Team PR Versus Team SEO: Can’t We All Just Get Along?

By Alex Katzen | Mar 13, 2013
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We're gonna have a bad time

It’s one thing to make sure your SEO efforts work in sync with your overall marketing plan. Try to integrate it with your traditional PR efforts (which, unfortunately, is silo’ed at many organizations), and chaos could ensue.

For this reason, it’s vital that both teams communicate with each other to avoid future problems arising. Otherwise, before you know it, the SEO team is asking for a link in an article that the PR team has just been in contact with regarding the latest press release. Not only does this add unnecessary extra work, but it also makes everyone look bad and creates an even larger chasm between SEO and PR. Here are some tips to avoid this toxic combustion.

Put the weapons down – Communicate

This is by far the most important tip to remember when integrating SEO and PR efforts. Find out who is conducting what outreach and what the goals are in each task. PR is often more about coverage and exposure to drive overall traffic and interest, while SEO focuses on link building and improving search rankings. Both have the same overall goal of promoting the brand, but go about it in different ways. It’s no longer clear to say SEO should cover blogs and PR should cover online news outlets, because nowadays there is such an overlap of the two genres (blogs evolve into major media sites, news outlets have their own “blogs” – the line is so blurred not even Google Glasses will help).

Confused Jackie Chan - Blog or News Site

Sign a peace treaty – Assign who does what

Start by sharing media contact lists. These should be running lists so that each team knows who to avoid and no one steps on the other’s toes. The SEO team will likely be more focused on short term endeavors, like link building, so if they are successful in an outreach opportunity, they should consider sharing the contact’s information with the PR team to further build on this relationship and create more promotional opportunities.


If the PR team puts out a press release, SEO should review it for keyword optimization and anchor text links. Once it’s time to start an outreach campaign, the SEO team should verify which keywords to ask bloggers and news sites to link.

Shake hands and live peacefully side by side – Continue working together and brainstorming

Before meetings, set up a brainstorming session to make sure both teams are on the same page and to generate new ideas. Regular check-ins are also helpful.

Both teams should learn about the goals of PR and SEO in order to work more efficiently moving forward. That way, the PR team will know to ask for the right links and the SEO team will come prepared to answer questions about blogger outreach.

Following these steps to stay out of the war zone will ensure your SEO and PR efforts are always in alignment.


If you have any tips of your own or comments to add, feel free to comment below or tweet me @alex_katzen.

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