SEO for PR Pros
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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