Last Updated: 07 Jan 2020

Today we’re going to cover off the most ESSENTIAL things you need to know when it comes to understading SEO & B2B PR. We’ll show you

  • How the Google search algorithm works in SEO
  • How to research SEO-friendly content to create a winning B2B PR strategy
  • How to SEO optimise your content to rank better in Google
  • How to undertake outreach and get those all-important SEO-friendly backlinks
  • How to track SEO success against your PR campaigns

These are the very same tips that have helped us rank our content as well as our clients’ content high in Google search results.

We’ve seen articles rank on the front page of Google by implementing the tips and advice that we’re giving you here today and know that by end the end of this article, you’ll have a ton of insight to start developing your own winning SEO & B2B PR strategy.

So let’s begin

 

CHAPTER 1

THE LINK BETWEEN SEO AND B2B PR

"Strong is the Link between SEO and B2B PR" (Yoda...perhaps)

Truth is. You can't develop your B2B PR content strategy without rooting it firmly in SEO

Content without an SEO is like a blunt pencil ....pointless.

In this chapter we're going to tell you all about the link.

We're also going to show you all things that this blog post is going to teach you. Let's go.

A recent survey of B2B buyers found that they most frequently encounter business-related content through search engines (87%) and social media (85%).  

If you’re doing B2B PR then you’ll know that its not just about media relations. The media is an essential channel for you to push content through but you cannot rely on it as your only channel to market. Quality content should lie at the heart of any B2B PR strategy.

I’ll tell you why

Because good content does a whole load of great things. It establishes thought-leadership, builds trust and drives inbound leads to your site. Ranking on the front page of Google should be a top priority for you. SEO considerations should lie at the core of your content strategy.

If you’re not familiar with the PESO model from Gini Dietrich, then take a look here.

Modern B2B PR is far more than just media relations. You can see right at the heart of it all lies ‘Authority’. Much of this is driven by understanding how Google works and using knowledge of SEO to craft a strong B2B PR and content strategy.

SEO is an essential tool in any modern B2B public relations practitioner’s knowledge toolbox. SEO should inform and drive content your content strategy.

Whether you’re a complete beginner or an amateur SEO buff, then this guide covers the most essential things you need to know.

Let’s dive right in – here’s what we will be covering off. 

  • How the Google search algorithm works in SEO
  • How to research SEO-friendly content to create a winning B2B PR strategy
  • How to SEO optimise your content to rank better in Google
  • How to undertake outreach and get those all-important SEO-friendly backlinks
  • How to track your SEO success against your PR campaigns

Along the way, we’ll also be sure to explain any jargon so you won’t feel confused.

Before we begin, we’d like to discuss one word that is going to get mentioned a lot here and is often misunderstood.

Its ‘Keyword’. It gets misunderstood because you may think it is one word. That’s a completely fair assumption.

But it’s also a wrong one. That’s because it should be ‘Keywords/Keyphrases’

To be clear. According to technopedia “A keyword, in the context of search engine optimization, is a particular word or phrase that describes the contents of a Web page.”

So, when we say ‘Keyword’ we don’t mean a single word. We mean entire phrases as well as single words.

Glad we cleared that one up. Let’s press on.

CHAPTER 2

HOW THE GOOGLE SEARCH ALGORITHM WORKS

We know that the way that Google works can be a mystery. Like how your washing machine manages to eat socks.

That's why this chapter is going to clearly explain to you how Google works and the 'signals' it judges to help rank your content.

We'll cover off terms you may have heard of such as 'domain authority', 'backlinks' and even LSI (latent sematic indexing).

This is based on what's commonly called 'on page' and 'off page' SEO.

We're also going to show you how Google has changed in the last few years and is very much focused on a 'mobile' future.

Understanding how Google works can be challenging. Over the years, Google has updated the ‘signals’ it receives to display content high in the SERP’s.

 

JARGON BUSTER: SERP stands for Search Engine Results Pages

SEO usually splits these signals into two groups known as ‘On-page’ and ‘off-page’.

