Keyed Up: SEO Success Requires Decoding the Keyword Puzzle

Search engine optimization. By now, every communications professional has heard of it, though many (admittedly or not) still think of it as that thing that makes a press release appear high up in a Google search's returned results. What these executives don't know is that search engine optimization (SEO) and its kissing cousin, search engine marketing (SEM), are the shortest paths to increased brand visibility; they can also be the quickest way to crash and burn during a crisis. "Search is the connective tissue that links everyone and everything on the Internet," says Doug Winfield, VP of digital strategies for Waggener Edstrom Worldwide. After all, Google is the first place most people go when they sign online, be they consumers, investors, media or employees.

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