If you’ve paid any attention to SEO lately, here are two ideas that you’ve probably picked up on:
- SEO and PR are converging
- Good SEO practices are starting to very closely resemble classic PR
Gone are the days when technical webmasters were the only ones concerning themselves with SEO. Last year I wrote about how SEO content mirrors public relations. Today SEO continues to be fundamentally woven into communications, and PR professionals need to understand this shift and adjust accordingly.
As SEO continues to borrow from PR, it’s time for PR professionals to start borrowing from SEO. As a digital marketing professional working within a PR firm, I get to sit between the two disciplines and love seeing my coworkers PR success on a daily basis as they integrate SEO into what they do.
Here are a few helpful tips PR pros can follow:
1. Cover the Basics with Plugins
If you’re in PR, chances are you’re creating content that is going online. Whether it’s articles, blog posts, or press releases, all content needs to be appropriately formatted and organized for the web. To help make sure you don’t forget a crucial title or description meta tag, get an SEO plugin installed on your website. These plugins help you enter in all the necessary information that search engines use to index and display your content. If you use WordPress to publish your content, one of the more popular plugins is Yoast.
2. Format your Image
Everyone knows that adding relevant images makes your content more engaging to readers. But you need to be mindful that your image is formatted correctly. Reporters sometimes ask for images to be a specific format. An image file that is too large can cause a site to load slowly and ruin the user’s experience. If you have a robust graphics program like Photoshop, you can easily edit your image. But what if you don’t? If your basic needs are resizing, cropping, and saving to a different file format, then there are many free online tools available so you can get the job done yourself without relying on someone else. Here are a few good ones.
3. Use Keyword Tools to Guide Messaging and Content
Keyword research has always been a staple of SEO best practice. There are many online tools that help you brainstorm keyword ideas, identify trends, and pinpoint which terms have the most search volume associated. In the past, keyword strategy had a direct impact on search engine results. Today the emphasis is more about building a long term content strategy. PR professionals should take advantage of these tools whenever going through a messaging or content strategy exercise. The more information you can gather about the words that will tell your story, the more effective you can be. Here are a few tools to help you identify keywords.
- Google trends
- Adwords Keyword planner – includes keyword suggestions, search volume, and traffic estimator. *Note, you must have a Google account to access this tool.*
If we’ve learned anything from the maturation of SEO, it’s that the creation of meaningful content that engages audiences is what drives success. This is classic PR, and what makes the professionals stand apart from the hacks. Now it’s time for PR professionals to tell their stories using the SEO knowledge and tools that exist.
What SEO best practices have you adopted to better deliver PR value? Leave a comment below, or tweet us at @RHStrategic with the hashtag #RHetoricBlog. We’d love to hear from fellow PR professionals and journalists alike.
RH Strategic is the PR firm for a hyper-connected world, delivering integrated media, social & digital strategies for technology, healthcare, and public sector markets.