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New Client Alert: Bobbi Beck

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

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A Guide To Digital PR

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.

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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?!


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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.

Newsjacking is a very popular Digital PR approach here at Cedarwood as it not only generates high quality expertise-driven links it’s also fast-paced and often fun. We love to get stuck in putting our clients in the centre of the conversation. Over the years we have created some fun newsjacking campaigns, from talking about how plants would handle lockdown ending to recreating Harry & Meghan’s Oprah garden scene. As well as tackling more serious topics such as highlighting the signs and symptoms of Cervical Cancer for Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. 

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.

Data-Led Campaigns

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:

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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.

Patient Claim Line: COVID-19 Survey

Cash Lady: Cheapest Roast Dinners 

MIST: Pets & Smoking Habits

Thought Leadership

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:

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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.


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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:

Link Scoring

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.

Visibility Metrics

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.

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Applying Your Money Your Life Principles To Improve Your SEO

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:

MSN: Modern Rock Garden Ideas


Hello! Magazine: Winter Gardening Jobs To Save Time & Money


Gardening Etc…: A Guide To Mulching


Express: How To Prevent Your Garden Flooding In Heavy Rain


The Strategist: Best Plants For Balconies & Patios


Living Etc…: A Guide To No-Dig Gardening


Technical SEO For YMYL

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

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!

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Rounding Up Five Recent Quick Turnaround Newsjacking Campaigns

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!

Childhood Hepatitis

Links: 29 / Average DR: 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 / Average DR: 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.

Gardening Hacks

Links: 15 / Average DR: 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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The Value Of External Link Building In Enhanced E-A-T

Expertise, Authority and Trust is a topic widely discussed in the digital space, especially when it comes to SEO. Although Google has over 400 different ranking factors that it takes into consideration when it’s looking to rank a website, we know that expertise, authority and trust are pretty high up there in terms of the ones that really matter.

When people talk about E-A-T they usually focus on what we can do on-site to help build this across a website.Common elements that get discussed are external trust reviews, on-site testimonials, author profiling, attribution and external linking. There are of course many more on-site tactics, but E-A-T isn’t just limited to on-site workIf you are really looking to enhance this area, especially if you are a website that falls into the Your Money Your Life category, then utilising your external linking building techniques properly can also be a great way to build this trust.Which will result in an even bigger boost to your SEO performance.

How Do I Build E-A-T Friendly Links?

So building E-A-T friendly links is a lot easier than it sounds and, in general, if you are building links to the website through Digital PR then they should already be E-A-T friendly, as they will be genuine, high quality links, designed to exhibit the expertise of your website.

However,  if you do really want to focus on enhancing your E-A-T, and you want some great Digital PR to support the improvements that you’re making on-site, then you can put a particular focus on any of the areas below:

Thought Leadership

Thought Leadership is one of the best ways to build expertise and trust.It’s built on giving your expertise to an external party or creating something which exhibits your expertise that you can showcase online. This alone can help to build the trust and authority of your website in a great, knowledge-sharing approach.

Thought Leadership can be quite straightforward.You can either interview your client or choose relevant representatives from your client’s business (or your business) to provide their expertise. Have a bio at the ready to prove to journalists why they are experts in their field, and keep up to date with newsjacking opportunities or proactive opportunities for upcoming events to get them in front of the press. If you’re looking for proof of how effective this can be, check out our Little Loans case study to find out more about how targeted thought leadership can drive solid results. 


Newsjacking is another great way to build external E-A-T for your brand.This is the concept of jumping on something that is trending in the news and coming up with great ideas or a new angle from your resident expert. You can then seed this content out to journalists to add into their story, or create a whole new story and showcase your client’s expertise by adding an authoritative comment to a trending topic.

The idea doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming; we did a great piece with our client Hayes Garden Worldand their resident gardening guru Angela Slater, on what happens when your houseplants get lonely after lockdown.It was a simple idea with a quick turnaround which landed a lot of high quality links – you can read more about it here.

Data Campaigns

Data campaigns are another great way to showcase your expertise and, if you are looking to use a more data-led approach to your outreach, then this is a great place to start. Analysing your own data, or data that is relevant to your industry, can not only showcase expertise within the industry, but it can also provide a very valuable resource to journalists. They may choose to link back to it time and time again as you are really adding value.

