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SEO for PR Pros

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Intro to search engine optimization (SEO) for PR people, including five best practices and an overview of how to optimize your content for search.

Intro to search engine optimization (SEO) for PR people, including five best practices and an overview of how to optimize your content for search.

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    SEO for PR Pros SEO for PR Pros Presentation Transcript

    • SEO for public relations prosSeptember 27, 2011
      Laura Kempke
      SVP, Content Marketing Services
      @laurakempke
    • Process of improving visibility of a website in search engines via “natural” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results (Source: Wikipedia)
      SEO defined
      ORGANIC
      PAID
      PAID
    • Website traffic and conversions
      Attract/influence people searching for information on which you’re an authority
      Likely don’t know your brand names
      More people click on organic results than on sponsored links
      Part of the top of the online marketing conversion funnel
      Your alternatives: a lot of advertising or reliance on brand recognition
      Why do marketers care about SEO?
    • Clear relationship between placement in search results and click-throughs to a web page
      Placement on results page matters
      Source: Optify, “The Changing Face of SERPs: Organic Click-Through Rate,” 2011
    • What affects search rankings?
      … and many things we can influence
      Things PR people can’t control …
      High-quality, fresh website content
      Use of keywords—prominence and repetition of terms people actually search on
      Popular social media content that includes links to the site
      Links from authoritative websites (e.g., media sites)
      Consistency over time
      Website technology (e.g., URL structure, page load time)
      Site age
      Heavy use of technologies like Flash
      Inclusion of XML site map
      4
      You have some control over:
      • On-page SEO = factors internal to your website
      • Off-page SEO = mostly link-building from other sites
    • SEO Best Practices for PR People
    • Research your keywords and use them
      But don’t let them get in the way of good writing
      Keywords are the words people really use when searching
      Probably not your brand names
      You might call it “customer care,” but if people search on “customer service,” you must weigh value of search volume vs. messaging
      If a list doesn’t exist, create one
      Google Analytics—Check traffic to see what terms bring people to your website; exclude paid search, branded terms
      http://adwords.google.com and other free tools will let you explore keywords and understand how competitive it will be to rank for them
      Reality check—only use terms if they describe what your organization offers
      1
    • Long-tail keywords are valuable, particularly if you need fast results
      Create content to support these searches
      Create pages on your website that use keywords and keep them updated
      Ranking for competitive keywords may be a long-haul proposition
      Source: SEOmoz, “Beginner’s Guide to SEO”
    • Pay attention to titles
      If you’re writing website copy, use titles on all pages
      Press release titles shouldn’t be too long (65 characters or fewer)
      Use a keyword or two, but no more than that
      Create titles that make people want to read further and share
      “On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest” (Source: Copyblogger Media)
      2
    • Use anchor text to link to and within your site
      In news releases, blog entries and other online content, include keywords in links to pages on your website
      “Shop towels are ideal for your toughest clean up tasks” vs. “click here for information about shop towels”
      One to a few words, not long phrases or sentences
      Go beyond the home page to link to second- and third-level pages
      Link within your site, or between your blog and website
      Established corporate website but new blog? Link liberally from the site to the blog and among pages on the blog to build quality links quickly
      3
    • Stick with it
      Website pages must be maintained over time
      SEO isn’t a project that you complete and then move on
      Search engine algorithms change, as do your competitors’ SEO strategies, so continued cultivation is necessary
      If you need an immediate lift in website traffic, consider using PPC also
      4
    • Determine metrics and measure progress
      Rankings matter, but aren’t the only result to consider
      Increased website traffic. Better yet, website conversions
      Use Google Analytics or other analytics software for tracking
      Include calls to action on landing pages
      Look at bounce rate, time on site
      If visitors aren’t spending time on your site, clicking deeper into the site or converting based on your CTAs, your keywords may be bringing in the wrong people
      More inbound links
      Should be accompanied by a quality metric—poor-quality links can work against you
      SEOmoz Open Site Explorer and HubSpotLinkGrader let you look at links
      Able to hold conversions steady, but decrease PPC budget
      5
    • How to Optimize PR Content for Search
