SEO Beginner’s Guide for PR Pros!
The combination of PR & SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can be a dynamic duo when in communications planning mode to increase brand visibility and build brand advocacy with key audiences. So whether you’re in planning mode for a specific campaign or an annual communications plan; understanding how these two can work synonymously is key in today’s evolving digital landscape.
Why? Developing good and relevant content is important but if you don’t have initiatives to drive traffic or increase visibility then you may risk it being overlooked.
Here’s five tested & true tips to help you successfully integrate SEO into your PR campaign for maximum results:
1. Find your Sweet Spot
While it’s necessary that potential customers are able to locate your brand within the broader scope of your industry, recognizing your core specialties is a great way to set you apart from potential competitors. Determine your key selling point – essentially what you do best over your competitors. Now that’s the sweet spot! Sell it and communicate it to your audiences to draw them in and build brand association and advocacy.
2. SEO & PR
SEO is still a bit of a daunting term. Many have different definitions and some still question how it exactly works. While SEO can help achieve many goals, it is in fact a similar process to PR in the sense that overnight success is very rare, and the best results come slow and steady. It requires time to build up the reputation of your brand, your website and your social media channels in an organic and authentic way. You need to have patience and foresight to see the process through.
3. One tactic does not fit all
If it’s one thing all of us in the PR industry can agree on, is that one size does not fit all. Each campaign, brand and organization requires its own unique strategy and executable tactics. SEO works in very much the same way. When building out a PR/marketing campaign, it is so important to integrate the SEO strategy from the very beginning as that will create the foundation of everything to come. You can utilize this strategy when developing your content by building in key words directly into the content, including – news releases, websites, social media posts, blog posts, etc. This will allow you to successfully get your brands’ key messages out in a cohesive way.
4. Best Practises
Having a basic understanding of SEO and the way it works is key. You don’t need to be an expert in execution, but it’s very important to understand where to devote time and energy. Google’s algorithms change on a regular basis, which is why it is so important to have an expert partner to work through the process with.
5. Consistency is Key
There is a ‘method to the madness’, and while it is continually evolving – there are some constants that remain to be true.
• Regularly posting and updating your website, blog and social media channels. Ensure you are paying attention to specific peak times for each platform.
• Call to action in a visible location, preferably higher up in the post/page. If people don’t know or can’t find what it is you want them to do, you’ve defeated the entire purpose of sharing your post.
• Correctly tagging each photo that is shared on your website/blog with a relevant name.
• Using jargon-free language. You can’t assume that everyone reading your content is familiar with certain abbreviations or ‘industry speak’
From C&C’s experience as an award-winning Toronto-based PR firm, incorporating an SEO strategy into your overall PR/Marketing is a huge asset – when done correctly. Whether you offer in-house or through a third-party, keeping SEO top of mind for communications planning can mean the difference between highly successful results or lacklustre ones.