As an industry, we’re good at talking about the connection between PR and SEO and the benefits of a digital PR-led approach on your search strategy, but these conversations don’t always result in enough information sharing between the two disciplines. Often, a business will recognise the importance of both, and employ a PR and an SEO agency, only for them to work independently of each other.
A more collaborative approach is mutually beneficial, but within this blog, we’ll look specifically at SEO data that PR professionals should be using more often. These insights can play a role at every stage of your strategy, from ideation, to target publications, to expanding the lifespan of your coverage.
Use domain metrics to prioritise target publications
While your priority might be more focused on who is reading the publication, rather than what the search engines think about it, it’s useful to be able to identify how powerful a site is from an SEO perspective as this will affect the staying power of your coverage; content on a more authoritative site is likely to remain more highly visible in Google for longer. It’s also just a good indication of its popularity too which is of course valuable from a PR point of view.
SEO tools can give you endless data, but domain authority (often shortened to DA) is a good starting point. This is a number between 1-100 that predicts how likely a website is to rank in the search engine results pages, taking into account a number of factors. You might also be presented with metrics like ‘citation flow’ and ‘trust flow’ which essentially look at the quantity and quality of links respectively.
Whatever tool you’re using will provide you with some form of domain authority metric, but if you don’t want to be tied into lengthy and expensive SEO tool contracts, you can also run a limited number of free searches on the Moz Open Site Explorer, where you’ll find the domain authority of any given URL within seconds.
Domain authority isn’t the be-all and end-all, and a low DA doesn’t mean a bad site (it could just be relatively new or serve a niche audience), but if you’re looking to prioritise lists whilst also benefiting your SEO strategy, it’s useful knowledge to be armed with.
Find new publications using link profile tools
Link profile features are excellent tools for competitor research, allowing you to see which sites other companies are getting coverage in within your sector and with what content. Many of these tools, including SEMrush’s Backlink Gap and Moz’s Link Intersect tool, also allow you to select a number of competitors and establish which sites are linking to any combination of them but not to you. This provides you with publications that are readily linking to several others in your space, so your chances of success are naturally higher.
It’s also worth taking a look at your own link profile while you’re there. Even if you oversee all PR activity, you might be surprised at where you feature unknowingly. Identifying any coverage you weren’t aware of gives you an opportunity to identify new target press and start building relationships.
Use keyword research tools for topic inspiration
The collaboration between SEO and PR should happen as early as possible. SEO data can, and should, be used at the ideation stage of your strategy. This is where keyword research tools can be really useful, highlighting what your audience are searching for and any questions you may have. After all, this is at the crux of all marketing, being able to tap into the wants and needs of potential customers.
The great thing about this is that there are plenty of free resources you can take advantage of. Google’s People Also Ask feature is ideal for considering what people want to know around a given subject, providing you with a list of questions, while Google’s Keyword Planner only requires you to have a Google Ads account and can return search volume estimates for any given queries.
Google Trends is another free tool, detailing the popularity of particular phrases over time, as well as other interesting search trends you can capitalise on.