Is it possible to use online PR to improve your SEO rankings and online relationships at the same time?

The development of PR

The internet has changed the way marketers perform Public Relations. Traditional PR would normally include print marketing, broadcast distribution via TV or radio, press release distribution to large news corporations, hosting high profile events. Or press conferences, It was hard to enter the world of PR without an existing network of contacts of whom have a strong influence in specific industries, meaning mainly large companies with large budgets would benefit from traditional PR Marketing and those without large budgets were left out to dry.

Nowadays there is a new age of PR called Digital PR. The eyeballs have shifted and are shifting increasingly to digital. According to Business Insider 60% of Millennials in the US do not watch TV in its traditional format ie: via a TV. Digital PR tactics can include tactics such as blogger outreach, social media marketing, distribution of online press releases and online brand reputation management (also known as ORM). Startups who usually have lower budgets now have a better chance of getting their foot in the door.

Digital PR SEO Melbourne The development of human technology for marketing

How Digital PR impacts SEO

At SEOMelbourne we have found that your overall Digital PR presence has a large impact on where your website ranks on search engines, why you may ask? The answer is simple; if a search engine can pick up more content across the web that either links to or talks about your website from credible sources it credits your site in a positive way. It proves in essence that your company’s website is legitimate, relevant and active. This then results in a much higher trust score leading to higher rankings.

Let’s have a look how the following forms of Digital PR can impact an SEO campaign…

Let’s get started.

Blogger Outreach

A great quote by Sir Richard Branson “Succeeding in business is all about making connections.”.

It’s widely known in the PR and SEO industry that one simple blog post could be read by thousands or even millions of potential website users. Think of Blogger Outreach like reaching out to News channels without the high cost and the need for high-profile news.

Let me ask you, would you trust a person to recommend a product or service over an advert that was clearly paid for? This is the reason many bloggers have a lot of say in their specified industries, as they are the face of their own brand creating a level of trust with their followers. This alone once understood will make you want to reach out to bloggers. Furthermore driving traffic to your site and gaining a link or two from a high authority blogger will be a big bonus for your SEO! Its quality over quantity when it comes to digital PR, we don’t use the term link building anymore as it’s redundant. You are not building links, your building legitimate digital relationships through PR.

Using PR for SEO Company Melbourne

There are many factors to look for when researching and building your blogger outreach database.  One obvious factor is a decent following on social media with a high engagement rate on their posts would mean web users will more likely engage with the selected blogger. This tends to lead to higher traffic on their website, which of course is a good signal for any backlink and exposure that will directly benefit your campaign! You will also want to look out for a good Domain Authority (DA), this is basically the overall score for a website. You can check this by downloading MozBar. The higher the domain authority, the more powerful the backlink. The more powerful backlinks you get, the higher your domain will become, thus the higher your website may rank.

Starting a blogger outreach campaign can take time, but if it’s done right it’s worthwhile. You should start off creating a Spreadsheet like this example:

Melbourne SEO Blogger Outreach Example

Not every campaign is the same, and aspects to look for such as social media platforms will change according to your industry.

For example if your company sells cookware such as pans, pots, woks and saucepans.You should reach out to chef, health, lifestyle or even mummy bloggers. The chances of these types of blog having a large presence on LinkedIn for instance is very low. LinkedIn is for business so is not really related to these types of blogs. (Of course unless it’s a very big blog with a large amount of employees!) It is likely that they would use a platform like Instagram, or potentially pinterest which is less formal.

In this example we are looking at a campaign for a cookware website an ecommerce website with a large range of products. This makes blogger outreach exciting as each range of products can be an individual digital PR campaign with its own creative strategy.

Example:
Wok Products = Chinese New Year: the year of the wok
Frypans and Skillets Products  = Pancake day favourites
Blenders & Juicers Products = Summer juice fast

As summer is here in Australia, let’s look at a summer juice fast campaign. When we think juice fasting, we think healthy, cleansing, fitness, wellbeing etc… For this reason logically we are going to reach out to fitness, health, lifestyle bloggers.

Finding the bloggers for your campaign:

There are several ways and tools to find bloggers. However, we recommend beginners to use blogsearchengine.org it works exactly like Google but only shows search results that are bloggers.

SERPS Find Bloggers with SEO Melbourne

We typed in “Fitness” now we are going to click on each blog and review their sites.

Note: there are many ways to collect blogger contacts, you can also use tools such as Ninja Outreach or BuzzStream but in this case, we will save that for another post.

