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Why white-hat SEO needs PR

Posted by: Thomas Harrison-Lord on 16 February 2017

Search engine optimisation is a murky field. Or at least, it once was. Now, due to changes to the way Google’s algorithm works, the techniques used for SEO are becoming much more white-hat, and therefore organic. So what does this mean for companies? We believe it makes B2B PR more relevant than ever. Here’s why…

White-hat vs. Black-hat

First off, let us explain the difference between white-hat SEO and black-hat SEO. White-hat conforms to search engine designs and involves no deception. It is considered ‘ethical’, but the techniques are much more slow-burn since you’re not using link farms to generate the positive SEO ‘points’.

Black-hat involves using ‘unethical’ techniques, which are frowned upon by the search companies, although those wearing the black-hat will often find ways around this. Keyword stuffing, cloaked pages, link farming, hidden text and fake blogs and comments are all black-hat methods that will increase the SEO ranking for a short while but will ultimately end up in the site being delisted or penalised.

Enter B2B Public Relations

White-hat is clearly the way forward since the results are real and relevant to the search engine user. But when there are only so many meta-tags you can write, and optimisations to the website you can make, then genuine incoming links from high-quality websites will be required. And this is something PR has been doing for years.

PR is all about generating mentions of a brand or person in other media. Traditionally, this has been securing mentions in the press, but more recently PRs have been focused on securing online coverage, thanks to the wider reach of the medium. A side effect of this has been positive SEO, when PRs secure a link back to their client’s website.

Why and how to secure links

A link from sarahsblog.wordpress.com isn’t going to improve your SEO score much, but a link from theguardian.com is going to help massively. Since PRs have the media contacts, they’re the best people to be pitching stories to, and requesting the links. So SEO experts need to be working very closely with PRs.

Thankfully, at Fox Agency, our Content Team includes PR, SEO and social media experts who work closely together to provide an integrated service to our clients. And thanks to this high level of combined expertise, we have a lot more to say on the topic of SEO’s relationship with PR.

It is something we went into in-depth in the B2B Marketing Challenges Report 2017 – give it a read and read our B2B PR page if you’d like to hear more.

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