International SEO is increasingly relevant for businesses that are looking to either grow their presence in a new international market or expand their operations into a new country. Either way, businesses are trying to maximize their online exposure and cater their marketing efforts to their new environment engaging with their new audiences. International SEO encompasses all the online search engine optimization work that enables web searchers in a particular market (bound by culture or borders) to discover the brand and avail of its products and services considering the culture and language of the searchers.
International public relations relates to the strategic communication of an organization with their various publics again considering the local cultural, language, and sociopolitical landscapes. There is no one understanding of the practice across the globe either as described by Curtin and Gaither (2007) stating, that “in Asia, public relations professionals commonly see their work as tantamount to sales and marketing, in Latin America event planning might be viewed as public relations, and in the United States it is often called a strategic management function.” These two distinct areas are increasingly having more overlap, however, as the functionality of the internet continues to evolve and the ways in which businesses can engage their publics through it changes, there is increasing convergence.
The overlap between the two practices is clear and becoming increasingly so as new technologies continue to make new ways of communication possible. Here are two specific areas of convergence:
- Research – conducting both qualitative and quantitative research can assist both international PR and SEO. For example, businesses can gather insight into the online behaviors of their customers, the web analytics, and the relevant keywords that are essential for their SEO efforts. SEO companies that offer international SEO can conduct such research for their clients. International PR professionals can gather opinions from their customers and insight into their cares, beliefs, and practices relevant to their industry. This can help determine how to engage and what to engage about.
- Tactics – The tactics of PR in press releases and media placements are now important for SEO value. PR professionals can make sure to include backlinks in their international releases and media placements in the various markets. This can grow the authority of the pages, especially relevant authority from outlets in the markets the PR professionals are trying to increase exposure and engagement in. Also social media activity has shown to hold great PR value.
The work within international SEO that relates to the actual optimization of various web properties is obviously unique to this practice and will remain so. The coding of web pages and the design of sites all relate to this end of the practice and separates it from international PR.
For more information regarding how your business can benefit from more strategic considerations of PR and SEO converge in international markets, reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and @ryanwbudd.