November 09, 2009 by idahopr

PRSA: Top 10 SEO Tactics for Public Relations Professionals

(Live blogging from the PRSA International Conference in San Diego)


Stepping into Lee Odden's panel (TopRank Online Marketing) on the Top 10 SEO tactics for PR pros. Very curious about this section, since it often feels the number of 'social media experts' that have popped up in the last year is rivaled only by the number of 'SEO gurus' that have appeared. I'll be very interested in how Lee culls down the most key information PR pros need to help their content be found, and be relevant, online.

TopRank Journalists Survey - what type of search do you use most often?

91% - standard search
27% news search
27% social search

Push PR: Outreach through wire service, networking, pitching RSS
Pull PR - Optimized press release, news room, social media, media coverage

SEO all comes down to content and links

Top 10 Tactics

1- One Thing - it depends on the problem

  • Make sure the website is crawlable - remove barriers to crawlers
  • Make sure your web page title tags are editable, and not duplicates

2 - PR Tactics that affect SEO

  • If content can be searched on, it can be optimized
  • PR content that can be optimized: Press releases, letters to the editor (i.e. titles), online newsrooms, media kits, corporate blogs, white papers, webinars/demos, newsletters, real-world interviews
  • Digital asset optimization: images, video, blog posts, news items. People are empowered to publish - and will include your links
  • Micromedia optimization: Optimizing Twitter content. How are you using keywords in your tweets? Your Twitter links?
  • Think about when you create news, how to use different channels of distribution to get the word out. By making it available to an audience empowered to publish they can write about it and link to your 'stuff'

3 - When is PPC (pay-per-click) better than SEO for PR?

  • SEO is long term, part of the content process and contingent on content and links over time
  • PPC is on demand, immediate, pay to play (Pay more to scale), alternative and complimentary to natural search
  • 4 Steps to Keyword Research: Brainstorm phrases, look at competitor content, think about your audience. Then import your phrases to a keyword reearch tool to find popularity of those terms and variations, then create a keyword glossary.

6 Keyword Research Tools

  • Google Keyword Tool
  • Google Insights & Trends
  • Google AdTracker
  • Woord Trackery
  • Keyword Discovery

Structure of a Keyword Glossary to support your content creators in incorporating keywords

  • Categories
  • Primary phrases
  • Derivatives
  • Permutations
  • Popularity
  • Relevance

5 - Basics of on-page SEO

Now that you have them, how do you use them? In title tags, on-page titles, navigation links, body copy, keyword text links, image alt text, URLs. ABA - always be adding content. Add often! Search engines reward you by visiting more often.

6 - Get more from Press Releases

  • They may not be great for media relations, but they are great for SEO
  • Research keywords - 1 to 2 phrase words per release!
  • Include a call to action and then link to a landing page so you can associate how eyeballs got to your page.
  • Think 'high and to the left'
  • Optimize for people first, search engines next
  • Don't obsess over keyword density - 2-4 times of those 1-2 keywords.
  • People don't search by humor or irony - remember that
  • Add media! - images, podcast, video, pdf/word docs

Meta Data - The title tag is what's used to describe your page in the search results. Write it in a way that motivates someone to click through.

7 - Newsroom Optimization

  • Utilize Blog software for your newsroom
  • Share/save bookmarks - make it easy for people consuming your content to share it
  • Keyword categories - Goes beyond organizing newsroom content chronologically, utilize keywords to organize content by how search engines will find you.
  • Site search
  • Subscribe RSS feed
  • Incorporate cross links
  • Checklist: do your keyword research, Incorporate title tags that are dynamic & hard coded, Use keywords in categories, document titles, file names, links, make it easy to bookmark and share, optimize your RSS feeds, optimize digital assets and other file formats
  • Relevancy is more important than popularity

8 - Link Building

Links 'electrify' content in search. They power up a webpage. If you have a page that's perfectly optimized, but if no one is linking to it, it doesn't live.

  • Think about how you title things - be more enthusiastic
  • Use key words in link text
  • Earn your links with compelling content
  • Link up with partners
  • Embed links in your release

(also check out Lee's recent post on 25 Link Building Tactics to Improve Blog Search Engine Rankings)

9 - SEO & Social: Yin & Yang

The role of SEO in a social media effort is to directly influence discovery of social communities or content via search. Indirectly, social content can boost links to website content, improving search traffic and online sales.

  • The power of the ReTweet
  • Newsroom blogs can be social - automate your posts to various social networks and therefore attract links

10 - Measurement - 11 metrics for News SEO

  • News wire service metrics
  • Web analytics for landing pages & web site
  • Google
  • Monitor blog search engines via RSS
  • Press release landing page conversion tracking -
  • Social Media monitoring
  • Inbound links
  • Pickups on blogs
  • Pickups on other websites
  • Pickups on other pubs
  • Search engine rankings

So how do you compare with the competition?

Use the power of embarrassment! Show the visibility of your organization, news, product and compare it to your competitors and do a ranking report. Research a keyword glossary and run a ranking report on those phrases. Show the lack of search visibility by competition, or run a test of a few optimizedd news items, take a benchmark, then show progress.

SEO is all about keyword, content and links. Whoever is responsible for publishing content - SEO must be part of that process.

Download TopRank Marketing's Online Marketing Guides (and see a much more in-depth overview of what Lee discussed in this session!)

- Jess

Tagged With: Event, PR Strategy, Marketing