Category: SEO


SEO For PR & Content Marketing: Is Semantic Search Enough To Help You Rank Well?

I love last week’s Wired article about semantic search – which is Google’s shift from only recognizing specific keywords and phrases to ranking content for terms relevant to a larger conversation. It’s the difference between ranking for one phrase, versus ranking for multiple phrases that are worded differently but all mean the same thing.
“Consumers increasingly expect search engines to understand natural language and perceive the intent behind the words they type in, and search engine algorithms are rising to this challenge. This evolution in search has dramatic implications for marketers, consumers, technology developers and content creators — and it’s still the early days for this rapidly changing environment,” states author Kerstin Recker (@MsKtia).
The changes are both a blessing and a curse, and I have concerns that the dialog happening is very one-sided. Without understanding the bigger picture and realizing the technology is still in its infancy, it is easy to be mislead and complacent that content will rank well organically with no added effort. 

Content Marketing Digital PR SEO

SEO For PR Pros: How Keyword Research Transforms You Into A Visibility Rock Star

I have a beehive in my garden shed. Hundreds of honeybees zoom in and out of a crack in the floorboards all day long, frantically collecting nectar and bringing it back to the hive.

Sadly, instead of producing a beautiful honeycomb of golden deliciousness, the end result of their hard work is something that can’t ever be enjoyed. The honey is tainted from azalea and oleander nectar, which results in toxic, inedible honey.

In a way, this reminds me of many people’s blogging, content marketing and SEO for PR efforts. They put in great effort to write and publish content, only to have it stagnate.  What’s the point if it isn’t seen?
What makes content MOST LIKELY to stagnate? Lack of SEO and social sharing.


Three Modern SEO Best Practices Every CEO, CMO, and CIO Should Know

Just in case you missed it – we had an article hit MarketingProfs this week on SEO best practices. Hooray! If you are in the c-suite and frustrated with your team’s SEO, the buck may stop with you. Read on to fix the the gap.
“Although some aspects of SEO haven’t changed much in the last decade—relevant content, page titles and descriptions, keyword research, the importance of page loading speed—the influence of social media and inbound marketing are causing seismic shifts in search optimization. Especially at the enterprise SEO level.

Having the right in-house team or external partner is now a fraction of the ROI equation—i.e., ranking that actually has an impact on revenue.

Maybe that’s why so many businesses still invest the bulk of their marketing budget in paid media instead of organic search—an expensive mistake, considering 75% of click-throughs come from organic results.”

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: Sending a shout-out to Chris Corsak at Sitewire – thanks for your help, Chris. Great interview!!

Content Marketing Digital PR SEO

12 Super Simple Guest Blogging Tactics to Supercharge SEO & Grow Your Influence

If your content marketing efforts include guest blogging or submitting e-zine articles, taking a few minutes to synchronize your effort with basic SEO tactics can boost visibility and do powerful things for growing your influence.
Try a few (or all) of these ten fast tactics to supercharge your writing, then circle back and let me know how it helped. I can’t wait to hear the details!

Just how important is content marketing?

#PRpros must learn! RT @nickkellet: Content Marketing overtook Digital Marketing as a keyword 2 months ago #cmworld #digitalPR #pr

— Carrie Morgan (@morgancarrie) September 10, 2013
1. Wrap your post or content around ONE targeted keyword. When you include one keyword or phrase in your post title, then repeat it in the first sentence – you automatically include SEO tactics…  even if you and/or the source blogger don’t know the first thing about SEO.  (Learn more about SEO for blogs here.)

Content Marketing Public Relations SEO Social Media

Your Digital Agency Just Might Suck, If…

Top 10 Red Flags It Might Be Time To Find A New Digital, PR, Content Marketing or Social Media Agency.
I won two new accounts this month that came from two digital agency leaders in Phoenix. After I was done with my insanely ridiculous happy dance, I was really depressed. Then pissed off.

Why? I shouldn’t have won them for the reasons that I did.

Content Marketing Digital PR SEO

Want to Integrate Content Marketing & SEO Into Your PR? Start Here.

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?

