Search Engine Marketing for PR Professionals: What You Need to Know for 2014


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The rules for both SEO (search engine optimization) and paid search advertising keep changing. But in some cases, what's old is new again - content is more critical than ever! That means PR professionals are uniquely suited to leverage search marketing strategies and squeeze more benefits out of PR tactics. Join PRSA Georgia and seminar leader Stacy Williams, founder and president of Atlanta-based Prominent Placement, to get caught up on the latest in SEM and get prepared to implement strategically sound and measurable SEM strategies in 2014.

You will:

- Learn how to determine what types of content and topics your audiences are looking for; then, create it and make it easy to be found online.

- Find out how social engagement benefits SEO, and how to effectively use keywords in hashtags.

- Hear what to do and what not to do regarding Google's new rules for links in online press releases and the best way to leverage bylined articles.

- Discover how to use paid search ads in a crisis, and what to do when negative mentions of your company show up in search engine results.

- Take away strategies for measuring the impact of SEM efforts.

Seminar speaker Stacy Williams established Prominent Placement, a full-service, award-winning and industry leading search marketing agency, in 2001. She has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and was named the 2012 Search Engine Marketer of the Year by Technology Association of Georgia. Stacy is also past president of SEMPO Atlanta, a local chapter of the global Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization.

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Search Engine Marketing for PR Professionals: What You Need to Know for 2014

