As more fashion brands operate as publishers, fashion bloggers seek to expand their digital empires and content creators across multiple verticals compete for top the top spot in search engines, PR professionals can distinguish themselves from other practitioners, and other agencies with a clear understanding of the role SEO plays in content development and digital press placement.
Top PR firms representing the fashion and e-commerce industry are becoming obsessed with understanding SEO, and are “getting it” and what makes SEO such an obsession for some of the is pivotal to your career.
Do you know what it really takes for a brand to show up above the competition in search results?
As an expert in SEO and hybrid content strategist, I've put together a few easy steps you can take to learn and implement SEO to benefit PR campaigns. With an toolbox of SEO basics, an understanding of related geek speak, a defined workflow and strong network, you can use your newfound knowledge of SEO to advance your career and retain clients. Here are easy steps to take so you can learn the benefits of SEO on PR campaigns.
SEO Techniques for PR Professionals
- Always ask your clients which keywords they are targeting for SEO
- Develop your PR strategy and pitch language with SEO keywords in mind
- Before pitching, make sure that the blogs you are pitching have thriving social media communities – this means the coverage will likely result in a strong reach.
Know What to Avoid:
- Removing campaign sites - after the campaign for a brand is complete – instead of taking down the campaign URL, redirect the microsite or sub domain back to the main brand – this is good for preserving any links sent to the site.
- Avoid Link Penalties – what it means: If you are distributing press content for a brand on 10 new networks, do not add text links to the copy – only link the brand name, or www URL – Google has new guidelines warning that these are link schemes that should be avoided.
- Avoid Duplicate Content – what it means: Avoid having your content shared from your branded website onto another website. For example, if you have a really interesting article about a topic that gets a lot of interest, and another blogger picks it up and reposts the article on their blog, this can be considered duplicate content.
Improving Brand Authority through SEO:
- Define a set of 5-10 keywords your client wants to focus on and try rotating those in your social shares about the brand, as hashtags such as #trendyfashion or #inspiredjewlery link
- Add features to your branded content allowing on-page social shares, likes and +1’s
- For company blogs, Claim Google+ and start using the branded profile to raise AuthorRank
Fashion Events Where You Can Meet Other SEO’s and Network
- OS-Fashion.com – Making a new foray into Fashion PR is OS-Fashion. This new platform is for fashion learners and experts, bringing the two together, offering opportunities for networking events to share expert advice with the newbie. If you are in or around NYC in September, try to attend the next networking event and conference at LIM College. This event hosts breakout sessions with SEO, PR and digital experts in the fashion space.
- FashionDigitalNY.com – The networking event coming up in NYC, hosted by Fashion Digital NY, boasts a panel of speakers, featuring retailers like Alice+Olivia. This fashion digital event and extravaganza offers a full day of tactical and educational workshops!
- SEO In Style: Training for Fashion Professionals – Of course, my very own course designed to help understand keyword seasonality for fashion and hone your SEO skills. Luckily for those of your starting out, it’s affordable! If you sign up from this link: http://skl.sh/15mSWMJ using this coupon code: 10OFF get $10 off.
Where to Find SEO Jobs in Fashion
- Fab.com Director of SEO – Innovating and shaping the e-commerce keyword stagey for Fab.com is one of the highest profile opportunities in the fashion space.
- PR Couture Job Board – If you don’t already know about the PR Couture job board on this you are missing a heap of gigs, internships and job opportunities ripe with potential for you to show off your new found SEO tricks of the trade.
- SEO Freelance Gig in Fashion – Many of these SEO freelance gigs are looking for the best value, so whether its fashion, PR or your own area of expertise that gets the gig – SEO skills can help you get freelance gigs to build your portfolio.
Gear up now and develop these coveted SEO skills to ensure that your skillset is aligned with an increasingly digital media world. Speaking from my own experience, having moved from direct marketing into digital, I can tell you that SEO is of growing importance for both new and established PR professionals, because the end game is often proving results through increased traffic. But don’t just take it from an SEO; even Mike Cherenson, former Chair and CEO of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), demonstrated that PR firms are “getting it,” going on to say:
Public relations professionals are skilled storytellers and content generators and should be a part of every SEO effort, but the future of SEO is not in the technology, it’s in the ability to tell stories the readers and Google will find interesting… and that’s public relations.
While you don’t have to run off and become all obsessed with SEO, do think SEO as new toolkit for your arsenal, and start to apply or at least consider SEO in digital PR planning. Tweet me @ELMConsulting with any questions on how you might expand your SEO skills or to better understand how PR and SEO work together.
Photo Credit: francisco_osorio