Recently, we had a meeting with a representative from a wire service, with a major part of the conversation discussing search engine optimization (SEO) of press releases. Among the matters discussed was how keywords are picked up and ranked by search engines, therefore increasing your client’s page ranking on Google, Yahoo, etc.
While I understand the value in SEO for websites and collateral, this conversation made me think about whom the real audiences for some press releases today. Are our press releases simply written so they will be picked up by the algorithms that power search engines, or are we working to ensure that our journalist and analyst audiences consume the story as well?
Press releases, and PR as a whole, are usually a component of a larger marketing strategy and therefore it’s important that the PR objectives match up with the larger objectives of the marketing program and that we utilize complimentary tactics when possible. SEO is one of these complimentary tactics.
The PR professional must be aware of the existing marketing SEO keywords when writing a press release so the release can be an effective part of the marketing strategy. But this must be a two-way conversation. As the PR professional interacts with the media, they become aware of additional keywords that resonate with this audience.
The SEO keyword list, like any marketing campaign, cannot be static. As conversations evolve and new trends emerge in the market, the PR messaging will evolve. In order to keep SEO effective and keywords relevant with the audience, this list must evolve and synch with the changing messaging of the organization.
On the surface, SEO and the activities of the PR team may seem like very different beasts. They are actually more intertwined than many may think. By ensuring that messaging and keywords maintain on the same constantly evolving track, you can ensure that your keywords will always be optimized for SEO in your press releases.
Especially in the tech PR field, our clients are savvy about new technology, and this includes in marketing their products and services. It is up to us as consultants to counsel how to integrate these different marketing elements so they are effective across the board.
By Ashleigh B. Egan