We’re delighted to announce that our Director Amanda Walls will be speaking at the April Brighton SEO event in front of an audience of thousands talking everything SEO & Digital PR.
Amanda will be speaking on the Wednesday afternoon at the Online PR Show with her talk discussing “Using Digital PR To Enhance Your EEAT Signals” – a great talk for anyone looking to use digital PR to enhance their overall SEO – or for anyone who particularly works in a YMYL industry, where this is held to an even higher standard – to get a better understanding of how they can utilise digital PR in this way.
The talk will have:
💥 Lots of great Case Studies which show how digital PR can help boost your SEO
💥 Great ideas on how to think outside of the box when it comes to newsjacking & thought leadership
💥Insight into why digital PR matters for EEAT
💥 Ideas on how to get journalists to come to you!
So if that sounds of interest get yourself booked on or check the talk out online when an online version of the conference day is released the week after.
Digital PR is probably one of the most popular services that we offer at Cedarwood and we were early to market with this product – starting our offering back when our business began around seven years ago. Back then, Digital PR was referred to as “link building” (they are very different!), certainly wasn’t the buzzword it was today and it was a rare occurrence in a world of paid for link acquisition.
Today, thanks to the rise of Google tightening its link spam algorithms and a number of agencies (and SEO experts) championing the values of Digital PR, we find that EVERYONE is talking about it (even John Mueller!) – but we still find that in many situations when we are approached by clients they can be a little unsure as to what it is and how it differs from traditional PR.
So let’s take a look at what Digital PR is, how it differs from traditional PR and how you can combine tactics from both to deliver a great link acquisition campaign.
What Is Digital PR?
Digital PR is an online form of PR, which essentially looks to promote visibility and awareness for your business through digital platforms and online. Digital PR takes a lot of the elements from traditional PR and puts an online spin on them – so that still includes coverage for your clients, increasing brand awareness and making sure that you land all important links, but with digital PR you really have to consider what is going to land in the online space.
Digital PR is a slightly different skill set because it’s really focuses on online only with offline being a secondary consideration. It’s widely used for businesses that are online first and are looking to gain traction amongst their target audience as well as build those all-important links back to their website.
What Is Traditional PR?
By contrast, traditional PR has more of an offline focus or as you could say a combined focus, think events activation, newspapers, integrated campaigns, tv, radio, newspapers, billboards – everything that you have come to associate with this timeless form of PR. That’s not to say that you can’t combine elements of this for a very effective Digital PR campaign – it’s more that these are what you would traditionally associate with a Digital PR campaign.
Traditional PR doesn’t necessarily focus on attracting a digital presence and as such, for businesses that are online only it can often be seen as missing their target demographic. That said, there is no reason why traditional PR techniques can’t be used effectively to help drive success across Digital PR campaigns.
What Is The Biggest Difference?
The biggest difference between traditional and digital PR is the platform that it’s generally targeted at, with traditional PR focused on a more traditional offline audience, whereas digital PR being targeted at a predominantly online audience. It’s this targeting strategy that also contributes to whether or not one is more effective than the other for your ideal audience.
There are many other differences between traditional and digital PR including:
Feedback & engagement – due to the advent of online “comment” posts it’s a lot easier to get feedback on your content through Digital PR than it is through traditional PR, this can give you a good insight as to how your content has performed and also inspire you if you are to continue with that type of content in the future
Audience sizes – although traditional PR can give you a good audience size, the digital world is infinitely larger and digital campaigns can reach an international audience at a much greater scale than a traditional campaign.
Intent & Interest-Based targeting – one of the main differences between digital and traditional PR is the ways you can target your audience. With Digital PR you have the option to choose between interest and intent-based audiences – that’s the option to actually put your product in front of the user at the time they are searching for it, whereas with traditional PR this is mostly limited to the user’s interest by placing it within a specific magazine or publication
Purpose – the purpose of the two campaigns is often very different. In a lot of instances, Digital PR is designed to drive visitors and awareness to a website – and in many cases to support SEO through effective and targeted link acquisition. By contrast, traditional PR can be more about brand awareness and driving visibility – it can also be used as a direct sales platform but this is often slightly more difficult to attribute.
Measurement – Last but not least, one of the main differences between digital and traditional PR is the way that you measure it. Digital PR is in most instances a little easier to measure – you can rack based on link and link quality as well as reach and various other key metrics, traditional PR by contrast is just that little bit more difficult to measure – but it can still be done by coverage, reach etc…
Does This Change The Skill Set?
Many people think that you need a completely different skill set for traditional digital PR and this isn’t entirely true – but it definitely helps to have the online connections and contacts when you are trying to run a digital PR campaign. Digital PR is also incredibly fast paced and there are elements like newsjacking which do require experience and also an understanding of where to go to seek out an effective story – as a result this can become an important skill set to develop if you are looking to make the transition from traditional through to digital PR.
Are Traditional PR Skills Transferable to Digital PR?
100% you can transfer many traditional PR skills over to digital PR very effectively, but it’s important as with any campaign to take the time to understand what the client is trying to achieve with their campaign – and it might be that with digital PR that differs from what a standard traditional PR client is looking to achieve.
There are also a number of super valuable skills that traditional PRs can bring over to digital PR, in particular established journalist relationships – many of whom may now work for digital publications in addition to traditional offline publications and many of whom will have stories that they have written for print published online. In addition, an eye for a good story/angle in addition to a strong press release hook and timing for outreach are all important skills for digital PR which are carried across from traditional PR.
Is Digital PR More Popular Than Traditional PR?
I wouldn’t say that one type of PR is necessarily more popular than the other, but it would be fair to say that digital PR has seen a significant rise in interest over the last 24 months mainly due to its support for SEO and also that it has a proven track record of helping businesses to grow particularly in the online space.
The trend of digital PR took off massively during COVID-19 when businesses were forced online due to physical stores and properties being closed. At this time, people were looking for ways online to market their products and services – predominantly as this is where the audience was – and as such, digital PR took off.
We can see how the growth of digital PR has evolved over time, so it’s not that traditional PR is necessarily less popular, I would rather say that digital PR has evolved to be even more popular than it was before.
Is Digital PR Or Traditional PR Right For My Business?
Choosing the right type of PR for your business plays an important role in getting the most out of your campaign and it’s important to ensure that you understand your target market and which type of PR might be most effective.
If you are looking to attract a traditional audience and grow offline brand awareness and visibility then traditional PR is a great option. By contrast, if you are looking to grow your business online then digital PR is a great choice. To find out more about digital PR and how it could work for you get in touch!
We’re delighted to announce that we have been nominated for four awards in the PR Moment Awards 2023 for our work across Digital PR.
Digital PR has been the biggest growth area of Cedarwood over the last 12 months so we are delighted to have our work recognised by the PR industry, in addition to the work we undertake for SEO!
We’ve been nominated in:
🎀 Best Digital PR Campaign Of The Year:
Cedarwood Digital & Little Loans – Driving Digital PR In A Competitive Vertical Cedarwood Digital & Patient Claim Line – Building E-A-T Links Cedarwood Digital & Hayes Garden World – Building Visibility Through Effective Digital PR
🎀 Low Budget Campaign Of The Year:
Cedarwood Digital & EZ Shopper – Driving Ecommerce Success Through PR & Referral Sales
Looking forward to seeing everyone at the ceremony next month 🍹
Newsjacking has been a buzzword in the digital PR space for a while now and I often think of it as akin to E-A-T in the SEO space – it’s something that everyone knows about and if you get it right it can have a significant impact on your client’s results. Knowing where to start with newsjacking can be tricky especially if you’re doing it for the first time so let’s take a look at how we approach newsjacking and what we need to do to ensure that we get the best results for our clients and land those all-important placements.
So What Is Newsjacking?
Chances are you are probably already familiar with the term newsjacking as it’s a pretty common term that gets used in day-to-day language but for those who aren’t familiar, the concept of newsjacking involves jumping on a trend or something that is topical in the news and adding to the conversation that might be through adding an expert comment or sending over some data that’s relevant to the conversation and can add value to a piece that a journalist might be currently covering.
The reason newsjacking is such an effective digital PR technique is that combines two of the most important elements that go into a great story, that is relevancy for the journalist – you’re jumping on something that’s happening right now, and also adding value to the conversation through data or expert opinion, you’re adding real value to a story that journalists already writing and that’s a surefire way to get coverage for your client.
Newsjacking comes in two formats, that’s proactive and reactive depending on when in the story you add your comment or expertise, both can be really effective from a link acquisition perspective and if you’re prepared, then chances are that it can be quite a quick turnaround project. So let’s take a look at how we can approach newsjacking to ensure that we get the best results for our clients and land some great placements and coverage across the board.
Preparation is absolutely key when it comes to newsjacking as you want to be able to jump on a trend as quickly as you possibly can. This means putting some time in to gather images that they might want to use, look at areas of expertise and understanding who the best person to be the spokesperson is, and also any additional resources that they have available which you might be able to use to supplement their comments.
Stockpiling all of this information beforehand can help to make your newsjacking experience a lot smoother – we recommend having a sit down with your client to run through the newsjacking process and gather this information before you start your outreach – this will help you to improve your turnaround times and make sure that you’re able to jump on that emerging story as quickly as you possibly can.
One of the most important elements of an effective newsjacking campaign is understanding what is topical and trending, finding topics that journalists are likely to cover – this means looking at what’s trending in the news and finding something that’s relevant to your client that you can add value to.
There are a number of different ways that you can conduct news listening but we’ve included some of the most popular options to get you started:
Twitter is a great place to start when you’re looking for new ideas and the trending hashtags are a great place to get your inspiration from. This can give you a good idea of topical issues that people are talking about, topics that are trending across the UK and also internationally, in addition to topics that people like to talk about and are maybe in the public interest.
Twitter has a “trending” section where you can understand what people are talking about – this can also be broken into areas such as “News”, “Sports” and also for your local area. Additionally, if you are looking to research into a specific area, you can research specific hashtag data to understand how many people are talking about a specific topic.
Twitter is a great way to get a feel for what people are talking about – and also what is topical in the news – so it’s worth keeping this open throughout your day. Additionally, using hashtags like #journorequest and #prrequest can help you keep on top of what journalists are looking for – another great way to get an idea of relevant topics you might want to cover.
TikTok is another great way to find out what is topical and trending and you can trendjack really quickly with the user generated content – getting a great idea of topical stories that are in the public interest by also looking through engagement metrics.
