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PRSA SEO Seminar: You Will Be Found - How to Leverage New Search Engine Optimization Techniques


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In the crowded online marketplace of organizations and ideas, you and your content first have to be found! SEO is one of the most data-driven disciplines that PR communicators and marketers can leverage in driving more business. Expert Jenny Munn will share the ways you can make sure you and your organization can be discovered for your greatest assets and content.

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PRSA SEO Seminar: You Will Be Found - How to Leverage New Search Engine Optimization Techniques

  1. 1. You Will Be Found How Communicators Can Leverage New Search Engine Optimization Techniques to Drive Results Twitter: @jennymunn Email: Website:
  2. 2. Agenda Overview of the Modern Consumer’s Searching Habits SEO 2018: On-Page and Content SEO 2018: Backlinks and Social Trends Wrap Up/Q&A (Extra Time? Reporting and Measurement!)
  3. 3. About Jenny: Search Marketing Consultant 2009 20182013
  4. 4. The Modern Consumer’s Search Habits (Be Afraid...)
  5. 5. Here’s What Google Had to Say Q4 2017 “What people look for provides a window into their interests, needs, and wants. Amid all of these searches, new consumer behaviors emerged and a new super-empowered consumer took shape. We found that people are: ● more curious ● more demanding ● more impatient ...than ever before.”
  6. 6. Mar. 2016 Google The average mobile site takes 22 seconds to fully load.
  7. 7. June 2017 Google Huge increase for “best” and “top”..
  8. 8. Jan. - June 2017 vs. Jan. - June 2015. Google People are regularly searching for “flights today” or “hotels tonight"
  9. 9. Search interest in ”open now” has tripled in the past two years At the same time, searches for “store hours” have dropped. People are making on-the-spot decisions
  10. 10. We Favor Specificity...
  11. 11. In Summary... “Impatience, immediate action, instant gratification, even some impulsiveness—these are just a handful of descriptors for behavior today. We have all been empowered and emboldened by information. With our phones acting as supercomputers in our pockets, we can find, learn, do, and buy whenever the need arises—or the whim strikes.” In 2018 searchers want: ● more useful information ● more personalization ● more immediacy
  12. 12. SEO 2018 Best Practices: On-Page and Content
  13. 13. PR’s Contribution to SEO ● Produce high quality, shareable content ○ → SEO = Content on site and offsite, engagement, backlinks, amplification ● Outreach to get key messages out there and increase discoverability ○ → SEO = Backlinks, authority, mentions ● Engaging with communities on social ○ → Traffic, reputation, relationships, trust ● Establishes your organization as thought leaders and experts ○ → all of the above SEMRush Ranking Factors Study
  14. 14. Keyword Strategy Review ● Keywords aka “the language of your customers” = Marketing 101 ● Biggest mistake I see: making up keywords, too clever, or too cute ○ Example: “language learning” or “child learning center”
  15. 15. Keyword Strategy (continued) ● Your keyword strategy must evolve alongside your company or your website. ○ If you notice a trend, get in early and create optimized content ○ Carry it across to off-site content and social media ○ 15% of daily searches are new ● Targeting Strategy: ○ Common/competitive terms -> high-level pages ○ Long tail keywords -> blogs, guides, articles, white papers ● You should never repeat the same keyword
  16. 16. Favorite Keyword Research Tools ● Google Search Console ● Google Suggest and “Searches related to…” ● ● Google Trends ● Answer the Public ● Google Keyword Planner ● SEMRush and Moz
  17. 17. Keyword Research Tools: Google Search Console
  18. 18. Google Suggest and “Searches related to…”
  19. 19.
  20. 20. Google Trends
  21. 21. Answer the Public
  22. 22. Google Keyword Planner
  23. 23. SEMRush and Moz
  24. 24. Low Hanging Fruit for Communicators ● SEO’d Headlines ● Optimized Title Tag & Meta Descriptions ● Optimizing Press Releases and Pitches ● Refresher - Content That Ranks Well
  25. 25. On-Page SEO: Headlines Makeover ● Dependent on the medium: ○ Website, SEO, Social, Video, Press Release, etc. ● Tips: ○ Don’t keyword stuff ○ Priority determines clarity or intrigue ● Example: Straightforward: “Nest has a new alarm system and doorbell video camera” Social: “Nest’s new coveted technology is more than just a thermostat” SEO’d compromise: “Nest’s new doorbell video camera is about to be on every home’s must-have list” Hat Tip: Moz’s WBF