Many times I’ve seen businesses publish guides on their website such as “How Much Energy Do Your Household Appliances Provide.”It’s a really simple concept which is data driven and could be easily tied back to an energy provider or anyone who works in the energy industry. It’s also the gift that keeps on giving, as if you get that page to rank it means that journalists will continue to use it as a resource and link to it! 

Each of the approaches above will really help you to hone in on building that E-A-T through each of your external link acquisition campaigns which, when paired with a solid on-site strategy, will improve your website visibility in no time. 

To find out more about how our Digital PR and Link Building service can help your SEO efforts, you can contact us here.

Case Study: How we earnt 121 links for one Digital PR campaign


The client: Patient Claim Line 

The campaign: Survey data uncovers how NHS delays are affecting Brits 

The results:

  • 127 pieces of coverage    
  • 121 links    
  • Average DR 56.67

Background and objectives

Patient Claim Line is the UK’s highest-rated medical negligence Solicitors, who currently deal with one in 10 of all medical negligence claims in England and Wales.

They needed a PR campaign to earn them coverage in UK publications, in turn generating links to their website to improve it’s authority. We were particularly focused on gaining links from new domains to broaden their link profile and improve their overall SEO.

In terms of the content of the campaign, we had four main aims:

  1. Create content related to the medical negligence field which the client can back up with their legal expertise
  2. Collect new and informative data that could used by journalists, and is relevant and therefore usable for months to come
  3. Ensure that the content is helpful to the British public and is sensitive to the current climate and difficult times within the medical sphere
  4. Make sure that the content can be reworked to have a number of different angles, and therefore can appeal to medical, national and regional publications


After brainstorming and researching current topics related to medical negligence, we decided to delve into a subject that had gained some media discussion but was lacking hard statistics –   the effect of NHS delays on the British public over the past twelve months. 

To source new and reliable data, we worked with a survey provider to collect information on how patients feel like the pandemic has impacted or delayed their NHS treatment.

We analysed the data from a national perspective, as well as split regionally to see which areas of the UK were impacted more than others.

A survey report was created detailing all of the findings including regional splits, and also offered legal advice from Patient Claim Line’s experts on patient rights if their treatment has been delayed. This informative guide was published on Patient Claim Line’s website as a useful hub for journalists to refer back to. 

That’s the beauty of this content – it will be of use to journalists for months to come because it isn’t too time sensitive.

The content

We found some brilliant statistics that we knew journalists would love, including: 

  • Half of Brits have had their medical treatment delayed by the NHS since the pandemic started and 45% have seen their condition get worse as a result.
  • Almost a third of the population have opted to delay their own medical treatment since the pandemic started
  • Half of those who delayed their own treatment have also seen their condition worsen
  • 53% delayed their treatment due to fears of catching COVID, followed by 52% who don’t want to put a strain on the NHS
  • 78% of the UK appreciate the NHS more than they did before the pandemic

We created multiple press releases with different angles to target journalists in a variety of fields. We also coupled the data with expert comments from Patient Claim Line to make the content more helpful to the reader if they’ve been affected by NHS delays.

The results

The results were fantastic.

We achieved 127 pieces of coverage from predominantly new domains for the client. 121 of the pieces of coverage included a link back to the website, and these links were from sites with an average DR of 56.67 (compared to the client’s current DR of 27).

Some examples of the variety of coverage include:

The content was extremely relevant to the Patient Claim Line, helpful to the reader and even brought in leads through the website of those looking to make a medical negligence claim. We smashed all of our objectives, and the client was thrilled.

Check out another one of our client case studies in our blog ‘Backlinks and Brainteasers: a marriage made in SEO’ or find out more about linkbuiling on our Digital PR services page.


How are British fast fashion retailers building links to their websites?

Good SEO is crucial for fast fashion retailers. 

Many are based solely online meaning that getting traffic to the website is the only way to make sales. And with lockdown further fueling an eCommerce revolution, it’s more important than ever to rank well on Google to steer customers towards your website. 

In the SEO world, it’s undisputed that building high-quality links to your site is a proven way to improve your website’s position in the search engine results (read more on this here). It’s also widely accepted that the best way to earn links is through online PR, more commonly referred to as Digital PR.

So how are fast fashion retailers earning high-quality links? We investigated four online-only brands to get the lowdown.

The four brands investigated are: 

  • In The Style
  • Missguided
  • Boohoo
  • Sosander 

Product placement is key 

Fast fashion brands have one huge benefit when it comes to link building – the product. Ecommerce stores have the opportunity to offer product reviews and feature in gift guides, both of which are published frequently in online newspapers, magazines and blogs alike.