If you have a TikTok Business account then you will also have access to some of great hashtag data and trends information that is available and you can find this across two main dashboards to help your news research – the first one is the general trending dashboard which goes through all of the trends from the last seven days:
You can also drill down into further detail around each of these specific hashtags to understand where they are trending and with which audiences (as well as their related interests which is great for helping you to build your media lists!). This information can give you great regional insights as well as tell you more about their age range and demographic information:
You can also just use TikTok generally to research data around a given topic by monitoring hashtag data and getting an idea of how people are approaching the topic / what they find of most interest. This is particularly valuable if you are looking to create content that targets Gen-Z who are usually avid TikTok users.
3. Google Alerts
Google Alerts provides a great way to stay on top of topics that are trending around your client and have them delivered straight to your inbox. By setting up notifications within Google Alerts it will email you every time there is news around a particular topic, your client name or something that is related to. This is a great way to stay on top of breaking issues that are topical to or related to the services or products that your clients sell.
It’s relatively easy to set Google Alerts up, but we would recommend setting them up in a subfolder of your email inbox to avoid being inundated with alerts as they are coming in throughout the day. Set these up separately and spend some time running through them to see if they are relevant for your client, over time you’ll become accustomed to the types of news that this is pulling out and you can adjust your filtering to make this more relevant as you need to. This is a great way to jump on something that is topically relevant for your client without having to sift through an entire news site to find the information.
4. Upcoming Reports
Upcoming reports can be a great way to get ideas for newsjacking particularly if it’s proactive. there are a wide range of industry bodies who published reports on a regular basis ranging from weekly through to daily, and jumping on these reports and putting your client into the centre of the conversation, is a great way to newsjack and really add that element of expertise and relevancy to the links you are building through to the website.
If you aren’t sure where to start with reports then try some popular industry bodies – places such as the NHS and the ONS are frequently reporting on a wide range of topics and you can easily find a way to link please through to your clients. In many situations these bodies will also have a calendar that you can access which showcases the types of reports that are coming up, this allows you to plan in advance so that you can support to ensure that you’re able to quickly jump on this trend once the report comes out.
Reports are really effective way to newsjack because they’re topical and they’re data-led – something which journalists love, so if you’re looking for ideas for your newsjacking then have a look at relevant industry bodies that are related to your client and the types of reports that they have coming up to see if there’s somewhere that you can add expert commentary and topical value.
5. Event Calendars
Event calendars are a great way to undertake proactive newsjacking and we often find that many publications publish their upcoming calendars for the year in advance,so this is a great way for us to prepare for upcoming events and to plan ahead some ideas for proactive newsjacking.
Keep up to date with your favourite publications and don’t be afraid to reach out to editors to ask them if they have a publication calendar in advance, this can help to give you an idea of the topics that they are looking to cover and the type of content that they might be more likely to include within their pieces.
As a result it is valuable to use this to guide your newsjacking because it already gives you an idea of what journalists think is relevant and what readers are likely to engage with, therefore making it more likely for your content to be picked up if it is relevant to this topic
Often in Digital PR we find ourselves the victims of trying to come up with all of the ideas ourselves and it’s hard for everyone to always be on top of what’s in the news and what is a trending topic – so why not use your colleagues? We set up a group chat where we encourage our colleagues to post something that they’ve read that is newsworthy or trending – that could have been something that they’ve read in the newspaper that morning or something they’ve seen on TikTok or read on Twitter.
By encouraging our colleagues to contribute in this way we are getting a much bigger pool of information that we can use to take ideas from and chances are that many of us are reading different publications or fall into different TikTok algorithms, so this can be a great way to get a wide range of newsjacking options.
Once you have undertaken your news listening it’s important to thoroughly research an idea before you start as you want to make sure that the idea hasn’t been done before and that someone else isn’t currently working on it. You also need to ensure that any information you are bringing to the table is offering a new opinion or something that hasn’t been published before, after all, that’s what journalists are looking for – a new angle on an existing story.
The research is important to ensure that you’re bringing something fresh to the story – so how do we go about undertaking research to understand topics and areas that journalists have covered before? Here are a couple of ideas for tools that can help you:
Buzzsumo is a great way to get an understanding of topics that are covered recently or topics that are popular with the press. You can use this tool to understand the types of content that journalists have covered recently, which journalists have covered which types of content and also in what volume so you can really start to understand how many people are covering a particular topic and therefore a) has it been done before and b) is it likely to be picked up by a particular journalist.
One of the other important metrics that was talking give you if social shares and while this isn’t a direct impact on SEO performance, what it can help to show you is how engaged a particular article is and therefore potentially how many people are likely to read that article and how much it is in the public interest – this is a valuable analysis before you start investing your time into creating content around that topic.
Using tools like Buzzsumo allows you to understand how well your content is likely to land as well as to ensure that hasn’t been covered before and therefore that you’re not wasting your time.
Google News Search
Google News search is another great way to understand how content is landing and this can give you an idea again of topics that have been covered before, the types of journalists that are likely to cover your content and also any angles that you could potentially pursue that haven’t already been done.
We often use Google News to understand what is topically trending when we pitch to new digital PR clients – that helps to give us a overview of the market and understand what types of stories have been covered in recent times, but as a client you can also use this to understand if a topic has been done to death, even a bit or if there is opportunity to add a new angle into a pre-existing trending topic.
Use External Tools
In addition to Google alerts and external tools that you can also use to help with your research. One example of this is semrush and you can use this tool to understand topics which are trending and also at the types of search volumes around specific keywords or topics that you might be looking to cover.
You can also use tools like the Topic Research tool to understand popular trending topics and how they are evolving over time. This allows you to type in a particular keyword/topic and evaluate topics around this that are currently being covered/talked about – this is another great way to check that your topic hasn’t already been covered, or to help analyse a new angle or approach.
Research is key to ensure that you don’t waste your time undertaking a campaign which has already been done and that you are able to bring a fresh angle and approach to the story.
Ideation & Creation
The ideation and creation stage plays an important role in any newsjacking campaign and this is where you pull everything together. So you take the information you found within your research, you take anything that’s topical and trending and relevant to your client and you can bind it all together to create a great story, piece of data or angle that delivers great coverage for your client and also insightful information to a trending topic.
The ideation stage has a number of different parts to it and this includes:
Brainstorming is when you put your heads together and come up with some great ideas as to how you can get your client coverage in a story. Brainstorming can take a number of different formats but it’s a great idea to get the whole team together. If the client has time this is also a great opportunity to get them involved so that they can lend their expertise and showcase this.
Try and come up with a number of different ideas and angles and run them past your client to see what they are comfortable with and which best showcases their expertise and their data. Once you have a couple of ideas, start to narrow them down until you’ve selected the options that you want to go for.
Identifying Your Angle
An idea is nothing without an angle that adds value to the article or the story – this is often more important than anything else, you need to bring something fresh to the article, so identifying your angle and making this clear early on is important to getting coverage.
Look at what has already been done and hone in on the value that your data or expertise can add – do you have something new to bring to the conversation? Do you have data that showcases an additional angle on a regional/international level? Identifying your angle plays a key role in ensuring that journalists feel that your content adds value to their article.
Tapping In On Expertise
Make sure to tap into the expertise of your clients if possible, this will of course give you a great angle when you’re approaching a story and will help you to identify how you can add value very quickly.
Feel free to sit down with your clients to really understand the areas of expertise or to conduct an interview with the spokesperson to understand the types of angles that you could look for, tapping in on the expertise will really help you to showcase this through the content that you’re creating and also to add real value to the article.
Creating The Right Content
Creating the right type of contact is also really important whether this comes in quote format, whether it’s a piece of data or whether it’s simply a couple of lines having a new angle to an existing story.
Having a look at the types of content that journalists are covering and the format this is in will help you to identify how to best approach the content that you want to create, to ensure it’s the right type of content that the journalist would like to cover. Having the right content and the right angle will help to get your content placed and is an important part of the newsjacking process.
Creating The Right Format
Creating the right format for your content is also very important, this means how you display the content and the type of content that you’re sending to journalists.Make sure to include any assets that will help support the story this could be high resolution images or associated data tables and always remember to clearly state your methodology for any data analysis pieces that you’re doing this is important to ensure that the journalist is comfortable to cover your content and also that you explain where you’ve got the data from and at what time.
Once you have the idea and you’ve pulled it together into a press release with the supporting information now comes one of the most important parts – the outreach. Using the right tagline, contacting the right journalists and creating a killer press release are all important parts of this process and to ensure that you get your coverage landed we’d recommend the following steps:
Research Your Journalists
Researching your journalists is super important to ensuring that you are sending your content to people who are likely to cover it and who have a genuine reason to cover it/interest in the topic. There’s a number of different ways that you can research journalists and these include:
Using tools like Buzzsumo to understand which journalists are covering similar content or similar topical areas
Researching on Twitter – most journalists announce moves on Twitter, make a note of these and start to follow these journalists – they will often do a shoutout if they are looking for a specific type of content to cover
Manual research through Google News – looking through Google News and other web indexes to understand journalists who have covered the topic recently and any articles where you could reach out and add a new angle
Look at specific topic journalists i.e. journalists who cover soaps, finance, travel etc… add these to your list for the topical coverage
By researching journalists in advance you are more likely to build a list of journalists who are more engaged with your content, therefore leading to better overall results and avoiding sending unrelated content to journalists who may find this annoying.
Build An Effective Media List
An effective media list plays a key role in ensuring that you’re giving your content the best chance of getting covered, so taking time to build your media list is time well spent. When pulling the list together, call on your journalist research to understand which journalists you want to include on your list, you can then follow this up by using a journalist database tool (we use Vuelio) to source relevant emails and start to build out your list. Remember that relevancy here is key so you need just enough journalists to ensure you get a good reach, while at the same time you don’t want to flood journalists who aren’t interested in your content.
Monitor Opens & Trends
Data plays an important role in an effective newsjacking campaign so make sure that you monitor your opens and trends to understand how journalists are engaging with your content. Using tools which allow you to track open rate will help you to understand how journalists are engaging with your content, over time this will help you to understand which journalists engage with which type of content and will naturally make your content more effective – using data in this way can help you to streamline your outreach is very effective.
It’s important to follow up your content and press releases – don’t just do one push, always follow up with a couple of different pushes at different times. It might be that you caught a journalist when they were particularly busy, or that they already have a full news roster for the day, by doing follow ups you can ensure that you’re continuing to push your story out and you may find that in many instances it lands on the second or third push.
It’s also valuable to follow up when something particularly relevant has landed in the press – send your press release along with some updated comments or information on something which is trending topically, this can be a great way to get it included in a news round up or timely news story.
