Digital PR Strategies to Get Higher Search Rankings (& Actually Work)

finger scrolling ipad for different news stories

There are a lot of marketing buzzwords that come and go. I’m sure you can think of many new trends that promised to be the next big thing, only to never be talked about again. 

I can assure you digital PR is not an example of a marketing fad, but one that has proven to be extremely impactful for search engine optimization (SEO).

It’s heavily due to the fact that most people discover businesses and brands through the online landscape. Think Google search, Instagram, blogs, podcasts, and more.

Therefore, practicing effective digital PR strategies is an important component in staying relevant online and attracting new customers.

What is Digital PR?

According to Exposure Ninja, digital PR is an online marketing strategy used by businesses to increase their online presence.

The incorporation of digital recognizes the evolution of public relations practices. 

This type of digital marketing involves brands creating high-quality, linkable content that journalists from top-tier news outlets can’t resist referencing. Think online savings calculator, exclusive research, checklists, etc.

The more high authority backlinks a website has, the better its SEO. And the better the SEO, the higher their website ranks on search engines.

Do you see where I’m going here?

On the first page of Google alone, the first five organic results account for 68% of all the clicks. It’s imperative to get that top spot to drive traffic and sales. And as you can see, using different digital PR strategies can help make that possible.

But don’t just take our word for it. In the words of Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller, digital PR is probably more influential than technical SEO.

John Mueller replying to a tweet about the benefits of digital pr

💡 The Key Takeaway: Digital public relations helps brands earn backlinks from high-quality websites. The more quality backlinks your website earns, the more reputable it appears in the eyes of Google. Therefore, when paired with technical SEO, it is the greatest tool to get higher search rankings.

Public Relations (PR) Surveys

Oh yeah, they’re a thing.

Public relations (PR) surveys are often synonymous with content surveys, PR polling, and public opinion surveys. It’s because they all generally have the same goal in mind: repurpose online survey data for content marketing.

It’s the hidden secret to earning more press coverage, plus having a source for endless content that is more likely to reach your target audience.

Here’s how the PR survey process works to help brands get higher search rankings:

  • Determine your objectives. What kind of statistics are you hoping to uncover? Is there an ideal publication you want to be featured in?

  • Write content survey questions. Based on your objectives, design survey questions that will help you earn your most desired statistics and coverage.

  • Program and field the survey. We recommend partnering with a PR survey company for this stage (at the very least). Not only are they experts at their craft, but a study commissioned by a third party will generate reliable and unbiased results that journalists can feel confident using.

  • Repurpose the public relations survey findings. Not only can the findings uncovered from the questionnaire be used to create press releases, but you can maximize the public relations survey results by repurposing them into downloadable resources for your website, social media snackable, sales collateral, webinar presentations, and more. 

  • Share the content with journalists. After creating a high-quality resource from your survey data, leverage it to relevant journalists from top-tier news outlets. Explain that they can use the findings for free, as long as they link back to your website.

  • Get high authority backlinks. One survey can help your website be sourced on high-authority websites. For instance, our survey data has been featured in USA Today, Forbes, Yahoo Finance, and more.

Learn more about the power of custom PR surveys in the video below. 

💡 The Key Takeaway: Online surveys are a data-driven tool for mastering your digital PR and improving your SEO. Because news journalists are most interested in pitches with exclusive research, utilizing this digital PR strategy is a no-brainer.

Building Connections with Journalists 

Establishing connections can go beyond networking with potential and existing clients to earn more business. 

In the world of public relations, perhaps your biggest audience to make nice with are journalists, editors, and content producers. The more they trust you and your work, the more comfortable they will feel sharing it online with their thousands of readers.

A few relationship-building strategies our content marketing research company uses include:

  • Learning what journalists want. Would it make sense to send a sports writer a story on politics? Probably not.

  • Don’t be (too) selfish. When sharing news tips, don’t solely include your own content and resources. Demonstrate that you are an industry thought leader with story tips that extend past your business.

  • Sharing is caring. The street goes both ways with digital PR. Don’t forget to share a journalist’s work to your own online network, regardless of if it includes a link to your website.

With these relationship-building tips, journalists are more likely to offer your business a backlink when it's relevant. Again, the more backlinks from reputable news sites, the more Google will reward you with a top spot on their search engine results page (SERP).

💡 The Key Takeaway: The partnership between you and journalists should be just that – a partnership where both parties feel valued. Stay top of mind with this audience by sending relevant resources and sharing their work, regardless of if your brand is involved.

Subscribe to Online Services and Pitch Journalists

There are several online platforms that journalists, reporters, bloggers, and content creators leverage when seeking expert sources. Perhaps the most popular and well-recognized is HARO

In fact, HARO quite literally stands for Help A Reporter Out. However, it also helps brands looking to gain backlinks from quality domain websites. 

First things first, you’ll have to sign up for the platform as a source (for free).

Then, Monday through Friday, HARO will send you three emails a day. Each email contains a string of queries from journalists looking for expert sources for their upcoming stories. 

Example of a HARO email query

Alongside your response to their queries, we recommend including your name, title, and a backlink of your choice. If your response is chosen by a reporter they will include the link you provided to properly credit the information.

That means three times a day, you are given the chance to secure valuable media coverage!

💡 The Key Takeaway: HARO is a great strategy for improving your digital PR. It puts you in front of thousands of reporters who are raising their hands to receive pitches from expert sources. In exchange, they’ll credit your response with a link to your company’s website.

Contact Our PR Survey Company

Drive Research is a national market research company specializing in content and public relations surveys. We love the concept of utilizing survey data for more than internal decision-making. 

Our team has worked with brands across several industries to produce exclusive research they can repurpose for press coverage, lead-generating content, social shares, brand awareness, and more.

To partner with Drive Research and utilize data-driven digital PR strategies, contact us through any of the four channels below.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

emily carroll about the author

Emily Carroll

A SUNY Cortland graduate, Emily has taken her passion for social and content marketing to Drive Research as the Marketing Manager. She has earned certificates for both Google Analytics and Google AdWords.

Learn more about Emily, here.

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