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SEO and Social Media for PR People

A simple, practical no-nonsense guide to SEO and social media for PR people

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SEO and Social Media for PR People

  1. 1. 1SEO and socialmedia for PRPeopleA no-nonsense guide toSEO and social media forPR peopleDr Paul MarsdenSocial PsychologistSocial Media Strategy
  2. 2. 2The most important front page in the world
  3. 3. 3"Google is not a search engine. Google is a reputation-management system...” Clive Thompson - Wired
  4. 4. 4"...Once you know the rules you can use it to controlyour image in ways you never could before.”
  5. 5. 5 Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the"natural" or un-paid ("organic" or "algorithmic") search resultsSearch Engine Optimisation (SEO) is about optimisingonline visibility via search engine results pages...
  6. 6. 6And for PR, SEO usually means ensuring that your newsgets covered in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)
  7. 7. 7 Social SEO MediaAnd the best solution for ensuring that your news getscovered in SERPs is to use social media
  8. 8. 8 Social News SEO Media BlogSpecifically, the best solution for ensuring that your newsgets covered is to publish your news to a blog
  9. 9. 9A blog (web log) is simply an area on the Web for loggingyour news - that appears in reverse chronological order
  10. 10. 10 Google News BlogBlogs have SEO built-in, they are designed to be Google-friendly, so news is most likely to appear in SERPs
  11. 11. 11So SEO for PR is essentially all about having a news blog- and a blog strategy
  12. 12. 12SEO is plagued with jargon, but it’s not rocket science -in fact it’s more of an art than a science
  13. 13. 13 4bn searches per day, 175 million per hour 2.9 million per minute 83% on Google, 7% on Yahoo!, 5% on Baidu, 4% on Bing, 1% on othersWe’re helped by the fact that - in most cases - the only‘SE’ in ‘SE’O that really matters is Google
  14. 14. 14There are only two ways to get onto the front page ofGoogle search results - pay for it or earn it
  15. 15. 15Paying for coverage means buying advertising space onSERPs - it’s advertising, not PR (but with PR possibilities)
  16. 16. 16Earning coverage on Google means getting Google topredict that your content will be relevant to search queries
  17. 17. 17Google decides whether to ‘cover’ you automaticallybased on a secret algorithm (secret so it can’t be gamed)
  18. 18. 18 1. ?? 2. ?? 3. ??But we know Google coverage is essentially dependanton three things...
  19. 19. 19 1. Indexing 2. ?? 3. ??Firstly, Google needs to have ‘indexed’ your content inorder to appear in search results
  20. 20. 20So a key first task of SEO for PR is publish your news toa news blog, ensuring it gets indexed by Google
  21. 21. 21That means inviting Google’s virtual robots to index yournews blog, ensuring they can read it
  22. 22. 22 1. Indexing 2. Relevance 3. ??The second thing determining whether you get Googlecoverage is the relevance of your news to search queries
  23. 23. 23 “On-page optimisation” Matching web page copy to search termsSo the second task of SEO for PR is to ensure yourcontent contains search terms people use - not PR speak
  24. 24. 24 1. Indexing 2. Relevance 3. LinksFinally, Google coverage depends on the number, qualityand relevance of pages linking to your content
  25. 25. 25Black Hat SEO, White Hat SEO and the Law‘Black-hat SEO’ is the deliberate attempt togame search engines, usually against terms of service and sometimes the law. For example, paying people to link to you (and not disclosing it) may be cause for investigation. Know the rules and stick to ethical ‘white-hat SEO’So the third key task of SEO for PR is link-building;ensuring that your published content gets linked to
  26. 26. 26Summing up Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the "natural" or un-paid ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results The higher a page appears in search engine results lists, the more likely it is to be seen and visited Search Engine Optimisation is about getting a page or site more highly ranked by search engines, especially Google and includes Getting indexed by search engines Creating content that relevant to search engine queries Building links to your content from popular third-party sites also relevant to search queries
  27. 27. 27Summing up Why Bother with SEO? How Much Does SEO Cost? 1. Increased visibility SEO is about getting listed in the unpaid ‘free’ section of 2. Helps achieve business goals search engine search queries so it doesn’t cost anything 3. Competitor activity means you have to itself. SEO can be done in- house, costing just time. 4. To help people find you Outsourced SEO costs depend on the number and popularity 5. Because it’s easy to gauge success of search terms that pages are optimised for with a starting What’s the Relevance to PR? price of about £2K PR is about reputation and publicity. Online, your reputation and visibility is largely determined by the content of search engine results. So SEO for PR is part of online publicity and reputation management
