Got Linked?

All PR professionals and PR professionals in the making should be fully aware of the importance of the use of SEOs. I shouldn’t even have to break it down, but I feel compelled to do so; SEO stands for search engine optimization. And if you are still at a loss, SEOs are keywords used to heighten the chances of your product or brand being found high on the list of search engine results.

The problem is most PR personnel have yet to grasp a decent understanding of SEO, which plays an important role in online marketing campaigns. I came across this information on PRWeb.

A recent Webinar conducted by a company called Search Marketing Now revealed that only 15 percent of PR professionals have a sound understanding of SEO. In other words, a whopping 85 percent did not. However, according to statistics from the Links, Link Building and Public Relations Webinar, 94 percent of the participants thought that SEO is, in fact, becoming increasingly important.

Search Marketing Now’s mission is to provide expert advice on search marketing information and ways to increase knowledge and usage of SEO practices in an effort to achieve maximum exposure on search engines.

So what does this all mean? What is the use and what is the benefit? How does it even factor into public relations?

Getting Linked — of course.

Got Linked?

The idea of popping up on even the first page of a Google search has been a goal for PR firms, their clients and even individual PR personnel themselves. We have all been drilled on the importance of marketing and branding. And one way to ensure that we have achieved our goal is to become knowledgeable on how to use links.

The PRWeb blog mentioned that links have roughly two audiences: … “the people who click them and the search engines that judge them,” and the more clicks a link receives usually means the more it gets read. The aim of the PR professional is to provide reputable and credible content that uses linked keywords that rank high on search engines while attracting the attention of the target audience.

Another way to get linked and increase Web presence is to use anchor texts. We all practice this often, and it is simply using keywords as links within paragraphs (as I have been doing throughout this post). In addition, include sharing functions such as Facebook, Digg and emailing options on articles and news releases; and responding to applicable blogs or forums and linking back to your own page or article.

Check out 101 ways to build link popularity. It’s time you Got Linked!

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18 Responses to Got Linked?

  1. kdaoust says:

    I am shocked that 85 percent of PR professionals do not have a sound understanding of SEO! It should be ridiculously clear to anyone in the PR profession that a firm understanding of how to use SEO to your advantage is crucial to online marketing campaigns.

    To call ourselves PR professionals, it is part of our job to stay constantly updated on the newest social media and online marketing tools. There is absolutely no good reason why 85 percent of PR professionals don’t have a grasp on SEO.

    I hope everyone in this class takes this as an invitation to learn as much about SEO as possible to be as marketable as possible when entering the workforce!

    • mwilson9 says:

      Absolutely, that number is pretty disturbing. That is one of the reasons I chose to write about this topic, to help open our eyes to the importance of SEO in out profession.

  2. jmjohn27 says:

    This is an interesting post! It has been drilled into our heads how important SEO is and clearly current PR professionals understand how important it is. Unfortunately, just knowing its importance doesn’t make it useful.

    How come PR professionals aren’t taking advantage of this wonderful tool? With Internet becoming the number one way people search for information, you would think SEO and knowing how to maximize it would be at the top of the priority list! I can understand how it can be challenging to work key words into a headline or a story without changing the meaning or the creativity of the product, but maybe PR professionals need to start using press releases and articles about the product, service or client more for the sole purpose of SEO and make the product or service marketing do the creative work. Maybe PR writing needs to be less of a selling device and more of a locating device. Bottom line: a product can’t (and won’t) sell if people don’t know where to find it.

    • mwilson9 says:

      I agree with you. We, as PR professionals can jump through hoops trying different ways to put a product onto the market, but it means nothing if the product cannot be easily located or does not pop up as much as competing brands.

  3. rmmoore5 says:

    I actually learned about SEOs from my first internship and ever since then I know how important SEO is for PR and marketing professionals. An article called “The Importance of SEO” states, launching a Website without any type of SEO is like throwing a party and forgetting to invite guests. It is critical to draw consumers and Internet users to your Website and therefore people, especially in the public relations business, need to grasp search engine optimization. Why do you think so many people think SEO is important yet don’t understand the concept?

    • mwilson9 says:

      I think that in the fast-paced society that we live in, we tend to look to the easy way out. Some people may feel as though the job is done just because they gave something a URL. I think that while they know the importance of SEO, they are just complacent in not wanting to grasp the concept and not wanting to have to go the extra step. It’s just simply laziness more than uncertainty.