Understanding On-Page SEO  

This is pretty much what there is on your website. According to the Digital Marketing Institute:

“On-page SEO involves all the on-site techniques you can employ to ensure a webpage will rank on a SERP, and it can also help determine how well that page ranks. It uses both content and technical elements to improve the quality of a page, so the more on-page SEO you do, the more traffic you’ll get to a website and the more relevant that traffic will be.”

Examples of on-page factors are things like: 

  • Your content – length, keyword content and reader relevance
  • How you have used images and how you have labelled these images
  • The appearance of your keywords in your content (such as inside the titles, subheaders and the first 100 words)
  • Use of LSI keywords (we’ll get to that later)
  • The speed of the page -is it mobile friendly?
  • Internal links to other blogs on your site
  • Outbound links to other blogs and sites

These techniques are largely technical and we’ll dive into them a bit later as well as some simple techniques to really supercharge your site. 

These ‘signals’ also change periodically. As an example of this Google has been focused on making sites much faster and more mobile-friendly.

These on-page factors are not always PR-related, but optimising your content for your target keywords is. That said, it’s good to have a working knowledge of how SEO works as this can have a significant bearing on SERP’s.

It’s vital to gain control of both on-page and off-page SEO factors if you’re going to rank on Google. There’s no point in focusing on one without the other.

 We’ll be covering on-page SEO factors later on in the final section on how to optimise your page’s content.

Understanding off-Page SEO  

Off page SEO concerns what happens away from your website. This is usually around attracting quality backlinks. We like the Moz definition for this one.

“Off-page SEO” (also called “off-site SEO”) refers to actions taken outside of your own website to impact your rankings within search engine results pages (SERPs).  

Optimizing for off-site ranking factors involves improving search engine and user perception of a site’s popularity, relevance, trustworthiness, and authority. This is accomplished by other reputable places on the Internet (pages, sites, people, etc.) linking to or promoting your website, and effectively “vouching” for the quality of your content.

Don’t worry. We’re going to go into backlinks and their importance in the next section.

The ever-changing Google Algorithm

In the old days, people would try and fool Google into thinking their site was important. This was done with something called ‘Black Hat’ SEO techniques.

Often, unscrupulous people would pay for links to big directory websites. This created thousands of links to websites that made them look important to Google. In turn, Google was happy and these sites rose in the search engines.

People would also do something called ‘keyword stuffing’. They still do. This is the act of artificially putting a keyword too many times in an article to try and fool Google.

Google soon put a stop to that in around 2011.

In a very short space of time, Google released its Penguin and Panda updates. These major updates made Google a lot more intelligent.

Instead of rewarding sites with the most links, Google started to look for other factors. The biggest one of these was quality content.

Quality content has since become the #1 factor in Google deciding whether your site deserves to be high in the SERP’s. The Google algorithm has adapted continuously to become more and more sophisticated. Here are some of the ways that Google know if you have quality content or not:

Google likes lengthy, sticky content

Research has shown that Google likes large, long-form content. The days of weedy 800 vanity blog posts are over. If you’re putting out weekly posts for the sake of it then stop.

But don’t take our word for it

In this data-driven article from SEO guru Neil Patel. In it, Neil shows you why Google prefers articles of 3,000 words or more.

Also, take a look at this article from another SEO favourite of ours – Brian Dean. Brian runs a site called Backlinko with an amazing blog. Brian crams his blogs posts full of very detailed advice. We can’t recommend it enough.

In the article above, Brian analysed 912 million blog posts. He found that Long-form content gets an average of 77.2% more links than short articles.

He also found that content longer than 3000 words gets an average of 77.2% more referring domain links than content shorter than 1000 words.

This approach to long content makes sense. How many times have you landed on a page that has very thin content? Thin or low volume content makes us feel disappointed.

When we’re disappointed in a piece of content then we leave the page quickly.

This is where sticky content comes in. When we say sticky we mean the stuff that makes you want to stick around. To carry on reading. Short, unfulfilling content fails at that.

So, Google likes long-form content as its more likely to make people stay on your site. It’s also more likely that people will share it.

This is a good time to talk about the other essential ranking factor. Backlinks.

