By Jeremy Walters, Freelancer

Since the advent of the internet, PR has changed out of all recognition. In the 90’s, PR basically meant achieving coverage in the press and getting broadcast opportunities in radio and TV. That was about it. Yes, it was valuable but fast forward 15 years and PR’s effectiveness has quadrupled. Why? SEO.

Let me give you an example. Take a new Sat Nav system that automatically texts a nominated person when the driver is ten minutes away from them and then one minute from arrival. Classic PR might herald the invention of this device and gain plenty of column inches in the motoring trade press, nationals’ driving supplements and a few broadcast appearances within shows like the Gadget show.

What online PR allows you to do is to take this one step further. It allows a marketer to Search Optimise (SEO) their keywords so that when people type in certain phrases in a search bar, in this case the Sat Nav system, it appears on the first page of Google. Not only does this SEO drive awareness but it also significantly uplifts sales. As a result, PR becomes a potent marketing weapon because it includes SEO and organic search ranking as well as classic awareness.

I don’t want to give too many hard-earned SEO secrets away but here are a few that will place you far ahead of your competition:

1. Do a keyword search for your product or service and select one or two keywords that are the most popular and perhaps one or two that are less popular. Using the above example the keyword terms might be ‘Sat Nav systems’, ‘hi-tech Sat Nav’ and a less popular phrase such as ‘Sat Nav updates’.

2. In any piece of copy that you write for publicity purposes, ensure that your #1 keyword is placed in the first paragraph for SEO purposes. Hyperlink this keyword to your relevant website page. Google will then recognise your website as being relevant to that keyword phrase. This is SEO in its purest form.

3. Then sprinkle the three keywords throughout the copy with a percentage of 3%-4% keyword density for each keyword. Therefore if the copy is 300 words long you will mention each keyword 9 to 12 times for SEO purposes.

4. SEO can make copy unreadable so the trick is to try to cleverly insert the phrases throughout the copy. If the copy is still unreadable, reduce the SEO keyword density.

At the point you are reading this there are 400 words of copy. I have mentioned SEO twelve times to optimise the word SEO. Can you see how it is done? I have also hyperlinked the word SEO in the first paragraph back to Realwire’s own website by way of example.

One word of warning: it is better to underplay the keyword usage and have a keyword density of less than 4% than to go above it. Why? If Google’s technology spots that you have gone above this density it can sandbox you (not list you) for abusing SEO ‘rules’. A few big corporate companies have been sandboxed so be careful.

Use the above rules, however, and you will be steps ahead of the competition. Not only will you be using PR for awareness but you will also be using it to enhance your organic search ranking which, in turn, will drive sales. PR and SEO are perfect partners.

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