August 22nd, 2012 by Tim Greenhalgh
Chris Leeâ€™s eConsultancy post â€“ â€œSEOs will slaughter careless PRsâ€ is a bit of a shocker. His Biblical reference is powerful and apposite. Old stories always work well.
We feel comfortable with these tales because they reinforce our collective sense of self and are very useful. But behind this agreed unity there is a less coherent argument.
Chris’s argument, as I understand it, centres on the fact that too many PR agencies do not see the point of integrating SEO into their campaigns. Iâ€™d take us out of that equation and would also expand Chrisâ€™s viewpoint. Believe it or not, there are many PR agencies that still donâ€™t embrace social media, let alone SEO.
Weâ€™ve been integrating social media with ‘traditional’ PR and SEO at Liberate Media since 2006, working with partners and client agencies. That’s why colleague Lloyd Gofton founded the agency.
Weâ€™ve been doing what Chris suggests for six and more years:
Â· Link building from diverse and authoritative sites.
Â· Social media signals.
Â· Optimisation of on-page content.
Â· Optimisation of URLs.
Â· Universal search (pictures, video etc).
Â· Domain-level brand metrics (affinity towards the brand online).
But weâ€™ve been doing much more than this â€“ delivering integrated campaigns that mesh social with traditional PR so that the SEO element of marketing can maximise returns. We engage with media and influencers at every point, online and offline.
That said, my experience of SEO is that it is, at best, an inexact science. Measurement parameters are imprecise. This lack of detail is partly a function of the continual development of search engine algorithms, and the desire of Google to maximise its revenues.
But there is a certain easy acceptance of SEO data that does not push agencies to move forward. From my personal experience, there is only so far you can go with â€œsecret sauceâ€.
Sure, we can deliver reports that have a range of good-looking figures but whether these correspond precisely to what is going on is not proven.
My intuition is that the current SEO play is under sustained pressure and is seeking partners who can add significant value, through knowledge, connections and expertise, to the proposition.
Partnership with PR agencies might be a way forward but the measurement tactics would need careful attention on both sides.
Weâ€™re neither smug nor careless about our business, which is growing rapidly against the grain. As Chris intimates, the skills and nous involved in successful SEO and PR are a rare commodity, one that we will continue to develop.
You can read Chris Leeâ€™s post here.