Like many a PR pro, I am not a huge fan of SEO or Search Engine Optimization. Well, let me be clearer:
I am not a huge fan of measuring success by manipulating analytics and appealing more to a numbers game that your actual audience.
BUT, there is an obvious advantage of having a higher search engine ranking, something PR pros do strive for. I will be the first to admit that I don’t fully understand SEO. I definitely see the connection, but other than using target messages and key words – content-contained things – there are many aspects of SEO I don’t agree with.
I have a friend who I often debate with over this topic. He is in the SEO/digital marketing biz. If we were to make a Venn diagram of our jobs, it would look something like this:
And our Facebook exchanges go something like this:
Friend: Come on PRs, get a grip on SEO
This argument has gone on for some time now, and it has developed into neither party wanting to admit the other may have a point. We’re stubborn like that. But when it comes down to it, he is all about statistical numbers that, as a public relations evangelist, I don’t believe truly reflect a campaign’s success. (Case in point: To my shock and appall, my friend admitted he believes it is necessary to purchase Twitter followers to “get the ball rolling.” The horror!)
Sure to a CEO who is unfamiliar with the social media landscape, seeing an increase in fans or followers may bring back those winning-popularity-contests-in-high-school sort of feelings, but how many of those fans or followers are you engaging with? If you bought them, zero. You can’t engage with robots. Sorry, Siri.
So today, I turn to you, dearest HMA Time readers – what are your thoughts on SEO and PR? Should they work together in harmony? Do PR pros need to “get a grip on SEO?” Or is SEO really the sleazy cousin of good ole fashion content creation?