The world is becoming increasingly digital. More people are using the Internet to look for information and answer their questions. With mobile devices, people can access information at any moment during the day on search engines, such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing. As public relations professionals, it is becoming increasingly important to know, understand and apply search engine optimization (SEO) strategies in your public relations and digital marketing campaigns. Here are five things every PR person should know about SEO:
- Ranking isn’t everything. Although your client may want to appear first on the search engine results page, ranking first does not mean as much as it used to. In Google, video and image results now appear along with website links. For this reason, a video that may not rank first may still attract more people to click on it simply because it is a video. As PR pros, ranking number one is great, but it isn’t the end all. It is more important to create meaningful and compelling content.
- Google algorithms are constantly changing. Just like the field of public relations, it is important to keep up to date with the latest Google algorithm changes. In one of the latest algorithm updates, Google now values press releases among news stories—great news for public relations professionals. To stay up to date with Google algorithm updates, visit Moz’s Google Algorithm Change History.
- Social media impacts SEO. The Google algorithm and other search engines are beginning to value social media as an emerging ranking factor to determine where a site ranks. However, not all social media accounts are treated equally. Accounts and pages with more followers and user engagement, including likes, shares, comments and retweets are seen as more reputable and more valuable. As a public relations person, you may be handling a client or company’s social media accounts. It is important to create content that is shareable and engaging.
- Linkbuilding is a part of media relations in the digital space. When you are pitching a story to an editor or reporter, especially for a digital publication, it is important to make sure that the publication includes your client or company’s link to its website. When reputable sites, such as Forbes, links to your website, it transfers some of its value over to yours. This value helps boost your ranking on the search engine results page.
- Understand your audience to understand how they are searching for information through keyword research. PR professionals and marketers have to know who their audiences are and what keywords they are using to search for your service or product. Two people may be searching for the same product in different ways and for different reasons. For example, two people may want to buy green tea. One person wants to buy it because it is healthy, while the other person wants to buy it because he or she has heard it helps you lose weight. You can use keyword research to figure out what words your audiences are using in order to provide relevant content on your blog or website.
By understanding and applying SEO strategies along with your public relations efforts, you will stand out among other professionals in the industry and be more successful at your job. For more information on SEO, check out Moz’s Beginners Guide to SEO.
This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Megan Healy.