Writing to help your business to be found

Many items we write for public relations or marketing purposes are likely to be published on-line.  Whether you’re writing a press release, an article sharing your expertise or posting on your blog it’s useful to know how all of these can help your organisation to be found on the web.

The value of being found

Although you may be hugely proud of the information you provide on your website unless the right people can find it you’re not maximizing its potential.  Many of your customers will be searching on-line to find products/services and making judgements about the type of organisation you are.  If you don’t appear in their search results you are very likely to be overlooked.

Simple steps to improve your profile on-line

Search engine optimisation (SEO) involves tailoring parts of a website and other web activities to ensure the site comes high up the list of search results when people are using a tool like google, bing or yahoo.  Many of the more sophisticated SEO techniques may require more technical skill than you have but you can ensure any content you write includes important signposts for these search engines. Here’s how:

Know the keywords your audience use – It’s important to use the words your target audience will be typing in the search box.  For example if you write about children’s apparel but the parents you are hoping to attract are seeking baby clothes you won’t be an obvious match for their search request. Look back at your target audience list and try to see your business from their perspective.  Make a list of keywords or phrases you think may be relevant then try them out – type them in and see what search results you get.

Use keywords in your headings and text – Once you understand the keywords people are seeking you can incorporate them into whatever copy you write.  It is important not to let SEO dominate your writing – you still need to deliver quality information for your audience – just make sure the signposts are included.

Headings and summaries near the top of the page have a lot of influence with search engines so you’ll want to use keywords rather than your own internal jargon for these. For example your group may be called Mums with Bubs but your search results will be better if you head the page Walking Groups for New Mums.

Include links to your website – You can also help your website be found by including links to it in your Facebook page, blog posts or by encouraging other businesses to provide a link to you on their sites. Not only do these links help the people who click on them but search engines also factor in this type of popularity when ranking search results.

Update your content regularly – Keeping your website content fresh is important for many reasons and here’s another one. Search engines know when your site hasn’t been updated and are likely to assume the content has become stale.  Once that happens you’ll appear further and further down the search results until you might as well not be there at all.

By incoporating these ideas into whatever PR writing you do, you can achieve your short term purpose while helping your business achieve its long term goals.