What are the benefits of link building through product placements?

The benefits of landing product placements are threefold:

  1. They get your product and brand seen by a focused audience which can lead to sales.
  2. They usually only cost the amount of product being gifted to the publication.
  3. A link is guaranteed. Journalists know that readers want to click through the article to buy the product they’ve just been sold. 

*Link Building Tip: When pushing out products to journalists, be sure to send them everything they need in your initial email. This includes correct pricing, timescales on deals, and hi-res images in a Dropbox link.

Gift guides 

Gift guides are a fast fashion retailer’s bread and butter. They are easy for brands to capitalise on and they’re predictable. Retailers should have gift guides prepared for all annual buying holidays – Christmas, Father’s Day, festival season, you name it. 

*Link Building Tip: Create a PR calendar for the year to make sure you’re capitalising on key retail dates. 

As fast fashion retailers can quickly turn around new products in light of seasonal events, it makes it even easier for them to provide relevant products to journalists. We saw this trend in many fast fashion retailers – for example, In The Style who landed coverage in numerous seasonal gift guides for their Halloween pyjamas (Source).

Fast fashion brands can also quickly and easily create new ranges to target different audiences and use this as a way to generate links. For example, Boohoo launched a maternity range which opened up opportunities to gain links from completely new domains in a new industry – parenting publications (Source). 

*Link Building Fact: Getting links from domains that you haven’t ranked on before is excellent for your website’s rankings. Your website will rank better if you have one link per website on a variety of websites, rather than lots of links from three select websites.

Tapping into popular culture 

When it comes to link building, you need to know about popular culture trends as soon as they’re on the rise and use them to your advantage. Journalists will want to weigh in on them to create current and shareable content – so if you can provide them with a new angle on a trend, you’ve hit the jackpot.

Fast fashion retailers use this technique, and use it well. 

One successful example was from Missguided. They saw memes about “jeans and a nice top” becoming the default answer when women ask each other what they’re wearing, and used this to create a new product page for the phenomenon (Source).

The brilliant thing about this link building stunt was the simplicity. All it needed was a category page built into the site, but made waves in the media as it put a new twist on a viral trend.

*Link Building Tip: Social media is a great place to find rising trends. Particularly keep an eye out for anything that you can tie your product into (think H&M and Joe Black’s Drag Race dress  – if you know, you know).

TV, specifically Netflix, is also a very newsworthy topic that fast fashion retailers use to promote their products. For example, when the hit show Emily In Paris sparked discussion about her impressive wardrobe, In The Style were quick to promote clothes to replicate her looks (Source).  

Deals for days 

Outreaching deals, particularly around Black Friday, is a staple link building technique for fast fashion retailers.

Customers are hungry for deals, and journalists are keen to provide. Therefore it’s crucial to get your discounts seen and included in round-ups which will earn some great links. We have seen this mirrored across all fast fashion and eCommerce businesses (Source), and more so each year as the demand for amazing deals around Black Friday increases.

PR stunts

PR stunts are a high-risk, high-reward technique for gaining press coverage. 

We know that fast fashion retailers can turn around a product quickly, and Boohoo used this to their advantage when creating miniature Christmas wreaths for your nipples. This stunt successfully coupled sex with a seasonal slant to create a product that earnt them a lot of links (Source). 

The expression doesn’t lie – sex sells. 

Celebrity promotions

Many media outlets have a team of journalists dedicated to reporting on celebrity news.

Fast fashion retailers capitalise on this demand for celebrity news in two ways:

1. Celebrity partnerships
Launching a clothing line with a celebrity will not only lead to sales from fans, but earn lots of media attention about the launch – including those important links. In The Style introducing an edit with a Love Island star is a perfect example of this, and one which is very on-brand for their customers (Source). 

2. Steal their style
Retailers can capitalise on press coverage of celebrities’ fabulous outfits by offering suggestions to journalists of how to steal their style – whether that’s with the exact piece of clothing or a duplicate. Sosander has mastered this technique incredibly well, focusing on celebs who are aspirational to their demographic, such as Holly Willoughby, Amanda Holden and Kate Middleton (Source).

Karma-based link building

Gaining links as a result of promoting your company’s charitable work is called karma-based link building. 

