I had the recent privileged of speaking to the wonderful members of the Southern Public Relations Federation at their annual conference about how to improve their optimization when writing for public relations.

During my breakout session I was able to address how to optimize articles, blog posts, and new releases for PR pros.

We discussed and reviewed techniques to determine the best keyword selection.  Keywords are the first major concepts that have to be mastered. A term that sounds most logical and relevant in your mind may not be the term that has the most search volume. By checking and altering the phrasing slightly you will increase your chances of reaching a larger audience.

Next we looked at some on page techniques that anyone with a site should be optimizing but especially PR pros.

  1. URL and titles. First and foremost to communicate why your article, blog, or new release is relevant your keyword absolutely must appear in the URL. The easiest why to do this is by including the keyword in your title but it’s not necessary. Contrary to common belief, the URL and title do not have to match. They often do because it is the default in WordPress. The keyword in the URL super-cedes any other on-page SEO technique.
  2. Secondly we looked at the importance of metadata. Again, the name of the game is communicating relevancy to Google. The algorithms, while very sophisticated, are not able to fully discern the nuances of language, culture, context, semantics. Metadata is how we tell Google that a ‘beamer’ is a BMW vehicle, not a ray of light. By giving Google context and meaning to the site they are much better able to return relevant searches to their users because the algorithm can determine the meaning of the site.
  3. Finally we looked at anchor text. Anchor text are the highlighted links in a post. These text should be used sparingly but intentionally. They need to link out to pages that also give relevancy to your topic.  These are not just a tool to help your reader learn more but, like the metadata, express what your post is about. Keyword stuffing was warned against since the algorithm looks at that as spam and can incur a penalty. Intentional, relevant and sparingly is the name of the anchor text game.