The importance of strong digital PR for your SEO strategy

Is your goal to improve your website’s ranking in search results and traffic to your website? Public relations (PR) and obtaining high-quality backlinks are an essential part of your SEO strategy(1). How do you obtain these backlinks and make sure they are of value to your website?

In this article, I tell you in detail about the importance of digital PR and SEO content for generating high-quality backlinks. You’ll read all about the similarities and differences between PR and SEO content as well as how to use both to promote your brand or business. With the right promotion, you will succeed in generating more traffic to your website.

From my years of experience as an SEO specialist, I’ll also tell you how to create a newsworthy article. This is an article that is, first, valuable to your target audience and, second, an article that publishing websites like to link to. Finally, I tell you how to promote your article to gain more visibility and generate backlinks.

Whether you’re just getting started with digital PR and SEO content or already have experience with it, this article will give you valuable insights and practical tips for generating high-quality backlinks. This is how you know how to take your online presence to an even higher level.

PR explained in brief

PR, as briefly mentioned above, is the abbreviation of the term Public Relations. This refers to the use of (usually digital) media and communication technologies to promote a brand, company or individual. Within PR, you will deploy various digital channels such as social media, blogs, podcasts, email, websites and other online platforms. This way you reach a wide audience of interested people.

PR (public relations)

PR in a digital environment also includes monitoring and managing the online reputation of your company or brand. One way you do this is through creating digital content such as press releases and blogs, as well as working with influencers and bloggers. This increases your visibility as well as your company’s credibility.

In a nutshell, digital PR is about building relationships and creating a strong online presence for a brand or company. This is done through the strategic use of digital media and communication technologies.

The workings of digital PR

Digital PR works in several ways. Regardless of the specific elaboration, the overall goal is always to improve a brand’s reputation and reach your audience through digital channels. Below I have listed some ways of digital PR:

  1. Content creation: digital PR includes content creation in various forms. This could include blog posts, infographics, videos and e-books. With these diverse forms of content, you are not only sharing information with your audience, but also promoting your brand or company.
  2. Social media: for the purpose of communication and promotion, digital PR also uses social media. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn are effective tools for reaching your target audience and interacting with your (potential) customers.
  3. Online monitoring: digital PR also includes monitoring the online reputation of a brand or company. In addition to positive feedback, you should also respond to any negative feedback. When you monitor online conversations, you can respond quickly to complaints and problems.
  4. Influencer marketing: digital PR uses influencer marketing. This involves working with influencers and/or bloggers to reach your target audience. In doing so, you not only increase visibility, but also the credibility of your brand.
  5. Email marketing: with email marketing, such as newsletters and other promotional content, you can reach your customers and stakeholders. Email marketing can also be used to inform customers about events, offers and other relevant information.
Email marketing for PR

You can actually summarize digital PR briefly as the use of various digital channels to promote a brand. You use these channels to improve a brand’s reputation, increase audience engagement and create a positive online presence.

My Roadmap (PR for SEO)

StepsExplanation
1. Setting goalsDetermine what you want to achieve with your PR campaign. This could be increasing brand awareness, generating backlinks, improving your reputation, or anything else relevant to your business and SEO strategy.
2. Identify target audienceWho do you want to reach with your PR campaign? Understand their interests, behavior and where they get their information.
3. Develop story and messageDevelop an interesting, relevant and newsworthy story or message that you want to share. Make sure it connects with your brand and the interests of your target audience.
4. Compile press listIdentify the journalists, bloggers, influencers and other media contacts you want to reach. Make sure they are relevant to your brand and your story.
5. Write and distribute press releaseWrite an engaging and informative press release that shares your story. Distribute this to your press list via email, PR distribution services or other relevant channels.
6. Follow upFollow up with media contacts to make sure they have received your press release and to answer any questions. Be patient, but persistent.
7. Manage earned mediaIf your post gets picked up, make sure you keep track of every mention. Make sure each listing includes a link to your site to maximize SEO value.
8. Analyzing and learningAnalyze the results of your campaign. What worked well? What could be better? Learn from your experiences to improve future PR campaigns.

