Search Engine Optimization and Social Media are no longer distinct channels. They are forever intertwined, each affecting the other in terms of how digital information is discovered, consumed and shared. The subsequent impact on reach and engagement means the integration of these channels is as relevant for Public Relations as it is for Marketing.
I was asked by Melanie Mitchell, SVP of Search Marketing at Digitas to give a presentation on holistic SEO at ad:tech San Francisco where I caught up with another amazingly smart friend, Susan Bratton. She recorded an interview with me on the Social & SEO for Public Relations topic for her popular DishyMix podcast and shared the transcript with me to repost.
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.
At the WebmasterWorld Pubcon conference in Las Vegas, TopRank’s CEO Lee Odden presented on how companies can drive more web site traffic through news optimization. NVI Solutions caught up with him to talk more about the intersection of Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing and Online Public Relations in this video interview:
The audio on this interview is pretty low, so you’ll need to turn it up a bit. The one downside to a Flipcam
At the WebmasterWorld Pubcon conference in Las Vegas, TopRank’s CEO Lee Odden presented several times including a standing room only session on the intersection of search marketing and social media. Moderated by ex Googler Vanessa Fox, the panel included Odden, Tony Adam, Bill Hartzer and David Wallace.
Mike McDonald of WebProNews and his trusty videographer Travis, caught up with Odden after the session for the following interview. In it they discuss examples of how social media can be used to advance search engine visibility goals and how SEO can be used to grow social networks.
TopRank will be conducting a 2-day social media and SEO workshop in New York Dec 1-2 in conjunction with the national Direct Marketing Association. The following week, TopRank will be presenting on a panel at Search Engine Strategies in Chicago on how companies can optimize their blogs for better search engine traffic.
Where does real-time marketing fit within an online advertising and social media marketing mix? Below is a video interview with Mike McDonald of WebProNews at Search Engine Strategies San Jose that starts to answer that question. The interview took place just before TopRank CEO Lee Odden moderated a ClickZ panel focusing on the same topic that included: Richard Jalichandra, CEO of Technorati; Steve Grove, Vice President at YouTube, Martin Green, COO at Meebo and Ricardo Guerrero, founder of Stwittergy.
There’s a lot to be said about the topic of marketing real-time including the fact that in many ways, marketers have been marketing “in the now” through search and other types of online advertising for years. What’s new are efforts to leverage insight from connections between social media networks to deliver relevant ads. The notion of leveraging the social graph for delivering relevant ads was highlighted recently in an excellent article by David Berkowitz in Media Post: “The Social Graph Ad Targeting Buyer’s Guide“.
Website Magazine recently published an interview with TopRank CEO Lee Odden on blogging, microblogging and the Search Engine Strategies conference in San Jose:
TopRank, a Minneapolis, Minnesota search marketing agency is truly one of the best when it comes to natural SEO, social media marketing and new media PR. Website Magazine contributor Dante Monteverde quizzed TopRank’s CEO Lee Odden recently (a sample is below) on the keys to driving blog readership, the efficacy of micro-blogging, and what attendees of SES San Jose can expect from his session titled “SEO Through Blogs & Feeds.”
Why should a website start a blog? Would you justify starting a blog for purely SEO reasons?
“As for adding a blog to a web site in the commonly understood definition, it really depends on a number of factors: Does the company have something useful/meaningful to say? Are there staff within the company that actively read industry blogs? Can resources be dedicated to the blog on an ongoing basis? (IT, writing and editorial, monitoring, marketing, PR). A company should not bother with a blog if they answer no.”
In the lead up to the SES Toronto conference, TopRank’s CEO Lee Odden was interviewed by Canadian blogger and “new media maverick” Rahaf Harfoush on search engine optimization, social media trends and Twitter.
The social media space is becoming quite saturated as companies begin to introduce social networking platforms and corporate blogs. How does the increase of activity in this space affect someone’s online strategy?
“At first glance, the array of options can be very intimidating to a company that wants to get into the social media space as a way to grow brand awareness and revenue.”
“The important first step is to get involved as a participant and work to understand the way social communities and blogs work from a user perspective.”
TopRank’s CEO Lee Odden was interviewed during Search Engine Strategies in London by Adriana Iordan of Avangate on how ecommerce and software companies can benefit from holistic online marketing through SEO, PR and digital asset optimization.
Adriana: From your experience, what are the biggest mistakes you come across when it comes to PR online? Lee: Thinking that optimizing and submitting a press release all by itself is enough to get covered by the media, because it’s not. There is an expression, in the US at least, doing something to only see if it works it’s like “throwing spaghetti against the wall to see if it sticks”, it’s kind of a silly thing to do.
Read the full Lee Odden interview at Avangate. TopRank provides a holistic mix of SEO, PR and social media marketing services to Fortune 500 companies.
The CEO of TopRank Online Marketing was interviewed by local ABC affiliate KSTP Eyewitness News on Starbucks’ decision to close its stores for 3 1/2 hours to conduct training. Odden cited the event as a publicity stunt and indicated the closure would give competitors an opportunity to attract Starbucks clientèle with discounts and free offers. KSTP’s report showed exactly that as competing and regional coffee houses were much busier than normal during the Starbucks closure.
Additionally, Odden provided insight into the reaction of the blogosphere to the Starbucks closing by showing the increase in blog posts, links and comments using a real time social media monitoring service, Radian6. Not only did the use of the Starbucks brand name and phrase, “Starbucks closing” increase, but competitors offering discounts such as Dunkin’ Donuts increased as well. This sort of opportunistic piggybacking can be detected quickly with social media monitoring tools such as TopRank’s partner Radian6 allowing brand managers to react accordingly.
TopRank has worked with companies across the United States to develop solid online marketing programs focused on increasing sales and brand visibility. Expertise ranges from digital asset optimization to SEO to online public relations.