How PR pros miss the mark on SEO

If the purpose of all your content creation and media outreach is to drive traffic to a website, you must have a firm grasp of best practices involving search engines.

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For marketers looking to engage digital audiences, search engine optimization is a crucial piece of the puzzle.

Google’s opinion of your website can translate into value for your organization. However, you might be going about getting the attention of Google’s algorithm in wrongheaded and expensive ways.

“One of the most consistent opportunities I see missed by PR pros and marketers is creating content that they believe is optimized for search by targeting particular keywords, but is otherwise lackluster content,” says Cyrus Shepard, an SEO strategist with Moz.

Marketers and communicators seeking impact must offer real value to readers.

If you want it to rank high, Shepard says, “content has to do so much more than target a particular topic. … Not only does it need to satisfy user intent, but it also needs external validation signals, such as links generated by news and blog sites.”

The internet has evolved past the days where you could simply stake out a niche for yourself and await the traffic that would find you. In a crowded marketplace of ideas, you have to actively compete for attention, and if you don’t offer audiences what they crave—and do it concisely—you are likely to lose them to a competitor.

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