SEO = Some Evolving Opportunities?

Phil Nardone

I recently read an interesting article on Mashable from Andrew Edwards at ClickZ titled “Are We Coming to the End of SEO?” As many of us in the PR world know, the SEO industry has recently experienced a lot of changes. Google introduced a series of upgrades and announced that they would no longer supply data about keyword popularity. So do these changes really mean the end of SEO? In my opinion, no – they signify opportunities.

Here at PAN, we’ve been discussing both internally and with clients what these changes mean for their SEO, how we can maintain it and what we can do to improve it. Similar to other industries, SEO is evolving meaning we need to modify the way we approach SEO.

All the recent changes in SEO, i.e. Google updates and duplicate content penalties, are opportunities for PR professionals and their clients to explore new methods of driving traffic. Every day, I challenge my staff to find new ways to increase the visibility of their clients, outside of traditional PR.

Here are some ideas:

  • Create a strong social media presence – Social media is changing how we as PR professionals do our jobs and it’s certainly impacting the way our clients do theirs. Work with a PR team to brainstorm ways to increase followers and engagement. For example try hosting a Twitter or Facebook chat.
  • Start a blog series – Blogs are great tools for two reasons: one, they encourage and increase employee engagement and two; they position employees as thought leaders. As an added bonus, blog can be promoted on social media platforms, thus driving traffic back to a website.
  • Turn research into something visual – We’ve all heard the saying “A picture is worth a 1,000 words” so try it out – next time research is conducted; create an infographic instead of publishing the results in a traditional whitepaper. While infographics can be tricky, if implemented correctly, they can garner a lot of traction and visibility. Nowadays, a number of PR agencies have an in-house creative team that can design an infographic to ensure it goes viral. We recently launched PANdigital to provide additional, creative services to our clients and to address the value of consumable content.
  • Seek out thought leadership opportunities – Disclosure: This doesn’t just mean public speaking opportunities!! While speaking at industry or trade events are great exposure, for those shyer executives there are other options. It seems like every day, my team finds more and more outlets that are asking for contributed content. Take advantage of these opportunities. Not only do contributed pieces increase a company’s visibility, they position executives as thought leaders, drive traffic back to the website and can be shared on social media platforms.

The question that resonates with me most from Edwards’s article is this: Say your website gets to the top of the search results, above the fold – did it improve your business or did you just accumulate a higher bounce rate? Instead of stuffing a website full of keywords to push a brand out, to me, the better approach is exploring what opportunities will draw in potential customers, media and future employees. SEO isn’t dying; it’s simply evolving and challenging us all to think smarter and bigger for our clients and for ourselves.

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