You might think search engine optimization (SEO) and public relations are entirely different avenues for online marketing. In fact, the world of SEO might be entirely foreign and uninteresting to you. My education in public relations and journalism never touched upon SEO. However, to be an effective writer and communicator today, it is essential to have a basic understanding of SEO and how it affects your writing.
As communications and public relations professionals, we are constantly writing – press releases, executive bios, newsletters, white papers, case studies, award submissions, social media updates, etc. All of your writing should be optimized for SEO purposes. Think about it – even if its original purpose is a hard copy, most of the content you write these days will end up online in some form.
Consider your goals for whatever content you are writing. It may be to increase awareness, create buzz around an event or topic, or inform your audience of news. These goals should coincide with another very important goal for your business: to be found online. When people are looking for information on a topic, event or company, they are likely browsing online (and chances are good it’s from their mobile device).
Therefore, in order to be found online, all the content you write should be optimized for SEO purposes. Make sure those keywords that people are searching to find your organization are in your headline. Use keywords throughout your social media updates. Beef up that first paragraph in your white paper with some keywords about your topic. In order for communicators and public relations professionals to have our work found and read online, we have to make it SEO-friendly.
If this is something you are struggling with, or you want to know more about SEO, you should check out our Webbed Marketing University series. The first session is an intro to SEO, and will highlight some of the basics to help you meet your business goals… even as a public relations or communications professional.