The importance of backlinks

One of the main reasons that Google likes long-form content is that it attracts links. But these can’t be any old link. Google prefers links from high-quality sites.

Google judges the sites it considers to be high quality as ones that have a lot of traffic and where readers spend a decent amount of time on the page. It may also be the case that the articles on the site have a lot of social shares.

So how do you find out whether a site is high quality or not?

The good news is that it’s very easy.

Some years ago, SEO company Moz developed something called Domain Authority. This is often abbreviated to DA amongst all the cool kids. In their own words:

 “Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). A Domain Authority score ranges from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank.”

Domain Authority is calculated by evaluating multiple factors including linking root domains and the number of total links, into a single DA score. This score can then be used when comparing websites or tracking the “ranking strength” of a website over time. Domain Authority is not a metric used by Google in determining search rankings and has no effect on the SERPs.”

All you need to do to discover a site’s domain authority is to download the free MozBar for your browser. It’ll give you the DA for each site you visit.

Knowing the domain authority of a site has two clear benefits:

1) You want backlinks from high domain authority websites. These are sites that you should try and get a link from.

In PR terms, getting coverage from a target online publication can get you a backlink. The chances of this increase if you publish research that they are linking back to.

Another way is to secure a byline with your target publication. Securing a typical 800-word opinion piece may get you a link back to your site

2) The DA helps you know if you can rank for a keyword or not. When you’re doing keyword research, the DA gives you a good idea of sites you have a chance of outranking in the SERPS.

There is little point in writing something if you cannot rank for it on the front page.

Don’t worry – we’ll be covering keyword research in a later section.

It’s important to understand that the Google algorithm works. It can also be very difficult to always keep up-to-date. Sometimes Google says what they’ve done. Other times people try to work it out.

The easiest way to track these changes is to use something like the Moz Google Algorithm Change history tracker here. You can also try the Search Engine Land tracker here.

 

CHAPTER 3

HOW TO RESEARCH SEO FRIENDLY CONTENT

There's little point in creating content for the sake of it.

As B2B PR is very content-focused these days and so it's vital to anchor this with some SEO research.

In this chapter, we'll point you towards a lot of useful tools that will help you develop a content strategy that's driven by solid SEO-based insight.

At the heart of this is keyword research. It's all in the keywords baby.

It’s essential to create content that resonates with your target prospects.

The idea is to then create content that addresses these pain points and answer your prospective buyer’s questions. This content should help build your authority and earn trust.

So far so good.

SEO is also important at this point. When you’re looking to create content, Google can be an invaluable tool.

This is primarily to help you create quality content that actually has a chance of ranking in the SERP’s.

Investing in content that has little or no chance of appearing in search is a folly. A good content strategy should be informed by SEO best practise.

We know that creating a content strategy can be daunting.

Don’t worry because we’re here to help

The first step is to understand your target buyers. From this, you can create some ‘personas’ and understand their pain points.

Often, this involves using Google to identify questions your target prospects may be asking. Answer The Public is a really good tool from the people behind Coveragebook.

Put in your keyword and it gives you a load of related questions that people have typed into Google.

Keyword Research

The art of keyword research is to find keywords that your customers use and that you have a chance of ranking for. 

A great content and blog strategy needs to be build around this concept. Even so, it can be pretty daunting but we’ve got some great tips and resources to help you.

A useful starting point is Gini Deitrich’s ‘Modern Blogging Masterclass.’ Gini is the author of the seminal B2B PR classic Spin Sucks which contains the famous PESO model.

Unfortunately, Modern Blogging Masterclass isn’t free but it’s a paltry $97. It’s worth buying before it’s turned into a much more expensive course which is what the site says is underway. Get it here

Much of what Spin Sucks does is teach you how to do keyword research using the Google Keyword Planner Tool. Whilst the free tool is good, there are other inexpensive options we’ve listed below. If you have some budget then it’s worth considering them to save time and generate better results.

Modern Blogging Masterclass highlights two important strategies

1) Build your content strategy around keywords that you have a chance of ranking for.

There are several ways to see if you have a chance to rank against your competitors for a keyword. 