  26. 26. On-Page SEO Skill: Title Tags & Meta Descriptions 1. First thing a user sees in the search results. 2. It's also one of the most important factors for Google to decide what the topic of a page is. 3. Often pulled in when sharing on other websites and social channels Source: SEW
  27. 27. On-Page SEO: Title Tags & Meta Descriptions Title tag: 50-60 characters Meta description: 160 characters Include 1-2 keywords Goal: get the click! 1) Descriptive of the Page 2) Engaging
  28. 28. Content That Ranks Well ● More important than content length: quality and relevance ● Data shows pages that rank higher have longer content on average ● Rule of thumb: valuable, well-written, optimized ● New study from SEMRush: ○ “Graphic design” - content is shorter ○ “Graphic design trends in 2017” is longer ● Broad topics - users do not expect a long read ● Narrower topics - more in-depth view is favored SEMRush Ranking Factors Study
  29. 29. On-Page SEO: Optimizing Press Releases ● Optimized headline, sub-head, copy and boilerplate ● Headings: catchy, interesting, keyword-focused and clear ● Site link in the boilerplate ● Front load when you can - character counts ● Formatting: scannable, digestible ● Use and Optimize Media - aptly describe and use keywords if you can (alt text, image file name) ● Know your keywords and use them naturally ● Repurpose and promote it ● Review analytics - traffic, shares, backlinks
  30. 30. Backlink Example from a Press Release Reminder: The value of press releases is in the placement not the release itself
  31. 31. Reminder: Optimize Your Pitches “Before he starts writing a story: ● he searches for keywords related to the story in his email inbox history to see if anyone has pitched him on that topic or if someone sent over cool insights about it. ● Then, he can reach out to this person for more information or request to interview a client on the topic. ● Meaning, even if you don’t get a response to your pitch right away, you may get a bite down the road if you utilized the right keywords and pitched the appropriate reporter.” Hat Tip to ARPR
  32. 32. SEO 2018 Best Practices: Social and Backlinks
  33. 33. How Off-Page Contributes to Successful SEO
  34. 34. Backlinks ● The most overwhelming tactic for SEO ● Not all backlinks are created equal ● Quality not quantity ● Philosophy: It doesn’t hurt to ask ● Follow Up Is Key: “70% of the links we earn are through follow up emails” ● Easy 2018 win: Podcasts
  35. 35. SEO History: “Good” PR Tactics That Got Ruined ● Guest Blogging ● Press Releases/PR ● Free Products to Bloggers ● Advertorials ● Blog Comments ● Forum Links This is where “nofollow” and disclosures really started coming up “Avoiding penalties”
  36. 36. Favorite Backlink Tools ● Google Search Console ○ For YOUR site ● SEMRush and Moz OSE ○ For competitor sites
  37. 37. Social SEO: Indirect Ranking Signals
  38. 38. Social Media Optimization Amplifies discovery, content and message - results in: ● Driving traffic to your site ● Community will engage and share ● Increases chances of backlinks ● Another place for discovery ● Tweets are indexable Source:
  39. 39. Bypassing Google: Social as a Search Engine Ages 16-64: Social media is now the second most-used tool for product research: ● Search Engines: 52% ● Social Media: 41% ● Consumer Reviews: 35% Ages 16-24: Social has overtaken search engines for product research Hootsuite “Social Trends 2018” and GlobalWebIndex. GWI Social, Q3 2017
  40. 40. 2018 Trends
  41. 41. Mobile SEO ● Mobile First Indexing ● AMP ● Page Speed is Critical ● Content ○ Include media ○ Internal links ○ “Snackable” content ○ Concise does not mean “short” or “dumbed down” ● Content diversification Image Credit: Think with Google
  42. 42. AI/Machine Learning: SEO Usage Examples ● Google: ○ Ranking results in real time: 15% of queries per day had never been seen by Google. ○ Context: Give RankBrain credit for understanding a page is about baseball even if the words, and only the words, “New York Yankees” and “Boston Red Sox” are present on a page. ● Pinterest: ○ Visual search engines are using machine learning to help consumers search by images rather than keywords, a shift that will redefine the future of online product browsing. Hootsuite “Social Trends 2018” Image credit: SEL
  43. 43. Voice Search Tips 1. Authority and History: Ranking on the first page will be critical 2. Schema: Rich results (like a featured snippet) help substantially 3. Content: Q&A style - literally write and include the question and answer on the page Credit:
  44. 44. Rich Results -> Position 0 -> Voice Search If you want THIS:
  45. 45. Structured Markup Important to make sure google understands the context and content of pages
  46. 46. Technical SEO: The Last Piece
  47. 47. Wrapping Up
  48. 48. Your Takeaways and Questions
  49. 49. Questions? Thank You! Twitter: @jennymunn Email: Website: