August 23, 2023

Is Digital PR and SEO the Same Thing?

 Over the years, two key strategies have emerged as cornerstones of digital marketing – SEO and PR. Both play key roles in boosting a brand’s visibility, credibility, and online presence. Plus, their partnership has the potential to create a digital marketing powerhouse. 

But, are SEO and PR the same thing? No. SEO and PR have similar goals of driving traffic and increasing conversions but their strategies are miles apart. SEO focuses on getting web pages to rank highly on search engines. Meanwhile, PR focuses on increasing brand awareness and perception.

SEO and PR are distinct in their objectives and methodologies but the combination of the two creates an ideal partnership. To help you better understand the power of SEO and PR, Wildcat’s experts have created a detailed guide.

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What is SEO?

Man on laptop showing Google Analytics

Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, is a digital marketing strategy that revolves around enhancing a website’s visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs). The primary objective of SEO is to increase organic (unpaid) traffic to a website by improving its search engine rankings. This is achieved through a combination of on-page optimisation, technical tweaks, content creation, and link building. More specifically, SEO includes:

Keyword Research and Optimisations

To get web pages ranking, SEO involves in-depth keyword research and optimisations. This is the core foundation of SEO, as this is exactly what words or phrases people put into search engines to find what they’re looking for, whether that’s conversional, informational, navigational or transactional, as described by SEMRush

The process of optimisation can be varied and could include anything from creating a new web page from scratch with new content, or editing existing pages with a wide range of SEO features. Along with ensuring that the relevant keywords appear throughout the content and the headers, optimisations also include optimising the meta data to ensure that what people see on the SERPs pages is engaging enough to generate a click. 

Content Creation

Ensuring that a website has everything it needs to rank highly on the SERPs doesn’t come without creating new content. Each keyword comes with its own specific word count to match user intent. Informational keywords, for example, tend to include long-form content as the user is looking for an answer to their question, concern, or simply looking to learn more about a particular topic. Generally, SEO content creation includes additional copy onto landing pages along with the creation of engaging blogs or guides.

Having thin content across your website can damage your SEO performance. You can learn more about the importance of in-depth, optimised content with our useful blog

Technical SEO

Creating the perfect SEO strategy comes with completing a variety of technical SEO tasks. This can include improving website speed, mobile accessibility, structured data, improving layouts, and more. These technical tasks can be complex, and are unique for each website, but are vital to ensure that a website can be correctly crawled, indexed and ranking

Link Building

For any website to rank, they need a high domain authority. The higher the domain authority, the higher the ranking position and the easier it becomes to easily outrank competitors. Domain authority is gained through link equity, meaning that other high-value websites are linking to yours in what is known as a backlink. This is an essential component of SEO as it shows search engines that your website is trustworthy and relevant. 

What is PR?

Public Relations, on the other hand, is a broader communication strategy that aims to establish and maintain a positive relationship between a brand and its target audience. PR involves managing a brand’s reputation, building trust, and enhancing its credibility through various channels, both online and offline.

Media Relationships

The biggest aspect of PR is building and managing relationships with journalists, editors and reporters.  If a good relationship between the media and a business is developed, there’s a bigger chance of positive reports or press releases gaining wider coverage. Brands need media attention to build up awareness, while journalists need a story to cover. Together, they work hand-in-hand. 

Crisis Management

If an event happens that could damage your brand’s reputation, then it’s important to take action that reduces this impact. With PR, this could help to change the narrative of any incident that contributes towards crucial damage control. 

For example, in July 2023, Yorkshire Water was accused of illegally pumping sewage into local streams in Harrogate. To implement damage control, they agreed to pay £235,000 to a local wildlife charity, as reported by the BBC. Despite this act actually being a civil sanction, the reports around the company changed from ‘Raw Sewage Released Into Harrogate District Rivers For 36,000 Hours Last Year’ to a ‘voluntary’ donation to charity. 

Influencer Collaborations

Since the evolution of social media, the growth in influencer collaborations has continued to be a proven success for Return on Investment (ROI) for brands across the world. With their captivating content and wide reach of audience, influencer PR is great for building brand awareness, improving a brand’s image, amplifying their organic reach, and more. 

A great example of influencer PR marketing can be shown through Gymshark. Every time a new product launches or restocks, they use an influencer to showcase these items on their social media channels, primarily through Instagram or TikTok. Notable ambassadors of the brand include Whitney Simmons, Emma Hothersall (@whatemwore), Lex Griffin and more. 

Community Engagement

Engaging with the community, whether online or offline, is a great way to build up a brand’s reputation. This can be through events, social initiates, collaborations and more that contribute to a positive brand image. 

Content Creation

Similar to SEO, PR involves the creation of new content. Usually, this occurs through long-form content such as blogs, articles, press releases and more. These pieces of content are the backbone of a PR campaign and can also help to generate traffic organically.

How Do PR and SEO Work Together?

Despite their core differences, there are instances where PR and SEO overlap or their end goals align. We’ve explained the essential connection below:


For brands to get across their target message, tone and overall appearance, good content creation is required. This is where SEO and PR are great together. Content needs to be insightful, engaging and interesting for the user in order to generate conversions for the business. 

Link Building and Digital PR

Link building is a core aspect of any SEO strategy to build up essential domain authority. Often, this strategy can emerge from PR opportunities. When PR professionals secure media coverage, this results in a backlink opportunity from a high authority website. Often, these essential backlinks are free, meaning that brands don’t have to spend excessive amounts in building their domain authority quickly. 

Online Visibility

When PR and SEO align, this can result in a greater online presence for brands. When organic traffic is generated through both search results and social media presence, this creates a recipe for success for businesses. The larger your digital audience, the greater the traffic, the more likely you are to generate conversions. 

Reputation Management 

When SEO professionals optimise your website, they control your brand’s tone of voice, online presence and digital service for any visitors. This works well with PR, where this online presence is transferred to other channels through collaborations, social media management, guest posting opportunities and more. 

Looking to Boost Your Digital Presence? Wildcat Digital Can Help

While PR and SEO are not the same thing, when used together, they create a recipe for success. So, if you’re looking to take the next step to grow your organic reach, expand your digital presence and attract new customers for your business, get in touch with the experts at Wildcat Digital to begin your journey. 

You can learn more about us through exploring our website or getting in touch directly to be provided with tailored advice on what we can offer for you. 

Post by

Rachel Moore

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