How digital PR improves business SEO using backlinks
20 Jun 2018
Adam Šapić of Wedding Insurance Group explains what link building is and how this relates to search engine optimisation (SEO) and digital PR
Digital PR can work wonders for an SEO strategy. Google and many leading SEO professionals have long preached the benefits of receiving backlinks from publishers with high authority scores. Strategically obtaining links from relevant influential websites is known as Link Building and still is a crucial part of improving organic search engine rankings. Google even explains how important this is:
Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote by page A for page B. Votes cast by pages that are themselves 'important' weigh more heavily and help to make other pages 'important.
So where does digital PR fit into all of this? Let's start by looking at the types of link building.
Types of link building
There are different types of link building and various definitions created by numerous SEO influencers and publishers. However, there is a consensus on how Natural or Editorial links are favourably viewed in the eyes of search engines like Google.
These links are created via editorial content which is usually published by the website owner or webmaster. I recommend you read about other types of links but for now, I’m going to explore more about Natural links.
What are Natural or Editorial links?
Google determines Natural links using context and relevance to the overall topic framework. Here is their description:
Natural links to your site develop as part of the dynamic nature of the web when other sites find your content valuable and think it would be helpful for their visitors.
In a nutshell, high quality content that resonates well with the linking page, published by a high authority website is precisely the practice that Google actively recommends.
This is part of their steps to becoming a 'Google friendly' website. Let's face it, the more you work with Google, the better it will be for your business in the long run. That's essentially what SEO is all about.
Before we move on to digital PR, it's important to understand the concept of high authority websites.
Website or domain authority scores
There are different ways of calculating a website's authority. It's essentially a score out of 100 that predicts a website's ability to rank. Various SEO tools have created their own scores. For example, there's Domain Authority created and reported by Moz and Authority Score from SEMrush.
Both tools calculate their scores using multiple factors from the data they collect. However, a common factor used by each tool is backlinks. The volume of quality backlinks and website traffic in addition to other measurements are indicators of a website's popularity and domain strength.
Therefore, link building strategies involve identifying targets with high scores before creating opportunities for publishing high-quality relevant content with appropriate backlinks.
Can you see now how digital PR is essentially a link building strategy? Let's finish with an example so you can see it for yourself.
An example of how digital PR improved an SEO strategy
The Wedding Insurance Group provides cover for wedding businesses, ceremonies and receptions. Naturally, there are far more people getting married than the number of wedding businesses. Therefore, some of the most lucrative backlink opportunities lie within magazines aimed at couples.
Well-known national brands will most likely experience greater volumes of backlinks and website traffic. As a result, they have higher website authority scores.
We know from previous investigations that wedding professionals may read magazines aimed at couples for industry research. Therefore, as part of our PR plan, the list of target publications contains a selection of national magazines for couples and specialist niche magazines for wedding professionals. One of these national publications is Bride Magazine.
As part of the PR plan, we ascertain the publication's contextual relevance, remember, Google is looking for this. We also measure the publication’s authority score.
At the time of writing this article, Bride Magazine’s Authority Score was 44. It becomes more difficult to raise your score as it increases. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ score. It should be used for comparative purposes. However, to put this in perspective, major publishers such as the Daily Mail reach scores over 65. Only the very top websites such as Google and Facebook achieve scores over 95.
As part of our content strategy, I travelled to Windsor and covered the royal procession in an article published by Bride Magazine.
This was supported by live broadcasts on social media and driving cheap traffic using Facebook advertising with high relevance scores. The article contained a brand backlink.
We are tracking our ranking for multiple keywords and keyphrases. One of our reports monitors visibility trend. This is based on click-through-rates (CTR) that show a website’s progress in Google’s top 100 for keywords from the current tracking campaign.
As you can see from the visibility trend report below, there has been a 12.2% increase.
This is quite pleasing but it’s important to note that other factors such an increase in website visitors also contributed to the increase in visibility. It’s also good to see the biggest increase came from new visitors. Furthermore, the number of people completing a ‘Get a Quote’ form on our website increased by nearly 35% when compared to the previous month.
It’s important to note that the above visibility performance decreased and levelled out after the royal wedding campaign concluded. The average is still higher than before, however, this is a good example of why it’s crucial to keep building links. The best place to start is by creating a PR plan. This will ensure you are publishing consistent amounts of content throughout the year.
If you have an SEO strategy, then it’s important to integrate your target PR links into your overall link building plan. This will most likely involve other types of links such as local directories. These tasks are very time consuming so it might make sense to hire a professional or agency. They employ skilled writing techniques and the means to identify domain authority scores. If you would like to discuss this in more detail and how this can benefit your business, contact Adam for a chat.