As mentioned above you will need to download MozBar and register for a free account. The first blog we came across is Carly Rowena. Using MozBar we are able to see that her blog has a Domain Authority (DA) of 38. Which is relatively high for a fitness blog, this is a good start. (You can read more about DA here).

Melbourne Digital PR SEO Example blogger

We can see that Carly has a great social authority with some very loyal readers, this ticks a lot of the boxes we are looking for in both PR and SEO.

Reviewing her website and social authority it would suggest she is a medium size blogger. We feel this blog would suit a website in which has some authority already, or at least you can offer her a great product to test out.

Most medium size bloggers will state on their contact page what they are open to receiving in return for a featured post.

Carly Digital PR Blogger for SEO

Carly shares with us that is she open to reviewing products, but only if she likes them. For these reasons, we will try to build a relationship with her.

When you are happy with your choice of blog you wish to contact, input their data into your sheet like below.

Melbourne Digital PR Guide blogger outreach

Remember, if you are just starting out chances are huge bloggers will not want to work with you right now as they will have other offers and pre existing relationships with larger companies. But do not let that stop you contacting them or at least starting to build a relationship with them. They could still work with you, but keep your expectations realistic. We advise that you aim for small-medium size bloggers until you have a higher PR/digital status.

Melbourne Digital PR Blogger Greatist

We came across a large blog called Greatist. You’ll notice on MozBar shown above the domain authority is 81, that is extremely high for a health blog. For this reason, when we found Greatist we automatically judged it as a high profile blogger.

To put this in perspective, the official AFL website has a DA of 76. Given the fact AFL is very popular, there is a lot of content on the website, a lot of high authority news websites will also backlink to this website.

AFL Digital PR Melbourne

Given Greatist has a higher DA than afl.com.au, this is an extremely impressive health blog.

You will also notice that there are several adverts on Greatist, meaning there is enough traffic on this website to generate income from ads for its ad buying business. So it is unlikely a small business with low digital PR budgets will be able to afford to work with a site like that until they become much bigger.

PR Digital Melbourne SEO Greatist Blogger Outreach

Like Greatist the above site Fitness Magazine has a very high DA of 90. There is also paid adverts on the right hand side of the website which would be expensive. Given American Express and Airlines are advertising here its safe to say its not cheap to extend your digital PR here.

If you have not guessed by the name Fitness Magazine, we can tell that this blog is a magazine by either knowing the brand or by Googling it’s brand name.

Fitness Digital PR Melbourne

Another reason running a campaign on here would be very expensive as it would most likely appear in print as well! These websites will appear as blogs as they in theory an online version of the magazine. Fewer people are buying magazine’s nowadays, meaning blogs are becoming as popular if not in some cases more popular than magazines.

We will now look at Visual Impact Fitness.

SEO Company Digital PR Blogging

The website has a DA of 23, which is the average for a health blog. Like you, they are likely to be working on building their brand.

We looked at Visual Impacts social authority, with an impressive 29k likes on Facebook, and 2.4k followers on Twitter, we have a lot of opportunity here. For these reasons in this campaign we want to build a relationship with this blog.

Below you will see this Visual Impact Fitness added in our spreadsheet.

Finds bloggers SEO melbourne

Bonus tips: In terms of finding relative content, social media platforms work similar to search engines. You can find bloggers and journalist profiles or posts by searching your industry + “blogger” or “journalist”.  Also, try searching #journorequest and #prrequest on Twitter you will come across hundreds of potential opportunities.

You should do this until you are happy you have enough contacts on your list (aim for 30-50 to start with), you now have to decide what you’re going to offer these bloggers? Either you can offer them a guest post (you write content in return for a link), perhaps you have a product you can give them for free in return for a review? Or you have content you wish to share with them that may be of use.

In this example, we are going to offer either a free blender in return the blogger tests a 3-day juice fast using the blender simply in return for a link back to the product page and or talk about how they liked using your product. This is great as it allows the blogger to create their own story with something that interests them while still promoting you and your business.

Remember bloggers are more likely to link to you / accept your partnership if you have a relationship with them. A good way to build a relationship prior to emailing them is to interact with them on social media, share their content or comment on their blogs. There is a high chance most bloggers have a lot of outreach emails in her junk box from people that they have never spoken to before, nor have they given them true value. Like any relationship, this will take time to gain trust. So do not jump the gun and blast out any old email.

Here are two examples email templates from Brian Dean’s post on Smart Blogger.

