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 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 must understand this shift and adjust accordingly.
As SEO continues to borrow from public relations, it’s time for PR professionals to start borrowing from SEO. As a digital marketing professional working within a PR firm
, I love seeing my co-workers’ ongoing PR success as they integrate SEO into what they do.
Here are a few helpful tips PR pros can follow:
1. Cover the basics with plug-ins.
If you’re in PR, chances are you’re creating content that is going online. Whether that content comes in the form of articles, blog posts, or press releases, all content must be formatted and organized for the Web.
To help make sure you don’t forget a crucial title or description meta tag, get an SEO plug-in installed on your website. These plug-ins help you enter 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 plug-ins is Yoast
2. Format your images.
Adding relevant images makes your content more engaging to readers, but you must format your image 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. 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 to help you do the job yourself. Here are a few good ones.
3. Use keyword tools to guide messaging and content.
Keyword research has always been a staple of SEO. 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 couple of tools to help you identify keywords.
• Google trends
• Adwords Keyword planner: This includes keyword suggestions, search volume, and traffic estimator.
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 it sets the pros apart from the hacks.
Now it’s time for PR professionals to tell their stories using the available SEO knowledge and tools.
Jason Poos is director of marketing with public relations firm Raffetto Herman Strategic Communications. A version of this story originally appeared on the company's blog.