Rework Content Where Needed
Don’t be afraid to rework your content where you need to. You might find that you actually need it in a different format, that it’s a little outdated or that you need to use a new angle. You always have the opportunity to update your content, so don’t be afraid to launch it at different times of the year with new, up to date information, or a slightly more relevant/different angle – reworking content can often be a great way to land content which perhaps didn’t place the first time round.
Once we’ve completed the outreach process, it doesn’t end there and the review stage is perhaps one of the most important stages – this is where we analyse what went well, what type of content was covered and how we could leverage this for future campaigns. Key areas that we review and look into include:
Open rate plays a key role in our reviews as it gives us a great idea of how journalists have engaged with our content – who has engaged with it and at what rate. Over time this becomes a very valuable metric and one that we can use to understand which journalists are likely to engage with which content, to better inform our outreach process
Reviewing which publications have covered our content also plays an important role in informing our outreach strategy moving forwards. It’s important to review who has covered what type of content and when, which journalist has covered the content and how it has been covered – these are all vital pieces of data to understand how we can best tailor our newsjacking efforts to the right publications.
This is also a good time to review any feedback that you’ve received from journalists, this could include journalists asking you to remove them from your mailing list, or alternatively journalists who have fed back on what they liked about an article, or what could have been improved/what they needed to support the article. All of this information is super valuable and should be noted to improve the outreach process moving forwards.
Newsjacking isn’t just a buzzword, it’s an important facet of any effective Digital PR campaign and it’s a great way to get your clients at the forefront of the conversation, quickly. To find out more about how newsjacking works, check out our Digital PR services or case studies.
We all know that Digital PR plays an important role in any solid SEO strategy. Whether it’s chasing after valuable high-quality links, improving the external reputation of your business, or trying to build credible, expertise-driven connections between your website and other trusted sources, doing it in a sustainable and consistent way is a key pillar of SEO success.
Although there are many ways to do Digital PR effectively (think newsjacking, thought leadership, product placements), data-led campaigns have grown in popularity as journalists look for interesting, data-driven stories to entertain their audience.
When data-led campaigns started a lot of them were based around surveys. In some cases, these were expensive to commission (upwards of £3,000 per survey) and it took a while to get the data back. Although these are still a popular option among many SEO agencies, the rise of freely available data sources has paved the way for cheaper and quicker turnaround pieces, for example newsjacking with a data-led campaign. Yet they are also equally as effective for targeted news stories, thus creating a great recipe for effective Digital PR. This has led to a big rise in smaller data-led campaigns, which are a favourite among many agencies, including the team here at Cedarwood.
To help out on your hunt for free data we’ve collated some of the best free data resources available to Digital PR professionals right now. All you need to do is go in and grab your data, find an angle and perfect that pitch. Data-driven Digital PR campaigns are a great way to enhance those all important E-A-T signals, adding real value to your SEO campaigns. So what are you waiting for? Get started by having a read through our list below:
One of the biggest portals of available data, Statista holds data from over 170 industries across 150+ countries so, if you’re looking for data, this is a great place to start. With a super easy to use interface you just input your search query to find relevant results. For example, if I wanted to know more about the 2022 FIFA World Cup I could input that exact query:
If I wanted more of a summary, I have the option to only select the most important facts, for example, the transfer value of each of the country’s teams in the World Cup. I could then drill down further:
Utilising data like this is a really valuable way to quickly analyse and pull together a newsworthy story. An example of the above would be looking at how likely a team is to win the World Cup based on their transfer value – a very timely, topical and data-driven piece of content from a very effective free data platform.
Google Ads Keyword Planner is a highly effective way of gathering data around key trending topics and search volumes, to draw an analysis piece. The tool allows you to view current data (up to the previous month), data for related searches and even historical data for a few years, allowing you to analyse year on year comparisons.
In the above image we can see the variety of information that Google Ads Keyword Planner makes available to us, including search volume per month for that keyword, level of competition, change YOY etc… We’re also able to split that out by device (mobile or desktop), and drill down by a specific country, region or even city, enabling us to make comparisons at a very granular level. With this level of detail freely available, you can probably already imagine the types of angles and stories that can be developed just from accessing this data.
We recently used data in this way to pull together an effective Digital PR campaign for our client, Mist E Liquid, looking at which date users would give up their new year’s resolutions (based on search data). This landed some great coverage including a link from Yahoo!. If you are looking for a great option for data analysis then the Google Ads Keyword Planner is a good place to start.
Google Trends is another great tool that Google offers that provides you with the option to undertake free data analysis around trending topics. You can analyse something that is incredibly topical and compare it over time, by location and against other trending topics, to once again draw conclusions for an effective digital PR piece.
Google Trends allows you to analyse the performance of particular trending topics over time, as well as compared to one another:
In addition, it has a drill down option where you can compare the performance of those trending topics in specific areas; for example, looking at how trends for Taylor Swift and Kim Kardashian differ based on US States:
Similar to the Google Ads Keyword Planner, Google Trends can be quite granular with its dataset, so it’s down to you to understand which data you are looking for and how you want to evaluate it. If you are looking for up-to-date data on topics that are currently trending, or even just for ideas on which topics are actually trending, then this is a great place to start.
NHS Digital is an online platform where you can freely access data that the NHS holds, and reports that they frequently publish online. The data they cover ranges from statistics on NHS Stop Smoking Services to workforce statistics, maternity services, GP appointments and so on and so forth. It can be used as a data source for news stories closely relevant to the medical and technology sectors.
The reports are easily digestible and come with two main formats. Initially they give an overview of the key findings from the report, highlighting key pieces of analysis and themes that have come out of it; these are usually broken down into three or four boxes similar to this:
Following on from the headlines you then have a range of datasets which are broken down into both charts and Excel spreadsheets, to easily digest and manipulate/evaluate the data. This is where you can start to draw comparisons and identify angles which may be newsworthy or relevant for your client.
The data above allows you to draw topical analysis around the report, i.e. in this instance you could look to compare how many people have tried to quit smoking in a specific region vs the population of that region to understand which region of the UK is most likely to quit smoking. It’s a quick and simple piece of analysis that could be seeded to regional media with a local interest.
NHS data is often very topical and trending. A great example of this is how the recent NHS report into appointments in general practice (October 2022) was picked up and turned into a news story on The Daily Mail. The piece highlighted which of the country’s NHS practices had the least in-person GP appointments as per the report. It was, and still is, a very topical issue that has gained great coverage, and is a good example of how a free data report from NHS Digital can be turned into a successful Digital PR piece.
The ONS or the Office For National Statistics is another hub of free information. You can access a range of data sources, from employment rates and inflation (very topical at the moment!), to GDP and population/census data. In addition to standard reports it also offers several interactive features, such as interactive maps, graphs and diagrams of the economy, and indexes that cover areas like health.
On diving deeper into the websites you can see an extensive level of reporting on each of the aforementioned areas, with graphs and statistics updated on a regular basis.
Within each section you will benefit from an initial summary which governs the top level figures of each report and summarises them into a neat table. This is often complemented by a short dot point summary that outlines the key takeaways.
The ONS publishes a wide range of reports on a regular basis, so it’s always worth keeping on top of any new reports that are coming up. They also have a huge ‘Time Series’ section, which archives any reports that have previously been created; doing a search here (with over 55,000 reports) is likely to bring up something relevant to your query.
Additionally, the ONS has a release calendar where they feature already published releases and list any upcoming releases. This allows you to plan ahead and check if there are any reports coming up that are relevant to you. You can therefore set some time in your schedule to evaluate and create a great Digital PR story from said reports.
Centre For Cities is a website dedicated to providing a range of data sources broken down by cities and towns across the UK. It’s great if you are looking for data about a specific region or are going for a local angle for a piece of coverage.
The website is incredibly user friendly and interactive. It features data in a number of different ways, including dashboard information that allows you to see a summary overview of how different towns and cities fare on key topics, such as energy bills and cost of living:
This data can be especially valuable if you are looking to evaluate something in a particular town or city, or regionally. The clear visualisation boards can help with data analysis too, so if you are looking to source data on a regional level this is a great place to start.
Google Public Data Sets are publicly available data boards that contain a broad range of information from around the world. Information included in these datasets can be GDP, Word Development Indicators, Agriculture, Domestic Government, Education, Energy, Health, Infrastructure and so much more…
The interactive data sets allow you to evaluate growth over time and even helps to predict growth factors into the future. In addition, you are able to add and remove countries as you need which allows you to compare countries against each other – another valuable comparison metric.
The Google Public Data Sets launched back in 2018 to provide a search engine strictly for data. Keep this in mind and if there’s something specific that you are looking for, you’ll likely have the ability within this dataset to drill down and find it. It’s also very intuitive, with an easy to use interface, clear description of the data, and even a summary in some sections, so you’ll know if you have an angle on your data or not.
If you know the type of data you are looking for then this is a valuable resource to pull that data together before adding it into your Digital PR strategy.
Data.gov.uk is one of the UK’s largest sources of open data, which has been published by either local authorities, public bodies or the central government. Topics that you can find data on include
Business And Economy
Crime And Justice
Health and Education
The information available is very in-depth and can offer good granularity into a sector. For example, if we look at the travel sector we can find over 824 relevant publications, including GB Road Traffic Counts, GM Accessibility Levels, Transport Statistics by region, Metrolink data, Speed Camera data and more. With new publications being added every few days, or even multiple times a day, this information archive is kept well up to date with the latest information.
The database is quite user friendly and allows you to search by publisher, topic or format, as well as allowing you to sort by the most recent or most relevant topic. You can also do a general search if there is a specific data set that you are looking for. The data sets provided are extensive and, in addition to a standard summary, include a mixture of csv, pdf and zip files containing further information for your data analysis.
If you are looking to undertake a data analysis piece specific to one of the general topics listed above then this is a good data hub and place to start your research. The depth of the data lends itself well to regional analysis if you are looking to expand the reach of your content.
If you’re working with European clients then Eurostat will be one of your go-to data platforms. An official website of the European Union, this website is home to wide ranging data about the EU, including inflation rates, GDP growth, house prices, unemployment rates, population data and much more.
The website offers a vast amount of reports and data visualisations that are handy for data analysis. This covers everything from key facts broken down at country level, through to key figures that cover Europe as a whole. Eurostat also has an API section which lets you draw data directly from the source. This is invaluable when you are working with large datasets and can allow you to use a more enterprise approach to data analysis.
There are interactive dashboards where you can create your own datasets to analyse specific country’s data against the EU and Euro area as a whole. The below example shows where you can interactively check the information you are interested in and the information you are looking to compare together in a dashboard. This allows you to see the country data side by side and can lend itself quite well to effective data analysis.
