PR Trend: The Power of SEO

What is SEO?

SEO (search engine optimization): noun. The process of increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing the visibility of a website or a web page to users of a web search engine. –Wikipedia

To put it simply, SEO is the practice of directing and increasing traffic to your website and its content through major search engines like Google.


According to Public Relations Today, “Consciously using SEO tactics will drive more traffic to your site and campaign, as well as boost your brand’s visibility.”

The main aspects of SEO are:

  • Keywords
    • Use keywords that attract a wide variety of people. PR Today recommends asking these questions when brainstorming which to include: “When people use that search term, what do they want to get? Are they doing basic research or are they in the middle of the funnel looking for a solution to their problem?”
  • Links
    • It’s important to include backlinks (a hyperlink from one web page to another website) from reputable sites that are also relevant to your brand or business. This could be links to interviews with influencers within your field, videos, relevant infographics, etc. “Backlinks to your site are like votes in popularity — they tell Google that other sites recognize your value and that Google should too,” says PR Today.
  • Audience
    • Research your target audience. This will help you to gather the questions they may have. You can do this with tools like social media insights and Google Analytics. Create your content with a specific group of people in mind, focus on your niche, and start small in terms of audience.


“Research shows that sites who rank on the first page of Google get 91.5% of all organic search traffic. And 51% of all site traffic comes from search engines.”


PR is crucial to SEO. If you’ve successfully promoted your brand/biz and it’s featured on another site, make sure to showcase that on your own social media platforms and website. Search Engine Journal says: “When someone is thinking of buying from you they’re much more likely to pull the trigger if publications (or sites) they recognize have featured you.”

This post merely scratches the surface of the world of SEO. Want to know more? Simply search it up on Google…since you clicked on this article, your algorithm already knows what to show you next. 😉

Hook, Line and Sinker: How to Engage Your Audience

Whether you’re writing a blog entry or social media post, hooking your reader is crucial. Successful content catches the eye of its audience with just the first line, then continues to engage them. Here are a few tips to enhance your content.

Write a Killer Headline

Like the headline to this blog post, start with a title that builds an image in the reader’s mind, poses a question, or sparks interest. According to PRDaily, “A proven headline approach is to begin with a topical keyword phrase, followed by a colon—or dash—followed by a statement or question.” In addition, let your interest in the subject shine through. Use words that conjure up emotions and compel the reader to click.

Include Interesting Visuals

Pepper in a few visuals within the post to break up text. Readers will be more likely to continue reading if their eyes are drawn to engaging visuals. Use relevant infographics, bright photos, and shots of people. Fun fact: “Georgia Institute of Technology and Yahoo Labs researchers looked at 1.1 million photos on Instagram and found that pictures with human faces are 38 percent more likely to receive likes than photos with no faces. They’re also 32 percent more likely to attract comments.” –Georgia Tech  

As human beings, we are attracted to faces. Use that to your advantage with your content!

Use Outbound Links

Don’t just describe interesting people, products and studies…show the reader where they can find more information. Including external links boosts SEO. Plus, according to, “If you provide backlinks to high authority pages, you build a search engine’s trust in your website that you are a legitimate player in your field, which will increase a search engine’s confidence when serving up your page as a result to their users.”

End with a Call to Action

Wrapping up your post with a phrase like: “What tips do you have? Tweet us!” encourages readers to connect with you and future content.

Offer content that interests your audience and take the steps to optimize it.

SEO Tips From a Portland PR Firm


Have a strategy and offer content with value to your audience

If you have a business or a brand, you must have a strong online presence. Public relations agencies are no different. Every business wants to stand out and show up on the first page of searches.

Businesses and brands face ever increasing competition to be noticed. With more than 1 billion active websites, consistent attention to Search engine optimization, or SEO, is key to raising visibility.

From 1 website in 1991 to 1 billion in 2014

SEO is the process of affecting the rank of a website in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid search results. The earlier and more frequently a site appears in search results list, the more visitors it will receive.

Basically, SEO encourages keyword use to increase traffic based on what people search for. However, there is a drawback. Focusing on keywords can stifle creativity.

At AM:PM PR, we write about what we’d want to read. We want what we write to be interesting, authentic, and worth our reader’s time. It’s always a bonus if we write something others find worth sharing.

It’s a complicated balancing act. How do you safely walk the tightrope between entertaining readers and attracting potential new clients with strategic keywords planted throughout the copy?


