breaking away from the pack

Search Engine Optimization for PR

By on November 27, 2009 in Uncategorized

I mentioned in my earlier article, “The Key to Finding Targeted and Relevant Keywords“, that search engine optimization is coming on strong for public relations and publicity and I would write more on this topic soon. Perfect timing–my friend PR guru Aleta Walther sent me TopRank Online Marketing’s SEO Guide – 5 Steps to Success With News Optimization.

This short guide presents a concise overview of SEO for PR, boiling it down to five steps:

  • Research Keywords
  • Content Optimization
  • Digital Asset Optimization
  • Link Building
  • Measuring Success

TopRank opens the piece with a quote from David Meerman Scott (The New Rules of Marketing & PR) that alludes to the new paradigm for journalists, bloggers and consumers who are using search engines to look for subject matter experts, trends and news, and information of all kinds.

Scott said he’s received over 25,000 email pitches to write stories on products, innovations, and tech solutions. Not one has resulted in a story written by him. He uses search engines to get ideas and information for his stories.

In his book, Scott talks about “The New Rules of News Releases”. Note that he uses the phrase “news releases”, not “press releases”. In a disintermediated Web world, communicators are reaching buyers directly with news releases distributed through the Web. Journalists and bloggers are finding these news releases with keyword (and keyword phrase) searches and using them to develop their stories and blog postings.

Many PR professionals who continue to invest themselves heavily in distributing press releases to the news media resist the idea of reaching huge audiences of consumers who are reading news releases directly on the Web and exercising that power on a daily basis.

It’s heartening to know that now it’s possible to get news of your product or service to your target audiences without having to hire a top-shelf PR agency to get your story placed in The New York Times. Of course, it’s a huge boost when NYT even mentions you in an article, but for Internet marketers, investing thousands and thousands of dollars in achieving that goal often makes little sense, especially when those same journalists are trolling the Web, looking for you.

In a future article, I’ll talk about how to write news releases for the Web and some ways that you can distribute them so they pop up in the search rankings.

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