What role should SEO play in an overall PR strategy or campaign?
Traditionally, public relations is about crafting strategic messages that communicate exactly what the organization wants people to hear. Today, more and more businesses are creating their own content in the form of blogs, articles, “Tweets,” and white papers.
This user-generated content, like traditional PR, improves communications, generates publicity, builds awareness, and increases rankings in search engines.
Most journalists use Google or Yahoo! News services or visit a corporate website or online newsroom to find information. As people look for information within search engines, well-optimized content that references and links to other blogs and news sites and utilizes effective key words, rises to the front page of the search engine, where you will be found. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) puts a lot of effort into link building – and justifiably so, since Google weighs links very heavily among the factors it considers when deciding where to rank a web page in its results.
Major corporations like Microsoft, even small to medium-sized businesses generate their own content as part of their PR strategy. In this new world where everyone provides content, the best way for visitors to find you is to keep adding more and more content, making you more noticeable in the search engines. Submit your blog to blog search engines, such as Technorati.
Social media is part of any PR strategy these days, so make sure your business or brand has a profile on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Digg, or any other social site. You can optimize your business profile on social media sites to effectively drive traffic and potential customers to your website.
A significant percent of Google’s algorithm is based on links. Likewise, Facebook is now allowing Google to index status updates and other social profile information that will wind up in the search engines. The more relevant links and information you have on your social profile, the better the chances are you will improve your rankings. Create content that people will want to link to, i.e., videos, stories, and pictures. Add a blog to your profile or white papers for download. Update your content frequently as readers are always thirsting for new content to consume.