Do you have an under-performing blog sending out distress codes far and wide?
It’s easy to be excited about launching a company blog when energy is high and creative juices are flowing…. but when months pass – maybe a year – and it isn’t generating the results you expected, the enthusiasm dwindles and posts become harder and harder to write.
The commitment is lost. Your blog becomes a wasteland of sporadic, uninspired posts.
During a PRSA Twitter chat recently, I was asked if content marketing and SEO were key to the future of public relations.
My answer? ABSOLUTELY! Public relations isn’t just about breaking news and press releases – it’s about building bridges and relationships between our brand and the public.
Our role is to give clients maximum visibility and these allow us to explode that visibility better and faster. After all, what is more openly public than social media? Sharing thought leadership content?
WordPress SEO. When my daughter turned two, the only people that showed up to eat birthday cake at the party were immediate family members – mom, dad and her big brother, Adam. Why? Because we didn’t send out invitations or put any effort into getting guests to show up. While this may be perfectly fine …
If helping our clients be more visible is the heartbeat of public relations, then learning to integrate basic SEO skills into the work we are doing is key in keeping that heartbeat strong. SEO for PR is a “must know” skill.
Every senior-level PR and content marketing professional should have a solid understanding of how SEO works and how it applies to their own work.
For the overall agency or company, SEO should be part of the standard writing and proofing processes as content is filtering through production, and included as a basic skill integrated into the continued learning culture of the organization. It should also START the content creation process, not be wrapped in at the end.
If the organization is large enough to have SEO staff, partnering with them can identify a surprising similarity in goals and effort. Starting cross-departmental conversations and working together on joint goals can also make BOTH departments extremely successful.
During the May #PRprochat on Twitter, we were lucky enough to have Ken McGaffin as our guest – former CMO of WordTracker and an expert in SEO.
“The TOP 3 SEO SKILLS that PR pros should have are keyword research, link building and blogger outreach.” ~ Ken McGaffin
If you are a public relations professional, don’t underestimate the power of learning SEO. Not only can you optimize every press release you put out the door and amplify the SEO impact of you (or your client’s) social media efforts, but you’ll be surprised at the value of keyword research.
Consider this: you secured a byline opportunity for your client in one of their leading industry publications. HOW MUCH MORE POWERFUL would that placement be if you were able to write it about a trending topic that was highly searched for online last month, then optimize that byline to show up in search results?
There are a few points that I strongly disagree with though, so here goes…
1. “There’s no reason why you can’t have more than one business Facebook Page. If you have other branded or unbranded keyword phrases that you want to claim, then you should, as long as you can efficiently and consistently manage the content for those pages.”
I am totally against creating social media pages that simply cater to specific keywords. While optimizing your social media is great, your content and reason for participating should focus on meaningful conversation, not rankings.
Thanks to an April 1st post on Jay Baer’s Convince & Convert blog, I landed upon Google’s latest free eBook – “Zero Moment of Truth” on the “new” mental model of marketing.
A fantastic read, the free book focuses on how marketing has made a fundamental shift since social media entered the scene. Until social media hit mainstream, consumers were hit by stimulus (advertising, direct mail, etc.), followed by their first buying decision when they see the product on the shelf (the first moment of truth), then hit with a second moment of truth during the experience of using the product.
Now? Consumer buying cycles have changed – people leverage online reviews and research before making a buying decision, they rely on smartphones while they shop, and multiple pieces of information (10.4 sources) converge into a single moment of decision.
As Facebook has become the most popular social media site, Google has scrambled to find ways to include posts and pages in their rankings. Real-time search still has a long way to go, but there are a few easy ways to help optimize your social media presence.