5 Tactics to Help You Eliminate Your SEO Blind Spot

Laura Kempke

If there's one unifying thread of digital communications, it's search. Understanding search trends that impact search engine optimization is no longer reserved for chief technology officers and the designers who (probably) built your Web site. Knowing how to use keywords in press releases, optimize videos and create shareable content is an essential tactic to getting your messages heard by your target audience—and beyond.

PR pros can get caught up in perfecting their messages and overlook basic SEO tactics to increase the visibility of those messages. Below, Laura Kempke, Schwartz MSL Boston senior VP and June 21-22 Social Media Summit/Taste of Tech speaker, provides five crucial tactics to help you eliminate your SEO blind spot. 

  1. Research and use keywords: Keywords are terms people use when searching for information about the types of products or services that your organization offers. "They’re probably not just your brand names," says Kempke. "A good starting place is your Web site’s Google Analytics to see which terms are bringing people to your site and keeping them there the longest." Other resources include Google AdWords, HubSpot Keyword SEO Tool and SEOmoz Keyword Analysis. Once you know your keywords, take care to use them and their variants in Web site copy, news releases and other PR material, says Kempke.  

  2. Pay attention to press release titles: Search engines may bypass the end of a long press release title. "Try to keep titles under 65 characters—with spaces—and be sure to use one or two of your keywords in the title," says Kempke. If the title must run longer, put your keywords in those first 65 characters.

  3. Add fresh content to your company’s blog: A blog that’s a part of your organization’s Web site is a terrific way to add timely, new content to your site, and to drive your business. "A few ways to get the most SEO value out of your blog include being attentive to keyword use (although this should never supplant your natural writing style), linking to pages within your Web site from your blog and making it easy for readers to share your blog posts via social media," says Kempke.

  4. Use social media: Social sharing of your content is increasingly important for SEO because it increases the content’s authority in the eyes of search engines—especially on Google’s own Google+ network, says Kempke. Optimize your social content whenever possible and be sure to add links back to pages on your Web site.

  5. Don’t forget to optimize videos: PR pros at companies large and small are using video to tell their stories. In addition to housing video on sites such as YouTube or Vimeo, videos provide a great opportunity to add SEO value to your company’s Web site. "Search engines can’t understand video content, but they can read information on the page in which the video is hosted and displayed," says Kempke. "The title of the video really matters for SEO, so be sure to include target keywords." If you can afford it, also consider using a transcription service and publish an edited version of the transcript with the video to pull in additional traffic.

Follow Bill Miltenberg: @bmiltenberg

Attend PR News’ two-day Social Media Summit/Taste of Tech event June 21-22 in New York City and learn more from digital leaders like Laura Kempke.