  1. 1. Stacy Williams, CEO Prominent Placement, Inc. PRSA Georgia Search Engine Marketing for PR Professionals: What You Need to Know for 2014 December 5, 2013 blog: @ProminentPlcmnt
  2. 2. Who I Am Stacy Williams, Founder & CEO      Degrees in Business/Marketing & Communications Management Doing SEO since 1998 Launched PPI in 2001 Founding Leadership Council member of SEMPO Atlanta & Immediate Past President “Search Engine Marketer of the Year” per TAG in November 2012
  3. 3. Thank You to My SEO Team! Aaron Abbott SEO & Analytics Manager Dionne Walker SEO Associate Former AP Journalist Conor Lee, SEO Associate
  4. 4. Who PPI Is Search Engine Marketing Agency     Next month is our 13th anniversary West Midtown-based, serve clients nationwide Primarily B2B clients, especially tech/software Win awards for client results as well as work environment
  5. 5. What We Do Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) Paid Search (PPC – Pay-Per-Click) Increased Conversions (Analytics Service)
  6. 6. Agenda Search Engine Marketing for PR Professionals: What You Need to Know for 2014       Content & SEO Social Engagement & SEO Press Releases, Articles & Linking Crisis & Reputation Management Measuring Results Takeaways & Resources These slides are already on Slideshare – you’ll get a handout at the end with the URL, along with the takeaways & additional resources.
  7. 7. About You How many of you…     Independent practitioner? Agency? In-house at non-profit? In-house at company?    Know very little about search marketing Know some about search marketing Know quite a bit about search marketing
  8. 8. Content & SEO
  9. 9.   But what kind of content? Topic or subject Format  Written (web page, article, blog post, white paper, newsletter), infographic, video, audio, etc. Image credit:
  10. 10. Pop Quiz! How do you decide which topics to cover and what type of content to create?
  11. 11. General Keyword Research (Volume)
  12. 12. A Word About Keywords… It’s What They’re Actually Searching For, Not What You Wish They Were Searching For Source:
  13. 13. A Word About Keywords…   Common terminology, not internal or industry jargon Categories & products that exist now, not that you’re trying to create Target emerging or desired keywords:  Article comparing different terminology (don’t force it)  Target via paid search instead
  14. 14. Specific Keyword Research Branded Keywords NonBranded Keywords (CTR & Traffic)
  15. 15. Specific Keyword Research Use AdWords or Webmaster Tools instead (Conversions)
  16. 16. Specific Keyword Research (Site Search)
  17. 17. Hummingbird     Response to voice searches Longer queries More natural sentences So…target “long tail” keywords Image credit: Vertical Response
  18. 18. Hummingbird “pizza” “pizza 30318” “where’s the closest pizza place to Georgia Tech?” Image credits: The Guardian,, The Inquirer
  19. 19. Content Gap Analysis Before:
  20. 20. Content Gap Analysis After: Addition of case studies & video
  21. 21. Pop Quiz! Now that you’ve done keyword research and a content gap analysis…what do you do with the targeted keywords?
  22. 22. Create & Optimize the Content Written Content for the Web (HTML Pages)    Targeted keyword in the headline & body copy – use similar (“semantic”) words too Targeted keyword in the web page’s title tag and description meta tag Structured data Image credit:
  23. 23. Where To Put Keywords – Web Page Headline (yes, this is text, not an image) Body copy (page text)
  24. 24. Where To Put Keywords - Code Title tag shows up here in Google’s listing Description meta tag shows up here in Google’s listing To see any web page’s code: right click anywhere on the page & this pops up
  25. 25. Where To Put Keywords - Code Structured Data (aka Microdata)   Creates “rich snippets” in search engine listings Shhhh…also increases rankings!
  26. 26. Structured Data – Sample Code Normal HTML w/ Structured Data 26
  27. 27. Structured Data - More Types of Structured Data           Blog posts Articles (Case Studies & Whitepapers) Organization information Brand information Videos Events Ratings & reviews Website elements Contact information Much, much more
  28. 28. Where To Put Keywords – Other Content Video & Audio Files     Host on YouTube, Vimeo, etc. Optimize video/audio files there Embed into your site Optimize web page that video/audio files are on Also add category & tags Add transcript or captions Title Description
  29. 29. Where To Put Keywords – Infographics & Images  Keywords in filenames, image title tag & alt tag To see any image’s properties: right click anywhere on the image & this pops up Filename Alt Tag Other Content
  30. 30. Finally…Outreach! Broad/Popular Narrow/Targeted • • • • • • • • More eyeballs Less qualified eyeballs More link/social authority Less relevant links Image credits: & Fewer eyeballs More qualified eyeballs Less link/social authority More relevant links
  31. 31. Finally…Outreach! Who Do You Reach Out To? • Influential bloggers & social media folks, industry experts, socially active journalists How Do You Find Them?
  32. 32. Finally…Outreach! How Do You Reach Out? • • • • Casual and humble conversation, not an official pitch Use a company email address, not agency Brief and to the point Spells out content so expectations are clear
  33. 33. And Don’t Forget… Get links in online article placements! Don’t waste that opportunity!
  34. 34. Recap Content & SEO     Keyword research & analytics analysis to determine desired content subject & type Create content Optimize content (work in keywords) Publish content & do outreach
  35. 35. Social Engagement & SEO
  36. 36. Take Up Room in Search Results
