Despite the rumor about press releases losing relevance in SEO, they are still quite a feature. They remain a boost to your company’s visibility to media and trustworthiness.
For context, 68% of businesses increased the visibility of their brands and products via press releases. 8% reported that the visibility resulted in sales [Early Stage Marketing].
Furthermore, a Cision study reveals press releases (42%) are the most trusted content — more than spokespeople (29%) and website content (21%).
So, yes, press release backlinks are crucial to gain traffic and sales. And “yes” again, you should prioritize building them for your company and money sites.
Now, let’s talk about the “how.”
Generally, you can hire a PR pro to help with press release backlinks or DIY. The former is the best option, undoubtedly.
But while using PR pros is the best option to build press release backlinks from reputable sites, it still helps to know how it’s done (DIY).
This comprehensive guide on how to find PR backlink opportunities will help.
Here’s a snapshot of what to expect in this guide:
But before we delve into the details, let’s define what PR backlinks are.
What Are PR Backlinks?
Generally, PR backlinks (also called press links) are pointers from journalists, magazines, newspapers, or any media outlet to your company or website.
However, getting links from ANY media outlet won’t increase your site’s visibility and credibility. To boost SEO, your links must come from actual stories on media channels that are published and shared by journalists.
But before that happens, you must have something enticing for the journalists.
What newsworthy stories do you have? Would such be an interesting topic that would stir up discussions in the media?
More importantly, would you publish your story if you were a journalist?
Your story must be juicy. Else, opportunities to build PR backlinks might not come to light.
Either way, the tips below can help.
5 Tips To Make Your PRs Stand Out
Build On Existing Strategies
Like in any written content, PRs get the most results if journalists and readers are familiar with the style/format . Often, you might not even need to do any outreach as the journalists would be the ones to reach out.
So, what strategy, in particular, are we talking about?
Find a story currently making waves around your industry. If possible, see what your competitors are doing about it.
Now, check the first page of Google search results to pick 2-3 articles (in this case – news articles). Now, write something better!
In the case of PRs, if the trending topic isn’t newsworthy, try to show how you used the idea to generate leads. Write a news-like case study.
That would gather interest — especially if the figure in the study was juicy.
Keyword-optimize Your PRs
While the focus in PRs is mostly on stories and newsworthy insights, the chances are that you are overlooking the SEO opportunities. If that’s you, stop; you’re leaving a lot of traffic untapped.
Write your PRs — newsworthy and engaging — but ensure you keyword-optimize them. However, don’t make the mistake of focusing on a single keyword.
That might limit the depth of your story. It could also affect your distribution channels.
So, use multiple keywords and boost your chances of ranking for several search queries and getting featured on several news sites.
Making your press releases keyword-optimized can help with structuring them.
While keyword-optimizing your PRs, add other enticing elements, such as reference links. This could be statistics, studies, or even articles on your website.
Those elements will make your PRs richer and more convincing. Plus, they will boost your internal linking game.
Extra tip: If possible, reserve up to 5 hyperlinks for reference links in your PRs.
Post The PRs On Your Website
While the focus is distributing PRs to get backlinks, you should also post them on your site. Here is why:
Posting your PRs on your site shows you’re proud of your work. Besides, why would anyone show off your company or products when you don’t?
So, like you have a blog section on your site, create one for your press releases. You could name it a media page or newsroom.
Mixing your PRs with your blog posts and cornerstone content will dilute its intent and formality. So, separate them.
Also, having a dedicated section for your PRs means you have a place to direct journalists and other media professionals. They might find other releases in the mix and link to them.
Create Hype Using Influencers
At first glance, anything “influencer” means spending money. In this case, however, you won’t pay a dime.
In fact, you’re helping the Influencer with free and fresh content. How?
Influencers like to be the ones to break news and new products. If yours was juicy enough, they would share it on their blogs — and you’ll get a link. Plus, the exposure to thousands of viewers and readers won’t be harmful.
However, use the influencers in your niche. Only their hype will entice your original target: established media outlets and journalists.
So, how can you find the RIGHT influencers?
The tools below can help:
- Ninja Outreach
Try A Different PR Format
By nature, PRs can be a bit tardy — always about new products and events no one cares about. That might even be why your PR links are drying up.
So, what should you do?
Do something different in your PRs. Move away from partnership deals and product launches.
Create PRs around unique surveys!
Surveys provide unique data journalists are not used to. By extension, they offer juicy stories that media outlets can’t overlook.
The survey-type PRs are undoubtedly time-consuming compared to the usual format. However, they offer more backlink opportunities.
Self-administered surveys that are niched-down will offer the best results. And also, target 10-15 questions to have several talk points.
Now, your PRs are unique. The next step is to find backlink opportunities.
But before we discuss the different methods to do that, let’s list the best sites to distribute your press releases.
