As I wrap up my first week at drumBEAT, I go through my notes and read a few SEO articles (that was part of my homework). Previously, I worked in the public relations department of a marketing firm and initially thought a job as a web copywriter would put my previous work experience to good use. After all, at my previous position, I would write, edit and send out at least five news releases a week. I quickly found out, SEO copywriting is no news release.
SEO vs. Public Relations
At he firm, I would strategically create new releases to be released to the media, never really taking into consideration the use of keywords. Things are just a tiny bit different now. As an SEO copywriter, I’ve learned to research keywords that are used in web copy very strategically- as these are the terms that are most likely to be searched by a set target audience. This is an idea that makes sense, even for someone as new to the SEO world as I am.
Keywords weren’t really the first thing on my mind when I used to write, even when I would upload my news releases to my webpage. But as I look to the Keyword Planner tool-filled screens around me, it’s easy to see that keywords will definitely be a large part of my time as an SEO copywriter.
So why does PR need SEO?
In the changing world of online search, being able to optimize an online press release for your company could mean more shares from higher rankings in the SERP, which just means that you know exactly how people are searching– and those higher rankings, as I’m sure you know by now, can bring in more traffic.
So just exactly how will you create a shareable press release that a search engine loves? We dive into some key elements
- First and foremost, make sure that your press release content is rich and valuable to the reader. This is something that as a public relations expert you are already doing, so this one should be very easy. Give new information with research to defend it, and is unique.
- Make sure you’re utilizing link data to the fullest. A good site like ahrefs.com can give you some insight as to who is linking to you, and who you’re linking to. Reach out to those who are linking to you and make sure that they’re not rel=”nofollow”ing you. If they are, see if you can get some of that valuable link juice by simply asking. If they’re already linking to you that’s great, but you do want to take advantage of some of these websites that are willing to share. (TIP: see if they can also use some rich anchor text for their link to your website.)
- Don’t forget about social media. A lot of PR experts are very knowledgeable in this area, however can sometimes forget to not put all their eggs in this basket. Spread that wealth and make sure that you are definitely using social media, but don’t let it be the only way you’re reaching your audience.
- Create an online portfolio with authorship. Let search engines know that you are a skilled writer, and that you’ve built an online reputation for shareable content. Make sure that your website is setup for authorship, and that your articles are linking to your Google+ account, with your profile accounting for the fact that you are a contributor to any website that you write for. You’ll stand out, and so will your press release.
PR professionals should understand the power of SEO– you no longer have to hope and wait for a press release to get attention, you can help control the outcome. Now it’s less if my press release gets buzz, and more of a WHEN my press release gets buzz.
If you want more information about how to SEO your press releases, ask us below or in our Q & A Forum!