SEO helps a search engine to do its job more effectively and Public Relations can increase the reach and influence of the brands they promote by optimizing news. Recently the good folks at Vocus interviewed TopRank Online Marketing’s CEO on the basics of search engine optimization for public relations. The following post comes from the interview with Lee Odden of TopRank by Chris Pilbeam of Vocus.
Search engines aren’t perfect – that’s why people in SEO (Editor: like TopRank Online Marketing) are flourishing. People who write web copy often only consider one audience: customers, or analysts; maybe journalists. You should consider the extra audience of search engines.
SEO boils down to three elements: keyword research, site interactivity, and links.
1) Keyword research reveals the permutations and variations of the terms people are searching for. Start with the notion of what’s important and pop that into a keyword research tool. It comes back with multiple versions, ordered by popularity, so you can make smart choices about the words you use in your titles and press releases and articles.
2) The technical aspect of how a search engine interacts with your site is, in most cases, a job for your IT department.
3) With linking, go after quantity and quality of links, every day, for ever. You might be publishing good content, but no one will know unless you tell somebody. If you have an unpopular site – maybe because it’s new – use PRWeb online news releases and amplify them through social media channels.
Don’t be scared of getting it wrong – but don’t spam.
The dangers of getting SEO wrong are no worse than the dangers of, for example, using PR software without segmenting your list and blasting people with pitches. The thing to avoid is being overly aggressive and using what might be perceived as spamming tactics. Keyword stuffing, or engaging in linking tactics that Google considers unsavory, such as buying links from a publication – that’s a big no-no for Google. Earn your links: they’re forever, there’s no risk, and they’re more valuable.
SEO will not dominate PR, but it will improve it.
Search engines will never be perfect, and social media will never be perfect. Algorithms aren’t any smarter than human beings. There will always be a combination of technology and human intuition. I’m predisposed to looking for the middle ground. When you have these emerging technologies and industries, it’s usually the middle ground that becomes practical over time.