When you think about PR, are you still drawn to lengthy round ups in newspapers or focus pieces spread across a double page? Whilst traditional PR is still good for your brand, newspapers are falling into the hands of less and less people. Back in 2005, printed newspapers were worth around £7.2billion, whereas fast forward to 2019, and this figure drops to £2.7billion. This illustrates that (at this moment in time), it’s all about getting your name out there online. But how? The internet is bursting at the seams with news, lots real but also plenty of ‘fake news’ too which would never have made it into the papers back in the day.
If you’re new to SEO PR, also known as Digital PR, the good news is the premise is the same as traditional PR – give the journalists something exciting or new, or something you know their readers will be interested in. But what counts when it comes to SEO PR is not just getting into the publication itself but using that visibility to improve your business’ own Google rankings. And here is what you’ll need to pay attention to…
Domain authority (DA) is a number between 1 and 100 which is attributed to your website. The number depicts how likely your website will rank on the search engine result pages; the higher the number, the better your website is likely to perform. Your domain authority can be improved, so don’t worry if your site currently scores low, but it’s also important to remember that it takes time (like most other SEO), and you’re never going to get to 100. Examples of exceptionally high domain authority sites include the BBC (96), Wikipedia (98) and LinkedIn (99). Only the likes of Google, Apple and YouTube make the 100 mark, and their number of linking root domains is, well, insane! So, it’s a good idea to have achievable goals when it comes to DA. If you’re starting at the lower end of the spectrum, you may be able to increase your DA relatively quickly, but the higher up you go, the more it takes to improve.
So now we know what Domain Authority is, you guessed it, it’s a seriously important factor to SEO PR. The aim of the game is to improve your score, and in doing so, you’ll be helping to edge your way up the Google rankings. But how do you improve your site’s DA exactly? There are lots of factors that influence your score, it’s not just about SEO PR; content and technical SEO play a big part too. But, seeing as we’re talking about PR, the way this feeds in is mainly through links, links, and more links.
Getting links for your website (follow/no follow)
It’s true to say that unfortunately not all links are worth the same. Links from higher domain authority sites are worth more for your efforts, but you guessed it, they’re much harder to acquire. Depending on where you currently sit on the number front may help you decide what sort of links to go after. For example, a smaller, start-up site might want to prioritise getting business directory links as these are easier to get, but it’s a time-consuming process that involves adding your business’ details to as many directories as you can find.
You may want to go down the route of preparing and pitching stories about your business or other topical themes to industry-relevant publications – this idea is more creative and more fun, but if you receive no coverage it can be quite deflating.
You may also want to contribute your own articles perhaps to relevant trade publications or educational sites – this is where you prepare an idea, pitch it out and see if you get any bites to write a piece for them.
No matter which route you choose to go down with SEO PR, the goal remains the same – get that link!
And, of course, once you’ve secured a link (yay!), there’s something else you need to consider. Just to throw another curveball at you, some links are set to ‘follow’ (which is what you want), and others are set to ‘no follow’ (what you want to avoid if possible). But what does this mean?
Links which are ‘followed’ mean that Google is able to pass on authority from the referring domain (the site that has linked to yours) to your domain. Essentially, it’s a vote from the first site saying that it trusts it enough to link to it. In this case, the higher the authority of the site linking to yours, the more you get out of it. This is where you may want to consider getting links from quality, authoritative sites, as if you’re successful, it’s totally worth it.
No follow links
Links which are set to ‘nofollow’ mean that a lot less authority is passed from the referring domain. Although the piece of coverage you’ve received will still help to promote overall visibility for your brand, it won’t generate as much SEO value as a follow link. Sometimes links are set to ‘nofollow’ because they’ve been paid for or are acting as an incentive for something.
How to check if a link is set to ‘nofollow’
It’s as easy as three quick steps:
Go to the page where your web link is and right click, ‘view page source’.
Find the link to your page in the HTML code.
Check to see if there’s an attribute that says rel=”nofollow”. If so, it’s a ‘nofollow’ link. If it doesn’t have this piece of code, then the link is passing authority to your site as a ‘dofollow’ link.
Utilising evergreen content
One of the great things about SEO PR is that you don’t always have to have a ‘hot off the press’ kind of story that’s only relevant for a short time. SEO PR can also be used to promote quality evergreen content, which you may find over time generates its own links. Find a topic that’s interesting and relevant for a larger pool of publications and websites, put some great, well thought out content together and pitch it in. You can continue to pitch over a longer period of time and if your content hits the spot, it will also garner links through the fact it’s useful and interesting.