How public relations and SEO are in conflict over keywords and content.
Will there be war?
The tension between many PR professionals and SEO specialists is tightening now that social media has become a vital element in both their worlds.
The battleground is influence of content creation, and often at the centre of the battleground are disputes over the use of keywords.
The crux of the issue is how far content should be written to engage and inform the audience, and how far it should be written to maximise SEO optimisation.
In theory, they should both be achievable with a little compromise on both sides and both sides recognising the importance of integrating keywords. In practice, however, when a PR team are searching for new interesting angles to interest readers, they sometimes stretch the content to the point where keywords in headings and body text seem as uncomfortably placed as a red and white shirted Arsenal fans in among the home supporters at White Hart Lane.
It seems that when their KPIs are based on improving page rankings, in a SEO specialist’s idyllic world, all blogs would be tightly on message and packed with as many keywords as Google will allow.
As some brands have very few different messages, very soon the copy becomes narrowly focussed and repetitive. The only happy readers would be the SEO expert and perhaps, Google’s analytics!
By contrast, the priority of PR teams writing weekly blogs is to create copy that helps to build engagement, understanding and loyalty and to create relationships. To achieve this via a website and social media requires copy to be wider ranging and more interesting than SEO driven content would be; hence the conflict.
Clearly compromises have to be reached in the use of this media, otherwise ridiculous scenarios occur where key words and headers have no relevance to the content.
But at the same time it is important to look at the bigger picture. The overall aim of any marketing activity is to build an ongoing relationship with a potential customer. To do this content must be engaging and interesting, not just once but often. While SEO can help to take a reader to a website in the first place, if the content is dull and all too similar then the reader will visit only once and the chance of a building a longer term relationship will be lost.
Interesting varied engaging well written content has to be the priority