  37. 37. Pop Quiz! Which is more important?  Social icons that link to that company’s profile pages?  Or social share icons?
  38. 38. Pop Quiz! Answer: Both!  Links to profiles:     Keeps your brand/message in front of people who already know you. Go deep with fewer people. Doesn’t help SEO. Sharing your content:    Puts your brand/message in front of people who may not already know you. Go wide with more people. Helps SEO.
  39. 39. Rel=Author & Rel=Publisher Connect your online content (blog posts, articles) to your Google+ profile page
  40. 40. Rel=Author & Rel=Publisher Why Bother?  Content stands out in the search engines        More credibility/personal branding More clicks Exposure to more content Potential for higher rankings Reputation management Authentication & trust More followers on Google+ How To?
  41. 41. Smart Hashtag Usage Hashtags are showing up in search engine results (in addition to social media site searches)
  42. 42. Smart Hashtag Usage • Part of content of post • Adds humor, cleverness • Probably doesn’t help people find posts #mypersonalhell #imnotangryjustdissapointed #dontmindme #mixedfeelings #whattheheck #justmyluck • Metadata about post • Factual, accurate • Helps people find post #marketing #atlanta #pr #seo #google #webinar
  43. 43. Smart Hashtag Usage How Do You Know Which Hashtags To Use?    See what influencers in your industry are using Regular keyword research can suggest Online tools:
  44. 44. Press Releases, Articles & Linking
  45. 45. The Good Old Days
  46. 46. Then… Panda  Targeted “thin content” sites (including article sites) Penguin    Tightened up rules on link-building Low quality links discounted Exact match anchor text discounted Image credit:
  47. 47. Now
  48. 48. Press Release & Article “To Do’s” Distributed Electronically • Optimize the release • You can put keywords in link anchor text (if it makes sense to for the reader) – no SEO benefit • Add a “nofollow” tag to all links Posted On Your Site • Optimize the release • Put keywords in link anchor text – this may help organic rankings a bit • No need to add a “nofollow” tag to links • Same rules if a bylined article is picked up “by hand” on only one other, quality site
  49. 49. Crisis & Reputation Management
  50. 50. Monitor Search Engine Results
  51. 51. Pop Quiz! What can you do if there are negative listings in search engines?
  52. 52. Monitor Search Engine Results What Can You Do?    Get it taken down (difficult) Respond appropriately to complaints Optimize other content to push negative mentions to second page of results or deeper
  53. 53. Take Up Room in Search Results
  54. 54. Use Paid Search Tell Your Side of the Story Image credit: Mediavision Interactive
  55. 55. Measuring Results
  56. 56. Pop Quiz! Which KPI’s should PR professionals be tracking?
  57. 57. Google Analytics  Traditional: Which KPI’s?      Visits Conversions Engagement: bounce rate, time on site, pageviews per visit  What are the company’s goals? Measure against that. PR Pros may also include: Real Answer: Image credit:
  58. 58. Google Analytics – Custom Dashboards
  59. 59. Campaign Tracking – Custom Variables
  60. 60. Google Analytics – Campaigns Without Custom Variables • Track visitors & onsite behavior from a website as a whole • All visitors from PRWeb lumped together • PRWeb syndicates Content X to “Site A” – those visitors tracked as being from Site A With Custom Variables • Track visitors & onsite behavior from particular pieces of content • Visitors from PRWeb segregated by press release • PRWeb syndicates Content X to “Site A” – those visitors tracked as being from that Content X • Test different releases or distribution services against each other
  61. 61. In Conclusion…
  62. 62. Kumbaya…. SEO/SEM & PR   Complementary, not Competitive Get more bang out of what you’re already doing
  63. 63. Takeaways & Resources
  64. 64. Key Takeaways Content & SEO       Keyword research: universe of searchers in Google AdWords Keyword Planner Keyword research: past behavior on your site in Google Webmaster Tools, Google Analytics, onsite search Content gap analysis Create content & optimize  Keywords in headline, body copy, title tag, description meta tags  Fields for images, fields for audio/video  Structured data Publish & do outreach – find influencers & ask Get links in unique online placements you’re already getting Image credit:
  65. 65. Key Takeaways Social Engagement & SEO    Add social share buttons to content Use rel=author and rel=publisher Research hash tags & use them appropriately Press Releases, Articles & Linking   Optimize press releases & articles Add “nofollow” tags to links on syndicated content (not unique placements) Image credit:
  66. 66. Key Takeaways Crisis & Reputation Management    Monitor search engine results Have social media profiles & other content you own so as to dominate branded searches & push down negative mentions Use paid search to tell your side of the story in a crisis Measuring Results    Determine your KPI’s Create custom dashboards in Google Analytics Implement custom variables for tracking syndicated content Image credit:
  67. 67. Resources Content & SEO        Google AdWords Keyword Planner: Google Trends: Google Webmaster Tools: Google Analytics: About structured data: Find influencers:,, About Google+ Ripples:
  68. 68. Resources Social Engagement & SEO     Social sharing buttons: How to implement rel=author: How to implement rel=publisher: Research hash tags:,, Press Releases, Articles & Linking  About nofollow tags: Measuring Results   About Google Analytics custom dashboards: Custom variable URL builder:
  69. 69. More About Us        Blog & newsletters: @ProminentPlcmnt Stay in touch with Stacy: • • @StacyWms