Search Engine Optimisation and Public Relations: Conversion Vs Conversation

OK, a bit of a divergence here. Actually it’s not much of a divergence, I’ve always said this blog was a place to braindump all my ideas and keep a track of where I am. It just so happens that I haven’t had much to say about work, I’ve settled down better in London and have nothing [which I deem] interesting to say. So I’m going to talk about Search Engine Optimisation and PR for  a bit. Before I start nothing I say in this is going to be new, and probably not all of it right.

For me, Search Engine Optimisation should form the basis of any comms campaign. It’s what got me into digital PR. Two and a half years ago, Rainier PR’s Wadds asked me to do a bit of research of SEO and implement some of my findings in the web site. You’ll find my poorly proofed whitepaper here. And it wasn’t so long ago when I bored PR networking queen Jaz Cummins to tears with my SEO rant when I first met her a couple of years back.

Geordie Scally and part time PR Golden child, Stephen Davies has commented on SEO in the past but following his new business venture and move to Newcastle’s premier business park, he’s been rather quiet on that front.

I flirted outrageously with Social Meedja Massif! [innit] but I always had a keen interest in the way SEO is more measurable and actually leads to conversions rather than ‘conversations’. If you were a client where would your money go?

Before you worry your little selves about the intricacies of tinkering about with ‘web code and that’, I’m not talking about breaking your Web site. I’ve no real experience of web coding, etc, I can spot patterns and take a guess at what means what but apart from that I’m as lost as horse with a wrench.

With Google dicking around with its algorithm again, content is key. This is where PR can take some of the SEO market if we’re clever enough. And the basis of content is knowing what people are searching for, i.e. keywords – which is where I am starting from and see where I get from there.

Follow me on my journey as I waste time working out how two conflicting areas[SEO and PR] can come together into something more beautiful. Take note Middle East.


11 responses to “Search Engine Optimisation and Public Relations: Conversion Vs Conversation

  1. Hello Tim, nice blog, about time!

    Not only did you not bore me to tears, you got me thinking about SEO properly and made me want to learn more…And here I am a few months later in my new role in an SEO team at Mindshare!

    Agree with you on measurability and conversions particularly, looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

  2. Finally! Look forward to hearing about your SEO adventures.

  3. Haha, it was Tim & his PR bitches! But yeah I’m in obv.

  4. Jaz, Dont say that!!!

    Please note, I do not condone sexism in any shape or form.

  5. Sorry Tim, no, twas never said. Was ‘Tim & his PR Babes’ – imagine that email address!

  6. Our clients would love it “Vice president in command”.

    My title would be “King of PR and that”

  7. Crikey, Tim. A blog!

    This is exactly the way I wanted my blog to be, originally. Just a notebook for thoughts, that was sort-of public.

    Anyway, SEO vs. SM etc.

    I kind of think that the technical aspects of SEO don’t count for very much any more. And that the useful bits are common sense. So, so long as PRs create great content at the right addresses, then all is well.

  8. I agree with you. SEO was my first interest and whilst I think the SM potential is interesting for PR (although still in its infancy and under-developed despite what some SM agencies/’specialists’ will claim) as you say, a client will always go for something that can deliver concrete results – esp in the current environment (note the determination to avoid the word financial!).

    There is a lot of talk about where Online PR should really sit, but maybe the question should be where SEO should really fit in…?

  9. Really looking forward to some discussions about SEO-PR in the future but its Friday night so going to limit myself to pointing out that Mr Davies’s office is in the same building as the Geordie contingent of the RealWire team and I can vouch for the fact that it has been painted since you took that picture! 🙂

    Oh and I second Paul’s comment on your “About” page about provision of RSS.

  10. @iandelaney we’ll see how it develops. knowing me I’ll get bored next week and go back in my hole.

    Agree that content is key but you can fiddle [not the technical term] around with the key words so that more people can find you via search. For instance, you are writing about, say, Manchester United Football Club. A quick look on google’s fantastic keyword tool would tell you that you wouldn’t bother using man utd fc as your key word because there’s not that many searches and alot of competition. That’s what I make of it anyway.

    @dannywhatmough I think the PR industry would be foolish to ignore search especially as the whole roundabout [and frankly tiresome] debate on measurement and ROI on PR/SEO/PR.20/blahbahblah continues. As far as I’m concerned, the budget for digital comms [by that i mean anything via digital channels] campaigns is a free for all. PR should be there.

    @adamparker RSS i’ll sort that out this weekend. I literally created this blog on a whim.

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