Claire Celsi is the Director of Public Relations at Lessing-Flynn
When meeting with clients, the state of their website inevitably comes up. Not surprisingly, the focus is on the design, not the content. Search engines like Google constantly "crawl the web" to find new and interesting content to deliver to users. Having a "static" website, tells the search engines, "Move on, there's nothing to see here." The result is a lower ranking for your site compared to sites that are updated more often.
Companies that create their own content have a big advantage over those who don't. "Content" is a general term and can mean written material such as news releases, articles, photographs or videos. After the content is used for its intended purpose, posting it to your website is a cheap way to flag down the search spiders and say, "Hey! Look over here! New content!" Search engines reward you by ranking your site higher.
Public relations activities naturally generate very positive content. News releases, product launches, awards, employee activities and newsletter articles should all be repurposed on your site.
When meeting with your website developer, be sure to ask them if your site is working for you to attact new customers. Here are some other simple tips to make sure your site is optimized and attracting the attention it deserves from search engines:
- Do you have a site map? Websites with site maps are easier to index and provide structure. Here's a free site map generator that will create a site map for you.
- Create outbound links. It's not just "nice" to create links to give readers more information, it's also crucial for optimizing your site for search.
- Repurpose content: Does your site have a newsroom or an "About" page where you can post public relations content? If not, create one.
- Make your content easy to find. When you add a new page or article, be sure to link to it so it's easily found.
- Use social channels to link to your site. Don't post on Facebook or Twitter without a link - you're wasting an opportunity to create a click on your site.
If you'd like to explore this topic some more, here are some free resources from Google.