Search engine optimization (SEO) has become a new umbrella for the field of online public relations and serves as a method to pull in prospects. Google’s search engine algorithm emphasizes the creation of valuable new content in its ranking algorithm, and the parallels with the field of public relations in general are striking.
The creation of free publicity distinguishes public relations from advertising, and the formats for online PR include blogs, e-newsletters and websites. SEO ranks websites based on inbound links, that is, the creation of clickable text on other sites pointing to your own or your client’s.
These inbound links are best generated by a dynamic, growing website. Hosting a blog on your website represents one of the best ways to attract visitors and links from other online sites. Of course, blog submissions are free, so the creation of this content falls squarely in the wheelhouse of public relations.
The strategy for online public relations relies on pull PR, also known as inbound marketing. And letting interested parties find your website on their own is best accomplished by ranking high on the SERPs (search engine results pages). And this demands the creation of valuable new content.
The traditional public relations approach doesn’t work online. Sending out press releases and other content can be viewed as spam if it is undertaken too frequently. This “push” PR strategy should be used in a much more limited manner.