    • May not be able to pick site technology or affect navigation, page load time, URL structure
      But you can write great copy, proper headers and include links using anchor text
      Ensure you have pages that map to keywords (i.e., include the term in the header and first paragraph, then a few more times throughout)
      Use variations on keywords, not the exact term repeatedly
      Keep pages up to date
      Fix or delete broken links
      Build the foundation: Website copy
    • Journalists may not like them, but releases have SEO value when used properly
      Write short titles
      If you must write long, get a keyword at the front of the title
      No links in press release title—distribution services don’t pick them up
      Write great titles to promote clicks and shares
      Use quotes
      BusinessWire’s EON service, built on Vocus’ PR Web, relies on rotating them to keep release fresh
      Use keywords and variations, but don’t overdo it
      If you suspect a keyword is used too frequently, try the free PR Newswire keyword density tool: http://www.icrossing.com/tools/calculator.htm
      Releases: Maligned by media, but valuable for SEO
    • Add links using anchor text to keywords
      Don’t link to the same page more than once
      Do link to pages deeper in the website or to your blog
      Consider spelling out your homepage URL at least once since not all syndication sites pick up hyperlinks yet
      If you’re catering to your local market, add your address
      All major distribution services claim to provide the best SEO support
      If partners, VC firms, etc. post your news, check their sites to make sure they’re linking to you
      News releases, continued
    • Allow you to continuously add fresh, pertinent content to the site
      Link to your site and other posts to try to extend time spent with your content
      Promote and make it easy to share posts to build links
      Headlines should be short and include a variation on a keyword
      Invite guest posts and contribute to others’ blogs
      Quality links matter—don’t rush for quantity without a strategy
      Media sites linking to your posts may be some of your most valuable links
      No comment spam
      Blogs: Your own and other people’s
    • People sharing your content (plus links) on social sites increases its authority in the eyes of Googleand Bing
      May counterbalance traditional factors (e.g., site age)
      Google search results increasingly personalized with local results, “+1” feedback from friends
      Google+, Twitter, public LinkedIn results show up prominently in search results
      If you aren’t using social media but care about search, reconsider involvement in social media
      Superb content is shared, which has SEO value
      Optimize social content and use keywords in titles
      Traffic from social sites is measurable using Google Analytics
      Social media and search go hand-in-hand
      Social media directly supports search
    • Videos and webinars
      Title matters
      Describe the video or webinar in a summary
      Use tags if possible (e.g., YouTube)
      Consider accompanying short videos with a transcript
      Images
      Posts with images are more appealing to readers, and therefore more likely to be read and shared
      Use ALT text to describe the image in detail
      Surround image with relevant text
      Include a caption
      Name the image file in a manner that includes a keyword if possible
      Presentations
      SlideShare can provide an easy SEO boost
      Web video, images, presentations support SEO
    • Someone has an ax to grind with your company and they’re making a scene online
      Your product received a negative review
      Coverage about a resolved crisis is still showing up in search results
      Ongoing activities
      Continuously monitor company, product, exec names online
      Buy domain names, including .org, .net, etc., that include your company or product and negative terms
      Register for the same terms on social platforms like Twitter
      Participate in online forums where people are likely to discuss your company should something go wrong so you have an established following
      After the negative story appears, push positive articles higher in search results
      Consider a press release with links to your site or other web properties on anchor text
      Comment on negative posts to state your perspective, include links to site
      If it’s a media story, ask the journalist or blogger directly for equal time
      Blog using the same negative terms to allow people to find your response
      SEO and reputation management
    • Key takeaways
      Set your SEO goals
      Results page placement is important, but not everything
      Focus on calls to action and conversion
      Work alongside the online marketing team
      PR may not own the company’s web presence, but you control a lot of content
      Consider SEO each time you create online content
      Know and use your keywords
      Use anchor text
      Understand that SEO doesn’t replace quality content creation and shouldn’t get in its way
    • Thank you
      Laura Kempke
      SVP, Content Marketing Services
      @laurakempke
      Schwartz MSL
      230 3rd Ave., Waltham, MA 02451
      781.684.0770
      http://www.schwartzmsl.com