The link between PR and SEO

The link between PR and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is increasingly important within today’s digital age. PR and SEO serve the same purpose of improving the visibility and reputation of a brand or company. The two disciplines can reinforce each other to achieve this goal.

Below I briefly tell you about some of the ways PR and SEO mutually influence each other:

  1. Backlinks: the amount of high-quality backlinks to your website weighs heavily in the final search engine ranking. PR can help obtain these backlinks by getting mentions of your brand or website in online content.
  2. Content creation: PR and SEO can work together to create high-quality content. This is content that in addition to being search engine friendly is also user friendly and appeals to your target audience. PR professionals know how to create content that aligns with your SEO strategy. That way, you can meet the needs of your target audience while achieving a better position in the organic results of search engines like Google.
  3. Brand awareness: an important aspect of both PR and SEO is brand awareness. A strong PR strategy increases awareness of your brand. That, in turn, leads to more searches for the brand and better rankings in search engines.
  4. Social media: social media has a direct impact on both PR and SEO. If you deploy social media channels, you dramatically increase your reach and increase your Internet mentions. This, in turn, will give you more backlinks, which will also improve your ranking in search engines.

When I have to briefly summarize the relationship between PR and SEO, I can say that both reinforce each other by creating high-quality content, increasing brand awareness and gaining backlinks. Working together, both aspects can maximize their contribution to improving a brand or company’s online visibility and reputation.

The similarities between PR and SEO

Both PR and SEO content have the creation of high-quality content as their goal. This is content that is relevant to your target audience. In addition to tailoring your content to your target audience, you also need to optimize it for search engines. This is how you improve your visibility and ranking. In addition, both PR and SEO content focus on telling stories that appeal to the target audience. It is important to create unique content while sticking to the facts. That way you increase your credibility.

Differences between PR and SEO

The content you create as part of PR and SEO is targeted and measurable. You design content to meet specific objectives. You can think about increasing your reach, generating leads or improving your ranking in search engines. PR and SEO thus share several common characteristics. When professionals collaborate in both areas, they can create effective content that will boost the reputation and ranking of your brand and company.

The differences between PR and SEO

Despite the similarities mentioned above, there are also some differences between PR and SEO content. In fact, both disciplines have slightly different goals. They also achieve their goals with other strategies. Some points where there is a clear difference between PR and SEO are:

  1. Objectives: PR content focuses on promoting a brand’s reputation and image. SEO content, in turn, you put in place primarily to improve your visibility and ranking in search engines.
  2. Audience: PR content is aimed at journalists, editors and other media. In turn, they can distribute this content to a wider audience. SEO content, on the other hand, you create for the target audience that is actively looking for information on a particular topic.
  3. Writing style: PR content often has a journalistic writing style and uses storytelling techniques. SEO content has a stronger focus on specific keywords and on the technical aspects of search engine optimization.
  4. Content type: PR content can take different forms. This could include press releases, interviews and articles. Much more often, SEO content actually consists of blogs, product descriptions and landing pages.
  5. Measurements: you measure the success of PR content by the media coverage it generates. In contrast, you measure the impact of your SEO content by your ranking in search engines and the amount of organic traffic it brings you.

Although both PR and SEO content are aimed at creating high-quality content, they differ in terms of goals, audiences, writing style, content types and measurements. By taking these differences into account, you can efficiently tailor your content strategies to the needs of your target audience and your organization’s goals.

What impact does digital PR have on link building?

Digital PR has a strong relationship with link building. This is because link building is an important part of getting backlinks to a Web site or Web page: publicity through other channels, in other words. Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your website or web page. They are an important factor in determining overall search engine rankings.

Digital PR can help get backlinks. It does this by distributing content that is not only valuable to its target audience but also of interest to journalists and editors. Content can include a news article, as well as articles or white papers. Of course, visual content, such as infographics and videos, can also be involved. By then sharing this content through various channels, such as social media and press releases, you will attract the attention of journalists, bloggers and influencers.

