How PR pros can get more backlinks in their media efforts

May 16, 2017
How PR pros can get more backlinks in their media efforts

In the digital age, every company tries to gain as much traffic as they can and rank in the top 10 positions on search.

It’s no wonder that so many companies’ PR efforts are now aligned with SEO -- professionals pitch stories to the media with the aim of building brand awareness and also gaining links from authority sites.

One metric that demonstrates the effectiveness of PR efforts is the number of backlinks to your site.

But how can you ensure that the person you pitch to will link to you?

Part of your job as a PR pro is to create linkable content, including research and inforgraphics.

However, in this post we are going to discuss another equally important aspect -- how to discover channels with backlink potential and influencers to pitch to.

Monitor channels with mentions

The easiest way to find channels that might provide you with backlinks is to check who is already actively mentioning you and linking to your website.

Consider offering them more of your content so they can refer to it in their posts.

You also can reach those authors that are linking to your competitors and tell them about your products or services. Analyzing the type of content they are linking to would be a smart move on your end and may increase your chances of gaining a backlink.

The second way to define channels on which you may gain backlinks is to find resources that mention your brand and don’t contain links and try to establish relationships with them.

You can reach out to the author of a mention and see if they can provide you with a link. Don’t be assertive or pushy; try to understand why the author mentions one brand and links to another.

Again, check what kind of content they usually link to and try to create something similar to improve your chances, or take the opposite approach -- suggest something new and unique to the author that may peak their interest and therefore convince them to link to your content.

There are different tools that you can use to discover brand mentions and backlinks, for example, SEMrush’s Brand Monitoring tool.

To get this information, enter the domains you want to track as pictured below.


Sometimes it may be surprising how many resources mention and even link to your brand. But how can you understand which deservesyour attention and relationship-building efforts?

Besides the target audience of this media outlet, of course, there are two more things you should consider -- traffic on that source and domain authority.

The larger those numbers are, the more qualitative backlinks you’ll get. That means more trust for your website from search engines and people.

What about media, that have never mentioned you before? How can you understand what kind of content will deserve not only their attention, but also a backlink? Don’t think about the media platform, but their authors!

Discover who you should pitch to

When you get a link from any media outlet, you won’t get it from the outlet itself. You’ll get it from a journalist. So, if you already know the platform you are interested in getting a link from, then your next step is to discover who writes about your industry there.

Create a list of those journalists or opinion leaders who cover a particular topic and include as much information about them as you can find. Find their contacts and social media profiles and check what they are sharing. Read the most recent articles they’ve written and analyze what kind of content they are linking to.

All this effort might be a tricky and time consuming if you do it just by scanning pages with articles. Thankfully, there are tools to make this task easier, like Muck Rack (shameless plug!). Creating custom media lists that automatically update information about journalists will help you to stay in the know and find the right influencers in no time.

Collecting information will help you build a profile of the person you are going to pitch to and prepare content they are most likely to be interested in linking to.

One of the tasks of a PR professional in the digital age is not simply to earn their company mentions, but to get mentions with backlinks and, hence, referral traffic. This is not an easy thing to achieve, but it’s not rocket science either. It just takes time and passion.  

Remember these two rules: monitor channels that mention your and your competitors’ brands and develop relationships with journalists and writers and create content they prefer to link to.

Anna Lebedeva is the Head of Media Relations at SEMrush. She has a passion for digital marketing, new technologies, and media.

Photo via Pixabay

About the author

Head of Media at @SEMrush. Web culture and technology fan. Swimming addict. Tweets are my own.

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