As PR professionals, there are a number of activities which we have a heavy hand in that affect the SEO of a website OR the SEO of an organization (brand) via the content that is distributed online in their name.
If your content includes a link to your site and it gets syndicated or picked up by another publisher it will (hopefully) also contain your link which is a popular link building tactic. SEO is basically a set of methodologies that make it easier for search engines to find, categorize, index and ultimately rank web content. One popular SEO tactic is to build links to your site using the distribution of relevant content that links back to you site with the desired anchor text.
Many of your PR efforts can benefit from the integration of some simple search engine optimization tactics and a basic understanding of how search engines work. Most PR professionals create press releases, letters to the editor, corporate blog posts, white papers, compelling web copy, newsletters, and journalistic interviews for their clients: all of which are published online. It’s important to remember that to get the most bang out of these efforts you must look them over with SEO and link building principles in mind to make sure that search engines will find, index, categorize and RANK them well.
That beings said, let’s go over the top 4 simple things that you can do to your PR copy before it goes out the door which will help search engines find your content easier:
Keywords, keywords, keywords!
Remember that keyword phrases are the core of search engine optimization. Make sure you understand what keywords the client wants to focus on. It can often be as simple as asking the client what related keywords they use for PPC or SEO purposes and making sure that they are incorporated in the copy.
What Search Engines See
Keep in mind the search engine is just a robot and simply can’t “see” images, videos or slideshows. Don’t let this deter you from adding these things to your content. Instead, just keep it in mind and know that search engines CAN see alt tags and descriptions that you associated with your video, image or other supporting material.
Again, search engines are limited by the fact that they are just programs so understanding the basics of onsite SEO of a page can be really helpful in this process. The most important places to put keyword phrases are: title, summary/description, first paragraph, and last paragraph, no matter what type of content you are composing.
Hyperlinks and Anchor Text
This might seem very elementary, but don’t overlook the fact that search engines see hyperlinks and anchor text used within content as a sort of recommendation for the site they are directing the reader to. If you use a link in the copy, do your best to use an appropriate anchor text with the hyperlink instead of saying something like “click here” or just listing the website address.
Simple Changes – Big Results
Integrating these simple steps into your public relations writing practices can profoundly affect the results of your efforts. After all, the fundamental benefits of optimizing news content makes it easier for journalists researching stories to find yours, expands the organization’s brand and online footprint, contributes to a proactive search result reputation, as well as assists in fueling the sales pipeline.
After all, we consider the target audience first and foremost when we are writing. In this case, if your content will be distributed online take the time to consider the search engines. Search engines are one of the prominent audience members, so paying attention to link building and keeping this in mind will put you well on your way.
About the Author: Elise Redlin-Cook (AKA @redlincook) is the Content Strategist at Vertical Measures, an internet marketing company in sunny Arizona providing services ranging from link building services, to social media marketing, content development, and advanced SEO. She’s fully immersed herself into the world of content and is loving it!
Photo Credit: Mykl Roventine
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