I pulled up Google on my cell phone today to search for graduation invitations. In 0.39 seconds Google showed about 13,200,000 results. The first four results had [Ad] next to their website name and the rest did not.
Before I knew what Search engine optimization was, I never knew how or why Google showed certain websites first over other sites.
One of the most important skill to acquire not only in general but for Public Relations is Search Engine Optimization. Having this skill helps bring traffic to a website and shine light onto the product or service the website is offering. It is all about the words chosen for SEO.
David Meerman Scott has a chapter in his book The New Rules of Marketing and PR about SEO.
*Search Engine Optimization is the art and science of ensuring that the words and phrases on your site, blog, and other online content are found by the search engines and that, once found, your site is given the highest ranking possible in the natural search results (i.e., what the search engine algorithm deems important for the phrase entered). [page 396]
*Search engine advertising is when marketer pays to have advertising appear in search engines when a user types in a particular phrase that the marketer has purchased. Usually this advertising comes in the form of small text ads appearing next to the natural search results for a particular search term. Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Yahoo! Search Marketing are the three large search engine advertising programs. Marketers bid to have their ads appear based on keywords and phrases, competing against others who want the same phrases. Your ad will appear somewhere in the list of ads for that phrase based on a formula used by the search engine that takes into account two main factors: how much you are willing to bid (in dollars and cents) for each person who clicks the ad, plus your click-through rate (the number of people who click your ad divided by the number of people who see it in the search results). [Page 396]
I had learned the basic’s about SEO in a few of my courses but none of them went deep into what it was and how to use it. It was just the general knowledge. After reading chapter 23 in The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott and reading Hyper-Local SEO & Marketing by Donald Dunnington, I had learned a lot. I was able to add more knowledge to my SEO skills. I knew that you need to make sure you are tagging properly to make sure people are able to find your site but not the science that goes into it. One does not realize how much goes into SEO until they read about it.
Donald Dunnington touched on the topic of creating relationships with others in the professional world. It is very important for Public Relations practitioners to build relationships. This does not change when it comes to SEO. Relationships with one another is important in any line of work.
“SEO is the new PR and PR the new SEO When you talk to today’s SEO managers, the conversation frequently turns to the sort of relationship building that was the foundation for the public relations…The only difference is today’s SEO-oriented media relations are largely focused on online media, and a major objective is to influence your ranking in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), not just count news clippings.” – Donald Dunnington, Hyper-Local SEO & Marketing (pg. 28)
Online media has built in tools that help users know what is working and what is not working. Data gives us an insight. A site that most of my classmates have used for their internships is Google Analytics to help them collect data. Even my blog has analytics built in that shows me what post got the most hits. Online media and SEO work hand in hand.
Overall I learned about SEO and I hope to further my knowledge in SEO.