Fast fashion retailers don’t always have the best reputation when it comes to corporate responsibility. Therefore charity partnerships and products which fundraise will earn you some positive press whilst giving back. For example, Boohoo released a hoodie with all proceeds from the sale donated to Manchester Foundation Trust Charity’s NHS Staff Appeal (Source) which earned them some positive press and great links.

However fast fashion retailers must tread carefully. On the contrary, Boohoo was slammed for their “For the future campaign” (Source) which many argued contradicted their business model and got press coverage for all the wrong reasons. 


From our investigation, it’s clear that fast fashion retailer’s link building strategies have a heavy product focus. This is no surprise given the threefold benefits listed earlier, as well as the fact that these brands can have new and topical products made up for PR purposes at the drop of a hat. Though not all companies have this at their disposal, there are still many techniques here that can inspire link building strategies for eCommerce clients of all natures.

For more inspiration, check out our blog post ‘Backlinks and Brainteasers: a marriage made in SEO’ about one of our top-performing Christmas campaigns. 


Backlinks and Brainteasers: a marriage made in SEO

Cedarwood’s resident Digital PR expert Alex Fisher talks to Emma Stretton about the power of puzzles in earning links.

Most people know that SEO often means keywords. Backlinks, on the other hand, are a slightly lesser-known buzzword and, yet, they’re an incredibly important way to increase your website’s search engine rankings. Backlinks are when another website, preferably a tried and trusted one links back to your website. They essentially tell search engines your website is one worth going to.


Building genuine links into a website is a great way to improve the overall authority of the site. Having websites with a high domain rating direct users to your site indicates to search engines that your website is also trustworthy and will increase the authority of your website. In turn, this will improve your website’s rankings. A website’s authority is one of the key factors that Google considers when ranking websites, so the more authority your website has the better chance it has to climb up the SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages).

Let’s look at how we’ve used this recently for one of our clients: Rimmers Music. When Christmas kicked in we thought it would be a great time to grab some extra coverage and use the opportunity to build links into the Rimmers Music site. Backlinks aren’t always game, set and match and we knew we needed some attention-seeking content that would definitely get Rimmers Music noticed.


After an unusual year, the run up to Christmas 2020 needed some festive cheer and light heartedness. With that in mind, we decided to create a Brainteaser based on Christmas carolling (because it was for a music shop – see what we did there)?! Journalists and publications benefit from brainteasers because they’re shareable, they keep people on the page and they bring light to balance the shade.


The Rimmers Music brainteaser was a big picture full of people singing Christmas carols. The idea was that you had to spot the one little boy with his hands over his ears refusing to take part. We tied the concept in with data found by Rimmers Music the previous year, which uncovered that a quarter of Brits won’t open the door to a Christmas caroller. This gave the press release more weight and more for publications to work with. The end result was for websites to include an article about the brainteaser with a link to Rimmers Music. Whilst we do want to secure those all-important backlinks, we are also aiming to get as much coverage as we can. Getting your client seen on major websites with hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions, of readers is a result in itself.

The Results

  • 86 pieces of coverage
  • 39 backlinks
  • Average Domain Rating – 63

We don’t like to brag (well maybe a little) but it did the trick. The Rimmers Music brainteaser resulted in 86 pieces of coverage and 39 backlinks. Incredibly, one article alone led to 1000 new users clicking on the link and heading to the Rimmers Music website. Most sites ran the story early on in December but some picked it up later, providing additional coverage. It was the Christmas gift that kept on giving.

Backlinks signal to search engines that a website can be trusted. They’re a bit like a good friend recommending a restaurant; you’re more likely to go there if you were sent by someone you trust. Not to mention, the more people shouting about your service, the more likely this is to convert into sales. Getting into a search engine’s good books might not sound that exciting but finding new ways to get noticed and creating content that lands is what SEO experts (like us) thrive on.

If you want to get a bit more into the nitty gritty of backlinks you can read more in our blog ‘Why Are Links Important for SEO?’ or find out more about linkbuiling on our Digital PR services page.


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Improve Email Response Rate: Small Changes That Make A Big Difference

Many PRs spend hours, weeks and even months putting their heart and soul into their latest content. However, great content can sometimes be let down by a poor pitch. 

Pitching to a journalist shouldn’t be where your content strategy fails!

We have compiled a list of our top tried and tested tips that will increase both open and response rate and ultimately land coverage in your desired publications. 

