The core of search marketing is the mix of keyword phrases that people use to search for information on the web. Part of the value of Search Engine Optimization is to identify what searchers actually enter in the search box. If optimization efforts can focus on the phrases that are equally relevant and in demand, there’s a resonable expectation that the optimized news content will attract more visitors of the right kind: journalists, reporters, analysts, bloggers and even end consumers.
Choosing the best keywords for news content starts with brainstorming using a mix of sources including the main topic of the content, talking to customers, analyzing competitor news content and topically relevant news that already rank wells. Effective keyword research generates a seed list of concepts from the brainstorming exercise and then proceeds to use keyword research tools to determine the popularity of those phrases as well as discovering related phrases in use.
Screen shot of Google Insights for Search – Filtered by News Search queries in the U.S. within the last 90 days for the keyword “marketing” compared to the growth relative to the cateogy. Geographically specific interest metrics are listed as well. Leveraging such tools can be very useful for anticipating levels of target market interest for news topics.
Popular free keyword research tools include:
Popular paid keyword research tools include:
After generating a substantial list of keyword phrases, derivatives and permutations, it’s helpful to manage the keyword glossary within a spreadsheet and to organize the phrases according to news content categories and usage format.
The keyword glossary can also include indications of relevance, popularity and competitiveness. This mix of information at the keyword phrase level can help news content creators make better decisions about using words that target audiences are using when they search.
Keyword research is an iterative process and it’s important that once keyword optimization efforts begin, to monitor results. Ranking reports can be helpful when comparing the same site to itself over time, but not only for the location where the reports are being run. Web analytics software will show what keywords are driving traffic from what search engines to specific news content hosted on your web site.
There are a host of additional metrics and analytics tools that are relevant for news content optimization including those provided by news wire services that distribute press releases via email, feed and content syndication programs. We’ll be covering news optimization analytics in the 10th installment of this series.
The feedback process of researching keywords and then measuring whether those optimization efforts produce the desired results using news outcome analytics is ongoing and should be managed like any other marketing effort with benchmarks and peformance reports.
Public Relations keyword research and content optimization shouldn’t be conducted in a silo. In fact, if a company is already actively engaged in a mature, productive SEO effort, there is ample keyword data to reference. News optimization is a bit more on the fly than standard SEO for lead generation/sales as it focuses on a mix of top level keywords relevant in the long term as well as opportunistic phrases specific to news topics as they arise.
This is post #4 in a series of ten, “Top Ten SEO Tactics for Public Relations“. Our next post focuses on the “Do’s and Don’ts of On-Page SEO for Public Relations“.