SEO

PR Link Building Strategies to Boost Your Website’s Ranking

In the past, link-building strategies often focused on acquiring a high volume of backlinks, regardless of their source.

However, search engines like Google have become much more sophisticated in evaluating backlinks.

It's now crucial, more than ever, to prioritize quality over quantity.

That’s where PR link-building comes in.

It takes link-building to a whole new level, using the power of public relations to score high-quality backlinks that scream credibility.

Link-building, when combined with high-quality PR efforts, becomes a potent force.

In this blog post, we'll show you how PR link-building improves your SEO and how to implement it correctly.

Let's get right into it.

What Exactly is PR Link-Building?

PR link-building is a strategic approach to link-building.

It is the practice of earning high-quality backlinks from authoritative websites, publications, and journalists in your niche.

Unlike traditional link-building methods like guest posting or directory submissions, PR link-building focuses on building relationships with journalists.

It leverages media outlets and industry blogs to boost your SEO and brand reputation. 

PR link-building is a win-win.

You provide valuable content and insights while journalists get a credible source for their stories.

It's a long-term strategy that builds trust and authority, not just backlinks.

Why PR Link-Building is Important for SEO

PR link-building plays a crucial, but often overlooked, role in SEO. Here are some key reasons why PR link-building should be a priority for you.

Builds a Natural Backlinks Profile

It has been proven many times over that a solid backlink profile often results in higher SEO rankings.

A recent study by Backlinko found a strong correlation between a website's overall link authority and its search rankings.

Remarkably, the number 1 result on Google SERP (search engine results pages) typically has an average of 3.8 times more backlinks than positions 2 to 10.

Image via Backlinko

However, how you get those links matters.

The days of getting away with black hat tactics and link schemes are over. 

Google's spam policies provide guidelines to prevent website owners from manipulating rankings in Google Search.

Websites that violate these guidelines are penalized by Google.

Here’s a manual actions report in Google Search Console showing a notification of a breach of Google's link policy.

Image via Google Search Console

PR link-building avoids manipulative tactics and focuses on creating valuable content that publications want to link to organically.

This results in a more natural backlink profile, which is favored by search engines.

Generates Referral Traffic

No doubt, improved search rankings attract more traffic to your website.

However, PR links offer much more.

When top media brands link to your content, their audience may click on those and discover your website.

This referral traffic can significantly increase your site’s visibility and reach. 

Besides, visitors referred to by PR links are usually highly interested in the linked content and engage with it more.

Builds Brand Awareness and Credibility

Want a sure way to build your brand's credibility? 

Try PR link-building.

Being associated with authoritative sources carries significant weight in building credibility. This is particularly valuable for new brands trying to differentiate themselves from competitors.

Moreover, it also helps you build brand awareness. 

Many people encountering your links or mentions may be learning about your company for the very first time.

Utilize PR outreach tools to streamline the process of connecting with top media publications to earn those valuable backlinks.

Establishes Thought Leadership

SEO is more than just ranking high in search results.

It's about building a strong online presence that establishes you as a trusted authority.

When credible media outlets reference your content, they're essentially validating your expertise.

This positions you as a thought leader within your niche. 

This reputation attracts potential customers and other media brands actively seeking reliable information and guidance.

Provides Long-Term Value

Unlike some link-building tactics that may become less effective over time, links from authoritative, editorial sources have lasting value.

Instead of diminishing in value as with most black hat techniques, earned links become more impactful over time.

As the source of earned links continues to build their authority, the value of the links they provide appreciates over time, thus, providing long-term SEO benefits.

7 PR Link Building Strategies You Can Use

It takes more than luck to excel in PR link-building. Consider the following strategies to launch a successful campaign.

1. Create Newsworthy Content

In PR link-building, the key to attracting journalists and securing backlinks is through captivating and newsworthy content.

Is newsworthy the same as breaking news?

Not necessarily.

Newsworthy content refers to stories or information that is relevant, interesting, and valuable to your target audience.

On the other hand, breaking news specifically refers to fresh and developing stories that are happening in real time.