A PR professional uses appropriate tactics to increase the likelihood that other websites will link to content. This will give you improved visibility and reputation. Getting backlinks through digital PR, however, is not only important for SEO. It is also essential for building relationships with influencers and increasing your company’s brand awareness and reach.

How do you set up a PR campaign for SEO?

Setting up a PR campaign for SEO requires careful planning and strategy. Below I have listed for you some steps you can follow to create an effective PR campaign for SEO:

  • Identify your target audience: before creating a PR campaign, you need to know who your target audience is. You also need to know what features are most important to them, what your target audience values and what they are looking for.
  • Choose a relevant topic: the topic you choose should be relevant to your target audience, but also related to your brand or company. To attract the interest of journalists and publishing websites, the topic to be chosen must also be newsworthy.
  • Create a press list: make a list of publication sites and journalists relevant to your industry and target audience. Make sure you have the contact information of the right people and prepare a rock-solid pitch to introduce your content.
  • Write a press release: write a well-written press release with an interesting angle that appeals to your target audience. By adding relevant keywords and internal links, you ensure that the press release is also optimized for SEO.
  • Send the press release: send the press release to the appropriate contacts on your press list. You don’t leave it at that, however; a follow-up is almost as important. Above all, don’t forget to include a link to your website in the press release. This will increase the chances of getting even more backlinks.
  • Monitor results: by measuring the number of publications and backlinks generated by your press release, you can measure the success of your PR campaign. You also use figures regarding traffic to your Web site to determine whether the campaign led to higher organic rankings.
Prepare press list for a PR campaign

Content: relevant to your business and newsworthy?

As an SEO expert, I have years of experience in content writing. Below I tell you more about content creation, how to write relevant content for your business and what exactly makes a topic newsworthy.

Why is a newsworthy article valuable for PR?

That a newsworthy article is valuable for your PR should come as no surprise. Why is that so? Because it contributes to publicity and awareness of your brand, company or you as a person. The media and individual journalists are more likely to notice a newsworthy article. When they use your content, they not only increase the reach of your article, but also of your brand, company or you as a person. After all, a significantly larger audience comes into contact with your company at once.

Moreover, the increased reach is not the only thing a PR campaign gives you. When a publication is on a well-known website or in a well-known newspaper or magazine, you are also seen as an authority in that field. This contributes positively to your company’s reputation and credibility. In turn, that contributes to even more publicity and thus business opportunities.

Third, a newsworthy article can also help draw attention to specific topics or issues relevant to the brand or person. This way you can start a discussion. This also contributes to your positioning as an expert in the field.

What makes a topic newsworthy?

There are several factors that determine whether a topic is newsworthy. Journalists and editors use specific criteria to determine whether something is news or not. Here’s what factors contribute to the newsworthiness of a topic.

  1. Relevance: a topic is newsworthy if it is relevant to the public and relates to current events, issues or trends.
  2. Impact: a topic is newsworthy if it has a major impact on society, the economy, politics or other factors of interest to the public.
  3. Conflict: conflicts, disagreements or controversies between individuals or groups of individuals also make a subject newsworthy.
  4. Human interest: human stories, emotions, or accomplishments that capture the public’s attention also make a topic newsworthy.
  5. Timing: finally, a topic is only newsworthy when you present it at the right time. This means, for example, that it fits a currently popular trend or that you present it in a different way appropriately.

It is important to remember that there are differences in the conception of what is newsworthy and what is not. What is newsworthy for one person is not necessarily so for another. Therefore, do not take the factors described above too strictly. Indeed, the type of news, context and target audience all play a role of importance.

Relevant content for your business

Want to expand your reach? Then you don’t just go about creating content, but creating content that is actually relevant to your business. To get there, follow the roadmap I have briefly described below.

First, determine what message you want to convey to your target audience. Often this is a new product or a particular service you are offering, but of course it can be something else.

