When it came to SEO, it used to be that we could only talkabout one thing: backlinks. Backlinks were that one mysterious thing we all wantedbut weren’t quite sure how to get without paying for them. We all believed thatit was simply the number of backlinks to our page that was holding us back fromappearing at the top of the search results.
Today, they’re not something we need to panic about, butthey are most definitely beneficial to improving our site’s authority andhelping us rank our sites highly in the results. So, what’s the best way to goabout getting them today? With digital PR.
Digital PR isn’t all that different from non-digital PR(public relations), in that you’re simply trying to increase awareness of yourbrand with news stories and getting yourself out there. The difference withdigital PR is that you’re not only trying to increase awareness but also gainingbacklinks for your site, get more mentions and shares on social media, andimprove your SEO as a result.
If you do it right, you can gain a huge number of backlinksfrom other genuine sources such as online publications, reviews, and othersites that want to talk about your business.
You may be the best company to go to for informationon your topic or for your service, but if you don’t have a good onlinepresence, it will be difficult to prove that to people in this digital age.Sure, everyone locally may know who you are and that you’re the company to callfor their problem, but if someone new comes across you and the only evidence ofyour expertise is your own website, they’re going to doubt you.
However, when a customer sees you’ve been talked about allover the place online, they’re much more likely to want to become a customertoo. The more people are interested in you means more clicks, which meanssearch engines are going to rank you more highly.
Of course, it’s not only real people that will believe youare an authority – search engines will too. Sites that are getting talked aboutand pointed back to a lot through backlinks will be perceived as a site worthsharing with their searchers. This is actually measurable through your “DomainAuthority”, which is a score MOZ created.
No marketing campaign or new short-term SEO strategy shouldstart without a S.M.A.R.Tgoal.That means it can’t just be “get more traffic” or “get more backlinks”, itneeds to be more specific than that. Since this is likely your first digital PRstrategy, you don’t need to be too specific, but you do need to definewhat’s going to make this strategy a success for you and when you’ll measureyour success. You could use your DomainAuthority Score as a marker.
One big mistake many brands make when they decide to dodigital PR is they simply write press releases and short articles and send themoff to literally anywhere they think will publish it.
Instead, think of the audience you hope to attract to yoursite (AKA your ideal customer at various stages of the customer journey) andwhat you think they want to see. Don’t try to get an article published on asite that posts a lot of fake news, for example, and if you’re a seriouscompany, don’t get an article published on one that largely posts forentertainment purposes.
This doesn’t need to be anything concrete just yet – justbrainstorm what you’re going to share. If you’re submitting articles, you’regoing to need a lot of content that’s similar but not the same as eachother.
So take some time to decide what you’ll share over thecourse of the next few weeks or months. Do you want to build excitement for anew product or service release? Do you want to build awareness for your brandthrough educating people on why they need your product? What content may theoutlets you work with want? Are there national holidays coming up you can useto your advantage?
Next, make a list of the digital publications, sites, andinfluencers you want to reach out to. Think about:
You can reach out to as many people as you like – noteveryone will say yes, and some people will require you to have your contentready to go, while others may want to work with you to create relevant content,which leads us onto our next step…
Make sure you create the content well before your due topost it live, so you have a bank of content ready to go and you will also havethe flexibility to rearrange the content schedule if needs be. There are lotsof different services to help create your content, such as copywriters anddesigners, if you don’t have the time to create it yourself. Go back to yourlist of ideas and start creating content that can build upon each other.
Now you’ve got the content you need, or are ready to work with a journalist, blogger, or brand to create it, you’re ready to go! So get submitting (don’t forget to include your own links)!
The last step is to track and reflect on the campaign – even if it’s an ongoing one. Ideally, you’ll be using analytical tools that show you who is linking to you, so you can see how many backlinks you’re getting and how much traffic is coming through each one. This will be useful for the future when you want to work with them again (or not).
Digital PR can be an incredibly effective strategy to not only increase your brand awareness, but also improve your SEO. If you’re looking for more support in growing your authority and your audience, we’re here to help. Why not start with a free SEO audit? We’ll let you know the strengths and weaknesses in your digital marketing strategy.
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