Integrating SEO with PR, Traditional Marketing, IT, and More

At the SMX East Ad Agencies discussion, a few of the panelists have discussed the problems they run into when they scale up SEO, particularly as part of a large company or a complex marketing plan.

Blue Fountain Media has approached the same problem—we work with large, Fortune 500 companies; we work alongside PR companies and ad agencies; and we often work with websites that use legacy software, and companies that face strict regulatory issues. Here's what we've learned about integrating search engine optimization into larger campaigns.

  1. Find out what the broader goals are: if the PR company is rebranding a client as a premium provider, it's a good idea for us to avoid targeting keywords that start with "cheap". At the same time, it's good to find out how their marketing materials describe the company. If they describe themselves as "The only company in the X industry that offers unconditional full refunds," you can guess that customers who don't remember the name may remember the pitch—and target keywords accordingly.
  2. Learn who to communicate with: there's nothing worse than realizing that a week-long email thread could have been resolved with a five-minute phone call to the right person. At Blue Fountain Media, we go to the source: if we're doing something that involves media outreach, we'll talk to the PR people first; if we need to edit a client's website, we'll work with the IT team to do it as efficiently as possible.
  3. Get ready to share credit—in both directions: The PR team got them into the top industry trade magazine. The SEO team made sure that mention came with a link. Obviously, the PR team scored a major hit—but the SEO team helped get even more value out of it.We've gotten the best results when we measure what actions we've taken, and what results those actions usually get. When a PR company, an SEO firm, and an internal IT team work together, they can compound the results—if something goes wrong, keeping close track of the actions taken lets you pinpoint what didn't work.
  4. Share insight: SEO and social media marketing simply can't be matched when it comes to finding data. It's impossible to get so much high-quality information—on what customers are looking for, what convinces them to buy, what prices and discounts they respond to.But we're happy to share. If an SEO campaign reveals that customers love "25% off your first two purchases!" and don't care for "half off your second purchase!" that's information that can be used in TV ads, in-store displays, and other forms of traditional marketing.At the same time, PR agencies can give us good people to contact, and general advertising agencies often come up with great creative ideas that we can incorporate into search and social interaction.

At Blue Fountain Media, we don't operate in a vacuum. And we don't want to! We're web design and search engine marketing experts, and we're happy to work alongside experts in other fields. The most common result is that we all provide a better service to the client.

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