Next, it is important to understand your target audience. Who are they, what are their interests and what do they need? Answering these questions will help you determine the right tone and style for your content.

Another important step is to keep an eye on what is happening in the industry and the market. Are there any trends you can capitalize on? Are there developments you can leverage to make your content current?

A good way to create relevant content is by providing solutions. Is your target audience looking for a solution to a problem? Is your target audience facing a challenge? By providing solutions with your content, you make it valuable and relevant.

Finally, it is important to align your content with your own company’s goals. For example, do you want to generate more leads, increase brand awareness or improve your reputation? Make your content even more relevant by aligning it with your company’s goals and your overall business strategy.

Create content in which you combine relevance and newsworthiness

The roadmap above will help you determine what content is relevant to your target audience and your own business. Next is to make it newsworthy as well. For that, too, you follow several steps. First, again, it is important to thoroughly understand the characteristics, needs and interests of your target audience. Using this information, you can effectively respond to the things they need.

Second, it is important to be aware of current events in your industry, as well as those outside it. What is going on right now and how can you respond? Moreover, what social trends are relevant to your target audience?

Third, look for unique angles for your content. How can you deliver your message in a way that is original enough to distinguish your content from other content within your industry? Also consider the ways in which your company differs from the competition.

You can use storytelling to make your content even more engaging. Storytelling is about telling stories that capture the imagination of the recipient. This will allow them to identify with your message even better.

When you create content, it is also important to back up your arguments with facts and figures. This will both strengthen your message and increase the reliability of your content.

For relevant, newsworthy content, a catchy title is also essential. Such a title grabs the reader’s attention and makes them curious to read further.

Want to reach a larger audience with your content? Then share them on different channels. You can think about social media, newsletters and your own website.

Several things are important for creating content that is both relevant and newsworthy. Understanding your target audience, being aware of current events, finding unique angles, applying storytelling, substantiating arguments, coming up with catchy titles and sharing content on different channels are all important. By following these steps, you will create content that improves your company’s reputation and visibility(2).

Writing a newsworthy article: how do you do it?

Creating relevant, newsworthy content involves a lot. To prevent you from missing the forest for the trees, I have noted below the steps to follow. This roadmap results in a newsworthy article that generates high-quality backlinks.

  1. Identify the right publishing sites: look for publishing sites relevant to your industry and target audience. These could include reputable news websites, industry-specific blogs or trade magazines.
  2. Do research and collect data: gather data about the topic you want to write about. Surveys, as well as statistics and other information of relevance will help you support your article.
  3. Identify a unique angle: devise a unique angle that sets your article apart from other articles on the same publication sites. Examples include developments within your industry, striking insights or innovative ways of thinking or working.
  4. Write an engaging, newsworthy and informative article: the article you write should be informative and interesting as well as an article that supports your own point of view. Moreover, the article, which you structure clearly and make easy to read, must be relevant to the target audience.
  5. Optimize your article for SEO: One way to optimize your article for search engines is to include relevant keywords and make sure you have a good structure. This includes proper titles, headings and metadata.
  6. Approach publication sites: with a strongly prepared pitch, approach the publication websites that are useful to you. Tell these why your article is relevant to readers and the value of publishing it on that website.
  7. Promote your article: also promote your article on your own channels, including your website, social media and newsletters. This way, you maximize your reach and your chances of getting more backlinks become even greater.
Do research and collect data

An example of a PR plan to gather backlinks

So far in this article, I’ve told you how to arrive at relevant, newsworthy content. Now let’s see how that works in practice. Imagine you have set yourself the goal of obtaining high-quality backlinks from reputable news websites in the Netherlands. Think of NOS, the AD or NU.nl. To get backlinks from these websites, the key is to write an article on a newsworthy topic relevant to your business.

Anno 2023, there is no denying the growing impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on everyday work. Whether it is automation of factory work, healthcare tasks or content creation, no sector is escaping these lightning-fast developments. AI also has a big impact on SEO and article writing.