  28. 28. 28Setting up yournews blog andgetting indexed
  29. 29. 29Say hello to Wordpress Your first SEO task for PR should be to install news publishing software - i.e. a blog - in a new directory on your website (called, for example ‘news’) The most popular and easy to use news publishing software is free, and it is called Wordpress You can download Wordpress from http:// Use the 5 minute install guide at http:// to install Wordpress on your site in a folder called news (
  30. 30. 30Fine-tuning Wordpress You can begin publishing your news to Wordpress immediately, but you can fine-tune the design and SEO options For an attractive design that fits your corporate look, download and install a Wordpress ‘theme’ from Themeforest ( (Dashboard - Appearance - Themes) To automatically ensure SEO install a free Wordpress ‘plugin’ called All-in-one SEO pack ( extend/plugins/all-in-one-seo-pack/) Dashboad - plugins. Activate with default settings To ensure Google can read your news, install and activate Google XML sitemaps google-sitemap-generator/
  31. 31. 31Linking Wordpress to Google Google has virtual robots constantly crawling the Web and indexing content, but to ensure Google knows about your news, install the free plugin Google Analytics for Wordpress (http:// (some ‘themes’ already contain this plugin) You will need to register with Google for Google Analytics to work ( and copy a special code into your news blog dashboard in a place created by the plugin Google Analytics will not only link Wordpress to Google, but also tell you who, and how many people read your news As soon as Google robots are indexing (reading) your news blog, your Google Analytics dashboard will tell you
  32. 32. 32Linking Wordpress to Twitter and Facebook In addition to linking Wordpress to Google, you can link Wordpress to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google (again) Whenever you publish your news, it gets automatically published to your Twitter and Facebook newsfeeds Register your site with Networked Blogs http:// Readers can publish the URL of your news to their friends and followers by clicking on a like, tweet, share or +1 button Download and install the free Wordpress plugin Tweet, Like, Google +1 and Share ( only-tweet-like-share-and-google-1/ ) to allow people to share your news with each other
  33. 33. 33ContentCreation &Optimisation
  34. 34. 34Content Creation: SEO-friendly news posts Traditional best-practice journalistic copywriting rules apply when publishing to your news blog - think newsletter style rather than press release Lead with the headline - draw people in Use snappy section titles Make it relevant, make it timely Keep it short (500 words max) Keep sentences and paragraphs short Use images and video Avoid Flash where possible (useless for SEO)
  35. 35. 35Content Creation: SEO-friendly news posts Google likes content that gets linked to, so use five story formats that are likely to get linked to; David and Goliath Story Celebrity Story Controversial Story Shocking Story Piggy-back Story Use the six buzz buttons to get more links: the taboo, the unusual, the shocking, the hilarious, the remarkable, secrets Exercise: Take your latest news-release and adapt it using these guidelines to create a news post From Hughes, M (2005) Buzzmarketing
  36. 36. 36Content Optimisation: SEO-friendly news posts News optimisation is all about matching the copy of your news post to search terms entered in search engines To do news optimisation, you need to decide for which search queries you want your news post to appear You need to know the key-phrases people use to search You need to add these key-phrases into your copy, especially headlines and titles - in a way that human readers do not notice Content optimisation for PR is about talking the same language as the people who you want to find you - and that’s not PR-speak
  37. 37. 37Content Optimisation: 1. Prioritisation The first task of content optimisation is to decide under which search queries you want your news to appear Make a list of key-phrase searches under which you’d like your news to appear Google ‘Google Traffic Estimator’ and use this free tool to see how popular these key-phrase searches are Prioritise key-phrases that are most relevant and have the highest search volume Select the top one or two key-phrase searches under which you’d most want to appear
  38. 38. 38Content Optimisation: 2. Key-Phrase Generation Now you’ve decided on your key-phrase priorities, you need generate a list of search-relevant terms to use in your copy Google ‘Google Adwords Keyword Tool’ and use this free tool to generate a list of Google-friendly terms similar to your key-phrases to include in your copy You can also use Google suggest, the autocomplete feature on Google; try typing the first word of your key- phrase into Google and see what Google suggests Your key-phrases should make sense together; ask yourself would you expect to find them on the same page?