SEO can help your business

SEO Tips

  1. Be Subtle – While keywords are important to search, don’t litter your posts with them. In this post all focus keywords are in bold. Words and phrases like “public relations,” “search engine optimization,” and “SEO Tips” are all terms that could bring people to our site.
  2. Be Creative – Sensibility with keywords can attract visitors, but creative, useful content is what keeps them coming back. Try writing your post first without worrying about keywords and then add them where they make sense. While headlines should contain focus keywords, you also need to grab attention with them.
  3. Be Mindful – Think like the reader you want to have. What do you want your audiences to think about you? What do you want to portray? Being mindful of how copy, relevant content, and keywords work together will help attract visitors and keep them coming back.
  4. Be Visual – Google likes images. Adding images and properly naming, sizing and tagged them will help your rank and make your content more attractive and memorable.

Paying more attention to SEO does take time, but it’s part of today’s cost of doing business.

SEMPDX: 4 Takeaways From Portland’s Digital Marketing Event

SEM searchfest

The Governor Hotel was abuzz last Friday with hundreds of digital marketing professionals who gathered to discuss the latest in the field of search engine marketing. I attended as a PR professional increasingly intrigued by new digital promotional opportunities and measurement tools offered by Google and Moz and related tech businesses. The all-day event, titled SearchFest PDX, featured guest speakers, working for large corporate clients, who shared the inside scoop on their best practices. The attendees were local and regional business leaders and account executives seeking fresh ideas and/or networking opportunities with other leaders in the field.

Because we go to these events, so our clients don’t have to, here are four takeaways from SEMPDX that can be useful, even for SEO beginners:

number one
Public relations is the new most important direction for digital marketing specialists to focus their growth potential. 

And I’m not writing this to toot my own horn. Some tricks once touted by digital marketing specialists to generate inbound links are no longer effective, too narrowly focused, and some common practices can be detrimental to search. Therefore, authentic relationships (in the form of links) are becoming increasingly important. Specialists need to focus on the bigger picture to develop a brand, and digital is just one component of a larger strategy.


number two
Old-fashioned link building strategies are still worthwhile. 

This was an important refresher. For example, using calendar listings to promote events is still an important and easy component for boosting your websites SEO. Websites that offer simple calendar listings include print, digital or broadcast media. Other examples might include Eventbrite or Google+. I know it sounds crazy and elementary, but sometimes it’s important to harken back to your roots, ie, the nuts and bolts, you know, the pioneering days of 2007.


number three
The sales process begins when the customer says no

But, what does that “no” process look like when your target customer is simply an unknown visitor arriving at your website? In one of the more interesting discussions of the day, an internet entrepreneur walked through a process in which he turned a ‘no’ customer into a paying customer through a series of discount offers that popped up after a visitor viewed multiple web pages, or tried to leave the website. Those who signed up for the product discount then received a series of emails – 1 day, two day, 1 week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks after that initial visit. I admit, this seems a little intrusive for my style, but it may be a worthwhile technique for those involved in online retail sales.


number four
The tech world needs more metaphors. 

One final thought. After sitting through an afternoon of presentations that inspired many “aha!” and “oh yeah!” moments, I did find myself wondering if declaring the death of various digital marketing strategies or social platforms is some sort of inside joke, or if there is a dearth of cliches in the technology world? In the event of the latter, here are several other cliches that a tech presenter might consider next time, from your friends at AM:PM PR:


  • The (insert technology) train has left the station
  • The other (insert technology) shoe has dropped
  • (insert technology) ain’t dead, it’s just resting
  • If you have any good technology clichés, please share.

SEMPDX was a great event for picking up new skills, rehashing old techniques, and the ideas I brought back to the office will continue to be a catalyst for further reflection on our crazy, ever changing profession. 

Keyword (Not Provided) – Google Makes Big Changes for SEO

– by Cam Clark

The world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) changes rapidly and this week Google announced a dramatic move to secure searches “to protect internet users.”

What does this mean for your SEO efforts?

Analytics programs will no longer be able to tell with which keywords were used to bring a visitor to your site.  

Keyword data has been a very valuable component in SEO because it’s used by developers and marketers to improve the website experience. This, undoubtedly, will make optimizing a site more challenging.

However, Rand Fishkin, Moz CEO, makes a great point, “Any time we see the complexity of our practice is increasing, we also have an opportunity, because it means that those of us who are savvy, sophisticated, able to track this data, are far more useful and employable and important. Those organizations that use great marketers are going to receive outsized benefits from doing so.”

While Google sites privacy concerns, some experts point to the NSA’s Prism project as Google’s main concern though keyword data will still be provided through paid search. Which makes you wonder if this is a sneaky way to get you to buy more Google ads? Or are they truly just looking out for the little guy?

What are your thoughts?