Let’s admit it. PR people don’t really love SEO. They like to do campaigns for humans, not machines. They like to do campaigns for fame and glory, not backlinks with dofollow status (say what!?). However, marketing and communications efforts need to be integrated and all the pieces have to work together to generate more awareness and more customers for the brand. And speaking of which, nowadays 72% of PR agencies offer SEO services too, as pointed in a recent PRCA study.
In a world where google searches are indispensable, perhaps all communications experts should understand and apply a bit of Search Engine Optimization “special sauce”. No, you don’t need to pull your hair out and read tons of guides about it trying to demystify and untangle the “do this” and “don’t do this” opinions.
As a matter of fact, everything a PR pro should know about SEO can be learned in 10 minutes (as I have previously written about here)
That’s right, in just 10 minutes!
Perhaps the cupid of this “relationship” between PR and SEO is to add a backlink checker tool to the arsenal of media relations tools PR experts use. Long gone are the days when a PR specialist had to buy the newspapers and cut the articles where the brand was mentioned.
And if you think we were “saved” by spreadsheets with links with all the digital presence of the brand, gathered from google and twitter searches, google alerts and emails from the few journalists that notify when they cover a story on it then you are missing out a lot. Information is gold, and realtime differentiates winners from losers.
So if you are a PR expert, don’t let one more day pass without using a backlink checker tool because this will enable you to be on top of any media coverage, as it happens which will bring you the following benefits:
1. Build better relations with journalists
A backlink checker tool helps being able to thank journalists for the coverage the second it is published, showing how attentive you are to their publication. This can only make the journalist like you more, which will ensure better coverage for the future. ￼￼￼
And if it is the case of getting covered by a journalist that wasn’t previously pitched by you, then get alerted instantly on the mention, start building the relationship and add their contact to your media database.
2. Handle PR crisis with ease
If the hell broke loose, at least know where it is burning. A backlink checker tool is the best at alerting you of any web mention as it happens, which enables you to react super fast. This might save the day many times.
3. Correct or complete articles before they hit thousands of readers
Just because you get alerts of absolutely any published article linking to your brand’s website almost as soon as the journalist hits the Publish button, you get a chance to correct or complete the information if needed. Saw a mistake? Contact the journalist to fix it before too many people have already read and shared the article.
4. Understand on which media relations to focus more
Time is a scarce resource and if you were to choose just some of the journalists to build strong relationships, which ones would they be? A backlink checker tool helps you understand what are the media that provide the most longterm value for the brand, hence on which media to “invest” more. The long term value is beyond the amount of traffic spike on the brand’s website from that referral. It is about the SEO value it gives to the website, multiplying it’s chances to get more search traffic forever in the future.
5. Get alerts with media coverage on competition, as it happens
Monitoring the competition on the media is also on your to do list. But why try to find the needle in the haystack when you can simply get alerts whenever the competitors nail some media coverage? A good backlink checker allows you to know instantly what articles are published on the competition. A great PR expert will know how to react to it in order to benefit the brand.
6. Discover bloggers interested in the brand for future blogger outreach campaigns
If you are into blogger outreach campaigns, the first bloggers to add to the list would be those that already have an interest in the brand. If a blogger already wrote about it, you will know. No need for extra searches.
￼7. Know when links in media coverage are altered
Unlike in print, online media coverage can happen to be modified in time. If a link you got or the entire article has vanished for any reason, or any other modifications, you will get notified. Then call or email the media and check what happened and try to get it back.
8. Easily identify the best examples of media coverage to use in pitches
You can discover in just a glimpse at your links list which media coverage was the most influential, in terms of authority and total shares. Then use these examples whenever you pitch again.
9. Build media coverage reports automatically and have them always updated
Why spend even a second to put all the media coverage in lists and reports? A backlink checker tool builds lists and reports automatically. Easy to show and share with colleagues, managers and clients.
10. Understand each media’s preference for stories
If you are lucky to deal with a lot of media coverage, don’t get lost in it. A backlink checker allows you to filter reports in order to see which media covered which topics, therefore learn what stories could make them tick for future pitches.
Now that you understand how this type of tool can save you from hassle, my recommendation is to pick Monitor Backlinks to do the job. In the multitude of SEO tools, I found this to be the most friendly for a communications expert without the SEO expertize. It comes in the form of a free limited version or a paid version that offers lots of benefits at only $19 per month.
I made friends with it. Will you?