As public relations experts, we work hard to secure mentions for our clients in the news and other media. I don’t have to argue that people are acquiring more of their news from online sources. And as more and more people get their information online, they do so in one of three ways:
- They read, see, or hear it on one of their favorite news, blog, video, or podcast websites
- They are referred to it by someone else through a medium such as email or social media
- They locate it in the search engines
The third way brings up an interesting question. Are public relations agencies prepared to help their clients be discovered in the search engines? Because if the “public” is moving online and the search engines are one of the main ways they discover new information, an expert in public relations must now become an expert in search engine results. But it doesn’t have to be a huge adjustment. In fact, many PR pros are already doing one of the toughest parts of search engine optimization, they just don’t know it. Let me explain…
There are two parts to every search engine optimization (SEO) strategy: onsite optimization and offsite optimization. Onsite optimization, or maximizing the target website characteristics so that it is properly categorized by the search engines, can get a bit technical but nothing a quick visit to WooRank won’t fix. Offsite optimization, however, can be much more difficult but is extremely important to achieve proper rankings. Offsite optimization is all about acquiring backlinks. Backlinks are those little blue links you see all over the web that take you to a new website when you click on them. The more backlinks a website has linking to it, the better it does in the search results. And not just any backlink either, as the quality of the website where the backlink is located determines the value of that link. For example, a backlink pointing to your website from a newly created blog is worth nothing compared to a link pointing back to your website from a major online property such as The New York Times online.
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