With the advent of Google’s Penguin and Panda algorithms, search spam and lower quality content have rightfully disappeared. While some may think that this means search engine optimization (SEO) is going the way of the dodo, the reality is that Google now rewards good content. This, is a gift for talent public relations pros.
Content matters – and PR firms can help a lot and win as a result.
The “Good Ole Days”
For ages, good SEO meant filling a bag with tactics and tricks designed to beat Google, regardless of relevance or usefulness to a passing user. But like the philosophy of Ayn Rand, the heyday of opportunistic and greedy optimization are over. In its place, SEO made best friends with vast quantities of good, solid content.
Now more than ever, SEO-driven long-form content marketing is in vogue. To begin, SEO’s main goal was to use exact keyword matching. This generated pages with phrases arranged to exactly match the keywords sought. But now Google searches have evolved to collect pages fitting under a more general subject of the precise keywords used.
However, it’s still a safe bet to start SEO optimization by double-checking keywords. The difference is the technique required for using these keywords in creating content.
How To Choose Smart Keywords
The first step is choosing the right keywords for business’ content. Google Adwords Keyword Planner is a neat free tool free to all with an Adwords Account. First, type in a keyword most crucial to the business in question. Google’s engine automatically generates a list of similar words in current use, giving writers a leg-up on other, non-savvy content marketing ventures.
There are of course other apps like Positionly, SpyFu, and Ispionage. But regardless of which is used, Public Relations professionals would be remiss to ignore the opportunity here.
PR pros shouldn’t miss the significance of this advantage. By taking this small step, content marketing means a free preview of their audience. Often, related terms reveal the psychology of readers so clearly that writing topics cease to be a part of the job.
After assessing the list of keyword-related terms in vogue, try adding other words more in line with future marketing strategy. From here, the next step is to add 30-100 keywords with relevance to a business’ future.
And of course integrating it in a smart way with PPC cant hurt either.
Why Do All This Extra Work If Google Adapts To the Market?
By taking these simple steps, a PR pro discovers their audience. Moreover, Google rewards the extra work with increased traffic and better rankings.
There are some things to keep in mind when planning keywords. Google is a bustling marketplace of topics, keywords, publications, and brands. As such it should come as little surprise that previously related keywords lose ranking after a few days. Content marketing is a social science, so keyword use naturally vacillates from vogue to passé as other PR pros dig in all semantic directions around marketable keywords.
It should be clear by now that content marketing and SEO are like peanut butter and jelly because the only way to successfully market content is to have solid SEO.
If One Hundred PR Pros Jump Off the Google Cliff, Outsmart the Sheep
Although SEO and content Marketing are two distinct strategies with many critical differences, they overlap in key ways. The two methods differ in that content marketing is a broader, holistic method, while SEO is an acute, rote strategy for garnering love from Google spiders. But the convergence between the two is unavoidable. The best strategy for using SEO on a wide scale is to focus technical innovation into content marketing. On the flip side, the only way content marketing remains reliable is by implementing solid SEO techniques.
Don’t fall into bad habits of counting on back-end advances in Google’s search algorithms to make up for lazy content writing. SEO is the PR-writer’s hammer, so as the saying goes; “if it ain’t broke…”