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Hacking Google: How PR campaigns use keywords and SEO to increase engagement

It is any writer or blogger’s goal to end up on the first page of a reader’s Google search for them to easily find your piece. You can have the catchiest headline with the most appealing looking blog ever, and still, receive no views or website traction if you are not using the correct web analytics for your site.

SEO and SEM, abbreviated for search engine optimization and search engine marketing, respectively, are two different search marketing strategies. When used right, these tactics can bring in more readers, improve your search rankings on Google, and make it much easier to find your content in the chaos that is the world wide net.

In the first reading from the Alexa blog, I learned that the main difference between SEO and SEM is simply money. SEM requires a budget to set up ads after researching which keywords will boast the most clicks.

For the purpose of blogging in this class, SEO is surely the way to go, “using organic tactics to gain visibility in SERPs.” SEO is completely free, all you need is a little bit of knowledge and PR smarts, essentially “hacking” Google’s search engine to show your site through effective use of keyword strategies.

Of course, companies and firms long for getting Instagram verified and have goals to increase their number of followers and likes. But PR pros know that a high follower count does not measure a company’s success. The magical part of social networking is that these platforms were created with sharing content in mind. As mentioned in the Forbes reading, I agree that the quality of followers and follower engagement is far better than the quantity of followers listed at the top of your page.

An Instagram or Facebook post that is bubbling with comments and getting reposted from reader to reader is more likely to gain more attention from viewers than an account with 50k followers and no interaction from the followers. An article I found from PR Daily lists eleven new ideas to grow social media engagement no matter how many followers you have. One of these listed tactics is crowdsourcing, which all of my COJR 3422 peers and I are pros on now! Asking your followers direct questions through social network features entices them to respond, and gets that interaction rate on an increase.

An important part of using SEO is selecting the right keywords for your brand that attracts the target demographic. Meta descriptions can help with that. Meta descriptions are the short descriptions that show up in a Google search underneath the URL that can be seen before clicking on the link. They give readers a better idea of what the page is about before clicking the link. Often in Google searches, the pages with better meta descriptions get clicked on more often than ones that don’t, meaning they will show up more often when another searcher types in your keyword.

In my opinion, it is much easier to come up with keywords or keyword phrases if you flip the process upside down. What I mean by this is, imagine you are searching Google because you want to learn more about how to increase online engagement. You would google something like “how do I increase my online engagement?” Now you can tell that at least “increase” “engagement” could be possible keywords when creating a headline, tags, and meta description, because these are the phrases your potential reader is searching for.

By Kassidy Kelly

PR student, new yorker, self-proclaimed shopaholic and apparently I'm a blogger now, too.
CJOR 3422 @ Seton Hall University

1 reply on “Hacking Google: How PR campaigns use keywords and SEO to increase engagement”

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