As the number of consumers seeking information online has grown, ensuring that client companies sit at the top of search engine listings has become an integral part of core PR strategy.
For this reason, agencies are incorporating search engine optimization (SEO) key words into the base lines of many PR materials, from press releases to Twitter feeds.
Programs, such as the subscription-based Keyword Discovery, can generate key words. They should always be accurately descriptive, says Cheryl Haas, VP of SEO at Fleishman-Hillard.
“A word choice may be popular, but it's not positioning the client in the right way,” she says.
Also, a company can improve its search engine ranking in a matter of minutes by including key words in title tags, text, and headlines, says Kai Blum, director of search engine marketing at MS&L Digital.
“[The company's] Web site is the most important factor,” he says.
Haas agrees, noting the importance of working with Web developers to create sites that search engines can find easily, as well as content that consumers will find interesting.
However, clearly telling a brand's story should always trump the use of popular key words, says Michele Mehl, partner at Buzz Builders, an agency that assists Seattle technology startups.
“The only way to be discovered by search is great content,” she says, adding that a goal is gaining links from other Web sites.
Blum notes that those links can add to the search engine value of Web sites.
“It's about the number and the quality of the links,” she adds. “For example, if CNN is linking to the Web site, that's much better than a [random] blog on Google.”
Agencies are putting SEO-ready keywords into many PR materials
A company's Website should be the most important factor in an SEO strategy
Telling a clear brand story should be more important than using popular key words