How To Improve Email Open Rate

  • A clear subject line
  • A summarised introduction
  • Personalisation
  • Reduce attachment size

How To Improve Email Response Rate

  • Be direct with your request
  • Conduct research before sending your email
  • Ensure that you follow up
  • Be clear
  • Keep it short and sweet!

How To Improve Open Rate

Ensure your subject line is clear

Subject lines are CRUCIAL! 

It’s really important to show a journalist that your email is relevant to them and their audience. Make this clear within your subject line by summarising your key points in one snappy sentence. It is also useful to state what kind of story you are pitching, whether it’s a case study or some new, juicy data.

Be sure to write your subject line in the style of the desired publication. Some publications, such as The Sun, like sensationalised headlines, whereas business publications for example, prefer the more professional angles. 

Here are a few examples:

NEW DATA: 1 in 3 Brits won’t invite vegans to Christmas dinner, survey finds

RE: Garden furniture review – holiday at home this summer

See the Dog-tor: could prescription pups end lockdown loneliness?

It is nice to have punny and punchy subject lines, however, this is not always necessary. Sometimes being clear and straight to the point will do the trick. 

Summarise! Summarise! Summarise!

Summarise your pitch within the first sentence of your email – and keep it short. Journalists are often strapped for time and can get hundreds of emails a day, so make their job a little easier for them.

Condensing a whole press release or email into one line can sometimes be tricky, so try to imagine that you are speaking to a friend and summarising a project that you are working on at work – this should help. 

Personalise your emails

An oldie but goldie! Make each email personal to the recipient. It’s so easy to spot a mass-churned out email that doesn’t have any personalisation. Ensure your email has the target journalist’s name on it and potentially reference their publication or recent work that they have done which is relevant to your pitch.

For example

Reduce attachment size

Be careful with attachments, as big documents within an email can get your message stuck in spam filters. If you need to send over additional content such as images, include a Dropbox link where the journalists can download these items themselves. You can also include a link to your website that has all the info the journalist needs, as this also gives them an incentive to link to your site.

How To Improve Response Rate

Being direct with your request

Be direct! Make sure that you ask direct questions.

Here are some examples of classic lines that can easily be converted to more direct questions:

“Let me know if you’re interested” and “Let me know what you think” can be easily converted to “What do you think?”

“Let me know as soon as possible” can be converted to “Please let me know by Friday at 4 pm”

As recommended in Martin, Goldstein and Cialdini in “The small BIG: small changes that spark big influence”, people are more encouraged to fulfil a request when they have engaged in some sort of commitment to it. This can be achieved by asking journalists a few extra specific questions about how they plan on fulfilling your request…something that requires more than a “yes” answer. 

For example, try asking the journalist to let you know ‘what’, ‘how’ and ‘when’ they will publish the content from your press release.

Research is essential

PRs can sometimes fall into the trap of thinking the more contacts they send their pitch to, the better – but this simply isn’t the case. Do your research for your mailing list; the number one complaint that journalists have about PRs is that they send them irrelevant pitches.

A well thought out, targeted email will have a much better open and engagement rate than a blanket email that is spammed to the masses. If you want to improve your open rate and get journalists to engage with your content, then do your research. 

We would recommend picking 10 publications you want to target and find the best contact at those publications.

Consider a few things:

  • Who has recently written about the topic that your story relates to? This is key – if a journalist wrote an article about your topic a year ago and haven’t done a piece since then, find a better contact. 
  • The tone of voice. If your topic is broad, then there may be a few different journos that cover it, so pick a journalist whose tone of voice and style matches the content you’re sending out. For example, if your story teases about an error on a TV show, you may need a journalist that has a more satirical approach, or if your piece is about the latest must-have fashion item, then you’ll want to target a journo with more serious sartorial credentials.

Here are two examples that show how ample research before a release can really benefit the pitch.

Example one:

We recently sent out a brainteaser to just two journalists. This may seem like too small of a media list however, we had done our research and these contacts were extremely targeted. In the end, we got great coverage in 14 publications off the back of these targeted choices.

Example two:

The above press release worked well for us because the journalist we pitched to mainly writes about Coronation Street, so having ‘Corrie’ in the subject line was key here. 

The timing of this pitch was also great: there was a big debate on social media and in the press about an incident that had happened on Coronation Street. We acted fast to get this release out, focusing on the fact that people were in fact concentrating on the wrong mishap and explaining the real issue from a legal standpoint.

This was great for our client as they could also show off their expertise in the field. A win-win. 

