SEO for PR Dummies

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Ryan Malone has over 10 years experience in digital, with a background in mobile, web and search

If you have a website, or have been given charge of your client’s website traffic as part of your broader PR responsibilities, then you know all too well the importance of ranking high in search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo.

To do this, you need to know a little bit about SEO (Search Engine Optimization), something that has increasingly become an essential part of a PR practitioner’s toolkit.

So I thought I might take the chance to run you through a few of the basics:

Importance of Keyword Analysis and Research

It is important to know the keywords that you are going to target for any particular site when designing the site (if possible), as these keywords are the ones which will bring in the traffic from search engines.

The following is a ‘main process breakdown’ involved in SEO for any current website, and what you should look to do if you are wanting to undertake SEO as part of a PR campaign.

  • Website Analysis – Closely examining your site and the competitors to see what can be improved.
  • Keyword Research – Get your keywords right, a combination of your own ideas, competitor research and of course, Google trends and keyword suggestion tools.
  • Content & Website Optimization– Once your keywords are in selected, it’s important to make sure that the websites content is updated to reflect the keywords being used.
  • Link Building – They say content is king but it’s really all about links. The final phase is to get as many one way links going to your site from other relevant sites as possible. For example, when drafting a press release or article, try to insert a few relevant hyperlinks into the document so that if it is published online in multiple places it will be easier for users to click through to your client’s website and it will help Google to rank it higher.

How long does it take for SEO results to kick-in?

The amount of time required to see results of search engine optimization work range anywhere from 30 days for existing sites in local or niche markets, to six months for new websites in a competitive national/global market.

Can a no. 1 position in the search engines be guaranteed?

NO! Nobody can guarantee a number #1 position or specific ranking for your site for a given keyword phrase. There are simply too many factors beyond anyone’s control – the search engines changing their ranking algorithms, efforts made by competitors, and new sites being added to the Web.

Ryan Malone is Director at Propeller Mobile where he oversees the agency’s operations and drives its digital ventures in mobile, web and search. Before joining propeller, Ryan ran the London-based digital agency BlondeGorilla, which was purchased by Propeller in September 2008. Prior to that, Ryan worked at MSN Australia in Technology and Program Manager roles looking after products and development in Mobile & News product groups as well as SEO across the portal. Follow @propellergroup.

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7 comments on “SEO for PR Dummies

  1. This is a great topic. Thanks, Andrew and Ryan, for putting the light on it here.

    Think that it’s easy to move too quickly past the integrated editorial planning and thorough keyword research needed to develop and sustain purposeful content — for SEO and beyond.

    And think that the near- and long-term effects of SEO/SMO on lead generation, new business and earned media dictate that SEO PR be a key part of any digital strategy.

    -Chris Ehrlich

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