Smarter Search Engines Mean Greater SEO Vigilance in 2013

Heading into the New Year means taking stock of all your PR assets—including your website—and making the necessary adjustments. For most organizations, both organic and paid search are mainstays for websites.

While social platforms ostensibly make it easier for PR pros to reach (and grow) their audiences, search isn't going away. According to eMarketer, search ad spending will grow to nearly $20 billion in 2013, up from $17.7 billion in 2012.

With that in mind, SEO efforts should be one of your top New Year's resolutions. In May, PR News reported on Google's Panda and Penguin algorithmic updates, which threw some small-business owners for a loop. Changes like those allow Google to be more in control of search results, while giving communicators less control.

Only a back-to-basics SEO approach will keep your organization at the top of the listings. To maintain high rankings in search, here are six SEO tips from Jasmine Sandler, CEO of Agent-cy Online Marketing.

  1. SEO works not only by keywords on your site, but is also heavily influenced by relevant and quality websites where your business is linked to via a listing, article submission or video /image submission that is tagged.

  2. On your website make sure that you are continually adding content with primary keywords embedded in the copy. But make sure you do not overload your copy with keywords. This can be referred to as “keyword spamming” and is not appreciated by users or search engines.

  3. Link internal pages.

  4. Each page should be dedicated to a specific offering or benefit and have a keyword strategy. Again, make sure that you are developing a few keyword phrases per page.

  5. Use primary keyword phrases in all your headings.

  6. Test keyword phrase density to assess the keyword density. You need to have a density of 3% to 5%. You can find analysis tools at

Editor's Note: Attend the PR News SEO Workshop on Feb. 26 in San Francisco.

Follow Scott Van Camp: @svancamp01

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About Scott Van Camp

Scott Van Camp is editor of PR News, an executive-level, reader-supported publication that helps enhance the business impact of PR. Scott has a rich background in both journalism and PR/marketing. He has more than 15 years of experience as a writer/editor at various consumer and trade publications. Scott was with VNU Business Publications for five years, including stints as managing editor at IQ News and Technology Marketing magazines and senior editor at Brandweek. In the PR/marketing sphere, he has served as corporate communications manager at MarketBridge, a marketing and sales consultancy, and as editorial director for the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council. While at the Council, Scott led several high-profile marketing research projects. He has also operated his own communications and media consulting firm, SVC Communications.

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