If you want to create stories that involve data from the EU this is an excellent source of information and a great place to start. You can also use the handy calendar function to plan your campaigns in advance when you know key data is being released.
The US Bureau Of Data Statistics is home to a range of data information sources about the US. It includes census data and information about the economy, demographics and population. It’s a central hub for all information relating to the US and is an official website of the United States government.
In addition to publishing relevant data, the US Bureau Of Data Statistics also provides a list of useful links to other Federal Government data, including the Bureau of Justice Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Bureau of Transportation. This allows you to visit the respective sections if you are looking for more granular information about a specific sector.
There are links through to sections for specific states and local governments too. So if you are looking to analyse data specific to a certain state or local area then utilising the websites provided here is a valuable place to start.
The website also has a maps section, covering topics such as environment data and water resources, current weather, recreation and agricultural information by commodity. If you are planning to analyse any of these in more detail, the website can give you information as granular as crop and plant yield and livestock/animal information.
If you’re working on some US Digital PR campaigns, then the US Bureau Of Data Statistics can provide you with the data and insight you need for those juicy data-led campaigns.
Now that you have your free data sources you are well on your way to creating some high quality, data-driven Digital PR content. So, what are you waiting for? Start jumping on those trends, analysing great data and producing juicy angles to get your coverage front and centre in the press, delivering those all valuable links back to your client’s (or your own!) website.
Want to find out more about how you can use free data-led sources for your Digital PR campaigns? Get in touch with our Digital PR team today!
Digital PR has become a huge buzzword in the digital marketing industry over the last few years. We’ve increasingly seen companies look to leverage an online presence in the PR industry and gain those all important links back to their websites. For the most part, Digital PR has been seen as a more effective alternative to link building but, in actual fact, it is so much more than that. Away from the traditional “link building” title, Digital PR dials right into the key SEO elements of improving reputation, building relevant links and showcasing expertise across a range of external websites. Alongside all of this, it helps to enhance important E-A-T signals too.
If you’re looking to find out more about Digital PR and how it can support your SEO campaigns and, moreover, why it should be a significant factor in doing so, then read below to find out our five key reasons why Digital PR should play an important role in your SEO campaigns:
No, I’m not talking about the Taylor Swift album (although I did go to her tour), I’m talking about section 3.1 of Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines, which talks to us about how important reputation is to a page’s quality rating – for reference you can find it here:
Reputation is important. Google and users want to know what your website’s reputation is and the reputation of the person who is responsible for creating the main content. So, where do they go to source this information? Yes, most likely they will start with your website, but chances are they will also go looking around the web to see if they can find out more information about you; that’s where Digital PR comes in. Demonstrating that your website has a good reputation, or giving information about the reputation of the person responsible for your content, is one of the main benefits of a strong Digital PR campaign.
Digital PR has the ability to really build out your reputation by growing your brand presence and expertise on external websites. A solid Digital PR campaign should use a range of techniques (newsjacking, thought leadership, data analysis) to build you a brand presence online. If done well, then it shouldn’t be hard for users or Google to find out about you and your reputation.
For many brands PR is seen as more of a personal branding exercise, but in the SEO space it’s about much more than that. Yes, it will help to build those high quality links into the website and, yes, it may lead to referral traffic if you get your product or services in front of the right audience, but more than that, it is your personality out there on the web. In short, it’s the way that you present yourself in front of an external audience.
2. Because It IS Important
Having an online PR presence is a great way to drive your brand in a market that is powered by journalists sourcing data online, and by the rise of social media. Heard of HARO? #prrequest and #journorequest? These are all ways that journalists look online for PRs and brands to help them out with their stories. Having a strong Digital PR function allows you to push your brand to these journalists at the exact time they are looking for information, therefore putting you at the front and centre of the conversation.
According to Cision’s State Of The Market report press releases are still a trusted source of information for around 54% of journalists in the UK. This means that if you are sending them something that is in the public interest there’s a good chance you’ll get it in front of the right audience. In fact, 73% of journalists go online to find press releases, so being able to connect with journalists who are looking for information that you or your client might possess is a very valuable skill.
It’s not just journalists who value Digital PR either. Even in the realms of SEO it is a highly regarded approach that helps to build on the key elements of a successful SEO campaign; namely expertise, authority and trust. Within Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines these three elements are highlighted within the report numerous times, and an effective Digital PR strategy will naturally weave these throughout.
Also, who could forget what John Mueller said about Digital PR? I feel like I’ve seen this quote so many times now, but it really does reinforce the way that Digital PR is viewed across the SEO spectrum, and the power it can wield in terms of driving solid results for a brand:
Digital PR has worked hard to distance itself from spammy link building tactics, as this method requires you to have a genuine piece of expertise-rich content or an article that is in the public interest (which is essential for it to be covered in the first place). That’s one of the main reasons it works so well for SEO; by its very nature it has to have that level of expertise, relevancy and trust, all of which are key signals for a solid SEO campaign.
Great Digital PR isn’t just about building high quality links or getting your super relevant expertise covered. It’s about being able to put your product or service in front of the right audience, in order to drive referral traffic and/or leads or sales through to your website. Referrals help to build momentum, drive more traffic through your content and product pages, and help more people to find out about your brand. In turn, this can lead to an increase in positive signals to your website as well as a lot more people talking about your brand and, of course, the ultimate goal: sales!
Digital PR is a really effective way to drive referral traffic to your website, in fact, every type of Digital PR campaign can drive referral traffic if it’s angled in the right way. Product placements are perhaps one of the best examples of where you can drive traffic. Product placements mean getting your products put in front of your target audience to drive referral sales.
We’ve had a lot of success placing some of our client’s most important products in front of their key target audience, such as this Ulverston Spruce feature in The Sun online:
Or this placement in Heart’s Christmas Gift Guide:
Product placements are an excellent way to get in front of your audience. They also drive high quality links back to your website, thus building valuable E-A-T signals. Which, as we know, can help towards improving your website’s SEO performance.
Referrals don’t just come from product placements. You can also drive leads by creating really relevant case studies and data-led pieces, which include a clear call to action at the end that encourages users to visit the website or get in touch if they need more information.
Referral traffic is a great way to supplement your sales and leads too. If you can generate both of these from sources outside of direct SEO, for example through Digital PR, then it gives the campaign a really well-rounded approach. As an added bonus, it can drive extra sales and leads for your client or business too, making it highly valuable as a branding exercise, and for the bottom line.
4. Boosting E-A-T Signals
Perhaps one of the most important reasons for having Digital PR in your campaigns is boosting essential E-A-T signals. These are a major player when it comes to Google’s ranking factors, and your off-site signals can play a key role in helping Google to understand more about your website. In addition, they help to build trust and credibility among your audience, encouraging conversions and customer retention.
E-A-T is perhaps one of the most used acronyms in the digital marketing space. A simple Google search of it will produce the following results…
… indicating how much people in the digital space are talking about E-A-T – and this is just a snapshot of the discussions that are happening. Since the Google Medic Update everyone has been busy trying to improve their overall Expertise, Authority and Trust signals and Digital PR has been one of the most effective ways to do that.
So how does Digital PR boost E-A-T signals? By definition, whatever approach you are taking, whether it’s newsjacking, data analysis or thought leadership you’re going to be showcasing the expertise and relevance of your brand.
Thought leadership: showcasing and utilising your expertise to give valuable information to an audience.
Newsjacking: adding your expert opinion and commentary to a trending topic which also allows you to showcase your expertise.
Data: showcasing your expertise (or your brand data) to demonstrate an outcome, or alternately adding an expert comment to your data findings.
Each of these approaches is demonstrating your expertise and knowledge on a relevant topic on external websites, thus enhancing your E-A-T.
High quality links are a good ranking factor for Google but it’s not enough for these links to be good quality, they also need to be relevant. Topical, relevant links from a high domain ranking website (think national publications, regional dailies and publications that are super relevant to your niche) are a great way to help build those key E-A-T signals, while also strengthening your website’s link profile.
In addition to building topical links into your website you can also strengthen the E-A-T of certain sections of your website by building targeted links into key service and product pages. This can be achieved through a more targeted Digital PR campaign which, in turn, can help to build topical authority across these areas. You’ll also be embedding the authority and trust, and boosting external ranking signals to key areas of your website.
5. To Create Topical Authority
When used correctly, relevant Digital PR has the ability to boost and create topical and semantic authority, which we know is crucial to building a well-structured SEO campaign. Many SEO practitioners work hard to build on-site topical clusters, pillars or semantic posts (depending on what you call it), but they forget to supplement this with strong off-site linking around a specific topic. In doing so you can really showcase your expertise and authority around a particular vertical or topic area, and back up your valuable on-site content pillaring with solid off-site Digital PR links. All of which will give a strong boost to your business reputation in that vertical.
Digital PR campaigns can be structured to drive topical authority by organising the campaign to target specific subsections of the website or specific themes. Thought leadership, data-led analysis and newsjacking techniques can all be adapted to work with certain sectors of the market, and to target relevant audiences and publications on topics that marry closely to your website content. This is a great way to give an extra little boost to an already solid on-site topic cluster and it can help to bolster general external trust signals in the process.
There’s a lot of discussion in the SEO industry around the importance of link relevance and the role that it plays within topical authority. In this article, Paddy Moogan discusses the concept of link relevance vs content relevance for link building. He concludes that the relevance of the content is more important than where you get your link from. This backs up our key message of how link building can further improve your topical authority, and how you can use Digital PR to supplement this.
Whether you’re looking to build reputation, increase referrals, enhance key E-A-T signals or to improve topical authority, Digital PR plays an important role in building out and supporting your SEO campaigns. To find out more about how we can help you with this view our SEO and Digital PR pages here.
Digital PR has become a major buzzword in the industry over the last 24 months, and while it’s always played an important role in visibility, traffic and driving brand awareness (and sales!), the value of Digital PR has never been more important than over this time.
As brands start to recognise the value of Digital PR and more companies turn towards using it, the competitive space has become more and more crowded. Journalists have become increasingly inundated with a wide range of press releases, from fake jobs to top 10 lists and huge data-driven campaigns.
If you’ve wanted to take a leap into Digital PR, chances are you have looked at it for one of two reasons:
a) you want to drive brand awareness in the online space OR
b) you want to use it to help drive great quality links, authority and trust into your website from an SEO perspective.
If the latter is the main reason that you’re looking at Digital PR activation, then here are 6 great Digital PR techniques which can really help to turbo charge your SEO campaigns and drive your ROI further:
1. Thought Leadership
Thought leadership has been around for years and has long been a staple of PR, both traditional and digital. If you are looking to boost your SEO value from Digital PR then thought leadership is a great place to start. One of the key pillars of SEO performance is E-A-T or Expertise, Authority and Trust, which is created on-site but also off-site through link optimisation and acquisition. It’s a great way to showcase your expertise as you will often put forward an expert from your brand. This can then help those all-important external ranking signals, by allowing them to understand that your brand really holds expertise in this space.
