The importance of SEO in PR

With all of the talk regarding the changing nature of "traditional" PR, I for one am surprised at how little attention is paid within the PR field to SEO and online reputation management.

With all of the talk regarding the changing nature of “traditional” PR, I for one am surprised at how little attention is paid within the PR field to SEO and online reputation management.

If PR is used to define and better a brand's image, why do so few PR pros realize that Google is amongst the best PR tools today and, in my eyes, the largest and most influential media outlet in the world?

SEO improves webpages in search engines via natural, or unpaid, organic search results. It also determines brand perceptions, including controlling negative information and where it appears in a search, what brands one buys and sees first, and perceived consumer and corporate notions of a brand.

By nature of PR's ability to create content, it's a very effective tool to influence and manage SEO and search results.

1. Do you review websites for the basics and see if there are meta tags, metadata, and hyperlinks being utilized properly? Are pages indexed and are accurate site maps in place?

2. As part of a PR program, analyze the most important search keywords (for example, for Nike, it's sneakers and athletic wear , not nike.com). Be sure that during media interviews the most important keywords are being utilized for messaging. By having your company site and blog properly optimized, your search phrases will rank higher because of proper media.

3. In press releases, use hyperlinks and keywords properly to define brands as the online “owner” or definer of the keyword. Learn the art of hyperlinks.

4. Utilize link building. By optimizing content and properly leveraging digital assets, as well as keyword messaging across all digital communications, and then promoting and getting links to that content, it will have a tremendous affect on search results.

By properly utilizing SEO as part of a strategic PR campaign, you are helping to define the search terms and the Google media machine. When people look for information, they check search engines online, whether Google, Yahoo, or somewhere else. Anytime search is utilized, PR can be beneficial for SEO. 

SEO done properly lasts, and is a very positive by-product of a PR campaign.

Ronn Torossian is president and CEO of 5WPR. 

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