Yesterday, IABC's Phoenix chapter
put together a terrific meeting on something that's on everyone's
radar. I suspect the topic ("Using SEO & Other PR Tactics to
Communicate with Social Communities in a Web 2.0 World") was
intentionally long and geeky to make a point. More on this later.
had pried open the controversial but hot topic of Search Engine
Optimization (SEO) and Social Media. Whenever these two buzz phrases
occur in one sentence, advertising agencies, media relations people and
marketers get a little hot around the collar. I know, because I used to
work for a SEO-meets marketing company. There are lots of myths and
concerns out there. Just a year ago SEO seemed like a lot of pixie dust
before things like Twitter and User generated Content showed up. "Social bookmarking" sounded like something Paris Hilton does when thumbing through National Inquirer.
Unfortunately, the world inside corporate marketing is still looking
at what's unfolding before us as pixie dust 2.0. Look around you. The
world of marketing and PR is roughly divided into people who think "we
don't have a budget for this crap" and those who go "could we upload
this sucker to YouTube?" So it's about time we discuss Google Juice, and Digg, and the social media press release, and what in the world is Facebook up to, trying to upstage our beloved search engines.
Could people game the search engine, someone asked? Do "Diggs" mean
anything a few days after the story breaks? Was there some 'white-hat'
way to get better rankings on search results? Everyone probably knew
the answer to that last one. Sure, there are black-hat methods of
sneaking past the algorithm, and there's marketing.
You don't need to know how this algorithm thing works, but if you
accept the logic behind it, then you gotta work on it. Good case in
point: Southwest Airlines.
Three years ago, they optimized a press release by editing it based on
search terms they had been tracking. They tracked the results and saw a
direct correlation to a spike in sales. They won an award for this. It's a matter of crafting headlines and knowing where to drop in a hyperlink, and a meta tag.
Which brings me to the MarketWire topic. Google (or Yahoo) the words
"SEO PR social media" and see if IABC Phoenix is anywhere in sight. Now
Google (or Yahoo) the topic (Using SEO & Other PR Tactics to
Communicate with Social Communities in a Web 2.0 World) and see what
pops up at the top of your search results. Brilliant huh?