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Making the Link: Public Relations and Search Engine Optimization

As PR pros, we have the fundamentals down when it comes to content. But to take full advantage of that content, we also need to know how to maximize its impact digitally by mastering search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is not an exact science and can require a lot of trial and error, so check out these need-to-know tips:

PageRank Variables

For Google, the ordering of the web pages is based on PageRank, an algorithm that assesses 200 variables. One of the many variables is content creation. If a website consistently produces trustworthy content, it will rank ahead of those that don’t produce regularly. This variable gives an important advantage to digital media producers who consistently upload strong content.

Take, for example, “Sean Spicer.” When one searches the Trump administration’s recently departed Press Secretary, the vast majority of results on the first page are news articles, pushing his official biography to the second page, because Google likely sees it as “old” content.

The higher a website ranks on the results pages, the more domain authority it has – a score calculated by the number of other trustworthy websites linking to that site, significantly increasing its ranking.

Tip: Add and edit new content on a regular basis. Consider a blog, for example, to promote relevant and timely topics that will help feed this content space.

Domain Authority

These days, securing news placements online isn’t only an earned media win; it also helps tremendously with your client’s SEO. Earning links from higher-ranking websites, such as CNN or KevinMD, increase your client’s website ranking and give it more authority. Be sure to include a link in your pitch or press release.

Moreover, internal linking can be just as important. Take inventory of your existing content and find ways to link it to other pages and resources on your website. This tells search engines that you have strong, relevant and plentiful content.

Tip: Link where you can! Whether it’s in a pitch to a reporter or among pieces of content on your site, getting traffic to your client’s site and keeping it there is critical to good SEO!

As communicators in the digital media age, our knowledge and expertise regarding SEO is an invaluable part of what we have to offer to position clients as experts regarding their health care issue. Content is king, but we have to know the tools and tactics to ensure it doesn’t get lost.

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