that helps brands increase their online presence. And although both practices intertwine when it comes to driving traffic, boosting organic rankings, engagement, and sales, they are not entirely the same. 

But as two well-respected and different disciplines, when paired together they can be a marketing powerhouse. Here, you’ll learn the difference between SEO and digital PR, and how they can work together to deliver quality results for your business. 

What is SEO 

SEO stands for search engine optimisation. You’ve probably heard the term flying about for years, acknowledged its importance, but never really got to grips with it fully. Put simply, it’s the process of improving your website to increase its online visibility when users search for services or products related to your brand in search engines. Essentially, good SEO helps your site to rank at the top of Google, which means people are more likely to click. And when people are more likely to click, you’re able to organically attract existing and potential customers to your business.

How Does it Work?

Let’s start with an example: You’ve written a blog post to publish on your site about ‘how to write the perfect blog post.’ When someone types ‘how to write a blog post’ into Google, they’re likely looking for instructions and advice on said topic.

So, you want people to find your article because this brings more visitors to your site. And the end goal is to increase your sales and leads, right? But for people to find it, it needs to rank higher than all the other websites with the same content. And while this is not as easy as it sounds, there are ways you can optimise your copy to increase its chances of ranking higher, including these two major players:

Quality Content

Google delivers content that it thinks meets the exact requirements of the user. There are four ways you can create copy that satisfies search engines and users:

  • Know what the reader wants to accomplish when they visit your site.
  • Break up the text with paragraphs, headings, and images: People have short attention spans, and won’t stay for long on pages with big blocks of text.
  • Know who your reader is: What do they like? What do they dislike? Why are they on your page?
  • Is your content actionable? Your reader needs to feel as though they’ve had every question answered.

Keyword Research

This helps you to find profitable, effective, and relevant keywords that relate to your site and the search intent of your demographic. Here at Minty Digital, we carry out keyword research to discover what your audience is asking search engines. We identify the most low-competition and relevant words and phrases for your content, which allows you to incorporate them naturally and strategically throughout your SEO copy.

But once you have your keywords, it’s important not to overuse them. This is called keyword stuffing, and using too many will cause search engine rejection, and decrease your rankings.

What is Digital PR?

Digital PR belongs to the online marketing world. It is a discipline used to generate publicity around products, brands, or topics, by securing coverage in online media outlets. The practice still lends itself to traditional PR, in that the ultimate goal is to bring attention to something via the media. However, digital PR works with a multitude of channels. 

For example, digital PR services can develop strong content with exclusive angles and hooks that will be of interest to journalists. 

When a digital PR strategy is done well, it can:

  • Help increase a website’s rankings by achieving high-quality backlinks.
  • Help brands to stand out amongst saturated marketplaces.
  • Grow trust with consumers.
  • Grow a brand’s credibility.
  • Erase any negative search results associated with a brand.
  • Increase conversions.

How Does it Work?

Examples of digital PR include: 

  • Publishing press releases.
  • Publishing articles.
  • Working and liaising with influencers and bloggers on product reviews and features.
  • Affiliate product reviews and marketing.
  • Building content writing and journalist contacts to achieve press exposure.
  • Embracing social media to increase a brand’s visibility.

Unlike traditional PR, there are many other layers to this version. When a digital PR agency uses these strategies well, they can have a positive impact on a website’s SEO. Such content can also be combined with SEO agencies and strategies to optimise the content and ensure it performs well via search engines. For example, it’s important for a digital PR specialist to understand Google’s guidelines and ranking signals in order to increase the visibility of a site in search results. 

And while digital PR can achieve incredible results, when paired with a powerful SEO game plan, new heights can be reached. 

Reasons You Should Incorporate Digital PR into Your SEO Strategy

With a good digital PR strategy, an SEO campaign can really benefit. Agencies and experts use a practice called ‘off-site SEO’, (actions performed outside of a website to improve rankings in search engines, e.g promoting a website, linking to a website, and confirming the quality of a site’s content) which involves digital PR. 

And SEO efforts, like selecting the best keywords can often inspire a whole PR strategy. Experts will consider market placement and brand identity and then research the beneficial keywords brands want to be ranked for. 

So, here are 3 of the main reasons you should allow SEO and digital PR to work together:

Link Building With Digital PR Can Deliver Higher Quality Results

While optimising both your site and content is a necessary part of SEO, it can only take you so far in your ranking quest. You’re going to get to a point where you need backlinks to help drive the authority of your site. 

Google and other search engines view these links as confirmation that your site is genuine and of good quality. And the higher the quality of these links, (think big, established brands) the higher your website will rank. 

However, it can be hard to achieve organic backlinks just through SEO. But with the help of a strong digital PR campaign, it will deliver trendy, up-to-date content that will be only accessible on your website. This means if journalists or bloggers want to cover it, they’ll have to link back to your page.

You Can Improve Your E-A-Ts

E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, and is a concept created for Google’s human rating team who assess and judge websites in the search engine’s results. 

Their goal is to evaluate how effective the search algorithm is at ranking high-quality websites. Essentially, they’re just double-checking that Google is filtering through the best, and most relevant content. With this in mind, it’s crucial for SEO agencies to address E-A-Ts as part of their strategy.

Digital PR and content strategy help brands to find their audience, which allows them to know exactly the sort of content to post, and what their demographic will engage with. For best results, have a long-term digital PR and content strategy incorporated into your SEO plans. 

It Helps With ORM (Online Reputation Management)

ORM is a powerful marketing strategy that eliminates negative press associated with brands and instead, creates positive perceptions. And with the internet and search engines being the number one platform to research brands, products, and services, it’s essential your business is seen in the best possible light.

When using a search engine, the most common results that appear about a company include press articles, blogs, forums, and reviews. And when Google conducts these searches, they look for the results listed above and combine them with your E-A-Ts. So, if a brand is negatively perceived online, (especially on page one of the search results) it can dramatically reduce rankings and decrease traffic.

But when digital PR and SEO work together, they can help to combat this problem for businesses who want to grow. With traditional PR strategies that include proactive solutions integrated with SEO best practices, brands are able to nurture their online reputation management and rebuild their credibility.

Why Should You Invest in Both?

While digital PR and SEO can work effectively separately, when they work side by side, powerful things can happen. From digital PR helping to achieve search engine rankings through securing high-quality backlinks, to SEO’s trusty keyword research helping to inspire a PR campaign, any brand that wants to thrive in the modern world should incorporate the two into their marketing strategies.

Think you could do with a helping hand with both? Get in contact with us today and we can discuss your business goals.

Minty Digital Team
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