  4. sbfogel says:

    While I think that search engine optimization is a logical tool in getting your client the spotlight in the Internet arena, I also believe that soon SEO will be just as overused and saturated as Facebook and Twitter. Once every public relations professional begins to understand how to use this kind of technology, everyone will be fighting for the top spot … in turn making it almost impossible for your story to be seen. I think that the goal should not be making your client #1 on a Google search, but making sure that your client’s message gets seen by the RIGHT people in the RIGHT places.

    On a side note, I do think that linking keywords to attract a target audience is extremely important. It helps build credibility in your story as well as giving readers more choices to get themselves educated; a win-win situation.

    • mwilson9 says:

      I disagree with what you start off saying. PR professionals and everybody else on the World Wide Web are already fighting for that top spot, whether they know about SEO or not. Understanding SEO gives you that edge over others (in this case, 85 percent of PR professionals).

      Have you ever Googled your name? Do you see any information about yourself? Or do you wonder how all those people with the same name, who aren’t famous, got up there and you didn’t?

      That’s pretty much what SEO is all about, understanding how well to push a brand or product to your specific target audience and even those who you never expected to reach.

  5. hdfulton says:

    I thought it was really interesting that only 15 percent of PR professionals (surveyed anyway) knew about SEO and its affects.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cronkite School adopts a course on SEO, or at least a seminar, into the curriculum. In my opinion, like the press release, SEO will soon become a customary way for PR professionals and marketing gurus to do their thing.

    • mwilson9 says:

      Well I think the Cronkite School is already pushing the use of SEO, well certain professors are at least. I took Online Media with Dr. Serena Carpenter and she explained SEO, its importance and how to use it. Before then, I had no clue.

      The good thing about that, however, is that I am still at a learning institution. PR professionals just need to ensure that they stay on top of new trends, learn them and learn how to advance themselves and their clients.

  6. pperryve says:

    It’s so surprising to me to find out that only 15 percent of PR professionals know about SEO! Even now, you hear so many people talk about reaching the holy grail that is the first page of the Google search, I can’t even begin to imagine what that will become once more people start catching on. It is sort of inexcusable that only 15 percent of PR professionals properly utilize SEO, when it’s such an EASY way to bring your client the publicity they desire.

    • mwilson9 says:

      My thoughts exactly! SEO is not that hard to grasp and it is so important to the public relations field and online marketing. At the end of the day, it depends on if one is willing to go the extra mile or not.

  7. srmccab1 says:

    I think this is definitely something that is becoming more and more important for PR professionals as we’re increasingly using the Web as a medium. Without doing something to make our content stand out it, it can easily get lost in the mass of other information floating out there. I think it’s funny that even though we all (including teachers, students and PR professionals) place such a high standard on applying this technique, we are taught little of it in school. Without applying this on a regular basis, it won’t become second nature to us like AP Style for example. Overall, I think this is a great post and includes some really helpful links!

    • mwilson9 says:

      Thank you, and as I mentioned earlier, Serena Carpenter, who teaches Online Media at the Cronkite School, definitely emphasized the importance of SEO in her class. It is another reason I found the numbers so shocking. SEO is something that is known by many but practiced by few.

  8. alervin says:

    Thank you for this post. I don’t think that people realize how important understanding SEO actually is. I found it kind of shocking that only 15 percent of PR professionals understand SEO, because it is such an important aspect of the job.

    I think there should be classes that teach SEO, so that students who come out of college have a solid grasp of this concept. I know there are many things that can be done to boost a page on a Google search, they just need to be understood by students and professionals.

    I have to admit that although I understand the basics of search engine optimization, I don’t know all of the ins and outs. There is much I still would like to know, and unfortunately, I do not see it taught often.

    According to this article: schools need to teach SEO more than they need to teach AP Style. I don’t know that I would take it that far — but I definitely think it is an important and essential concept.

  9. cmmassey says:

    SEO is a critical tactic in the PR world. We all have to be aware and well-versed in the use of this process. Our world of constant communication forces each PR professional to put on the boxing gloves and fight for our fellow Internet users’ attention. SEO is a tool that will help us accomplish our goal, getting our message out there. The 101 Ways to Build Link Popularity really made me think about SEO in a different way. Number 13 states that users should, “Track who picks up your articles or press releases. Offer them exclusive news or content.” This is extremely important and available through the website We are able to track our press releases and how they are perceived by Internet users. This correlates to SEO because we will be able to see what key words are attracting others.

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