Do you possess the subject matter expertise as an SEO specialist, have experience with content creation and closely follow developments in artificial intelligence? Then you have everything you need to write an article of high news value relevant to your business. Read below on how to proceed.

Gather your information

Your plan can only become successful if you begin by conducting thorough research and gathering data on the topic. Below I give you some tips you can keep in mind when deciding on your subject:

  1. Determine your research question: think about what you want to research and formulate a clear research question. An example of such a research question is, “What are the trends in the market for sustainable products?”
  2. Use search engines: search the Internet for information on your topic. With search engines such as Google and Bing, you can find articles, studies, reports and other resources.
  3. Consult libraries and databases: visit local libraries and consult databases such as JSTOR, EBSCO and ProQuest. You will gain access to scientific articles and journals. This is an important addition to the information you can get from mainstream media.
  4. Use social media: using social media you can identify relevant information and trending topics. Using hashtags makes it even easier to find specific information.
  5. Interview experts: research who may call themselves experts on the topic at hand. Request them for an interview. You can conduct an interview via e-mail or by phone.
  6. Analyze data: analyze data collected through surveys, polls and statistics. This data provides insight into the views and opinions of your target audience.
  7. Use data analysis tools: use data analysis tools such as Google Analytics, SEMrush and Ahrefs. These tools help you identify trends and statistics relevant to your topic(3,4,5).

Doing research and collecting data on a topic you want to write about requires using a variety of sources and tools. Using the steps above, you can gather reliable and relevant information. Such information is essential for writing your article or content.

Write a newsworthy and relevant article and optimize for SEO

With the information you gathered through the step-by-step plan above, you can get to work writing your text. There are several factors to keep in mind: your target audience, the audience of the news source you want to appeal to, the unique angle and optimizing SEO.

PR Article Writing

Examples of main topics for such an article could include:

  • The impact of AI, or artificial efficiency, on everyday life
  • How Google becomes even more efficient in your Internet search with BARD
  • The effect of AI developments on SEO
  • ChatGPT vs BARD: which chatbot is better?

Approach a publication site or news news site

Not only the writing itself, but approaching publication sites to publish your article requires careful planning and strategy. After all, it is important to appear as professional as possible. This adds to the likelihood that your article will be published on a site. How to handle this? Below I have listed some tips for you:

  1. Research publication sites: look for publication sites that are relevant to your industry and target audience. What is their publishing process? What types of articles do they publish? What guidelines do they use for submitting articles?
  2. Identify the right contact: find out which person you need to contact. Often this is the editor or content manager. Through the website or a platform like LinkedIn, find out his or her contact information.
  3. Draft a pitch: write an attractive and persuasive pitch. In it, you explain why your article is relevant to their readers and why it is valuable to publish it on their website. Avoid digression and instead keep it short and to the point. This shows you know exactly what a publishing website is looking for in an article.
  4. Include a brief summary of the article: include a brief summary of the article when you approach a contact. That way, he or she can immediately see what your article entails and has to offer. Clarify the unique angle of the article and explain how it can add value for readers.
  5. Send the pitch: send your short, business pitch including personal note to the contact person. In it, you explain why you think your article could be a good publication. In it, also mention that you want to enter into this partnership in exchange for a link to your website.
  6. Follow up: after sending the above, wait a few days for a response. Does this one stay out? Then follow up with a friendly reminder. By doing so, you are letting the contact know that you are still interested in publishing the article. Also ask him or her if there are any questions.
A PR campaign for SEO: how to choose the right websites?

When choosing websites for a PR campaign for SEO, it is important to consider a website’s authority and relevance. Keep in mind the factors below:

  1. Authority: choose websites with high authority. You can assess this by using, for example, the Moz Domain Authority (DA) or the Ahrefs Domain Rating (DR). Websites with high authority are more likely to be noticed by search engines. So these can also serve you better in improving the ranking of your website.
  2. Relevance: always choose websites that are relevant to your industry or niche. After all, this is the way to reach your target audience and get valuable backlinks. Website content and the audience it targets should fit your brand or company.
  3. Publication frequency: choose websites that publish with regularity and are also active on social media channels. This helps with generating more traffic to your website and increasing the impact of your PR campaign.
  4. Geographic location: the websites you choose should be relevant to your target audience in a specific geographic location. In doing so, you also strengthen the local presence of your company or brand.
  5. Backlink profile: review the website’s backlink profile to see if there are already backlinks from other websites relevant to your industry or niche. Websites with a strong backlink profile help you get more valuable backlinks.

