The phrase is content strategy. And, whether you feel confident about it or not, my fellow flacks, this is slowly becoming your bag in PR. SEO is an ever-evolving thing. It’s like watching a child actor grow up — you know the brick wall is coming, it’s just when he or she will run smooth into the damn thing.
We are running into SEO and many flacks aren’t prepared because of all the many nuances behind keywords. What are they really? How do you use them? When is the best time to write them?
To wit, here’s our latest 5 Things listicle: What to know about choosing the right keywords. *High Five!*
1. Key phrases. The problem with keywords is that PR pros take that term way too literally. “Well, I’m only allowed to pick words.” Not so much. The idea of keywords is to be specific because that’s how people search. If you are shilling for baseball (like I do on the side), then consider making a team name a keyword instead of just the sport. The more specific the phrases, the more likely you’ll attract exactly the visitor who’s looking for what you sell.
2. Niche Keywords. Don’t be afraid of these. For example, if you are in technology — an industry known and regaled for its jargon that soars over heads of most mortals — you will need to use keywords that most don’t use in their vernacular. Using niche keywords strategically will help you attract those Google spiders looking to crawl on your Web. Whether you are looking to do a pay-per-click campaign or just bolstering your website to enhance its sex appeal, use what works.
3. Competitive Audit. As it should be, research is the name of the game in PR more and more every day. If you think you can crawl on Cision or Vocus and just wing it, good luck with that. I’ll be poaching your clients now. When responsible for a keyword strategy, you must know what the competitors are writing, saying, and using for search. How is your client going to compete if you don’t know how to talk to their consumers? Learn what they do better. Then learn how to do it better.
4. Bad Spelling. Okay, here’s a secret — sucking at spelling isn’t a bad thing when creating a keyword strategy. People have fat fingers. They type in the dark. Some just don’t want to look up your name. And then there’s the people who didn’t graduate 5th grade. Think how people can jack up your client’s brand in a search bar, and use those for URLs, tags, or even a blog post how spelling screws up the brand name. It’s playful and you’re making content in the process.
5. Be Careful. I’ve said it many times before: I heart Google because it is forcing flacks to become better writers. In short, you’re not that cagey. You can’t stuff keywords into copy. Do so, and it’s your blacklisted client’s website we’ll never find on page 15. Keywords should be natural in conversation. Density isn’t for everyone, so just stick to the point and you’ll be fine.