PR Link Earning Best Practices for Search Engine Optimization

Public Relations (PR) efforts can play a large part in link earning from reputable third-party sites, which, in turn, boost your organic search performance. With Google’s focus on prioritizing high-quality content that engages users, link earning is more crucial to your business than ever before.

Why?

Because links from authoritative sites prove your team is creating engaging content for your target audience, which will help increase traffic and conversions and help you drive key business results.

This blog will cover some best practices you should consider when looking for fresh ways to boost your search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing performance.

Why Links Matter: The Link Earning Big Picture

Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo look at multiple factors when considering how to rank a page in the search results — one of the strongest being link back quality.

Why? Because including links to an authoritative site is akin to being friends with an influential person. The closer you are connected to that person, the more clout you carry. The same is true with websites. If a highly influential site links to your domain, then in the search engine’s eyes your site is also highly influential. Over time, building up these types of links adds organic “clout” to your website.

Your ability to garner links from high-value websites can either position you for success, or set you up for failure. My objective here is to help you identify when and how to ask for links when opportunity strikes. Keep reading for some rich link earning opportunities and tips for taking full advantage of them.

  1. Sponsorships:

If you regularly engage in sponsorships—whether it’s with large, well-known brands or smaller, local organizations and events—you could be missing out on a prime opportunity for link earning. In nearly all sponsorship engagements, you’re donating time, money, expertise or physical goods (or all three!) for the benefit of a third party. In return, your brand gains, among other things, name recognition with the third party’s audience, event participants, and more.

Often, this third-party has a digital presence of their own, such as a website or a Facebook profile, and it’s becoming more common to include sponsorships in digital assets. This often takes the form of a logo or content call-out, but that’s the extent of the engagement.

This is a perfect opportunity, though, to request that the third party links that logo or content call-out back to a specific page on your website. In fact, you can take care of this by including a request in your reciprocity requests that the third party involved should not only display your sponsorship but also must include a link back to a selected page.

An example request could look like the following:

My Brand is proud to partner with your organization. We look forward to being featured on your site. When posting our logo to your sponsorship page, please be sure to link to mybrand.com.

  1. Related Organizations:

When creating a press release or article for your blog, it’s likely that your team sometimes connects with third-party organizations, either as the subject of the piece or as a reference or example. Often, these entities are directly referenced in the content piece and a link is added from your domain to their website. This is a big organic search win for that organization, as they are now leveraging the clout of your site to improve their organic rank. In this case, it’s perfectly reasonable to request the same courtesy be extended to you.

Link reciprocity is an ideal strategy for building links in this scenario. Whenever possible — as a story is being written or even after it is published — many PR offices reach out to the third-party organizations and let them know the piece is/will be posted. And you should follow suit. It’s during this notification that you have the opportunity to request a link from their website back to your own site. Even if a third-party site isn’t directly contacted during the creation process, but is referenced in the final piece, reaching out to that organization with similar messaging and a request for a link is at least worth a shot

An example request could look like the following:

Thank you for taking the time to help us spotlight our work with you. The article we worked with you on was posted online at https://www.mybrand.com/blog/articleaboutthirdparty

To help us further get the message out, we’d like to request that you post a link on your site back to this article. We feel this is a great story and we want to ensure your visitors have a chance to see it as well.

Link reciprocity is as simple as that!

  1. Build Internal Links

Unfortunately, links on press releases in aggregator sites (like PRNewswire) do not have much SEO value. The act of posting these press releases on your main domain, though, adds internal link value. That’s because these internal links help to show the Google bot how your new press release fits into the rest of your website.

If you’re not sure how to build internal links, you can try writing blog posts related to the topic and link to the release. Or, you can also create links going from the press release to other parts of your website to encourage the readers to explore the rest of your domain. Don’t be afraid to get creative with it!

The Future of Link Earning: Why You Can’t Ignore This Tactic

Contrary to popular opinion, link earning is not just still important—it’s more important than ever. As Google continues to tweak its algorithms to prioritize content that provides value to users, you can bet that the search engine will place more and more value on links. Quality links from authoritative sites indicate that you’re producing quality content.

This is, of course, larger than just boosting your site rankings. With a great link earning strategy, you’ll reach and attract more of your ideal audience. In turn, you’ll see everything from higher quality traffic to an increasing conversion rate to, eventually, impactful business results.

 

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John Daters

About John Daters

Since 2004, John has been involved in nearly every aspect of digital marketing and website management. Prior to Fathom, John worked at Cleveland Metroparks, the second-largest metropolitan park district in Ohio, where he oversaw the growth of the government organization’s diverse web presence, including that of 8 golf courses, 16 parks and Cleveland’s zoo. In addition, he has worked within the marketing agency world as content manager for Colorado.com, the state of Colorado’s official tourism website. There, he managed all aspects of content, ranging from business listings to feature articles and collateral marketing material. John holds a BA in Communications and Psychology from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, and has authored three books about the state of Colorado, with the first book seeing its second edition in 2014.

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