Overall the piece gained 42 pieces of coverage including Express, Star, MSN and many regional publications. 

Send a follow up email

If you’re not already sending follow-up emails then you are missing a trick! This is a simple way to gain a response. When you do follow up, try to put a twist on your initial email. Adding in a little extra info, or tying the story in with a topical event, gives you more of a reason to chase the journalist.

A general rule is to follow up the next week and then again if there are any updates in the story, so keep an eye on the news and recent trends for any reasons to follow up. 

  • Do you have a graphic that can be reformatted in other ways?
  • Do you have hi-res images that you can send over?
  • Do you have samples to offer? Use samples/gifts to your advantage here to reiterate that they are available, this will always catch the journalist’s eye.

Be clear

Make your intentions clear. If your number one target of your content campaign is to get links, then let the journalist know this in the pitch so they know what you’re expecting.

A simple “If you’d like to use this story, please credit this story with a link to [client website]” is enough to make your goals transparent.

This saves both you and the journalist time, as they know what you want before they take the story and prevents you from having to chase for links that the journo wasn’t aware they needed to include.

Keep it short and sweet

Journalists are short on time, remember. So giving your story a concise, succinct pitch demonstrates to the journalist that it has a clear angle and they can decide straight away whether they want it or not. If you can’t sum up your story in a short email pitch (less than 300 words) then it’s not ready to go out. Try sticking to 3-4 lines, or even better, bullet points to summarise the most important topics. 

If you found this blog useful for improving your email response rate then head to our blog to check out more.

5 simple lead generation ideas

5 simple lead generation ideas

At Cedarwood Digital, we tend to generate most leads for our clients through Google Ads and custom lead capture landing pages. However, there are many other simple ways that we have utilised to successfully generate leads: here are our top 5 recommendations.

Create engaging content

Relevant and engaging content in this digital age remains the best way to get someone’s attention and bring them to your website. What makes content engaging, you may ask? Check out tools like buzzsumo.com or ahrefs.com which show the most shared pieces of content in your field that have gone viral, and get some inspiration from there.  The golden rule for any piece of content, according to entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk, is to give value to the reader. Forget about trying to sell your stuff. Put out great content and expect nothing in return. By providing valuable content you establish readers trust in your expertise. This lays a foundation that can lead to a conversation about your product or services. Don’t hesitate to give a lot of value: research shows that posts with 2,400 words get shared the most.

Create “how to” videos

Youtube is the fastest growing online platform by engagement rate, and online video viewership surpassed TV viewership in 2017. More and more people are looking for the right videos to solve their problems. Search queries containing “how to” are growing 33% annually. This creates an ample opportunity to create video content, ranging from how to create pivot tables in Excel, to how to paint your ceiling. You should really think about what expertise you have that could solve a problem for your customers. Again, this is giving unconditional value to build your credibility. As a result of watching your video, a prospect could visit your site and get in touch with you.

Use customer reviews

If you are providing an online platform, no matter how big or small, make sure that you sign up to online review platforms like TrustRadius.com or G2Crowd.com. These reviews will massively boost the visibility and authority of your products and services. Review sites such as these usually have a high rank for many software comparison searches. Backlinks from these sites are also very valuable in terms of SEO. References and referrals are one of the key aspects that influence buying decisions between two similar products. If you ask your happiest clients to contribute to these platforms it will go a long way in terms of building credibility, and prominence of reviews on these platforms has the potential to bring you inbound leads.

Add a quiz or estimate calculator to your website

If you get users to your website, it would then be of value to have an interactive tool available. There you could ask them a few questions and dependent on the subject area, provide them with an answer which will be of interest or value to them. This is a great way to capture prospect emails and generate engagement, literally. Another example is the lead capture form on Airsorted, a service for Airbnb hosts. On their website, users need to enter their postcode and number of bedrooms to get an estimate of much money their property could earn on Airbnb, whilst providing useful information for the business.   

Host a webinar

Finally, online webinars are a quick and easy way to communicate with prospects, customers and employees Pick a topic that is relevant to your industry and find the best expert within your company or among your clients. Set a specific date and time, and create an event landing page with a simple lead capture form. Promote the webinar everywhere you can – Linkedin Ads are great for this because you can place them in front of the most relevant audiences. As you get signups, remember to send reminders both before and after the event. Furthermore, it gives your sales team a reason to get in touch with those prospects and engage in conversation. Find more lead generation advice over on our blog.