In Modern Blogging Masterclass, Ginnie recommends using the Keywords Planner Tool mentioned above.

She then recommends looking at the SERP’s for these keywords and using the MozBar to look at the DA (domain authority) of sites that appear.

Crucially, you only have a chance of outranking a site that has a low domain authority or one that is close you yours (say 10 points above). This is very well illustrated in this article from Orbit Media here.

If your domain authority is too low to compete with the results on the first page of the SERP’s then you need to do more research.

2) Build your content around ‘content hubs’

The idea of this is to have a central piece of content with smaller, supporting articles. The smaller articles will then link to the bigger article.

This tells Google which blog on your site is important. It also uses the fact that the same keywords appear in several related posts to reinforce your authority. 

Later on, we’ll show you how to use the Yoast tool on your site to signal ‘Cornerstone Content’ to Google.

Modern Blogging Masterclass does a good job of showing you how to build out your content hubs. \

For a really good view of what they are and why you should do them then we recommend that you read this article.

Keyword Planning tools

There are two aims with keyword research

1) To find keywords your target buyers are actually using when they search. These must have some amount of search volume.

2) To then find the words you have a chance of ranking for. This chance is often shown by KD – Keyword difficulty.

This is by no means an exhaustive list below. It is a list of some of the better tools that are out there on the market, many of which we have used or tried.

Google Autocomplete

Whenever you search for something, Google tries to understand your intent. It then tries to complete the search for you by coming up with popular searches.

This is called autocomplete and can be a useful guide. Also, notice that the bottom of any search result page has a section at the bottom ‘Search Results Related to’.

These suggestions can often tell you other related keywords people are searching for.

Before you do this, check out the Keyword Tool below.

Keyword Tool

This is pretty much Google autocomplete on steroids. There is a premium version if you want more results.

Answer The Public

A really good tool from the people behind Coveragebook. There is a very useful free tier for you to use.

Put in your keyword and it gives you a load of related questions that people have typed into Google.

Ubersuggest

If you don’t want to pay for a dedicated SEO tool like Moz or SEMRush then this is a really good alternative.

You can even research what your competitors are doing. This is also a good place to start to generate ideas

Longtail Pro

SEO wisdom has often said to look for ‘longtail keywords’. These are ones with much lower competition. For a deeper insight then read this Yoast article: SEO basics: What are long tail keywords?

Longtail Pro enables you to identify these low competition keywords, some of which may have a good search volume. The one disadvantage of this tool is that it can take a while to analyse requests.

The other alternative is to use a dedicated SEO Tool. These will often contain keyword research tools. The disadvantage of these tools is that they can often have high monthly costs which some businesses cannot afford. You also need to invest time and effort to know how they work.

We use SEMRush and like it for a few reasons. Firstly, it’s affordable. At under $100 a month, you get access to some very powerful tools and insight. The Keyword Magic Tool is also a great way to save time. It does so by giving you a clear KD (Keyword Difficulty) score. This can save you a LOT of effort by identifying whether it’s worth trying to compete for a keyword or not.

There are some other great SEO tools on the market including:

 ahrefs

Serpstat

SERanking

For a comprehensive list of SEO tools then take a look at this Backlinko article.

Once you’ve researched your keywords, arranged the content into your content hubs, and produced the content, then it’s time to optimise it.

CHAPTER 4

HOW TO OPTIMISE YOUR CONTENT FOR GOOGLE

Once you've established your keywords and created the content then you're almost there.

But not quite.

You now need to polish up on your on and off-page factors to make Google happy.

This means making your site mobile friendly and super speedy.

It also means sprinkling your content with lots of nice keywords and associated words - but not too many.

This is how you do it.

This section is based upon a single assumption – that you’re using WordPress as your website CMS (content management system). If you’re not, then some of the tools we mention may not work or may work differently. If that’s the case then we’re sorry.

Once your content has been created then you need to let Google know its there. Assuming that you use WordPress, then we recommend using an SEO plugin to make your life a lot easier.

There are three main plugins people use on WordPress:

Yoast

SEO Pressor Connect

All in One SEO Pack

As we’ve already discussed, an SEO plugin will take care of a lot of the on-page SEO factors. If you want a great summary of on-page SEO factors then look at this article from Backlinko.