  39. 39. 39Content Optimisation: 3. Copywriting Now you know the words you need to use, you have to include them in your copy The first rule is that the copy should appear natural, a human should not be able to notice it has been optimised Use your priority key-phrase(s) to appear as the page title in the URL (do not use an punctuation) in the main header (H1) as image names and image alt tags NB Repeating your key-phrases multiple times does not affect the optimisation - use synonyms instead
  40. 40. 40Link Building
  41. 41. 41Link Building: The Essence of SEO By far the most important aspect of SEO for PR is link-building; getting your news linked to by popular and authoritative third- party sites and pages relevant to your news Each inbound link (AKA ‘backlink’) counts as a ‘vote’ for inclusion in SERPs; the news with the most votes (links) wins - and appears as the number one listing But it is not just the number of links which are important to SEO, but the quality of links is vital, a single link from a popular and authoritative site may be worth 100 non- relevant links Whilst the ‘PageRank’ that Google assigns to your news - based on number and relevance of inbound links it receives - does not directly influence SERP position, it is a good proxy for Google-friendly news
  42. 42. 42Link Building Strategies: SEO = Quality Content 1. Quality Content 2. Quality Content 3. Quality Content 4. Quality Content 5. Quality Content 6. Quality Content“Create great content, link to great content and great content will link to you.” Ken McGaffin - Linking Matters
  43. 43. 43Link Building Strategies: Linkbaiting for SEO 2. “Linkbaiting”: Creating content “linkbait” specifically designed to hook in links... Infographic Hook Media Hook (exclusive video) Celebrity Hook Resource Hook (list of sites/stories/how-to guide) News Hook (a genuine scoop or exposé) Contrary Hook (‘the lone voice’) Attack Hook (‘flaming’ an adversary) Humour Hook (bizarre image, story)
  44. 44. 44Link Building Strategies: Syndication for SEO 3. RSS: Allowing people to subscribe to your content via “Real Simple Syndication” and email - the more subscribers, the more likely people will link to you... On your news blog add a subscribe button, and also allow people to subscribe by email to news posts Register your news blog with Google Feedburner (, and copy the RSS subscribe and email subscribe snippit into your news blog sidebar to allow people to subscribe You can also consider submitting your news posts to an online news release syndication service (,,,
  45. 45. 45Link Building Strategies: Blogger Outreach for SEO 4. Blogger Outreach: Consider sending a new angle on your news, not published in your post to popular bloggers discussing news-related subjects Use Google Blog search and News search to find top bloggers and journalists discussing subjects related news Make comments on their stories, and include links to their stories in your news Linking to your own news on popular third-party sites won’t directly improve SEO (due to rel="nofollow" rule), but by engaging in news-related conversations on third-party sites, you may stimulate new posts with organic inbound links Make contact and offer them extra facts, insights, findings, and images that you have not published
  46. 46. 46Link Building Strategies: Social Media for SEO 5. Social Media Sites: Create your own page on leading social media sites and link in to your news YouTube Page (channel) Facebook Page Quora Page Linkedin Page Twitter Page Slideshare Page Flickr Page
  47. 47. 47Link Building Strategies: Buying Links (Black-Hat) 6. Buying Links (Don’t) Buying links from another site (e.g. paying for them to cover your news and linking to you) Buying links from a link broker (e.g. you agree to link to 5 sites, in return 5 sites will link to you) If you get found out, your future news may be blacklisted “Don‘t participate in link schemes designed to increase your site‘s ranking or PageRank” Google
  48. 48. 48 Dr Paul Marsden on So cial Media PR - Lond p +44 777 95 77 248I’ll look forward to helping you apply the strategy in the‘Social Media for PR People’ course. Enjoy. Share. Profit.