Forget Link Building, Focus on Relationship Building

There are times when SEO seems as vast and unending as the universe. It’s an ever-changing world that requires an ever-vigilant eye to keep up with algorithms and keyword updates. But SEO isn’t just about research and data and link building anymore — it’s about relationship building. That’s where digital PR steps in. SEO has become more than just a faceless aspect of digital marketing, and digital PR is now essential for SEO to create a connection between brand and audience.

Good PR skills are now just as important to foster as well as developing expertise in SEO. Search engines love quality links, and audiences love quality relationships. Link building and relationship building can go hand-in-hand if you know how to leverage PR properly. It helps build your brand awareness, drive traffic to your site, and improve search rankings. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Choose your communities

Developing a relationship between your audience and your field within a digital marketing scope is always a priority, no matter your expertise. Your PR strategy relies on identifying which target audiences and communities to focus your message on, and creating a mutually beneficial relationship with them. It’s about understanding your goals when engaging a community and directing your PR efforts towards maximising the prospect of said goals.

Be part of the conversation

It’s not just about starting the conversation, it’s about taking steps to ensure that it keeps going. Creating a social media presence among your communities and audiences for your brand lets you participate and engage with your customers. Once you know where to start the conversation and between which communities, invest in being part of that conversation. When you present your brand as an authority in the industry, you’re delivering a perception of trust and reliability in your expertise. Engaging in conversation with your audience helps you achieve that level of trust. While your PR team pitches stories and campaigns and creates the buzz around your brand, it’s then your job to keep your audiences invested in the stories you’re telling.

Build authentic relationships by helping and sharing

Creating a community isn’t just about gathering and storing information and establishing an audience. It’s about building real relationships with your audience, and you do that by fostering a culture of learning, helping, and sharing. Build bridges with the influencers of your field, learning from them, and then share what you know with the rest of the crowd, too. Focus on building relationships with quality instead of quantity. Content providers like bloggers, journalists, and article writers are a key relationship to foster as they provide meaningful content to your field of expertise.

Building on the work of others: filling in content gaps

This is where those connections pay off. Once these relationships are cemented, it’s time to put those contacts to good use. Utilising the information gathered from the learning process, fill in the content gaps of your brand and business. Engage in interviews and ask experts their opinions on subjects relevant to both their interest and your brand. It’s about developing meaningful conversations and content, and when your PR team fine tunes your SEO into delivering something that stands out from the masses.

Relationship building = the missing link

SEO and PR might not seem to connect very much on a lot of levels, but a strong PR strategy almost always guarantees brand awareness and strong organic backlinks. SEO is all about link authority and PR is about brand reputation. Link authority gets your brand on the first page of Google, and being on the first page of Google speaks for itself when it comes to brand reputation. See the connection? It’s all about finding the missing link.

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