An SEO plugin is great for any PR pro creating content as it will optimise the text for keywords.

Yoast (linked to below) has a traffic light system, so you always want to go green. SEO Pressor Connect (also linked below) has a percentage score that you need to get as high as possible.

If cost is your primary consideration, then Yoast and All in One SEO Pack have free versions. hey also have premium versions.

SEO Pressor Connect has a low monthly cost but you can install it on unlimited websites.

We’ve used both SEO Pressor Connect and Yoast Premium and they are both great with different strengths and weaknesses.

SEO Pressor does have one great feature which is LSI keywords which we’ll discuss below.

As you’ve seen from the link, above there is a range of ‘on page’ factors that you need to address. Doing this will make Google understand your content and also contextualise what you’re talking about.

There is one area that a LOT of people fail o

XML Sitemaps. An XML Sitemap tells Google what’s on your site. A sitemap also tells Google when you’ve added new content so it knows to ‘crawl’ the page and index it. A Sitmap is absolutely essential.

There are two ways to generate a sitemap.

1) Use one of the SEO tools above. This is the easiest route. The SEO tool all have an option to submit a sitemap to search engines whenever you update your site.

2) Use a plugin such as Google XML Sitemaps

If you want to check that Google has the latest sitemap from you then it’s best to use Google Search Console (more about that later).

LSI Keywords

In a bid to better understand the context of your content, Google introduced LSI which is short for Latent Semantic Indexing. In a nutshell, these are other keywords in your text. These are words Google expects to be there with your main keyword.

As an example, let’s say that you have a piece of content with the word ‘polo’ in it. Bear with us here.

Polo can be associated with a lot of things. Polo mints, Polo shirts, Polo the VW car and Polo the sport. To make sure Google understand which one you’re referring to, it then looks for other words in the text. For example, if you are writing about Polo the sport, Google expects to see words like ‘Sport’, ‘Horses’ and ‘Mallet’ in your text. This way it knows what your content is so it can best match it to search queries.

So how do you identify LSI keywords?

The best tool for generating LSI keywords is LSI Graph. Just type in a keyword and it generates a load of suggestions. It isn’t always perfect and some of the keywords will not be relevant. But, there will be plenty that you should add to your text to help contextualise it.

Other Signals Google is looking for

As we’ve said, the Google algorithm changes frequently so it’s impossible to list all the major ones here.

The most major recent update has been around site speed and mobile friendliness.

Google now places a huge emphasis on pages being fast to load and ‘mobile friendly’. This is which is why site speed is so important because mobile pages load over slower connections.

Many sites now even have a special mobile version they show visitors. This is called AMP – accelerated mobile pages and can be implemented on your website using a plugin.

So what’s the first thing you should do?

Test your site speed

How to test your site speed to see if Google likes it

There are plenty of tools out there to help you check your site speed. Here are two we use on a regular basis

Google Page Speed Insights

GT Metrix

Pingdom Website speed test

All these sites will give you a grade or score with tips on how to make your site faster. Pay close attention to Google’s own tool as it is telling you what really matters. If you’re not up to scratch then don’t worry – we have some tools below that can do that.

Google also has a tool to see if your site is ‘mobile friendly’

https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly

You should take serious notice of this. If your site isn’t mobile friendly then it can have a serious impact on your rankings.

How to boost your site speed

There are a few quick ways to boost your site speed. These are mostly WordPress plugins so sorry if you don’t use WordPress.

Using a good host is essential. We use Siteground which is optimised for WordPress. There’s a lot of things a good host can do to boost your site speed. For example, Siteground includes Cloudflare -a free CDN or Content Delivery Network.

A CDN hosts local versions of your site around the world. The server that is nearest to the person visiting then serves the webpages. This means that your site is a lot quicker as there is no delay.

As well as CDN, a good host will also look to use other techniques to boost your site’s speed.

