You may have recently heard the term Public Relations 2.0. If you haven’t, you’re probably shaking your head right now. In a nutshell, PR 2.0 is the process of using Web 2.0 methods like search engine optimization (SEO) as part of your company’s PR push. The connection is intuitive. PR pros want their product, company or cause to appear in as many places as possible. SEO experts want optimum placement on page one of search engine websites like Google, Yahoo! and Bing. Both want this placement to attract attention. So how do PR pros apply the principles of SEO to online press releases?
SEO is based on keywords. To explain it in the most basic way, a site is successful at SEO if it focuses on keywords relevant to the search engine searches that people commonly make. But if you own, for example, a baseball collectibles website, it isn’t enough to simply throw up a website and use the keywords “baseball collectibles” over and over again on your website’s copy. Search engines are too savvy for that. The site’s owner must also actually provide relevant, original content about baseball collectibles. To be truly successful, it will also garner links from other sites on the internet that mention, and thus validate, its emphasis on baseball collectibles.
Sold? Then, let’s get started. The best way to begin integrating SEO into your PR campaigns is to keyword-optimize your press releases and then post them online. To keyword optimize your press releases, first brainstorm words or phrases that people might use when searching for your news in a search engine. Once you have those phrases in mind, use a tool like Google Adwords Keyword Tool to discover the most popular versions of your keywords.
For example, when you type the keyword phrase “baseball collectibles” into the tool, you will find that many more people look up the keyword phrases “baseball memorabilia” or “baseball cards.” From this research, you might consider incorporating those more popular keywords into your press release so that it gets picked up more readily on search engines. Also, a final word of warning about writing a keyword optimized press release: don’t sacrifice readability to keyword optimization. Keywords are merely a tool to get your press release in front of more people. If that press release is not interesting, informative and newsworthy, it still is not doing its job and generating media coverage or interest from the public.
Once you’ve written a keyword optimized press release, it’s time to distribute that release on the internet. Use a public relations distribution service like eReleases or SEO Press Releases, or you can distribute it to a media list you have already prepared.
In the end, a press release that is properly search engine optimized will catch the attention of a news site, blog or other online source. If a news site reports on one of your press releases, that site will likely link back to your company’s website, thus increasing the search engine optimization for your site. With keyword optimization, research, and a savvy distribution plan, public relations 2.0 can be a win for any PR pro.
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. To subscribe to PR Fuel, visit: http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/subscribe/.