What is Thought Leadership?
Thought leadership is essentially where you tap into the talent within your brand to answer some of the most pressing questions that your users or the external public might have. You take your own expertise, experience or data and put it out into the world to help educate and inform others. Establishing yourself or your company as a thought leader is essentially working to put yourself out there as a well-known resource and expert across a particular vertical which, in turn, can help to educate and inform an audience about you and your brand.
You can do this in a number of ways:
with tools that connect you to journalists who are looking for information, responding to their queries and putting your thought leader forward
on Twitter by responding to hashtag searches which are very popular with journalists
pro-actively researching a particular topic, perhaps one that’s trending in the news, and outreaching this with a suitable angle to journalists
Each of these approaches is designed to put your expert at the forefront of a particular topic.
Thought leadership doesn’t just have to be linked to one vertical either as you may find that there are a range of verticals your brand can offer expertise in. Founded a business? You can offer business expertise. Got a HR team? They can offer HR expertise. Got a finance department? They can offer financial expertise. You don’t just have to limit your thought leadership to one individual and one vertical; by broadening your reach you can provide more well-rounded expertise signals for your business.
Thought leadership is incredibly effective for SEO too. In the latter half of 2022 we worked closely with in-house expert, Angela Slater, at Hayes Garden World to create a range of thought leadership pieces on highly relevant publications. This resulted in a significant increase in traffic and visibility for the brand as well as establishing Angela as a thought leader.
Quick searches of Google demonstrate that she has now contributed to most major publications within the gardening industry as well as some great nationals:
The resulting outcome for Hayes Garden World was a significant jump in visibility, in addition to landing top 5 rankings for major terms including “garden furniture” and “garden furniture sale” – right up there among major nationwide retailers! You can read all about our work with Hayes Garden World in our case study.
We know that a lot of Google’s Core Algorithm updates recently have looked at E-A-T signals so, if you’re looking to really enhance those off-site trust signals, a solid thought leadership campaign is a great place to start.
2. Proactive Newsjacking
Jumping on trends is a really great way to utilise Digital PR to build relevant and effective high-quality links back into your website. We approach newsjacking in two ways: proactive and reactive. We will go through both in this blog, starting with the proactive side of things.
What is Proactive Newsjacking?
Proactive Newsjacking is looking to jump on emerging trends before they happen, to offer data, insights or expertise and be early to the conversation. Essentially, you need to read up on the media to understand when something is going to happen that could be relevant to your client or your business. You can then put yourself straight into the conversation by offering some great information, or a new angle on an existing story, to add value to an emerging trend or storyline.
Proactive newsjacking, when done correctly, can help to drive SEO in more ways than one as it has the potential to drive high quality referral traffic to your website. Proactive newsjacking is, therefore, one of the more powerful Digital PR techniques. By getting to the front of the conversation you are also more likely to attract more media interest with the potential for follow up interviews and comments and, as a result, even more coverage! Timing is critical here, so planning in advance to release your content to journalists at just the right time can often make or break this approach.
If you’re looking to use this method, we’d usually recommend that you build out a calendar that allows you to plan for these events in advance. A calendar will also ensure you have PLENTY of time to allow for any potential issues, i.e. getting sign off on comments or producing data-led reports. By planning in advance you can not only ensure you get all of your content together in time, you’ll also be able to schedule each push of your content/release at the just right time.
Timing is absolutely crucial across any newsjacking but with proactive newsjacking, given that people have likely known about it for a while, it’s even more important as there could be many other PRs trying to jump on the same trend. In addition to researching the journalists that are likely to cover the topic and the types of content they’ve written, you can work with tools like BuzzSumo to understand the times they are most likely to publish this content and how quickly they turn around a piece after news has broken. This is useful information that will help to inform your publishing schedule and your email pushes.
Proactive newsjacking is a great way to get your brand in front of an audience in a planned manner, tying together nicely the visibility of Digital PR with the high quality link acquisition and E-A-T signals of SEO, to drive a great ROI from your campaigns.
3. Reactive Newsjacking
On the other side of the coin we have reactive newsjacking. While this still falls under that holistic “newsjacking” umbrella it takes a very different approach to proactive newsjacking and can often have a very different outcome.
What is Reactive Newsjacking?
Reactive Newsjacking is when you jump on something that has just broken in the news, or that is trending in the news and you bring your brand or client into the conversation by offering a new angle, expert opinion or new data that might not have previously been identified. It’s a great way to showcase your expertise on a given topic and it can get great coverage for your brand by putting you front and centre of the conversation. Reactive newsjacking is also popularly syndicated as it generally talks about a very topical issue and so people are more likely to have a need to cover the topic.
Reactive newsjacking ties in nicely with your SEO because it brings that combination of super high quality links and really strong E-A-T signals, especially on the expertise and authority side. Additionally, it helps to establish your brand as a thought leader and build that all important brand awareness and recognition. It can also help with semantically themed external links; we know how important relevancy is to SEO, both on-page and off-page, so newsjacking something that’s highly relevant to your brand is a great way to tick this box as well.
Reactive newsjacking doesn’t have to take a lot of time either – rather it’s about being first to the conversation with a great angle. Using tools like Google Trends and setting up Google Alerts are great ways to ensure you’re at the forefront of the news. We also monitor Twitter hashtags and the BBC Breaking News page, to ensure that we can jump on stories quickly as they happen. Another great way to track this is getting your team to run an open channel, such as on Microsoft Teams, where they can pop trending news that the Digital PR team can pick up on. You can also have some fun with reactive newsjacking. Just after lockdown ended we ran this reactive newsjacking campaign for Hayes Garden World which we labelled “Lonely Plants Club.” It focused on explaining how houseplants could become lonely after lockdown ended and the steps that owners could take to make life a little easier for them. It was a light hearted piece but incredibly relevant at the time, and obviously super relevant to our garden centre client. The piece landed really well, generating over 23 top tier links across national and industry publications including the Daily Star and Country Living.
The great thing about reactive newsjacking is that it can be such a quick turnaround if you have the right processes in place. Focus on honing in on and improving those processes, and add this technique to your Digital PR and SEO tool belt.
4. Industry Report Analysis
Reports are a really effective way of utilising Digital PR because they help to build one of the most important aspects of a Digital PR campaign: relevancy. We can analyse reports which are really relevant to our clients and industries to clearly show how our expertise and analysis ties closely to the brand.
We know that Google loves relevancy. There’s been a lot written about the topic, most notably this content from Cyrus Shephard on MOZ about the concept of link relevance and Google rankings. In the article he talks through a range of scenarios where link relevance has played an important role, and has some great takeaways on how we can improve overall link relevance. This is crucial to ensuring we have great semantically themed content throughout the article, and using an approach like industry report analysis is a great way to showcase this.
Speak to your client
There are a number of ways that you can approach industry report analysis but, most commonly, speaking to your client and being aware of popular reports within their industry is a great place to start. This could be anything from a state of marketing report, to an NHS Digital report, through to a Government report on pedestrians and cycling. With most of these reports being freely available there is usually a mine of great information that you can fill your news story with too.
Find your angle
Finding juicy angles plays a strong role in getting reports covered and often you don’t have to dig deep if there are some standout or alarming statistics that are in the public interest. Building a story around this and analysing data to further back this up can be a great way to pull together a nice data analysis piece. From an SEO perspective the data side of this analysis offers some really strong expertise and trust signals, as well as providing some great supporting data which can back up any on-site content.
If you’re looking to boost your Digital PR through an industry report analysis then the first step is to find any free industry reports that are available and note down the dates they are published. Jumping on and analysing this quickly will allow you to get to the front of the conversation and help to cement the brand’s position.
5. Google Search Trends Analysis
In addition to looking at industry reports and trends there are other great tools available that provide mounds of free and interesting data to analyse. Google Ads Keyword Planner and Google Trends are two such tools, and both offer tons of information around search habits relating to specific queries. They can help you identify what is trending, and what isn’t, compared to different times of the year or year on year comparisons.
Google Ads Keyword Planner contains a range of data pertaining to individual keyword search trends. It allows you to see how that keyword has performed over time and also breaks it down into mobile and desktop users so you can understand how people are searching differently for specific search terms. Below we can see that the term “seo agency” has grown substantially over the last year, from just under 5k searches per month in November to nearly 8k searches per month this year – a news story in itself!
If we were to layer that data with countries that have searched specifically for “seo agency,” we would be able to build a narrative around which countries have seen a spike in demand for seo agencies over the last 12 months. For example, in Australia I can see that while there was an initial rise around the middle of the year, demand has really started to tail off in recent months:
And if we add the USA into the mix we see a trend very similar to that in Australia:
In isolation, these three pieces of information might not seem to generate a news story, but when pulled together we can analyse that searches for seo agencies in the UK have continued to rise over the last six months in contrast to searches in Australia and the USA. It’s a simple piece of data analysis but one that you can write a piece of content around.
In addition to Google Keyword Planner you can also use the Google Trends tool to analyse data and draw comparisons between different services and products. Google Trends allows you to compare trending keywords against each other and see how a particular keyword has trended over time. An example of this would be using the tool to evaluate how each of our key services ranks against each other as a trending topic:
From this we can evaluate that SEO is by far the most popular service, followed by PPC and then Digital PR. We could then pull each of these services out individually to analyse their performance over the last 12 months.
Each of these examples shows very simple and quick data analysis. Yet with the right data and the right angle, you can turn this into a great piece of Digital PR content that is super relevant to your brand and likely to land those all important high quality relevant links.
6. Product Placements & Round-Ups
Rounding off the top 6 we have product placements and round-ups – an absolute stalwart for the ecommerce sector. Although this point is last it is most definitely not least! Product placements can be a really powerful way of getting your product in front of the right audience and driving crucial referral sales through to your website. At the same time they have the opportunity to build some really high quality links from incredibly relevant domains, i.e. domains that your target audience happens to be on.
There are a number of different approaches you can take to product placements, from looking at the Top x lists for specific products (these always tend to rank well) to working closely with journalists who you know are going to be looking to cover a particular product or product range. In most cases they are just looking for a hi-res image of your products, and so having this type of image to hand is incredibly helpful; we often keep them all in a Google Drive so they are ready to pull out at a moment’s notice. It’s also valuable to have visuals over your stock levels to ensure you aren’t promoting a product which is unavailable or low in stock.