Remember to keep track of who you are sending emails to, it’s a good idea to do this on your spreadsheet.

Sharing your content:
SEO Company Digital PR Melbourne Blogger Email Example

Offering a Guest Post:Guest post email template Digital PR Melbourne

Chances are your email may even be ignored at the start. It might be you’re not offering a good enough service in return. You should test what works for your industry. Keep going, it’s about building a name for your brand. In time, bloggers may even link to you without you asking for your content.

Online Press Releases

The overall value of Online Press Releases

There are many valuable reasons for sending a press release we have explained a summary of each listed below.

  • Online Reputation Management– sending an online PR will affect your reputation on and offline. Whether you are working on negative damage control or you simply wish to improve your brand’s image. A press release could be a great addition to your overall public relation strategy.
  • SERP (search engine result pages) – there are many reasons you may want to attempt to control rankings related to your brand. Microsite Masters explains this very well.
  • Backlinks – We spoke briefly about backlinks in our Blogger Outreach section of this guide. The more powerful backlinks you have, the higher domain authority your website may have which can lead to higher rankings. We like to use Majestic to check the power of each backlink. Generally, news websites will offer a more powerful backlink, which is great as press releases are made to target news sites!
  • Social Media –  You’ll read the value of social media for SEO in our social media section of this guide. If your press release is successful and is done right, you should expect a decent amount of social shares about the news! Not only this sends a signal to search engines your brand is legit, it increases the chances of potential web users seeing your brand. As well as creating a level of trust.
  • Real life news – You can not guarantee your story will be picked up, you have to have a mix of luck, timing and good content that worth their time!  Save your money and everyone’s time (including your own) we only recommend creating a press release campaign if you have news that you feel will benefit people within your industry knowledge.

Like traditional PR, press releases are still used. However new age online PR works with online platforms such as; Cision, Muck Rack, BuzzStream and so forth. These tools will send out a Press release or news story to a collected contact list via an email in bulk. There is also the ability to publish your Online Press Release via a Newswire (a company in which sells your Press Release to subscribing news organisations). There are many Newswires you may use, however, we prefer to use companies such as PRNewswire, BusinessWire, PRWeb etc…

The average Press Release would be picked up and published on 100-300 sites, you can even tailor your Press Release so news organisations in specific industries and locations are more likely to see it! You should note, when a press release like this is published, it will contain No-Follow links, and will be tagged as a “Press Release”, this means the post itself will not have a great amount of link juice despite being placed on a high authority website. But it will show Google you have an overall marketing strategy and can offer real-life news. Furthermore, this is how news is picked up across the web. Large news channels and or sites will have a paid account in which adds them to a mailing list for these Press Releases.

The first steps of sending your first press release can be daunting. You will first need to pick which newswire you are going to use. You can review a range here.

In this example, we are going to look at a personal loan business. We are going to call this company “LoanMeToday”. For this industry we are going to chose BusinessWire as our online digital press release platform. (You should note that using this PR service can cost be between $300-$1500 or more!).For example, during this exercise, we are going to pretend we ran a survey that found 96% of 400 people living on the average income of $77,982 are more likely to use a personal loan if reviews online are positive as opposed to negative. (Made up results).

Below you will see a template for a Press Release, this should help you write the perfect PR!

Digital Press Release Melbourne Template

Press Release for Immediate Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
Place the date your PR will be sent out
 

                                                                                            Place your address here

New study by LoanMeToday reveals 96% of people choose a loan provider depending on a company’s online reputation.

A new study (add hyperlink to “new study” which links to relative page) by LoanMeToday (Hyperlink your company name to your homepage) reveals 96% of people on a average income of $77,982 are more likely to choose a loan provider depending on the reviews they have online. Meaning a negative review could cost even more potential clients. This already  irrefutable figure is up 10% since last year.

The number of online personal approved loans have seen an increase in 11% since 2015. With the average online loan costing 0.89% more.

“Given the dramatic 11% increase of online personal loans being approved, online brand reputation management has became a must for all loan services. Even one negative review could hugely impact your revenue.”

George Williams

LoanMeToday CEO

Ends

For further information, contact:

George Williams, CEO
george@loanmetoday.com / loanmetoday.com.au /  +0401 928 192

End of example

A rule of thumb, talk more about your findings, ideally aim for your digital pr release to be in the vicinity of 300-400 words. You should leave the journalist wanting to know more. But at the same time, you should give enough information in your press release so that someone will use your Press Release as research for a larger post! If you have a sister company, try to add a link naturally, this will be like killing two birds with one stone.