While some PR content might be breaking news, much of it focuses on timely trends and industry insights.

You may be asking, what then makes content newsworthy? 

Creating newsworthy content involves several key elements, such as:

  • Timeliness: Is your content related to current events, trends, or discussions? Does it offer fresh insights or perspectives on a breaking story? Aligning your content with current events can significantly increase its newsworthiness.
  • Impact: How many people will be affected by your story? Does it address a major challenge or opportunity within your industry? To grab journalists’ attention, highlight the broader impact of your story.
  • Prominence: Does your story involve well-known individuals, companies, or organizations? Featuring prominent individuals or organizations increases the interest in your content.
  • Human Interest: People connect with stories that evoke emotions or touch on relatable experiences. Can you weave a human element into your content, perhaps through personal anecdotes or case studies?
  • Conflict & Controversy: Does your story highlight a debate, disagreement, or clash of ideas within your field? Stories with conflict or opposing viewpoints are newsworthy but tread carefully here. Ensure your approach is balanced and avoids negativity.

Examples of newsworthy content include product launch announcements, industry research, expert commentary, or unique perspectives that resonate with your audience.

Here’s an example of an expert commentary article by Content Marketing Institute (CMI):

Image via Content Marketing Institute

2. Target the Right Audience

PR link-building is not about sending generic pitches everywhere. 

It's about sending tailored messages that speak directly to journalists and publications who reach your ideal audience.

Targeting publications that attract your target audience ensures your content lands where it matters most.

This makes any backlinks you acquire even more valuable.

Journalists who cover topics in your field are more likely to “get” your story, paving the way for future collaborations.

It's better to get backlinks from relevant publications with smaller audiences than from generic ones with a broad reach.

Don't wait to be found.

Research journalists covering your industry and reach out with well-crafted pitches highlighting your expertise and how it can benefit their work.

3. Target High-Authority Websites

Domain Authority (DA) or Domain Rating (DR) is a score that predicts a site's ranking in search results. It considers factors like domain age, backlink quality, traffic, and content. 

Seeking backlinks from websites with high DA is crucial for better SEO, more referral traffic, and enhanced brand credibility.

To find such sites, use content marketing tools, check industry publications, and analyze competitor backlinks.

For example, check out Attrock’s Domain Rating as measured by Ahrefs Website Authority Checker.

Image via Ahrefs

4. Become a Quote-Worthy Expert

Journalists always seek credible voices to add weight and insight to their articles.

You can position yourself as one.

Here's how to cultivate the expertise that makes journalists come knocking on your door:

  • Stay Ahead of the Curve: Stay updated on the latest industry trends, research, and developments and publish relevant content. This will position you as a thought leader with fresh perspectives.
  • Publish Thought Leadership Content: Write blog posts, articles, or white papers that showcase your expertise. Share them on relevant platforms, including social media.
  • Speak at Industry Events: Attend conferences, webinars, or online conversations. This allows you to demonstrate your knowledge in front of a wider audience.
  • Clarity & Concision: Express your ideas clearly and concisely, avoiding jargon and technical terms to the extent possible.
  • Quick Quote Mastery: Hone your skills in creating sharp, impactful quotes that capture your main ideas. Journalists often need quick quotes that pack a punch.
  • Respond to Journalist Inquiries: Respond promptly and professionally if a journalist reaches out for a quote. Provide insightful and relevant answers that enhance their story.

Here's an image featuring a quote from Gates Little, as seen on Zapier's blog.

Image via Zapier

5. Incorporate Data

Backing up your claims with data adds credibility, depth, and newsworthiness to your stories.

This makes journalists and publishers more likely to feature your content and link to your website.

Nothing beats unique and original research in this space.

When you conduct surveys and polls on a topic relevant to your niche, you have a higher chance of acquiring backlinks.

Create detailed case studies and client success stories that showcase your expertise and the impact of your work. Also, develop free tools, calculators, and other resources that address a specific need within your industry.

Take CMI’s B2B Content Marketing Outlook for 2024 report as an example. It was created from a survey of over a thousand marketers across the globe.

