This week marketing magazine PR Week published an article analysing how to tackle SEO.

The article tackled a range of concerns on how to navigate the complex minefield of SEO in an increasingly diverse industry. PR Week turned to Igniyte when exploring the issue of SEO in managing your online reputation.

The article itself was titled ‘Unlock the Secrets of SEO’ and provided a reasoned, industry relevant argument outlining not only why companies should be taking advantage of SEO, but how they should be doing so.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the practice of inserting relevant keywords into the text of your website, social media profile etc. This is done so that Google picks up on it and uses it to assess your sites relevance to the keyword in question. The more relevant you are, the higher you rise on the Google rankings for the search term you wish people to associate with you.

Google rankings are increasingly important as a growing number of internet users turn to the search engine to research services they require, products they want to buy etc. If you’re not on the first page of the term they’re searching for, they won’t even know you exist.

However in recent years Google has clamped down on negative SEO practices such as keyword stuffing (fitting the keyword in wherever possible with no care paid to relevance). This has seen algorithms such as Panda and Hummingbird introduced in an effort to make sure that SEO is content specific.

This has made many traditional PR agencies wary of SEO. The article refers to opinions currently in vogue among PR professionals citing SEO as one of the ‘dark arts’ and ‘the preserve of the digital equivalent of a used car salesman.’

The article then goes on to quote from Google’s current SEO guide to point out how to manage SEO in 2014. The guide says that ‘you should base your optimisation decisions first and foremost on what’s best for the visitors of your site.’ This backs up the point about needing it to be content specific; it has to benefit the reader to rank.

Managing Bad News

However it was in managing your clients bad news that PR Week turned to Igniyte. Specifically they focused on managing a page which had negative articles for a search term.

They raised a valid point which contributes to the central message of the article. She said that “positive news quickly gets on to page one” elaborating that “we encourage clients to talk about something related to their industry and comment on related issues in the news.”

With this point Igniyte showed how SEO can be used in both online reputation management and more traditional PR. Google want content to be relevant. In order to rank on page one, or to facilitate a more positive page one for your search term, you have to generate relevant content. This can be done through blogging, generating news stories, PR, social Media, weighing in on current issues etc.

What both PR Week and Igniyte highlighted this week is that SEO may have changed, but it’s hardly a dark art. It has to be relevant and the only way you can make sure that it is relevant is to get proactive, generate positive articles that will rank on Google for your search term and most importantly, don’t shy away from SEO.

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