If you’re looking for referral traffic then there’s nothing better than a placement like this…
… to really get you in front of your target market. In addition, the product review style of the content is only helping to add to the authority and trust of the overall product. These are key elements of E-A-T which feed heavily into Google’s Page Quality Rater Guidelines.
Getting your products out there in front of your audience is a great way to gain visibility among the right market and to gain high quality links back to the website, all while enhancing key SEO signals. Driving in referral traffic sales is just the icing on the cake!
Digital PR has continued to play an increasingly important role in the growth of SEO campaigns – after all, who can forget when John Mueller said this?
So, if you are looking to take your SEO strategies to the next level then a solid, relevant, expertise-led Digital PR campaign is bound to put you on the right track!
Now that we’re heading into the winter months snuggling down into a nice cosy jumper is definitely the way to go and that’s why we’re delighted to announce that we are working with ethical cashmere brand Loop Cashmere across SEO, PPC and Digital PR to help grow and develop their online store and product offering.
Founded in 2020, the brand champions the style and quality longevity of cashmere as well as being both kind to the planet and also to consumers.
Featuring timeless classics alongside a range of luxury wardrobe staples and statement styles, the cashmere is designed to look and feel good for longer and the entire creation process is focused around sustainability – leaving the planet a little bit better than how we found it.
Our work with Loop Cashmere will cover the full range of performance marketing including SEO, PPC, Digital PR and also Paid Social campaign activation across Meta platforms, designed to create a holistic marketing strategy to drive sales and visibility for the brand.
Katrina Urwin, Head of Marketing at Loop Cashmere said
“It was difficult to choose between the final agencies, but we ultimately felt that Cedarwood Digital were a great fit for the brief, and we were impressed by the people who would be working directly on the account.”
Anna Simpson, Paid Media Manager quoted
“Loop Cashmere is a great example of a business that not only creates great products, but also takes into account sustainability, showing how you can create a great quality product while also being gentle on the planet.
We’re looking forward to working closely with the brand to deliver a full performance marketing strategy to help showcase their cashmere range to consumers.”
Here at Cedarwood we love a bit of interior design and are over the moon to welcome on board one of our latest Digital PR clients: Bobbi Beck. Bobbi Beck are sustainable wallpaper brand who create beautifully designed wallpapers which are eco-friendly and made right here in the UK!
The wallpaper brand focuses on producing premium wallpapers without causing any harm to the planet and every roll is crafted and packed by hand from their dedicated design and print studio based in Cornwall.
We will be working closely with them to deliver a high growth Digital PR strategy designed to gain valuable coverage for the brand and also drive some high quality links back into the website to boost SEO performance.
Jason Arrowsmith, CEO & Digital Director at Bobbi Beck said:
“After shortlisting and speaking to 5 agencies, we chose to bring Cedarwood on board as our chosen Digital PR partner. They stood out because of their complete transparency and because of their flexible approach to strategy. They took the time to listen to our requirements and goals, and presented a strategy that really aligned with those.
We’re looking forward to working together and driving great results!“
Amanda Walls, Director at Cedarwood Digital said:
“We are delighted to be working with the team at Bobbi Beck. Their ethos, approach to the environment and just beautiful designs make for a really great product that we are looking forward to working with.
Our dedicated Digital PR service and experience in the sector means that we’re well-placed to land some great coverage and content for the brand which will help to deliver great results “
To find out more about our Digital PR service head to our dedicated Digital PR page here
If you’ve landed on this blog, chances are that you have heard all about Digital PR. It’s been an industry buzzword for a few years now & has really taken off in this time; even though many agencies, including ourselves, have been doing this for over 5 years!
Digital PR has been used in conjunction with SEO to help grow visibility for websites in a very holistic manner. While these two elements were previously siloed amongst marketing campaigns, more recently, agencies have started combining the two to provided added, targeted benefits for both their SEO and Digital PR campaigns. By combining the two elements, you are able to use the data-research side of SEO with the creative PR side of Digital PR to drive consistent campaigns. This not only drives high quality links into your website and grows brand awareness, but also supports growth in your overall SEO rankings and, therefore, traffic to your website and subsequent sales/conversions.
So What Is Digital PR?
Digital PR is essentially a strategy or plan which takes the principles of traditional PR & applies it in an online environment to online content & placements. Think of it as promoting a product or service but in the digital space and with the added incentive of creating high quality, relevant links for SEO. In turn, you also get the added bonus of the optimisation that comes with that.
Digital PR has been around for as long as PR has, but has only really come to the forefront in recent years. This is mainly due to the value that it can add to SEO campaigns and the real world returns that PR of this style can generate. PR has never been more measurable from an ROI perspective as it is in Digital PR format. This makes it an appealing option for businesses who are looking to grow sales/leads in addition to just growing standard visibility.
When we look over time we can see that “link building” in its raw format has always been a popular option for companies looking to improve their “website authority” or “Domain Rank” for SEO. In the last few years, however, we can see that Digital PR has started to meet link building as an equal. This has mainly been due to the rise in popularity of the term as a buzzword, but also the approach being seen as a more effective, sustainable and achievable method of link acquisition.
We’ve even seen John Mueller, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, weigh in on it through his Twitter account, offering his view that he loves some of the things that he sees from Digital PR: “It’s just as critical as tech SEO, probably more so in many cases.” Who are we to argue?!
Although we’ve compared Digital PR and Link Building together above to review trends over time, it’s important to note that the two can be very different. Digital PR is a more holistic offering. It’s designed to not only improve SEO value and drive leads to your website, but also to enhance your visibility and start to create buzz around your brand, just as traditional PR does.
What Are Some Common Digital PR Techniques?
Digital PR, like any element of digital marketing, is done in a number of different ways depending on the agency that you work with and the results that you are looking to achieve. For example, Digital PR for an ecommerce company looking to drive sales of a specific product would look very different to a company looking to launch a new product, or a company who is looking to improve their overall awareness and traffic within a specific niche.
That said, there are a couple of techniques that can work across a number of different situations, they just need to be applied in different ways. Some of the most common Digital PR techniques that we use here at Cedarwood include:
Newsjacking isn’t a new concept to PRs; it’s essentially the process of finding a newsworthy topic and putting your client at the front of the conversation. As Digital PR has continued to grow, so has the popularity of both Proactive and Reactive Newsjacking as a way of landing great quality coverage for a client while also showcasing that client’s expertise.
There are generally two different types of newsjacking: proactive and reactive. Both work in a slightly different way. Traditionally, proactive newsjacking would involve researching events in advance such as the launch of a new product, event or movie, or the launch of a new report, perhaps from NHS Digital or the ONS or a particular themed day or month coming up. This gives time to plan, gain the right comments and angle, and outreach in time to land coverage for clients.
Reactive newsjacking, on the other hand, involves monitoring the media to identify opportunities where we can potentially jump in with expert commentary or advice. To be reactive you need to have a great media monitoring set up and you need to be able to get into the conversation quickly with a fresh angle. You also need to have a quick turnaround on comments. We often recommend speaking to clients or your internal PR team in advance to prep them where tight turnaround might be required. Ideally, try to develop a process for this early on so you don’t miss out on key opportunities. For media monitoring, there are a lot of tools out there but some of the most popular are social media platforms, such as Twitter and TikTok, BBC Breaking News, Hashtags and daily newspapers.
Done effectively, Newsjacking is a quick and effective way to gain your clients coverage and to gain those all-valuable links back to the website.
At Cedarwood we’re a fan of always-on link acquisition, in fact in one slide we could summarise our approach to Digital PR as follows:
That’s where data-led campaigns come in. Small, frequent data-driven campaigns are a great way to land links, highlight your client’s expertise and create a stable environment of always-on Digital PR. The days of high risk, high reward campaigns are often behind us, as we find journalists increasingly inundated with the larger style of campaigns. They now seem to prefer a smaller, more expertise-driven approach to Digital PR through data.
The great news when it comes to data-led campaigns is that there’s a tonne of free resources out there that you can utilise. In fact we’re currently pulling together a separate blog on all of the free data sources you can utilise, so watch this space. For now, we’ve listed some of the key ones below:NHS Digital
Once you have your data, undertake analysis to understand the angle. Remember a new, fresh angle backed up by expertise is your best friend when it comes to landing data-led campaigns. It’s therefore always good to have some ideas in mind prior to your data analysis, so you know what you are looking for.
If you aren’t able to gather the data freely then there are a number of paid for options, especially if you have something specific that you are looking for. Google Surveys and other survey providers can offer good options here. In many instances, it might be that you only need to ask just one question, in which case it can often be quite affordable too. Data-led campaigns don’t have to break the bank to be successful.
Here are a couple of examples of recent data-led campaigns that we’ve turned around quickly and outreached to gain some great placements and Digital PR for our clients.
Thought Leadership is a great approach for modern Digital PR as it tends to combine a number of elements which are hugely beneficial for SEO – predominantly expertise and link acquisition all rolled into one!
Thought leadership is also a great way to extoll the virtues and expertise of your brand to a wider market, and really join the conversation on topics which matter to both you and your brand. Thought leadership is one of the elements that underpins a strong always-on Digital PR strategy and something that we love to do to build the expertise of our brands.
Speaking on his Twitter account John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, speaks directly about how one very relevant link can be significantly more important than a whole chunk of links built into a website. It’s very much about quality over quantity. In many cases, Digital PR firms steer away from thought leadership as they see it as a lot of work for maybe just one or two links. Yet, in many cases, these one or two links can be more valuable than an entire creative campaign if they drive the relevancy and expertise that Google is looking for.
“Or there could be one really good link from one website out there that is, for us, a really important sign that we should treat this website as something that is relevant because it has that one link. I don’t know, maybe from like a big news site’s home page, for example. So the total number essentially is completely irrelevant.”
– John Mueller
So while many agencies and in-house teams are set on creating link goals or link targets based on the number of links achieved, to deliver real impact you need to focus on the relevancy and quality of individual links, rather than just trying to build links as a whole to the website.
Is Link Building Dead?
The way in which link building is done has come a long way in the last 10 years. Unfortunately, I still hear stories of agencies paying for links and more often than you would think. This is against Google’s guidelines. While it might work for a short period of time, after a while Google’s algorithm will catch this, and your website could be at risk of either a manual penalty or an algorithmic penalty from the Google Penguin update.
For those of you that are unfamiliar with Google Penguin or what it is, Google Penguin is an update designed to penalise websites that have undertaken dodgy link practices. There was a significant update many years ago now called Penguin 2.0 and it caught out a lot of Webmasters who had been purchasing links. For many of these it took years before they were able to get their websites back onto a good standing.
