What Digital PR Does for SEO

Morgen Henderson, Outreach Specialist

Your brand’s reputation is important.

Whether it’s online or offline, you want to present your brand in the best possible way—a way that people can connect with.

When people connect with your brand, they’ll trust you, making you more authoritative and relevant within your space. And when users have a great experience and trust your expertise, search engines will seek to serve your content more often for relevant terms in that space. Search engines love good and highly relevant user experiences, so if you’re top of mind for a user, odds are you’ll be at the top of the SERPs, too.

What is Digital PR?

Public relations isn’t anything new. Managing and maintaining a good public image has been done for hundreds of years, with the first official PR firm established more than a century ago. And although PR isn’t new, the internet is. It’s been around for a mere 30 years, making it very young in relation to traditional PR. And managing an image online, in such a socially connected and constantly evolving landscape, is a bit different.

On the one hand, everything we do is visible online, so we need to be cautious of our digital actions. And on the other hand, we still want to be visible online. But there’s so much content out there—with more than 7.5 million blog posts being published each day and 500 hours of video being uploaded to YouTube every minute, it’s hard to attract attention. With this level of competition, it makes ranking high in organic search more challenging than ever.

You want people—and search engines—to both know and trust your brand.

Digital PR is what’s going to help you stand out against online competitors and be known while also maintaining a positive, trustworthy image. And when you have such an image, it assists your SEO efforts and will help you rank higher in organic search, where your brand will get noticed even more.

What Digital PR Achieves

Digital PR can support your marketing strategy through all stages of the funnel, from brand awareness to conversion. It can get your brand name out there, where people can see it and start to recognize it, and it can drive referral traffic directly to your site where users can convert. Even John Mueller (yes, the guy from Google) says that digital PR can be more significant than technical SEO in some cases.

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Here are the specifics of what Digital PR achieves.

Backlinks

Backlinks are still one of the main ranking factors for search engines. In fact, off-page SEO factors make up more than 50% of Google’s algorithm. In a nutshell, they signal to search engines that other sites are talking about you and referring to your site. This implies that you are a credible source of information and that your brand and website are relevant and current.

Referral Traffic

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Backlinks generate referral traffic, driving relevant audiences to your site. And if more people are visiting, it’s a good indicator that the site is trustworthy and significant, which is why search engines take into account how many people are visiting your site.

Brand Mentions

Not every piece of coverage will include a link back to your website. But even when a link isn’t included, there’s often a mention of your brand name, whether it’s written in an article or aired on a local news station.

Search engines want to rank the most credible sites first for their users. When your brand’s name is written on another website, search engines pick up on it. They take note of how frequently your brand is mentioned and in what spaces (relevance). The more it’s mentioned, the more credibility you have, and the more likely it is you’ll have a higher place in the SERPs.

If your brand name is aired either on a local news channel or a radio station, people hear it and may feel inclined to look it up. If they decide to search for your brand, chances are, users will go straight to a search engine and type in your brand name. And because search engines are smart, the first result to show up will usually be your website.

Social Media Buzz

Digital PR can play out across social media, too. Posts and events are quickly and easily shared with hundreds, sometimes thousands and millions of people—and all of those people can catch a glimpse of your brand.

Brand recognition

People will remember your brand and recognize it later on if and when it comes up again. The more people see it, the more they’ll remember it, and the more they’ll interact with it. So you want to get your name out there as much as possible, where people will interact with your brand and search engines see those interactions.

How Does Digital PR Achieve This?

Digital PR has the daunting task of attempting to make your brand seen among the din of others (who are also trying to be seen), all the while trying to leave a positive, lasting impression. And there are great tactics that help us execute a balance between attracting attention and being seen as a positive influence.

Digital PR Campaigns

A digital PR campaign is essentially like a traditional PR campaign, but it’s online. You first create a unique, authoritative piece of content, whether it’s a new survey, interesting data analysis, a guide, or a tool—something people will be interested in or can interact with. You’ll then publicize it by sending it to relevant publications online, like news outlets, magazines, and blogs, in the hopes that they’ll share it on their sites and social media.

Influencer Marketing

Influencers are already trusted by their followers. They can both extend your brand’s reach quickly and effectively while encouraging and building trust in your brand. This is done by choosing the right influencers for your brand—those that are relevant and authentically enthusiastic about your company and what you have to offer. These partnerships are mutually beneficial and can last years if nurtured and utilized effectively.

Your Brand is Important!

Your website and brand identity are valuable and important. People need to know about your brand in a digital sense and what it stands for. They need to recognize it and be able to find it easily online through organic search results. And when people already trust you and can find you online, they’ll convert and share your brand with others, which is the whole reason we do digital marketing in the first place.

Morgen Henderson, Outreach Specialist

Morgen Henderson

Off-Page SEO / Digital PR Strategist
Off-Page SEO / Digital PR Strategist

Morgen is an off-page SEO / digital PR strategist at Portent with a background in digital marketing. With a keen sense of data and statistics, Morgen helps ideate authoritative and newsworthy content and promotes it widely, seeking media coverage and fostering new and existing relationships, driving results for her clients. Additionally, she supports influencer marketing campaigns, focusing on analytics and prospecting. When she's not working, you can find her traveling the globe or watching New Girl again. For the twelfth time.

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