FORBES Council Feature: Digital PR Strategies That Can Improve Your SEO
Updated: Dec 1, 2022
Every serious SEO strategy discusses building high-value backlinks. While many digital marketers rely on strategies such as guest blogging, Google’s link tagging requirements can affect how valuable those strategies are to building SEO and trust through backlinks. This is where digital PR can provide a distinct advantage in strengthening your SEO. Let’s look at what digital PR is, why it works so well, and how you can implement it into your digital marketing.
What Is Digital PR?
Digital PR is all about getting your links into the hands of high-trust websites such as newspapers, industry resources, and other authoritative resources. Digital PR is not guest posting or being a featured writer for a blog or an article; it’s featuring your expertise in someone else’s blog or article.
Why Digital PR Works
Digital PR strengthens your SEO as your links are featured on high-authority websites. Why does this work?
• The feature is unpaid, unsolicited, and organic.
• It demonstrates your expertise or value on a subject.
• It is difficult for competitors to replicate and dilute.
• It expands your reach as your links are featured on sites that can have thousands to hundreds of thousands of views.
Winning Digital PR Strategies
Now that you understand what digital PR is and why it strengthens your brand and SEO, let’s look at some of the strategies that can help you utilize it effectively:
• Tap into research.
Data-driven research studies are one of the most used digital PR strategies. Journalists love numbers that they can feature and share on their social media. These studies can come from your own data if you have the resources or from third-party data (Census, raw business-reporting data, social data, etc.).
• Dive into the podcast circuit.
Look for podcasts that are hosted by larger media organizations and that fit your brand, then reach out to them. Hosts want to offer their audience something genuine and informative. Draw on your expertise and research what you know your target podcast listeners will be interested in learning about.
If you’re not sure that you can carry a full guest spot on a podcast, never fear. You can combine the podcast circuit with the next strategy.
• Offer expert insights and thought leadership.
You are an expert in your industry. Sit down and make a list of the things you have expert knowledge and skill in. Consider the most asked questions in your industry and hot topics that come up. Then reach out to journalists and offer your insights into these things.
Sharing tips with journalists and podcasters (see the above strategy) will help you build rapport. They will put you on their list of experts they reach out to when they need an expert opinion about a breaking story or expert insights into something a guest shares on a podcast.
• Break into the news cycle.
This tactic requires close monitoring of the news and breaking stories. “Newsjacking” is all about featuring your expertise in relation to a newsworthy event or story. You must be fast, especially in our ongoing news cycle. If you wait 24 hours to reach out to the media, you’ve waited too long.
As soon as you hear about a breaking topic related to your industry, reach out to your press contacts. Offer them informative, industry-based insights into why the news is important and the possible impacts you perceive.
• Build a story around your press releases.
Traditional press release strategies (putting out your press release and hoping it gets seen) can be inefficient. However, if you build a compelling story around your press release, you can leverage it into a winning digital PR strategy.
What news do you want to share? It can vary in scope. Mergers and new partnerships are obvious choices. What about the new funding you secured? You have plans for the money for growth. Will that result in new jobs? New area contracts?
Look at the event for your press release and build a story around the event. Why is the promotion of your Creative Director to CEO important? What does it say about the vision and direction of the company? Even new product offerings can have a story, especially if they address a major need in your industry or community.
Once you have your story, you have your pitch. Reach out to industry publications and offer them your story. Reference your press release for the key information points your press contacts will need (including the links you want them to use for reference in articles).
Digital PR offers you an effective way to build the high-value backlinks your SEO strategy needs. Remember, this strategy works best with a well-optimized website and social media presence that demonstrates your expertise. Take time to build and cultivate press contacts, including engaging with them on social media and commenting on relevant articles with your industry insights. Go forth and earn your backlinks through an effective digital PR strategy.