Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Top 5 Things to Know about PR and SEO

Here’s a disclaimer before you read this post:  I am not an expert in the science and art of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

So don’t expect technical 'ins and outs' of improving the visibility of a website or web page in search engine rankings (the “natural” “organic” or unpaid search results you see on Google). 

Like other areas in my life (like banjo playing), I know just enough to be dangerous.

A Case for PR
However, business-to-business PR is familiar territory.

And no matter the client or organization, one is reminded time and again that a simple PR strategy, when effectively put into practice, goes a long way in improving SEO results - or how high In the rankings you appear to an interested prospect.

One Non-Profit's Challenge
This struck me recently when consulting with an arts-related non-profit organization. 

The organization is interested in attracting more members who search the internet to learn about arts offerings.

A simple but strategic PR effort can help them in their pursuit.
SEO and PR
This means issuing timely news, press releases, blog postings and other timely and strategic content about the arts program. A regular cadence of PR content will help improve online visibility for indexing by Google and other search engines, and spread the word about their services.
To get started, the non-profit (or any organization) must keep in mind these 5 considerations about PR and SEO:
1) Write concise and timely press releases or articles.  A previous post considers the “one sentence” press release, which is drastic, yes, but serves as a good reminder.  Make news easy to understand, timely and concise.  
2) Put the most powerful keywords in the title. Choose keywords that customers and prospects are likely to enter when they search for sites like yours. Keywords should appear in the titles of press releases, articles and blog posts – and high up in the content.  Not sure how to figure out what words folks search?  Check this free Google keyword tool.
3) Share content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. This non-profit organization already has a Facebook page, but recent updates and timely news are spotty.  They should also develop a Twitter and LinkedIn presence.  Posting news on these outlets provides a big lift in SEO results.
4) Keep the Web site updated with news The frequency with which the content of a Web page changes is important to SEO. New, timely press releases, blog posts, articles or other content helps keep the site fresh, and helps with Google rankings.
5) Spread the word via distribution. Seek out the appropriate newswire service, online newsroom and other distribution methods to optimize search engine results.  This provides links to your content– the more the better in SEO!  This non-profit has a very limited budget. They can post a press release for free (or nearly free) on sites listed below.

Final Words
Remember, you can spell S-E-O with the letters P-R!

Press releases,  feature articles, case studies and by-lined articles all help to raise your company or organization in search engine results. 

When that content is created with relevant keywords, the search engines prominently display that information just as your prospects are actively seeking it.

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