So link building is definitely not dead, but the industry as a whole is still seeing a lot of paid for link acquisition. It wouldn’t surprise me if there is a new variation of the Penguin update (which now runs in real time) to tackle this.
Digital PR is a great way to drive links into your website for link acquisition purposes, but it also helps to build on key E-A-T signals & drive relevance for your brand. Again, link acquisition definitely isn’t dead, but SEOs are having to adapt the way that they build links to really reach best practice.
Does Digital PR Actually Work?
Absolutely, hands down Digital PR is one of the most important elements of any SEO campaign. It’s also a great way to drive your overall brand relevancy and the visibility of your website. Digital PR is arguably one of the most important elements of any SEO campaign. It helps to build relevancy and expertise across your website, in addition to growing some great visibility for your clients.
Good Digital PR can help to build your traffic & visibility over time & correlates with SEO visibility & performance by helping to improve the overall authority within the website.
Below is an example of a client that we have done Digital PR for, for a number of years:
As you can see, the number of high quality links that we have created correlates closely with organic visibility & performance. When done well, Digital PR can have a direct impact on your SEO performance.
How Do I Find Relevant Topics?
Relevancy is an important element of any Digital PR campaign. Ensuring that your Digital PR campaigns match the relevancy and recency of your clients is very important to ensuring that you get the maximum impact from them.
One of the ways that we look to drive relevancy for our clients is by creating a mind map to really understand the core themes of our client. We can then build out content and topical resources around this.
Here’s an example of one that we did for a client in financial services. It shows how we are able to map everything to central themes to ensure that we keep relevancy at the heart of our campaigns.
It’s not just enough to find relevant topics though. You also have to find topics which are trending and topical, i.e. topics that journalists want to cover. There are a number of tools that you can use for this, from Google Trends through to BuzzSumo. These really help you to identify what is trending and, most importantly, anything that has already been covered to ensure that your content is topical and relevant.
How Can I Make Journalists Love My Content?
One of the main ways that we understand what journalists are looking for is through the concept of “Why Does The Reader Care?” At the end of the day journalists are looking for clicks on their articles, so we need to make sure our content is juicy, relevant and backed up by great data and a clear methodology. Get journalists to love your content by giving them what they want and giving it to them in a format that they can use without having to make too many changes. This can include:
Attaching any imagery that they might require
Clearly stating your methodology or linking to the methodology if required
Ensuring that you have a clear bio of the company or person that has created the article
Including any relevant links internally within the press release
Making sure the press release has a clear hook for the journalist (and readers)
Answering any questions that the journalist has previously asked.
Journalists are busy creatures so ensuring that you include all of the relevant information within your press releases is a great way to ensure that they’re best placed to cover your content. Additionally, make yourself available to them in case they have any quick questions. Don’t be afraid to jump on a quick call and point them in the right direction.
Journalists love content which gets clicks and which really engages the user, mainly human interest pieces. So when you’re creating your mind maps, stories or even brainstorming, creating ideas which have a strong human interest point is a great place to start. Always think about who might be reading the article and what they might want to know. Make sure that you have that great hook, a great angle and, most importantly, that you bring something new to the table.
Looking for more information on how to create a press release? Check out our guide to press releases which will help to point you in the right direction!
How Do I Measure Digital PR?
Measurement is essential to any effective performance marketing channel and Digital PR is no different. Being able to measure and justify the investment in this channel is key to growing clients and proving value and strong ROAS. So, how do we go about measuring how successful our Digital PR campaigns have been and what value this particular channel adds?
Measuring Digital PR can be done in a number of different ways with a range of different tools. Before you start measuring, take the time to work out what you are trying to achieve; it shouldn’t just be just a certain number of links. Think about the business goals and how you can map those down to online goals accordingly. I’ve always thought of it like this:
Business Goals – Online Goals – KPIs
By ensuring that you always have the business goals as the top marker, you know that you are delivering that all-important value and ROAS. Now that you have your business goals where do you start with measurement? Well this can be done in a number of different ways but I’ve listed the two most common metrics that we use below:
We know that not all links are equal, so setting a simple link target wouldn’t quite cut the mustard when it comes to understanding the value we are delivering for a client. That’s why we use a concept of “Link Scoring” to understand how important and valuable our work can be.
Our link scoring matrix takes the type and relevancy of the link and combines it with key metrics such as Domain Authority and Rank to produce a “link score.” Each month we set a target based on this link score and tie it back to our KPIs. This ensures that any Digital PR work we undertake is focused on our client goals and keeps relevancy, expertise and value at the core at all times.
Key visibility metrics, such as overall traffic value, help us tie our Digital PR service closely to website impact and SEO results. By looking at a metric like traffic value we can combine a keyword’s position with its estimated traffic level to understand how much valuable traffic we are bringing to the website.
By measuring in this way we are ensuring that higher rankings for keywords are actually bringing in traffic. We don’t want to fall into the trap of getting keywords to position one that bring no traffic or value for the client. By tying these metrics back to our Digital PR campaigns we can prove value and ROAS for our client’s investment.
Digital PR is a hugely effective tool and a big part of the modern digital marketing mix. With experts from Google singing its praises and highlighting how important it is within the marketing mix, we can be sure that effective Digital PR will play an important role in digital strategies for many years to come.
Want to find out more about how Digital PR can help your agency or business? Get in touch.
In August, Google updated its Page Quality Rater Guidelines. This is something it does from time to time to reinforce the key principles it looks for when evaluating the quality of a page. In SEO circles, these Quality Rater Guidelines are somewhat of a bible. Although most SEOs won’t have read them from start to finish (there’s over 300 pages!) many will take excerpts from them as a way of trying to understand what Google is looking for. They can then use this information to determine how they should present their websites to make them more ‘SEO-friendly’.
In recent years, a number of key concepts have come out of the Quality Rater Guidelines, with perhaps the most significant one being the concept of E-A-T or Expertise, Authority and Trust. While the principle of this has been around for years, it’s only in the last few that SEOs have started to look towards it as a way of ‘optimising’ a website and putting it as a key focus for their SEO campaigns. The little known sibling of E-A-T is the acronym Y-M-Y-L, otherwise known as Your Money or Your Life. There is far less conversation about YMYL but, in many cases, it is significantly, if not more, important than the concept of E-A-T. In this blog we are going to look at what YMYL is and how you can apply the principles to your website to benefit your SEO.
What Is Your Money Your Life?
Let’s start with a simple definition and understanding of what YMYL is and how it applies to websites. The concept of Your Money or Your Life was defined by Google to highlight websites which fall into a specific category; that is, websites which impact either your money or your life. As these websites and the topics within them could have a substantial impact on a person, their pages, and the website as a whole, are held to a much higher standard within the Quality Rater Guidelines. If there is an issue with any of the content on a YMYL website, it can have a significant and detrimental impact on an individual.
With the recent update to the guidelines Google has aimed to simplify what it designates as a YMYL website. They have supplied the following guidance and examples, and whilst there are no hard and fast rules, this information helps to demonstrate what might fall into the YMYL category and what might not:
As you can see from the guidance, YMYL really refers to websites which give information that could impact an individual’s money or life. Therefore, if your website or one of your clients’ websites fall into this category, then you need to get to grips with the Quality Rater Guidelines and start understanding what YMYL is really all about.
So How Do I Optimise For YMYL?
Optimising your website for YMYL focuses around creating great quality, trustworthy content. This content should show Google that your website is a trustworthy place for users to come for information, and to convert and potentially engage in your services or buy your product. There are a number of factors that come into play when it comes to optimising for this, and we will go through them in the guide, but one of the best places to start is to look frankly at your website and ask these questions:
Does my website answer or fulfil the user’s purpose?
Do I have well-written authoritative content on my website?
Is it clear who has written my content and what their expertise is?
You can conceptualise these questions into three key areas:
By taking the above approach we can see three key consistent themes across YMYL:
Have we matched User Intent? Are we giving clear information and expertise early on in the piece, and are we also giving reassurance of expertise throughout the content
Does the website have a clearly defined purpose? Can users reach what they need to and is the content up to date?
Who has created the content and what are their credentials? What is their reputation and the reputation of the website as a whole?
With these concepts and ideas in mind you can set about creating a practical SEO strategy with these key themes at the forefront.
Google backs up this approach in section 3.1 of the Google Quality Rater Guidelines. This outlines the most important information that Page Quality Raters should be looking for in this category:
On-Page SEO For YMYL
On-page SEO is a great place to start on your path to YMYL greatness and is also one of the most important areas when it comes to sending the right signals to Google. It is a key area where Google will be looking for you to showcase your expertise and trust, as on-site content is likely where users will start to get an understanding of your brand. Effective on-page SEO is a mix of content with a solid structure that has been created with the user in mind. It is not written for search engines. So, it’s important to remember throughout your on-page optimisation that you are writing to gain the trust of the user and, as a result of this, Google will look to trust your website too.
Matching User Intent
Matching user intent and purpose is a key element of the YMYL concept. While this is also a part of E-A-T, its role in showcasing a website’s trust and being able to answer the users’ questions confidently is very important here. Definitions and FAQs, alongside a clear and concise demonstration of your expertise, will go a long way to matching user intent. To bolster this you should create a website which is easy to navigate and makes it clear how users can contact you should they need more information.
When creating your key pages, such as product or category landing pages, always keep user intent in mind. This can guide how you lay out your content and in which order. It’s worth remembering that users don’t always scroll to the bottom of your page and so Google might not either. Therefore, ensure that you are matching as much user intent and relevancy as you can at the top of the page, to maximise the benefit.
We’ve recently done a project with one of our legal clients on matching user intent. As a client that sits firmly within the YMYL category we know it is important that they demonstrate to Google that their site is a trusted source able to answer user queries. In this case, it was something as simple as identifying that high performing competitors had a clear definition at the start of their content and were, therefore, directly answering the user’s query. We were then able to optimise our content accordingly.
Authoring Your Content
A key concept of YMYL has always been about who has authored your content. In the most recent update, Google has gone even further to highlight how important the concept of authorship is and, additionally, the reputation of the author. This is a clear signal to show how trustworthy a piece of content or a page is
Authoring content became popular in the SEO community after the Medic update, where we saw a good uplift for content which was well authored by experts. Google now stipulates clearly within the Quality Rater Guidelines that it wants to understand not only who the expert is that has written the content, but also their credentials. Google wants to know what makes this person an expert in the field and do they have the level of trust and expertise to be giving out this information?