There are also other really great ways to boost your site speed. Here are some plugins

WP Rocket – We won’t go into the technical details to overwhelm you. Just know that it does a lot of stuff that makes your site faster by addressing a LOT of on-page factors. It’s well worth the small amount of money it costs.

Imagify – Another great product from the people behind WP Rocket. Images add a lot of ‘weight’ to the size of a page. Imagify magically compresses images to make then a LOT smaller and speed up your site

Smush – If you don’t want to pay for Imagify then Smush is a very popular and free alternative. It also squishes down your images down to speed up your site.

AMP for WP – This converts your pages to AMP so they are served on mobile. There are lots of options in the free version and it does a great job of converting your site to mobile.

CHAPTER 5

HOW TO DRIVE BACKLINKS

Having the best content in the world doen't mean anything unless other people like it.

Google is looking for high-quality websites to 'like' your content by linking to it - aka backlinks

But there's an art to getting backlinks and B2B PR is a great way to do this/

In this chapter well give you some ideas on how you can use PR and other methods to drive vital backlinks to your site and your content.

Once you have a quality piece of content on your site then it’s time to try and drive quality backlinks. As we said earlier, the higher the quality of the link juice flowing to your site, the better.

Quality backlinks to your site are a MAJOR Google signal. As Backlino says very well:

“Backlinks (also known as “inbound links” or “external links”) are links from other websites to your website. Search engines consider backlinks “votes” for your website and content, which can improve a site’s rankings in the search results.”

In fact, link building is such a serious business that some company spend a LOT of money on it. Way back in a 2014 link building survey from Moz, it was revealed that 37% of respondents said that their company spent $10-$50k a month on link building!

We won’t lie to you – driving backlinks can be very intensive work. There are two main ways to do it which we’ll discuss in more depth below.

1) Ongoing PR – this is where a B2B PR strategy really comes to the fore. You’ve created your content and now you’re going to get it out there. This is the ‘earned’ part of the PESO model that we highlighted earlier in this post.

2) Approaching reputable sites for backlinks – This is the art of identifying target sites and then writing to them to link to your content

Here’s how to do both – in brief!

 B2B PR Outreach

Persuading people to link to your site can be a bitch. It can take time and a lot of effort. The great news is that PR can really help with this. In this article Neil Patel cites PR as the top way to drive a backlink

If you’ve ever secured a piece of media coverage then there’s a chance that they won’t have included a direct link back to your site. The problem is that there’s no way to control this. You cannot demand a link to your site from some media coverage.

But you can increase the chances of a backlink to your site in other ways with the media. Here’s how.

Pre-pitch in your unique content

Pitching to journalists is bread and butter to any B2B PR agency. Securing coverage is another matter entirely.

Having a piece of unique content can significantly increase your chances of coverage. It can also increase your chances of securing a backlink.

Here’s why.

Let’s say that you have commissioned a piece of unique research that you’ve turned into a white paper/ebook. You’re likely going to be hosting the content on your site. The content is also likely to be ‘gated behind a form on a landing page. It’s also likely that your research will have some charts.

Set a day that you’re going to release the content and then pitch it into a journalist as an ‘exclusive’ under embargo a week or a few days before. Your pitch should include the press release with key findings, the white paper and the charts.

If the journalist is interested then they’ll write the story. They’re also likely to include a link back to the landing page. Why? Because theyre directing the reader ot the only place that they can get the content in full.

It’s a proven tactic to secure a backlink in media coverage.

Pitch in a byline based on a piece of content

If you have some research or insight, why not pitch a thought leadership piece/byline into a journalist based on the research.

It’s a great way of summing up the research you’ve just done and its a completely legitimate way to include a backlink to the landing page. The chances are that the publication will include the link as it’s legitimate.

Of course, outside of direct pitching to the media, you put a press release on the newswires about your research and link back to the landing page.

The bottom line is this. The more unique the insight or research you give out, the more likely you are to secure a backlink from media to drive readers to access it.

Of course, outreach does not always have to be based around a piece of content or research. You can pitch in a byline on any topic. You can send out a press release. It’s just less likely there is a reason for the media to link back to your website.

There are many other ways to drive engagement with your content that fit into the PESO model and often fall under the remit of a B2B PR agency.

