Public Relations and Marketing have both traditionally fallen into the communications realm of business. In the past, there have been distinct lines that could be drawn to distinguish between the two practices and their unique attributes. Traditionally speaking, public relations have been seen as a field where the communications of a company are managed positively to the stakeholders. Marketing, on the other hand, has been seen as actions or tactics that are used to directly affect the profit or bottom line of a company.
Now it seems corporations and agencies alike are blurring the lines between marketing and public relations. As these lines continue to blur and the distinctions between marketing and public relations become less opaque, it is important for individuals in both industries to understand how to best serve their clients and understand their needs. One of the most important ways in which both public relations and marketing firms can help to best serve their clients is by fully understanding the concept of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Broadly speaking, SEO deals with a corporation’s (client’s) visibility on the internet, more specifically, within search engines such as Google. When clients look at their business model and are able to pick out key words that they feel defines their business, they then look to use those words on their corporate website and in any document online that is tied with their business. By doing so, the ‘higher’ on the search results list the company gets when a potential customer is looking for the goods or services provided by the client. People do not want to spend time scrolling through pages of results; in fact, many people will give up after the first page of a Google search. So it is important for an SEO plan to be as effective as possible to benefit the client through search visibility.
Evaluating SEO Effectiveness
Two ways to evaluate the possible effectiveness of keywords and phrases are through Ad Word Search Popularity and Google Search Trends. Both are “blunt instruments” for gauging the effectiveness of “key words or phrases.” Google does not track or make data available for “key words/phrases” any more, in part because so much of search is encrypted between the user/searcher and the browser that they do not have a useful dataset on which to base their assessment of the word/phrase popularity.