It’s not enough to just add a ‘Written By’ with the name and photo of your expert, you now need to qualify this expert. This could be with a short snippet or excerpt of information on the page, or a link through to an expert profile with further details and information. This expert profile could include qualifications, industry accreditations or the number of years’ experience. To further qualify this, external links pointing out to trusted websites, such as accreditation boards or websites where they have contributed expert opinion, allows Google to see from trusted third party sources that the person in question is an expert in the field.
By taking the time to build out author profiles, you’re not only showcasing to Google the level of expertise that your business has, you’re also showing it to your potential audience. This can be a significant benefit from a CRO perspective, in addition to boosting your YMYL signals.
Refreshing Your Content Regularly
Up-to-date content and statistics are a great way to showcase your expertise. If you have content on your website which is out of date, even by just a few years, this can cause issues from a YMYL perspective. Worse still is content that contains information that is now incorrect because it is so out of date.
It’s not practical to be consistently updating your content, especially if you have quite a large website. Refreshing key elements of it, including statistics, expert information, relevancy and commentary will go a long way to ensuring that the information on your website is fresh and correct. Auditing your content regularly to ensure that the data is up to date and adding in new external links to data sources (as they become relevant) is a great way to prevent your content from becoming outdated. Additionally, identifying your top 5-10 traffic pages & putting in place a plan to optimise these regularly is well worth it. If they are driving traffic they likely have rankings that you want to maintain. So, prioritising the update and refresh of content on these pages will go a long way to keeping you where you need to be.
Including External Links
Many people are reluctant to include external links across their website as they feel it sends their valuable ‘link equity’ to another website. While links do pass equity the amount is often nominal, and is far offset by the value of having your website point to other reputable websites and information sources. Linking out to external sources can help to back up your expertise and qualify a lot of what you are saying, as you are linking to sources that can verify the point you are making. As a result it can actually enhance the overall expertise and trust level of your website.
If you are externally linking to other websites, the only caveat is that you need to ensure that the content that you are linking out to is relevant, current and that it doesn’t end up as a broken link. A simple crawl which checks your external links is a great way to keep on top of this.
Digital PR For YMYL
Enhancing YMYL signals on the website doesn’t just stop at traditional on-site SEO and content. To give a proper level of authority and trust this should be extolled throughout the whole website and also the inbound link profile. Strong Digital PR should play an important role in amplifying these signals & helping to drive expertise-driven links into your website, while improving your overall website authority.
Although in many instances Digital PR is about driving high quality links, there are cases where agencies will build links for links sake and this doesn’t benefit anyone. It doesn’t benefit the reader as what they are reading about may be unrelated to your website and so there is low user intent. It also doesn’t benefit you, as the links that you are drawing to the website don’t have that all-important element of relevancy.
Digital PR for YMYL websites should look to really drive relevancy and expertise where it can. That means choosing topics which are closely linked to your website’s purpose, product or service. Then ensuring that any coverage or Digital PR, that you are putting out to garner links back to the website, are related to this.
In addition, you should be utilising your Digital PR where you can to extoll the virtues of your expertise. This can be done in a number of ways from thought leadership through to product-led campaigns. Whatever you choose, this strategy can be a very effective way to continue building those all-important off-site trust signals which Google really values.
If you’re looking for inspiration for Digital PR that fits well with YMYL, you’ll find some examples of recent expertise-led coverage that we’ve landed for our clients. These links are great value; not only because they are from trustworthy websites, but also because they showcase our client’s expertise on an external source, thus delivering great overall value to their campaigns.
Check out some of our most recent Thought Leadership campaigns for our client Hayes Garden World here:
Although technical SEO isn’t always seen as effective as on-site content or Digital PR for sending good YMYL signals to Google, it still has a role to play. Good technical SEO means Google can effectively and efficiently crawl your site, and clearly and easily recognise the trust signals. This ensures the reputation of your website remains strong.
Optimising your website technically for YMYL follows a lot of the traditional technical SEO elements, but with an emphasis on ensuring that what Google is seeing on your website reflects a good reputation and authority.
Schema Mark-Up is a really nice way to tell Google about factors which enhance your reputation, such as on-site FAQs or reviews. This can be a really nice way to help Google easily and concisely interpret your reputation information.
There is a wide range of Schema Mark-Up options that you can use to help Google understand your trust signals, from product and organisation information to reviews and FAQ mark-up. While each of these is valuable, we would recommend undertaking a schema audit to really understand what information you have available and how you can effectively mark-up.
Not sure where to start? If you’re new to Schema Mark-up and haven’t done it before, we’ve included below a couple of ideas to get you started:
FAQ Schema – This is a great way to showcase your expertise which is a key element of YMYL. Whether it’s product or information pages, FAQs are a great way to show that you are matching and answering user intent. Mark these up with some delicious FAQ Schema and show Google that your website knows what its talking about!
Review Schema – Product reviews? Business reviews? Trusted external third party reviews? Whatever you have you should be telling Google about it! External reviews are a really great way to validate the expertise and trust in your business so why not shout about them? If you display reviews on your website you can utilise Review Schema to mark these up and let Google know all about it.
If you’re not sure how to check the schema that is already in place on the website, or you want to audit it, then a great place to start is with Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. By using the tool you can evaluate your existing Schema implementation, check that it’s all correctly implemented and identify areas where further schema can be placed.
Log File Analysis
Log File Analysis plays a key role in ensuring that your website is YMYL friendly. While traditional crawlers will help you to gather trends around how Google crawls your website, log file analysis will allow you to see how Google is actually crawling your website. This helps you to identify any issues or pain points which might not have been picked up by your regular crawler.
Log Analysis allows you to conduct a deep dive into the way that the Googlebot and other crawlers are moving through your website. This means you are able to analyse which pages are being most heavily crawled and, therefore, which pages Google is potentially looking towards to gain trust signals. It also points you towards any crawl errors, such as broken pages or redirects, which could be impacting crawl efficiency and wasting crawl budget. Crawl errors will send poor quality signals to Google which is, of course, something we are keen to avoid.
We often find during a log analysis that crawl budget is being wasted and if crawl budget spends too much time on pages which don’t add value to your website then it’s likely that Google starts to view your website as this as a whole, so it’s critical that every signal you send Google is a good one and analysing log analysis to see what signals you might be sending is a good place to start.
An effective Log Analysis should allow you to review the crawl across your website and make updates, so that you are left feeling confident about how the reputation of your website is shown to Google. You can even do it with as few as seven days log files. Get asking your server host for those log files and do some digging into that data to analyse how effectively Google is crawling your website!
YMYL is a key consideration for a lot of websites. Yet there are still people within SEO who focus on the pillars of Technical, Content & Links. They are potentially missing out on clearly defining the underlying principles within their strategy and understanding what Google is really looking for from a trust perspective.
Hopefully you have found the above useful. If you’d like to find out more about how you can utilise YMYL for SEO, or if you website falls into this category and you’d like some help optimising it for SEO, then get in touch!
With the first half of 2022 already drawing to a close, we thought we’d have a quick look back at five recent quick turnaround newsjacking campaigns which have delivered high-quality, relevant, super expertise driven links to our clients with very little prep or turnaround time.
Knowing how important our E-A-T signals are, particularly for some of our clients in Your Money Your Life verticals, building high quality, expertise-driven links is important to our client’s SEO success. Here we’ve rounded up a couple of examples from recent months where jumping on the latest trends has helped us to deliver solid links for clients with a quick turnaround time.
Cheapest Roast Dinner
Links: 112 / Average DR: 55
The Cheapest Roast Dinner campaign for our client Cash Lady was one of our favourites – a super simple campaign to carry out with a clearly defined purpose and an outcome which had a great hook for journalists and relevant at a time where the cost of living is increasing and general costs are going up. This campaign involved researching which supermarket offered the cheapest roast dinner, compiling the data together and then presenting it on our client’s website. We created some juicy angles around the data and seeded it out to our media lists.
The campaign was a great success placing well across a range of regional publications, in addition to a number of key dailies including The Daily Record, The Daily Star and Birmingham Live.
New Years’ Resolutions
Links: 23 / Average DR: 82
If you’re like us then the New Year is a great time for change and New Years Resolutions are one way to at least encourage yourself to change or improve something (or just give something up) from the year before – but we all know that these never last – so we looked into search data for one of our ecommerce clients MIST, to find out exactly how long people manage to hang onto those New Year Resolutions before they start slipping back in to their old habits.
The answer? Not very long – after reviewing and analysing search data it turns out that February 19th is usually the key date – less than two months after the resolutions have started! To reach this conclusion we analysed five years’ worth of search data and evaluated when specific keywords spiked that related to an ending of a specific resolution. With most resolutions revolving around health – it was easy to see when a spike in keywords such as “takeaway” rose that people were starting to give up on these habits…
Once we had the data we pulled together some great press release angles and sent it out to our media lists. A super quick piece to turnaround which landed over 23 links across some high tier publications including AOL and Yahoo!
Links: 29 / AverageDR: 70
As cases of childhood hepatitis rose towards the start of the year it was something that was trending broadly within the news. We worked closely with our medical negligence client Patient Claim Line to produce expert comments on how parents can help to identify if their child could potentially have meningitis and what to look for – as well as what to do if they find that they have suffered from misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis.
The piece was quickly picked up by mainstream media and landed 29 links with an average DR of 70.
Holiday Savings Tips
Links: 42 / AverageDR: 66
Brits love a summer holiday and as summer holiday season started to ramp up we saw that a lot of newspapers and publications were starting to publish savings tips and tricks which would be particularly effective in the current economic climate. With this in mind we teamed up with Instagram Mum Emma Stretton to deliver some great holiday savings tips at a time where everyone was looking to make their money go a little further.
Once we’d spoken to Emma we pulled this together in press release form with some great hooks for journalists and outreached it to our media list. The content landed really well with over 40 links generated on high quality publications including Wales Online, The Sun, MSN and the The Birmingham Mail.
Links: 15 / AverageDR: 74
As we approach summer, gardening has been a hot topic of discussion across a lot of news channels, working with our client Hayes Garden World we have jumped into numerous conversations and added our expertise to news jack and build high quality links into our client’s website. Topics that we have contributed to include: “How to fertilise without chemicals”, “Everything you need to know about planting trees”, “How to prevent weeds growing” and “Making the most of your garden in March”.
Our expert commentary and news jacking has been featured across a range of high profile publications including House Beautiful, Daily Express, The Mirror, Ideal Home and the Yorkshire Post.
Newsjacking is a great way to land solid links by jumping on a trending topic and it’s also a great way to push expertise driven links into your website, adding that all important E-A-T value! To find out more about our newsjacking service and Digital PR or how we could help to gain you brand coverage and valuable high quality links enquiry today!
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