Adding in a quote from a member of high authority within the industry or community in which you speak will increase the chances of your press release appearing more genuine, plus it helps build an awareness and a link to your company for this person which will look great for your brand!

You should always end a press release with “Ends” (to show the PR has ended) following contact details for the person managing this campaign or again a person of high authority. You may be contacted for interviews or further questions.

Once you feel you are ready to publish your digital press release with your chosen newswire, the sign up is simple. You will have to contact support or sales who will help you with the process; if this is your first time. Depending on your industry and location they will suggest cities around the world in which would most likely benefit from your PR. You will also be given a price range, upon approval and payment you will then be given a time your PR is set to go live.

Bonus tip: Depending on your industry, blogs and large news channels will be on the lookout for news. Usually, the ones that have an extra contact form or email where you are welcome to send your press release. Like blogger outreach, searching for these can be done via a search engine.

Example:Press Release SEO Result Digital PR Melbourne

We simply Googled “submit press release” + “personal finance”. (Personal Finance being the most general category for our example industry.). Try Googling several search terms, you may find websites will appear again, but you may also find new ones!

Add all relative and relevant sites to a spreadsheet as shown in the below example:

Find PR sites with SEO Melbourne

Unlike blogger outreach, you want to send this to as many people as possible. A current relationship is not necessarily needed as your Press Release will be online newsworthy if already accepted by a newswire. But if you do already have a great relationship with anyone from blogger outreach it’s definitely worthwhile sending a less formal email!

You can also use tools like Cision’s media database, you simply search related keywords when searching for a potential journalist or news corporation and add them to a list. From there you will use their email system (emails will still be sent from your email address). It’s good to note access to Cision’s media database is on a contractual basis. We only suggest using this tool if you are going to be sending several high-value press releases.

Tracking your press release results

It’s a very good idea to track your results. By tracking results, we mean how many websites either re-published your PR or wrote an article using your PR? Have you seen an increase in leads or traffic? Is your news appearing in Google News? Have your rankings improved? (please note, rankings can take time to change.). If you Google your brand what comes up?

When you send a digital PR via a newswire as we exampled above, you will receive a report which includes key metrics such as, release views, user engagement and where and how many times your PR was published etc… You can download a PDF on BusinessWire which explains your report here.

Each day for one or two weeks, we suggest that you open an incognito tab (a private browsing tab which doesn’t track your browsing history, this will show you  more accurate and less personalised/skewed results.) type in your brand name, keyword phrases related to your PR, even the name of the person mentioned. You should be able to see the difference it has made to SERP’s (search engine results pages). We recommend that you screenshot each day to see the change over time.

Google has a service in which it sends you an email when your chosen keyword is mentioned online. Use Google’s guide to set up Google Alerts. Ideally you want to track branded keywords or related keywords to your PR.

Another option is to use tools like Ahrefs. With this tool you are able to review your website’s backlinks. Simply export your backlinks to Excel change the date to most recent date and you’ll be able to see websites which have recently linked back to your website. You should do this for both your domain and any URL’s you placed in your Press release.

Social Media Marketing

According to a study done by Sensis, 79% of Australia’s population has a social media account. With 35% checking their accounts more than 5 times a day. That’s 5 chances a day to get noticed! Did you know that a 64% of consumers will more likely trust a brand if it interacts with consumers on social media? With 24% of social media users using their accounts to follow businesses or brands?

It’s clear why social media is important for any PR campaign but is Social media a must for SEO? Well, Social media profiles rank well for branded keywords, meaning the chances of a searcher clicking on a result that is not yours would be lower if you were to optimise your social media page. This also would make your site more trusted by Google if it is able to pick up related accounts connected to your website and brand.

Matt Cutts, former head of Google’s webspam who is very well-known in the SEO world explains this more in-depth in this video…

Using social media for your SEO is simple, you must ensure you have you profiles listed either in the header or footer of your website. And that you social media profiles link back to your website, this creates a link structure. It will also increase the number of clicks from social media to your website and vice versa.

Example:

SM example Oreo SEO Melbourne

Oreo are known for their great social media marketing, notice how they have placed Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube buttons in the top right hand corner.

SEO Melbourne SM example oreo

On the screenshot of their Twitter account above Notice how they have placed a link back to their website?

