In today’s world, savvy PR pros need to be more than just good writers, they need to be knowledgeable about what constitutes optimised digital platforms and they must know how to manage the interaction between these platforms to maximise the chances of achieving the best possible SEO ranking.

Two of the critical factors underlying successful SEO are the same as that of a successful PR practitioner: credibility (building trust and relationships with stakeholders) and substance (delivering information that is credible and informative).

Search engines prioritise what is useful and substantial because their business model depends on presenting a relevant product offering to millions of consumers around the globe.

A search engine looks not only at the information (press releases tweets, blogs, video, audio) issued into the digital domain when it performs its ‘credibility checks’, it also reviews the issuer’s online profile and track record to determine where on the rankings they will land.

With a traditional media landscape shrinking by the day, PR practitioners need to look beyond the press release and redefine this core communication tool to view it as content that must be customised – as much as required – to meet the information needs of each channel and audience.

Keywords remain vital, so carefully considered head, body and long tail keywords can definitely put your content on the way to SEO success, but your platforms and in particular, social channels, will let you down if they are not properly optimised and up to date. They must be attractive, current and information on it must be highly shareable.

The presence of video, audio and visuals will contribute to the depth of the information you have to offer and it will improve the chances of audiences clicking through to your site or sharing your information with others.

The repurposed press release that is chopped and changed to suit a multitude of platforms is no longer good enough.

Practitioners should be spending more time in the realm of brand journalism to enable the creation of unique information pieces varying in tone, breadth and depth. If they do, those sometimes illusive keywords will spontaneously emerge without needing to be forced and mentions and backlinks are bound to follow.

The strategy to achieve good SEO rankings is a three-way balancing act between meeting the ever-changing requirements of search engines, ensuring that your platforms are optimised and providing your audiences with original, interesting and relevant content at times and on channels that grab their attention and compels them to share what they have learned.

Lynn Erasmus
Lynn Erasmus
Managing Director, HWB Communications
Lynn is a senior Public Relations and Media Practitioner who has worked in the consultancy and corporate communications environment for 22 years, gaining extensive marketing and communications strategy, project management and media experience.

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