I was recently asked by a friend in the PR sector to come and speak with their PR team about SEO for PR. In the process of gathering information and recalling my own experience with assisting clients to make their PR efforts SEO friendly, I thought I would share the parallels between SEO and public relations because, quite honestly, SEO and PR go hand in hand.
There are two core elements that every search marketer can use to help make their clients PR efforts a worthwhile online strategy.
Optimization can help shape three key areas:
- News Room
- Have an archive of press releases with an abstract for each
- Distribution via RSS or email opt in
- Event listings for company, along with a list of awards & associations
- Company FAQ sheet
- Press Releases (including articles & whitepapers)
- Determine core keywords or phrases that describe the service or product offering described the release
- Research keywords for relevancy using an outside vendor or a keyword suggestion tool ( Google AdWords Keyword Suggestion Tool or SEO Book Keyword Suggestion Tool are two of my favorite freebies)
- Keywords in the body of the press release should fall between 2-5% of the total body copy
- Anchor text links, META description, tracking URL
- Amplify Interactive has a download on our Resources page with more specific tips for Press Release Optimization
- Other content released by the client (videos, images, maps, books, etc.)
- Alt text for videos, images & maps
- Tracking URLs
- META description if applicable
- Here’s a link to Amplify Interactive’s tips for optimizing videos, images, podcasts & other content for “universal” search
Basically, if it can be searched on, it needs to be optimized.
Online reputation management – old school vs Web 2.0
Old school PR often times has a different approach to dealing with reputation management, which can really burn a clients profile. Web 2.0 provides a platform for all to speak & for all to be heard. Simply ignoring ugly press or fluffing things up a bit to makes things seem better than there are don’t work well in this space. Users want and appreciate honesty & transparency.
Problem: Bad press is dominating the first page results for a client.
Solution: Quickly compose a keyword loaded press release & submit to the major online wires as well as post it in the clients news room section of their website. As the press release starts to saturate the wires, it’ll knock the bad press out of the top results.
Problem: Should a client allow comments on their blog? What if someone leaves a scathing message?
Solution: YES allow comments. The purpose of a blog or forum is to encourage & help facilitate communication among your audience. Disallowing comments makes it a stagnant one way conversation. Respond to all comments – good and bad. People will appreciate your candor and will hopefully have more respect for you in the long run.
When you integrate SEO into PR, everyone wins.