How PR and SEO can work together to amplify campaign results
Understanding the importance of domain authority and links in digital PR
Public Relations (PR) has a century long history, while search engine optimisation (SEO) has only really come of age in the last decade with the growing importance of search engines as a business tool.
PR and SEO are powerful tools on their own for engaging the public or stakeholders, but as the media landscape has become more digital, combining traditional PR and media relations with SEO has become almost essential to get the best results.
The ability of PR to adapt to a more digital landscape is constantly debated, especially when it comes to the ability to track and monitor the success of campaigns using digital measurement tools and SEO metrics.
The truth is that even though PR has been around for almost 100 years and is generally regarded as slow to adapt to new times, the rate of change in the media and wider digital marketing environment has meant it has had to adapt and evolve into a more digitally-focused industry.
As a digital PR consultancy, learning disciplines usually found in SEO agencies can have dramatic results on improving value and success, while SEO agencies can take more than a few lessons from PR consultancies when it comes to building relationships and understanding what content will generate the most interest.
Choosing the best channels
1. Using domain authority to choose PR channels
Domain authority (DA) is a measure from 1-100 to describe which websites have the most trusted information and are more likely to be ranked by search engines. Government, news and university websites sit at the top, websites with no followed links at the bottom.
Using PR techniques to generate links from a high DA website is a huge win both for PR and SEO activity.
PR consultancies are experts in creating engaging content and telling interesting stories, but understanding SEO and how targeting websites with high DA – even over more traditional news outlets – can have a massive impact on online visibility.
Using this to build quality links can amplify the impact of a campaign.
While this shows both page and domain authority, you want to focus on domain authority to judge how valuable a backlink from a website will be. This is true because links from a homepage of an unpopular website provide less value than an unpopular page on a valuable domain.
2. Create a list of websites you want to publish your content on
If you don’t have a list of possible websites you want to promote your content on, you can use tools like the MozBar chrome extension and SEMrush to build an initial list to choose from.
Start by searching for the popular questions in the industry you want to target.
After running through these searches, you can then use MozBar to analyse the results and see the domain authority of every page on the Search Engine Results page.
Expand your list by using ‘Main organic competitors’ report in SEMrush. This section will help you find similar websites in the industry.
Not all mentions are created equal...
Even though all mentions provide some value for both PR and SEO, a number of factors aside from domain authority and relevance impact how much SEO benefit will be provided.
One example would be no-follow links. Many SEO experts would tell you to not even bother with no-follow links, because there is no direct SEO value provided. These links won’t boost your keyword rankings, or improve your own domain authority score even if you manage to secure a link from the New York Times.
Mentions = Good - A positive mention of your brand without a link to your page. A reader might gain a positive impression about your brand, but it won’t happen often that a person will search for your site directly.
Backlink (No-follow) = Good - Someone says something positive about your band, provides a link, but it is a no-follow link. There is no direct SEO value from that link, but if people find your website useful, and link to it in the future, it will provide indirect value.
Backlink (Follow) = Better – If there is a positive mention of your company and there is a link to your website, it makes it easier and therefore more likely a person will land on your website. ‘Follow’ links also provide a direct SEO benefit.
Relevant anchor text = The Best – The best-case scenario happens when a positive mention includes a link using relevant anchor text for a term you want to rank for.
How good or amazing your links are for your PR and SEO efforts depend on both their structure and the domain authority of a referring website. Make sure to include both in your future decision-making and amplify your overall marketing results by combining strengths of both PR and SEO strategies.