You should also aim to place your keywords within your social media content plan just like you would do for your website content plan as social media works like in a similar way to search engines in terms of uses searching for related accounts or content. {I think it would be a good idea to create a post about this more in depth so we can also add a link here}

Youtube for SEO

Despite being classed as a social media platform, Youtube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world. According to Mushroom Networks Youtube is bigger than Yahoo, Ask, AOL and Bing combined.

Wordstream have also said that 45% of people watch an hour of Facebook or Youtube videos in a week! That’s a lot of opportunity to be spotted out there. Meaning video has become a huge part of online PR and the overall marketing strategy.

The average user will spend 88% more time on a website with a video. A landing page with a video has a  53% higher chance of showing up on page 1 of SERP’s. This is no longer an added extra as part of  a thorough SEO strategy , it is a must.

When creating a Youtube video you should aim to include topics you can fit into your content plan or current landing pages. When a Youtube video is embedded, it’s a great way to add extra keywords to your site naturally.

There are a many things that will affect how well a Youtube video is going to perform, here are some of the main aspects to keep in mind…

1. The average length of a YouTube video on the first page is 4 minutes and 20 seconds.
2. The amount of new “Subscriptions” to a YouTube channel after the video was published.
3. Title of the video. Ideally you want your tags to include a exact match of your landing page keyword.
4. Like Google, YouTube is all about user experience. Videos in HD have an advantage with 67.2% of videos on the home page appearing in HD.
5. Number of current views.
6. Comments, and video ratings.

In the form of marketing tutorials using help webisodes, SEO Melbourne is good example of using YouTube for SEO, introducing SEO TV Melbourne in partnership with SEO TV Sydney.

SEO TV SEO Melbourne

The videos are categorised into 6 sections (Digital Marketing, Google Analytics, Keyword Research, Pay Per Click, SEO and Social Media Marketing) of the channel making it easier for users to find the information they want efficiently and for search engines to crawl the site fast.

We list our Video channel four times on our home page. The first appears in the top right-hand corner of the navigation bar, this makes for easy access to every page of the website.

The second time appears on the left-hand corner of the homepage, you can see it in the screenshot below.

SEO Melbourne SEO TV

The third is shown in the SEO services we can offer.Results SEO Melbourne

As mentioned search engines like content that offers users the best experience possible, despite the video channel being mentioned four times on the home page. It is still natural and useful. This is important when deciding where to place your videos. As after all, you would not place a video about roasting a turkey in a blog post about investing in property. They do not match, nor would either user benefit. Plus, it would look extremely spammy.

SEO TV SEO Melbourne

The fourth time SEO TV is utilised you will notice above there are several call to actions (CTA), the ability to watch the latest video, a drop-down menu to pick a category suited to your needs, the ability to click and watch similar videos. As an extra bonus, this all improves internal link building as well!

You will also notice the first 50 words have been pulled from the video page. This draws the user to want to know more. Furthermore naturally adds extra keywords and diverse content onto the homepage.

Now let’s look at an individual video page.

SEO Melbourne Youtube SEO

Again, you have the ability to click on categories suited to your needs, or similar videos to the one you are currently viewing.

As mentioned comments and video ratings have a huge impact on how a YouTube video will rank, this is why we suggest adding a Facebook comment plugin to your website under your video.

You should always add extra content to your videos, at least 500 words. This will again increase the chance of your video ranking.

A case study done by Cisco last year predicted that by 2020, video will account for over 80 percent of all consumer internet traffic! So you best get ranking!

The further of Online PR for SEO

Despite this guide nearing 5000 words; we have on just touched the surface of all that encopasses Online PR and its relationship with SEO. This is a subject that takes years to master, and is forever developing alongside technology. From the first search engine archive which launched in 1990 to the start of the master creation in 1998 we know today as Google, search has grown at magnificent rate with no chance of slowing down. It was estimated by Media Post that businesses worldwide spent an outstanding $65.26 billion on SOE in 2016, rising to an expected $72.02 billion in 2018 following $79.27 billion by 2020!

Google mentions “Focus on the user and all else will follow.” on their ‘Ten Things We Know To Be True’ philosophy page as point #1. When you think about it that is exactly what Public Relations is all about. We aim to provide value to online portals for the good of the user. It’s very interesting to see these two extraordinary industries are linking together more and more every day. As Google continues to intertwine its algorithm with the democratic processes of user generated democracy we will see digital public relations increasingly become more and more important.

Here at SEO Melbourne we aim for Google’s number one philosophy “Focus on the user and all else will follow”; staying ahead of the game, so we can make you number #1 on Google.

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