New rules for PR and SEO have surfaced as the art of online marketing has evolved. David Meerman Scott’s recent work, “The New Rules of Marketing & PR,” highlighted how marketing and PR have evolved and are more effective when they are combined in campaigns. In addition, the article stresses that SEO and PR have evolved also.

This information is invaluable because Google, Bing and Yahoo are indexing press releases that are optimised correctly. Since these optimised press releases have been indexed, journalists are not only accessing them, customers, bloggers, and media are accessing them.

How Can This Impact Your Business?

The best way to illustrate how it can affect your business is through an example.

• John and Jane Jones own a used bookstore. Recently, they acquired a large inventory of books from a collector’s estate. They built a new website to promote and sell them, but were having difficulty being found on the internet. How would you promote the site if you were John and Jane?

• Some of the traditional ways of marketing online include, PPC advertising, search engine marketing and blogging. These are all excellent first steps, but is there anything that can be done beyond these?

• Optimised press releases are an excellent way of promoting your online business. If John and Jane develop an optimised press release about their business and the collection of books they have for sale, the search engines will index it. Then, if one of the thousands of bloggers who write about books, searches the keyword “used books,” the press release will surface. They will, in turn, use the press release information to write a blog post, link to John and Jane’s Web site and the blogger’s readers will visit the site and perhaps make a purchase.

By using SEO techniques to optimise press releases, they will rank higher on search engines and ultimately drive more traffic to the Web site than non-optimised ones would. The opportunity for an optimised press release to go viral is significant. Bloggers, hungry for content, will use press release information to develop a post on their blog. Combining PR and SEO can be a very powerful strategy.

The Key Benefits of Partnering SEO and PR

1. Your Message Can Go Viral
SEO techniques will extend the reach of your PR campaign. It will not only reach your customers, but also those your customers communicate with. When your press release is keyword rich and offers unique and useful information, journalists, bloggers, and customers will find it invaluable.

2. Bloggers and Journalists Can Create Buzz
Buzz is a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal. When online bloggers and journalists find information they feel will be helpful to their readers, they will create buzz about it. With a modest marketing budget and a combination of PR and SEO techniques, you will create brand awareness for your company, drive more traffic to your site and create more sales opportunities. Ultimately, your marketing campaign will have longevity.

3. Set Up a Campaign
Once you are familiar with combining SEO techniques with your PR campaign, you will be able to repeat the process for future campaigns. While many of your competitors are focused on traditional SEO, you will have the success of combining it with PR.

4. Build Your Rankings Through Links
As you receive relevant links from respected blogs and Web sites, your search engine ranking will increase. The more blogs and newspapers who pick up your press release, the better ranking you will receive.

5. Create Interest
You may receive a request for more information from a journalist or blogger. This will precipitate a focused article or blog post about your company and products. As your brand becomes more recognised, you will create more trust. Big names like Amazon and Coca-Cola built their brands on trust, and you can too.

6. You Must Protect Your Brand
Unfortunately, people believe what they read. Criticism and false information run rampant on the Internet. A relevant, brand building press release will help combat this misinformation.

It is very important to understand how search engines build their rankings. Search engines rank sites based on the following five criteria:

1. Keyword usage in the page’s title tag
2. Popularity of external links
3. Domain trustworthiness
4. External link anchor text
5. Link source diversity

Even though you have a great site that is very clean and easy to maneuver, your rankings may still be low. Developing relevant external links and combining SEO and PR can boost your rankings significantly.