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Brighton SEO: Digital PR & link building 

Ultimately, digital PR is the practice of high-value link building. That’s one of the core insights presented by Isa Lavahun, Digital Freelance Strategist, at this year’s BrightonSEO.  

An effective digital PR strategy that supports a stellar SEO strategy can yield remarkable results. Lavahun’s talk revolved around a ‘double-agent’ idea – leveraging PR campaigns to build high-quality links. Link building is foundational in surging rankings, and digital PR plays an integral part in obtaining these links. Even John Mu, Google’s Search Advocate, agrees.  

So, how do we measure success in digital PR? The answer is almost identical to that of SEO. Online visibility, domain authority, quality links, and keyword rankings.  

There are many similarities between the two, so showing the SEO value of digital PR work is important in measuring success. The relationship between digital PR and SEO was a core theme for this presentation, which offered a wealth of insight into creating a best-in-class campaign. These were the main talking points: 

1. Data-led brainstorms 

Choosing a random topic for a random campaign is unlikely to achieve transformational results. There’s a lot that goes into a successful campaign behind the scenes. From keyword research to competitor backlink audits, building a digital PR strategy relies on gathering data and insights to ensure campaigns are relevant.  

Lavahun shared a number of websites she uses to inform campaign ideas. For example, using Google Trends can provide insights into what people have been searching for on Google. Exploding Topics is another useful tool that surfaces rapidly growing topics before they take off. This way, your campaigns are informed by data and cover topics that your audience is genuinely interested in.  

 

2. Find the gaps 

Data-led brainstorms can spark a whole host of ideas. But how can you create a campaign that ties together these trends with the product or service we are offering? What’s the opportunity? Where is the gap?  

There are a number of factors to consider here. Using a problem-solution approach can be effective. Ensuring that content is informative and solves a problem that a reader may have. It’s worth asking yourself the question; what haven’t our competitors done yet, or well?  

A good indicator of this is a keyword gap analysis, offered by tools such as SEMrush. It compares your domain against those of your competitors, assessing the gaps in ranking keywords and the opportunities to evolve ahead of the competition.  

 

3. Make the most out of your internal expertise  

Many companies have experts in their respective fields, but few of them are published authors. The untapped potential for expert insight within your company could make for a very interesting read. There are other areas in your company, such as customer insights and historical content, that could contribute towards a valuable campaign. Internal thought leadership can position your company as market leaders.  

 

4. Coverage for relevance 

High-quality links are super important – so are relevant links. Quality over quantity is always the goal. Two core determinants for the quality of a link are relevance and authority. Reach is important, but relevance can drive better results in the long term.  

 

5. Fix your leaky buckets 

There are also a few other things to pay attention to during the digital PR process: 

  • Chase any unlinked brand mentions. A link can be very valuable, so it’s essential to chase up any brand mentions that are yet to be linked. An unlinked mention won’t have any effect on rankings, so it’s important to ask journalists for a link whenever your brand is mentioned. 

  • Localise your linked assets. When creating an asset, ensure this has been localised before outreaching. Google has started to give more visibility to local news. As users search ‘near me’, a localised asset is more likely to perform well in rankings. If you have national survey data, localise the asset to show regional results. This will not only help to drive local search rankings, but will also improve visibility. If your business operates in one area, localisation is essential.  

  • Utilise your press page. Compiling your press releases, image libraries, etc. on the same platform can help to streamline the digital PR process. Having everything in one place can improve your rankings, as all your content sits in the same place. 

In addition to the points above, other key factors in a successful digital PR strategy could include building resource content hubs, using competitor backlink data and creating original assets that are in demand. They each enhance the value of link building work.  

 

6. Show the SEO value of your work 

Lavahun returned to the core theme, that of the relationship between SEO and digital PR. Coverage and links are easily accessible and visible, but success can be measured further. 

There are a number of additional metrics that can allow you to highlight the value of your digital PR work in even more detail: 

  • Branded traffic  

  • Direct traffic 

  • Referral traffic

  • Domain authority growth 

Tracking these will determine the search volume change in the terms that are relevant to your campaign and brand. 

Following these steps will contribute toward high-value link building. An effective SEO strategy should include Digital PR.  

Our digital PR team are an integral part of our search service, consistently building high-value links and contributing towards increased visibility for a range of brands. For example, our recent campaign for Wealthify received over 80 pieces of coverage in publications with high domain authority.  

To find out how we can achieve strong results for your company, get in touch and we’d love to speak to you about building an SEO strategy that makes the most of digital PR.