By considering these factors, you will create a list of websites most suitable for your PR campaign for SEO.

Promote your article

Once you have entered into an agreement with the publication site? Then, of course, you want your article to have as much reach as possible. You can promote an article in several ways to increase its reach and visibility. Below I give you some suggestions:

  1. Social media: promote your article on social media boards such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Use visual elements such as images and videos to make your posts even more appealing.
  2. Email marketing: send an email to your subscribers informing them about the new article. Include a brief summary and also ask them to share the article.
  3. Influencers: approach influencers in your industry and ask them to share the article with their followers. This is another great way to get a wider reach and generate more traffic to your website.
  4. Paid ads: use paid ads on social media or search engines to bring your article to the attention of a larger audience.
  5. SEO: As mentioned earlier, optimize your article for search engines by adding relevant keywords, internal links and meta descriptions(6). Optimization for search engines helps you improve your ranking. This will bring you more organic traffic to your website.
Location

The steps I described above are just a few examples of ways to promote an article to increase its reach and visibility. It is important not to focus on one method, but to use a varied approach. By using different techniques and channels, you will get the most out of your promotional efforts.

The effect of backlinks obtained

The backlinks obtained are links from the publication site to your own website. These have a positive effect on your website’s SEO and ranking. Wondering why those backlinks are so important now? Below I have listed each of the reasons for you:

  1. Increased authority: backlinks from high authority websites give your website higher authority. This improves your website’s ranking in the organic results of search engines like Google.
  2. Improved visibility: backlinks help search engines find and index your website. This will make your website appear even better in search results and therefore more visible to a larger audience.
  3. More traffic: backlinks from relevant websites can generate more traffic to your website. Does a website that mentions your article have many visitors? Then it can also direct its traffic to your website through the link.
  4. Better user experience: backlinks to relevant content on other websites provides a better user experience. This is because it gives users easier access to additional information. That, in turn, can also increase your authority.
  5. Network strengthening: backlinks strengthen relationships with other websites in your industry or niche. This makes an important contribution to building your network and generating new opportunities for collaboration or promotion.
Strengthen network

In short, getting backlinks from reputable news sites requires considerable effort. However, it is well worth this effort. After all, backlinks contribute significantly to your SEO and website ranking. They increase traffic to your website as well as your authority within the industry.

Conclusion

Generating high-quality backlinks is an essential factor within a successful digital marketing strategy. With digital PR and SEO content, you strengthen your online presence and generate more traffic to your website.

It is important to remember that obtaining high-quality backlinks takes time and effort. If you follow the tips and strategies described in this article, you will be able to increase your chances of success. Don’t have enough time to do this yourself? Then, of course, you can also consider hiring an SEO consultant.

Get started with digital PR and SEO content today and start generating high-quality backlinks for your website!

Senior SEO-specialist

Ralf van Veen

Senior SEO-specialist
Five stars
My clients give me a 5.0 on Google out of 76 reviews

I have been working for 10 years as an independent SEO specialist for companies (in the Netherlands and abroad) that want to rank higher in Google in a sustainable manner. During this period I have consulted A-brands, set up large-scale international SEO campaigns and coached global development teams in the field of search engine optimization.

With this broad experience within SEO, I have developed the SEO course and helped hundreds of companies with improved findability in Google in a sustainable and transparent way. For this you can consult my portfolio, references and collaborations.

This article was originally published on 11 October 2023. The last update of this article was on 17 January 2024. The content of this page was written and approved by Ralf van Veen. Learn more about the creation of my articles in my editorial guidelines.