Securing ‘follow’ links on media publications is the latest KPI for the PR industry to grapple with.
As if we didn’t already have enough on our plate, right? But don’t despair, link building is a perfectly legitimate process that has been tainted by bad practice, and if you can do it properly, you can justify a whole lot more PR spend.
Media publications have a naturally high domain authority and have therefore become the target of SEO teams looking to piggyback on their search ranking. For Google, news outlets are a dream source of information because, like Wikipedia, they provide fact-checked answers to relevant questions. As the Google bots move from “exogenous”’ to “endogenous” signals, online publications will become even more relevant.
So how can a brand rub shoulders with digital media titles and get some tasty Google juice on the back of it to boost their search engine visibility? Through PR, of course. We’ve drawn up a list of five ways to secure backlinks from media publications to help you adjust to the murky world of SEO KPIs:
Writing brand citations as a domain address can prompt journalists to link it up.
Although a full http:// or even www. can be off-putting, most publications won’t see anything too explicit in a dot com or .co.uk.
Or so Jack Peat of 72point.com believes.
2. Link Targets
To encourage publishers to link out, you need to give them a tangible link target. Rather than simply linking to a brand’s website, we advise that you link to a page on the brand’s website that offers further information or other incentives to link away. This could be a landing page with further information on the story, a white paper with full research results, a graphic, a campaign microsite, a quiz or interactive.
3. Number of Links
We recommend including no more than one link to a brand’s website per piece. If you fill the press release with links it automatically looks spammy and will ultimately lessen the chance of the content being used at all.
4. High-Quality Content
High-quality consumer journalism is of paramount importance. For digital titles, the use of multimedia is equally important and will increase the chances of backlinks been included. Take visual puzzles, for example. Our ‘Where’s Wayney’ puzzle got Ladbrokes a follow link from The Sun amongst others. Infographics are another great example. Our infographic for Intrepid Travel made the MailOnline complete with a follow link.
Finally, it’s important to educate clients on link building best practice and also reassure them that landing links is not the be all and end all. As Google moves to endogenous signals a simple citation will deliver significant Google juice, so rest assured, your content is still hard at work on the search engines!