Best Sites For PRs
Note: if you want several PR backlinks, then you need to write your PRs in twos:
- National releases: help acquire links from major publications like Forbes and Yahoo News.
- Local releases: target publications and outlets in cities and smaller demographics.
Regardless of where you’re targeting, below are some of the best media outlets to get featured for PRs.
- The New York Times
- The Washington Post
- The Daily Mail Group
- Huff Post
Some media outlets also scrap PR submission/distribution sites for news. So, you might also want to check the latter out.
Here are some of the top PR submission/distribution sites:
- Cision PR Newswire
- Ein Presswire
Now, let’s see how to get your PRs on the listed sites and media outlets.
How To Find PR Backlink Opportunities [Templates Included]
While there are several methods of seeking PR backlink opportunities, they often follow the same process:
- Outreach, and
Of the three steps, outreach is the most strenuous part. You must know how to pitch and when to do it.
About when, Muck Rack’s State of PR, 2021 reveals that Tuesday is the popular choice.
The same study revealed that individual emails are the best method for pitching.
So, how about “how to pitch”?
Find templates you can follow for each of the methods to be discussed below.
Use Help A Reporter Out (HARO)
By design, HARO helps journalists. It is a database where journalists can find juicy stories as soon as they break.
However, this database also doubles as to where to get PR links. Here is how:
You can be the source for the stories the journalists seek. Then, you’ll get a PR backlink. Everyone wins!
So, how can you use HARO to get press links?
- Visit https://www.helpareporter.com, and create an account as a source
- You’d have to choose a plan. Note that the “free plan” is limited, but it might be the best way to understand how the tool works.
- Check through the requests to see what fits your story.
- Pitch to the journalist
I’m James — a digital marketer and chiropractor based in New Jersey.
About your request for the perception of chiropractic practices in New Jersey, I recently published a survey-based press release for a similar case using 100 respondents.
Here is a link to the release:
Link to your PR — on your site.
Monitor Your Brand Mentions In Publications
Occasionally, your name will get mentioned in publications with no link to your site. On such occasions, chances are that you’re not the focus of the news.
Even at that, you can milk the “brand mention” for a PR backlink.
And luckily, the journalist already knows you. So, pitching will be straightforward and stress-free.
However, take note of the following:
- Read the publication and jolt the key points
- Don’t give generic compliments
- Be subtle, friendly, and less salesy
- Don’t sugarcoat the benefit of linking the mention to your site. Be direct.
Note: monitoring your brand mentions can be hectic. But you can make it seamless through social listening. The chances are the journalists or outlets shared the news on Facebook, IG, or Twitter.
So, use the social listening tool on such networks to see who says what about your brand.
I read your recent publication [title] on [publication] a few hours ago.
Man, that’s detailed and interesting. I have to say it’s been a while since I wasn’t bored midway through a news article.
And yes, thanks for the mention of [your site/brand/company] in your piece. I appreciate it.
If you don’t mind, could you please link the mention to my site? It will be a great help to boost my visibility.
Once again, thanks for the mention. I look forward to reading more of your piece.
Explore Comments Or Reviews
Often, media outlets will have dedicated sections on their site (or externally) to collect insights, feedback, and random comments.
You can use that window to get PR backlinks. Here is how:
- Leave an honest, detailed review or comment on the piece published.
- Follow the journalist or outlet on their social media handles
- Regularly react and comment on their social feeds. If possible, share the posts.
- Over time, you’d be noticed, and the journalists will pick up a thing or two on your site.
- You’ll be contacted or recommended for a PR backlink.
This piece is detailed and enlightening. It has the same level of quality delivery as your [reference a recent or related work].
I’ll be sharing/retweeting this with my friends.
Don’t be afraid to be critical when the work done is below par. Check this out:
Unfortunately, this piece lacks your usual level of creativity and meticulous research. More statistics and findings would have made this more convincing.
Nonetheless, I love the angle to the story. It’s unique!
After your comment/review, you might be asked for newsworthy ideas based on your established relationship with the outlet. Either way, you won’t lose by building relationships.
But what about the time investment? Aren’t you best served to buy press links?
Buying links isn’t sustainable if you’re a small business. Building relationships is a cost-effective method that will help your brand significantly — regardless of your budget.
Pro tip: while building relationships, ensure your website is appealing to journalists. Invest in user experience and branding.
Other methods of getting PR backlinks include:
- Submitting your press release on PR sites
- Partner with big shots in your niche
- Cold-email journalists with relevant stories or exclusive research
PR backlinks remain relevant regardless of rumors online. They boost visibility and sales — and are a crucial element for SEO.
Bottom line: you need PR backlinks.
And about the stress of building press links, you can always hire PR pros.
SERPreach is one such PR pro. We prioritize white hat link-building strategies and get our clients results. So, you’re safe with us.
Let us know if you have a particular media outlet you’d love to feature on. We might have a long-term relationship with them!