These can be webinars, bespoke live events, podcasts, videos, speaking slots and more. Thes are all really great ways for a B2B PR agency to help you establish thought leadership.

But only good old fashioned media outreach can help you secure those valuable backlinks from sites with high domain authority.

There’s also a really useful tool for tracking the effectiveness of your B2B PR efforts. The clever folks behind Coveragebook have made Answer the Client.

Answer the Client ties into your Google Analytics account and then links any coverage you have secured to your website. It’s a great way to track any inbound links from PR coverage.

Approaching other sites for backlinks

If you have a website with a blog and you link out to products or resources it then you may have been approached by someone to add their product to your blog. We’ve seen it a lot. We get emails all the time asking if we can add a link to someone elses product because we’ve cited a competitor of theirs. Hell, we’ll almost certainly get it for this piece.

The is the art of backlink outreach.

We won’t lie, its arduous, thankless work and needs to be done consistently. That’s why we’re not going into a LOT of detail here. It’s far too complex to cover off here adequately.

Here’s the good news

There are some really good articles and courses out there to tell you how to do it. If you have the money then we cannot recommend the SEO That Works course enough from the guru Brian Dean. Sadly, there’s a waiting list at the time of writing this, but you can register. Until it opens again, this huge article on how to build backlinks is awesome

Neil Patel is another fantastic resource. He’s written a ton of in-depth articles on backlink building such as this one.

There are also some tools to help you with the art of building backlinks.

SEMRush has a handy new Link Building Tool that identifies opportunities for you

Linkhunter is a great affordable tool to help identify link opportunities. Not only does it do that, but it also has email templates to help you get to the people you want to reach.

CHAPTER 6

HOW TO TRACK YOUR SEO SUCCESS

Some people think that B2B PR is fluffy but that's just old-fashioned thinking.

The good news is that there is a load of tools that can help you measure the success of your campaigns.

Once you're in a B2B PR and SEO mindset then measuring the effectiveness of your campaigns is an essential component of any campaign.

In this chapter, well show you some of the key metrics you can use to measure 'success' as well as the tools you can use to keep yourself informed.

Once you’ve optimised your site, launched your content and tried to secure backlinks then you’ll want to measure and track if your efforts have been successful or not.

The main gauge of success will be around a few metrics such as:

  • The number and quality of Inbound links to your site over time
  • The number of visits that have come from a piece of media coverage
  • Your keyword ranking over time. This includes existing and new ones. New keywords should appear from the content that you’ve been putting out there
  • Your overall keyword visibility versus your competitors

The good news is that there are more free tools to do this.

If you’re an SEO novice, then we recommend using Google Search Console. It’s a user-friendly tool that gives a good overview of key site metrics such as mobile usability, site speed and visits. It also tells you if there are any site errors and if Google has the latest version of your sitemap. There’s also a basic page that shows you all your external links.

If you want a more sophisticated view of your site visitors and where they are coming from then you’ll need to use Google Analytics. If you know what you’re doing then GA is a very powerful insight tool. If you don’t, then there is still a lot of easily understandable information on there.

The good news is that there are a couple of shortcuts out there instead of using Google Analytics.

We’re big fans of Quill Engage. It’s free, and it creates a summary of the most important metrics in the form of a weekly email direct to your inbox. It’s highly digestible and makes data into something more understandable. The premium version offers more insights and allows for more users.

Here are some alternatives:

 If you want detailed insight into backlinks as well as your keyword visibility then you’ll need to use a paid tool. As we’ve said, we use SEMRush, but there are other alternatives including the ones that we’ve mentioned earlier. Just take a look at this G2 page that gives up to 20 alternatives.

SUMMARY

We hope that you’ve found this post useful. We appreciate that SEO can be confusing and intimidating. But, the need for B2B PR professionals to have a basic understanding of core SEO principals is undeniable.

The intersection of B2B PR and SEO is clear. As B2B PR increasingly focuses on content strategy, creation and distribution then both brands and agencies MUST invest in keeping their SEO knowledge. This is crucial to ensure that content is able to reach the very people you’re making it for.

 

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