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Person holding iPhone looking at digital PR
by Alex Calvert

May 4th, 2023

How can digital PR help your search engine rankings?

PR (public relations) is a well-established part of the marketing mix, with almost everyone having some understanding of what it is, and how it works. However, you may be increasingly hearing the term ‘Digital PR’ and wondering where it fits in.

What is digital PR?

Digital PR is a way of increasing brand awareness using online methods. An effective digital PR strategy brings together your social media channels, website(s), digital advertising, and all other platforms to increase your presence online.

Due to the very nature, and sheer number of online platforms, digital PR has the potential to reach a much wider audience than the more traditional ‘offline’ PR, although the most effective campaigns will always include a healthy mix of the two.

With the need for a strong online brand presence more important than ever, so too is the significance of digital PR campaigns.

What does a successful digital PR campaign look like?

Of course, the answer to this question depends on the specific objectives you set out with, but it’s likely to be plenty of linked online media coverage, increased website visitors and improved keyword rankings.

So, how does digital PR help my search engine rankings?

As an internet user, you will already know the importance of a good search engine rankings with many of us rarely clicking beyond ‘page 1’. The benefit of digital PR is that it can significantly help to improve your SEO by creating third party content that’s valuable for search engines.

Google and other search engines want the best websites to appear at the top of its results pages so that its users are satisfied, and therefore continue to use that search engine. By securing high quality, relevant coverage, mentions and links (more on that shortly) to your business, search engines are being told that your business is credible and will therefore push it up the results pages.

The importance of understanding Google algorithms

Google uses algorithms to determine its search results always aiming to provide users searching its site with the best results for the search terms that have been inputted. To do this, the algorithms balance many factors, including a website’s content, website popularity, time people spend on a website, and how many other search engines and websites recommend that site by referencing them on their pages.

With this in mind, you need to ensure your website is meeting the needs of Google’s algorithm so that you’re able to climb the search engine rankings, and subsequently, reach more and more people online. With the level of competition for ‘Page 1’ of Google, it is improbable that any company can accidentally reach the top.

How can backlinks help with search engine rankings?

‘Backlinks’ are third party websites hyperlinking to your website. An effective and powerful digital PR campaign will see your story become content on reputable third-party websites, with a ‘backlink’ to your own website for further information.

Cumulatively, these backlinks build trust for your website because the site which is linking to you recommends that their audience visit yours directly. Google can see this and sees it as a ‘trust marker’ thus giving your website greater ‘domain authority’.

The importance of relevant coverage

Whilst backlinks are valuable, it’s important that your digital PR strategy involves tactical link building from high domain authority websites, rather than a scattergun approach, to ensure that the people who read your news are the people that you want to reach. Irrelevant, or less credible, backlinks may be easier to achieve but they will dilute the message for Google, and means it is less likely to recommend your site for the search terms you are working towards.

High quality coverage from high-ranking reputable media outlets demonstrates to Google that your website matters for the topics up for discussion.

Measuring success

To understand how to improve, you must first know where you start. Google provides various free tools to understand your site, including Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Google My Business.

Google Search Console is important to understand what search terms people are using to find your website and how you rank for those terms. This is a valuable tool to understand what matters to your target audience, what doesn’t, and what you might want to focus on to move up those successful search rankings.

Google My Business manages your maps, local listing (the pop-up on the right of google search results) and much of the information Google associates with your business. Claiming your business profile, and adding as much information as possible, helps Google understand your business and correctly display it to the right groups.

There is limitless information at your disposal and integrating it into your larger content marketing and plan will contribute to your success.

If you would like to find out more about how you can integrate digital PR into your communications strategy, please get in touch!

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