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By Jessie Newburn

To my colleagues in the PR industry, and particularly those in the PRSA Maryland Chapter, I’d love to tell you that you should get your website SEO-ed. That you can have great expectations of not just more traffic but more leads. That you can transform your website from a digital brochure into an actual lead-generation tool.

That would be lovely, wouldn’t it?

But I would be remiss were I to promise such things.

This is not to say you shouldn’t tune into and implement good SEO practices. It’s simply that so many PR agencies are general practice agencies working with a variety and range of clients. Alas, the big search volume keyphrases you may wish to opt your site for–keyphrases such as public relations, media training, reputation management–are already “taken,” and it would require Herculean effort, intense focus and probably more dollars and technical skill than you either have or want to spend to rank for such terms.

But even if you did rank for such phrases, there isn’t much buying intent in those keyphrases and so you’d potentially get a lot of traffic but hardly any conversions, so your efforts to rank would be for naught.

Also, for those of you who five or so years ago got on the “Public Relations, Annapolis,” “Public Relations, Baltimore” bandwagon, you might have achieved some success with such an approach, though I’d guess any previous successes there have dwindled of late.

So, what do you do?

Throw in the towel? That’s one option.

Get smart about it? That’s a better option, I’d think. Here are some tips.

First, you’ve got to have an SEO strategy (preferably based on research) and a content creation schedule aligned with your strategy.

Second, go for the long-tail keyphrases. Long-tail keyphrases show greater indication of buying intent, and when you create content and optimize it for the long-tail, you may not get as much traffic volume, but you’re likely to get better conversions. Examples of long-tail keyphrases are —

How do I respond to a PR crisis

Media relations training for government officials

How do I get rid of negative information on the internet

3 tips for managing influencer relations

Third, do what you do so well! Get those backlinks to your site. Work with bloggers and influencers. Get some buzz about what you’re doing. Get people talking. And get them linking to your site.

And, overall, remember to write for people and optimize for search engines. This approach is key. People want to read relevant, useful information and Google wants to deliver relevant, useful information to people. This is where you come in and where PR professionals are poised to get great SEO results for their companies and clients.

There’s a lot more to SEO, of course, and much of it technical, though, as you can see, a lot of good SEO practices are within your reach.

Thanks! And wishing you the best!

About the author: Jessie Newburn manages BizDev and the Partner Program Manager at Atigro Digital Marketing. She can be reached at 202-794-7276, or at jessie@atigro.com.

*Atigro Digital Marketing was the top sponsor at the 2018 PRSA Maryland Conference. We hope you got a chance to talk with Jessie.

Photo by Martin Sattler on Unsplash

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