Search engine optimization is becoming all the rage. All over the country, business owners are saying “I want some SEO for my website,” without really knowing what it means or how it’s done. And three years ago, it was understandable to think that SEO was a form of unknowable dark magic that helped businesses make money, but not anymore.
In the last two years, Google has done everything they could to take the power from those dark magic practicing SEOs with the search engine’s Panda and Penguin updates, which penalized bad content and manipulated links. No longer could websites use thin, stolen content and still rank for important keywords. Search engine optimizers could no longer benefit from spamming the Internet with links to their websites. Google’s updates turned the SEO industry on its head.
What Does Google Want Now?
Google wants what they’ve always wanted: quality content built for people, not the search engine robots. They want people to stop slapping a link on comments to sites that aren’t even a little bit relevant to their own website.
How to make Google happy:
- Create your industry’s best blog posts, videos, podcasts, white papers and more
- Build a circle of devoted fans who will share your content in social media and on their own websites
- Provide content to other websites to help that website and to build your own website’s following
- Ensure that your pages are optimized for Google to find them by using proper title tags and good site architecture
Does this sound familiar?
If this sounds familiar, that’s because it is public relations, and it’s been around for decades.
Public relations professionals:
- Create compelling content
- Build fan bases
- Provide content to publications
- Know how to adhere to style and formatting guidelines
In the past, public relations professionals focused their efforts on journalists, but the Internet gave the profession an end-around straight to the public. Companies are now able to communicate directly with their audiences without having to catch the attention of an overworked reporter first.
Essential Skills for Professionals in Public Relations and SEO
The last few years have been disruptive for SEO and public relations, and the skill set someone in one of these professions had five years ago could be meaningless today.
Here are skills that professionals in both fields need to have to stay relevant:
- An ability to build and engage a community through a website, social media, events and other means
- A solid understanding of on-page SEO, including proper title tags, page hierarchy and information architecture
- The ability to quickly produce high-quality content
- Knowledge of media outreach procedures, tools and techniques
While public relations and SEO haven’t fully merged yet, they’re getting closer and closer. Search engine optimizers and public relations professionals should begin taking cues from one another to be even more effective in helping their clients. Do you have a different opinion on this subject? Comment below or send me a tweet at @fahrenheitllc, or visit the Fahrenheit Marketing website to see how we’re bringing SEO and public relations closer together.