The report has earned over 1,400 backlinks from 424 websites since it was published in October 2023.

Image via Ahrefs

Create engaging graphics and data visualizations like infographics, charts, and graphs.

Visual aids make complex information easier to understand and digest for journalists and their audiences.

What’s more?

Weave a narrative around your data. Extract meaningful insights and recommendations from your findings. Explain their significance and what they reveal about your industry or the topic.

Above all, ensure your data is easy to understand, even for those without a strong technical background.

Check out this graph HubSpot depicting statistics on social media platforms with the highest ROI.

Image via HubSpot

6. Build Relationships

Want to move beyond getting a one-off link from journalists in your industry? Then, you must play the long-term game and build quality relationships.

Understand that journalists are busy, and many people like you are trying to get their attention.

To stand out, you must engage with them differently.

Here are some things you can do:

  • Personalize your outreach: Research each journalist's work and interests and tailor your pitches accordingly. This shows that you value their time and expertise.
  • Provide value upfront: Instead of immediately pitching your content, offer something of value to the journalist, such as industry insights or data. This helps establish trust and credibility.
  • Be genuine and authentic: Approach journalists as you would anyone you have a professional relationship with—be honest, respectful, and sincere. Avoid using manipulative tactics or false flattery.
  • Follow up strategically: After sending a pitch, follow up promptly and respectfully. If you don't receive a response, send a polite follow-up email or message, but don’t be aggressive in your approach.
  • Provide ongoing value: Take the time to engage with journalists on social media, share their articles, and participate in relevant discussions. Nurture your relationships by providing feedback even when you're not actively pitching.

7. Track and Analyze

Getting high-quality backlinks is just one part of the job.

You need to track and analyze your backlink profile to measure your progress.

Tracking your backlinks allows you to see the number of links pointing to your site and how relevant they are.

It will help you answer questions like:

  • Are my PR link-building efforts paying off?
  • Am I acquiring backlinks from high-authority websites in my niche?
  • Are the backlinks properly attributed to my website?
  • Am I acquiring low-quality or spammy backlinks?
  • How am I fairing compared to my competitors?

Backlink tracking is not a one-time activity. Regularly monitoring your backlink profile will keep you updated and help to identify new opportunities.

You can track your backlinks with tools like Buzzsumo or its alternatives, such as Ahrefs, Semrush, or Moz.

FAQs

A. PR link-building is the process of acquiring backlinks from reputable external sources, such as news websites or industry publications.

Q2. What is a PR link?

A. A PR link is a type of backlink that originates from an online publication that directs readers to a company's website or product page.

Q3. What is the difference between link-building and digital PR?

A. Link-building focuses on securing backlinks to improve search engine rankings and drive traffic. Digital PR strategy aims to improve your brand’s online visibility through media coverage and other content marketing strategies.

Q4. Is digital PR an SEO strategy?

A. Yes, digital PR can be considered an SEO strategy. Digital PR focuses on earning mentions and backlinks from news publications and social media. Backlinks gotten from digital PR contribute to a website's SEO performance.

Q5. What are high-quality links?

A. High-quality links are backlinks from authoritative websites within the same industry or niche, obtained naturally rather than through manipulative tactics.

Final Thoughts

PR link-building is a powerful tool for building and solidifying your brand's credibility. 

When you're featured on reputable websites and publications, it's like receiving a digital stamp of approval.

People see these placements as a validation of your expertise and trustworthiness.

But it doesn’t end there.

Search engines love high-quality backlinks, and PR link-building delivers exactly that.

Put to use all you’ve learned in this article. Use backlink monitoring tools to track your progress and adjust your strategy accordingly.

See you at the top of Google SERP. All the best!

Gaurav Sharma

Gaurav Sharma is the Founder and CEO of Attrock, a results-driven digital marketing company. Grew an agency from 5-figure to 7-figure revenue in just two years | 10X leads | 2.8X conversions | 300K organic monthly traffic | 5K keywords on page 1. He also contributes to top publications like HuffPost, Adweek, Business2Community, TechCrunch, and more.

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