SEO Social Media

The Secret SEO Weapon That (Almost) Nobody Else Is Using: Pinterest

Pinterest + SEO = heaven. And for those of you who say using hashtags on Pinterest is a waste of time…  Pishhhaw, I say!
I tried for quite a while to rank well organically for “az seo” – a term every SEO pro in the State of Arizona uses, which also has a lot of garbage grandfathered in. Not only is it highly competitive, but instead of competing against inexperienced optimization tactics – you are competing with the best who really know to rank. It’s tough… But thanks to Pinterest, I’m now listed in #3 position on page one.

Content Marketing SEO

How to Transform Your WordPress Blog Into a SEO Machine

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 for a family event or a toddler that doesn’t know the difference, who wants to put time and effort into a business blog if readers aren’t showing up? Over 80% of blogs stagnate with no traffic and few readers but, like Jillian’s birthday party, the problem often lies with how people are invited to participate.

Simply having one doesn’t make it generate results.

What are the most effective ways to get blog posts read?

Sharing on social media
Using an email list to distribute new posts
Google or Facebook advertising to drive awareness
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Using ALL of these options is ideal, but if you can only chose one, then SEO gets my vote every time.

If you have a few hours to invest, here are THREE WAYS to transform your WordPress blog or website into a search-friendly traffic generator. All of them are free, other than the time you’ll invest.

1. Install a good SEO plug-in. My favorite free SEO solution is WordPress SEO by Yoast, which makes it easy as red light, yellow light, green light. Pretty obvious, right? But keep in mind that installing it isn’t helpful in and of itself – and many bloggers stop at this first step. Its real power lies in understanding how to use it correctly and choosing the right keywords.

2. Do keyword research. Head over to the Google Keyword Popularity Tool and invest some time in keyword research to better understand which keywords drive the most traffic. The trick with keywords is to never assume you know which ones are best; ALWAYS do research to ensure you are using popular keywords that best suit your product, service and/or blog topic.
If you use localized keywords for your SEO efforts – such as “az life coach” or “life coach in phoenix” instead of just “life coach,” you are much more likely to rank well – with the added benefit of landing more targeted readers. This is especially important if you are a local business.
I recommend creating a free account on AdWords (or log-in to your account, if you have one), then search for the keywords you think are most likely to be searched. Adding your city and state will give you local search results to review, plus some great ideas for blog posts that fit what people are looking for. Using the keywords you put in, Google will bring up a list of keywords actually searched the previous month. I prefer to export them to Excel, get rid of unnecessary columns, rank them from most to least popular, then save the document for easy reference later.   
3. Choose one keyword, then include it in your post permalink, title and first sentence. If you have WordPress set to name the page URL as your post name (settings> permalinks> post name), this will automatically put the keyword in your post URL – also called the permalink. This is an essential component for SEO success.
Then, simply use the default text for the “SEO title” field at the bottom of the page (which is your title plus the name of your blog), and copy the first sentence of the post into the “Meta Description” field.  If good writing dictates NOT using the keyword in the first sentence (which happens often but is not optimal), then paste in the first blog sentence that DOES have the keyword in it, or write one that uses the keyword and describes the post in a way that people will want to read it. Put the keyword in the “Meta Keywords” field, then you are all done. 

SEO magic happens when you identify one keyword to focus on, then put it in the trifecta of permalink, page title and page description.

Make sure that keyword is included in the body of post a few times, as relevant and appropriate, hit publish and you are good to go. While there are other steps and tactics that help boost SEO, that’s fodder for another article!
One last note – be sure and offer MULTIPLE WAYS for readers to subscribe. If you can’t convert them to subscribers via email or RSS and/or they aren’t seeing your new posts show up on social e, odds are good they won’t think to return to your site.  Your SEO may bring them to your blog the first time, but it may not bring them back.
(Want more detail on mastering Yoast and SEO? Head over to the Yoast Definitive Guide to Better Ranking.)

Digital PR SEO

Learning SEO For PR? Master These Top 3 Best Practices

(No time to read? Listen to the podcast here.)
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

Digital PR SEO

How to Amplify PR with 5 Minutes of Keyword Research

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?