And what I’m willing to share… 

Trying to earn myself a bit of a reprise. It’s been awhile – OK a long while – since my last post but here in Chicago we welcomed the the NATO Summit and for those who know me, I’ve been a bit busy the last couple of weeks. Looking forward to getting back into the swing of things and sharing some updated information on SEO as it relates to public relations practice.

In the following, the goal was to share a few things on what I’ve learn about search engine optimization.  Maybe some of these tips are not really “tactical” SEO practices and a few may appear to be a rant but I hope this will, in some way, provide advice to empower.

1. SEO is Timely.

Timely as in SEO tactics are changing at a rapid pace. Although there’s no doubt that SEO can be a time sink too. From research, to optimizing web content and building a manageable link strategy, it can all add up. Especially wasteful if you one day wake up to find everything you’ve accomplished was ripped away by a recent Google indexing update.  Having the knowledge and being prepared for changes to SEO strategy – like the aforementioned crisis – can help mitigated the situation at hand but obtaining the correct information and building expertise can be a timely proposition.  Nevertheless, SEO is something that can take up a lot of time and should be approached in a timely manner.

2. SEO is Costly.

For almost all of my clients, SEO is everything to their digital strategy. Especially as their website is becoming more-and-more an integral part of their business, if not their business. I’ve noticed my billing has leaned more towards SEO strategy lately than actual PR work. If you would have asked me that a few years ago, I would have denied some thing like this would ever happen.

 There’s still that fine line between SEO and PR.

On the PR side, we still need to create quality content for readers (and search engines) and on the SEO side, there’s the need to optimize content to reach readers through search gatekeepers. Therefore, from an SEO billing standpoint, quality SEO still requires content before it can be optimized for the web. In most cases, this need is causing clients to pull resources from multiple providers, at multiple rates. And we’re not even getting into link building and social media optimization.

3. SEO is not Cheap.

There’s this aura about SEO that it’s something that can be an add-on service. Oh, you do web design so can do SEO too.   Right?   Well, sometimes right but often wrong. Much like a small business might hire a publicist or an accountant, in a perfect world, I would suggest hiring an independent SEO specialist too. You see, there’s many faucets of SEO like optimizing content, averaging inbound links, monitoring competitive search terms, conversions, etc. but there’s also the Search Engine Marketing or – PPC side of SEO too. In my book, a quality SEO campaign requires both an SEO budget and a component of the marketing budget – for the pay-per-click side – to really help achieve one’s strategic search goals. Owning both search, social and PPC is like the SEO trifecta. (If you can afford it)

4. SEO talk is Cheap.

Everyone’s an expert – or shall I say digital evangelist – these days. I’m not talking trash but – like everything else in this world – don’t believe everything thing you read. You have the right to be cautious – use it – but I do recommend you should always believe everything I have to say. :)

5. Every person for themselves.

Ditto number 4 plus do your homework on potential hires. Make sure you’re not becoming part of their inbound link strategy to promote themselves. Ok, now that everyone probably hates me, I’m going to shut my mouth.  But hopefully not for long.