SEO for the PR Pro

Internet technology is ever-changing and that means the way audiences find your message is always changing too. Understanding Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an essential and perpetual key to public relations success.

You want Google to be your best friend.  You want your brand and message to be found. For this, you need to rank in the top six of the SERP (search engine results page).

Here are a few tactics that are essential to your PR campaign.

Know your key words. It is extremely important to know your key words. What do you want to rank for in Google? Make a list of these words and then look up their search volume. Research is extremely important for SEO. Be careful of industry jargon, you want to select the most relevant key words that garner the highest search volume.

Now incorporate those key words into everything you do; social media, newsletters, press releases, contributing articles, infographics, quotes, still images. Whatever tactics you have for a given strategy, be sure to optimize all PR content by incorporating your key words. If you are doing a targeted campaign, make sure to add additional words specific to the campaign..

There are different rules of thumb here, but, use your keywords about three times each if there is enough copy to avoid being overly repetitive. Always use key words in the lede, header, sub header, etc. There is evidence that Google ranks these higher.

Research, plan and optimize for trends Real-time relevance is also extremely important. This means you need to understand and predict news trends to achieve maximum results. By prioritizing up-to-date information, Google’s newest algorithm adjustment affects nearly 35% of all searches.

If your information is truly breaking news be sure to use the stand out code snipet from Google News

Be the canonical source and tag your work. If you are going to send a press release make sure you are the canonical source. You want to be the originating site for the information. So, create your release and place it on your website first. Then direct everyone back to your site via a trackable link.

Use a service Tynt ensure that your genius copy is getting the credit it deserves. Both of these items will tell Google crawlers that you are the authority on this topic because you posted it first. Driving traffic back to a landing page on your website is a double bonus.

Use video. Now optimize your video. Here is a great resource for optimizing your video. It does a much more thorough job than this blog could achieve. Plus linking to other content improves your SEO.

Measure. Every output should have a desired, measurable outcome. Marketing and PR are easier to measure now than they ever have been before. Everything you do should have a digital component. Traditional forms of marketing, advertising, etc., are not dead. No, instead they have a new life through cross-platform integration. Dedicated landing pages, trackable links, QR codes and near field technology are all great options for measuring effectively.

As a PR practitioner maintaining consistent brand and message visibility is part of your job. Utilizing digital asset optimization to secure above-the-fold search engine results will engage audiences and ultimately create measurable outcomes.

Guest post by Kallie Bonnell, Director of Business Development at Vitamin T. You can find her on Twitter at @kjbonnell.

The PRSA Hoosier Chapter accepts guest blog posts on a case-by-case basis. The opinions expressed in guest posts are not necessarily those of the chapter. If you are interested in submitting a guest post, please contact the Hoosier Chapter’s Social Media Team at