7 Press Release Tweaks To Earn More Links

Struggling to get links from your Digital PR campaigns? Here’s 7 useful tips to help you optimise your press release to earn more links.

7 Press Release Tweaks To Earn More Links

What is SEO and how to do it?

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The 3 most important things on a SEO strategy

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On Page SEO: Optimize your Website

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Off Page SEO: Link Building Strategy

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Wrapping up the article

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If you’re reading this then you’re probably working in Digital PR. Which, as we know, is a little different to traditional PR, especially when it comes to the goals that we have when outreaching to the press.

The most significant of those being our burning lust for links. Which means that press release best practices are a little different for what Digital PR's do as we need to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to pick up those treasured links.

These are 7 useful tips to try and keep in the back of your mind when putting together a press release as a Digital PR trying to ensure that you’re building links from your content marketing campaigns.

1) Have A Landing Page For Your Campaign

In my opinion, you should always have a landing page for your campaign hosted on your/the client’s site that is included front and centre in the press release. Even if it’s just a quick reactive piece that you’re turning around quickly. You’ve already done the work! This is the most natural and relevant page for a Journalist to link to when writing an article around your content.

Many Journalists won’t just link to your site because you provided them with a story. You’ll get some links but you’ll also be missing out on a lot. The best reason to get links is to offer a resource that adds extra value to the person reading the article. The story is the “resource”, and the landing page should be the “extra value”. For example if you run a data led campaign, the top results/story is the “resource” and the full dataset is the “extra value”.

The landing page isn’t just important for short-term link building either. It will also allow you to turn your content into an evergreen asset earning a regular supply of links for no extra work.

Example: We ran a campaign around the highest paid celebrities on Instagram. Journalists covered the results most relevant to them and then the landing page was the “extra value” to direct the user to. Through a combination of optimising the content on the landing page and the links pointing to that url, we were then able to rank the page for terms like “highest earning celebrities on Instagram” - perfect for anyone looking for data on Instagram earnings to include in their article, allowing us to pick up further links without doing any extra work.

2) Imagine You Don’t Have A Press Release

Over-reliance on a press release can force practices that make it harder to earn links from your campaign. Whether you choose to use a press release at the end is up to you, but for now just imagine that you don’t have one to lean back on. Doing this will help ensure you have a landing page with the necessary assets on that provide the extra value and earns your backlink.

I may be in the minority here, but I don’t usually put together a press release for our campaigns. Why? Well, between the landing page and the pitch email, the job is usually already done.

If your landing page doesn’t have all the information that a Journalist needs, it’s probably missing some key context. If it’s of interest to the Journalist covering your story then wouldn’t it be of interest to your audience reading the post?

Remember that these content campaigns should also be targeting the users already visiting your blog. The methodology and the full dataset will be of interest to readers as well as Journalists (and should always be easily accessible to everyone in my opinion).

The only thing that you might include in your outreach email and not on your landing page are additional images/video and any comments from the client. These can be included in your pitch email but honestly, there’s no reason why they can’t go on the landing page as well.

The pitch should then be where you pull out no more than a handful of possible headlines, key stats, etc that you want to stand out to the Journalist straight away, while also directing them to your landing page for the rest of the information they need if your key points catch their interest.

Example Of An Outreach Email For Digital PR
Example Of An Outreach Email

The reason why I like this approach is that you get the Journalist clicking through to your landing page which is nice for making them familiar with the page that you want them to link to with the “extra value” provided on it.

It’s not that you shouldn’t have a press release to send out, but I don’t think they’re as essential for Digital PR as they’re sometimes made out to be. We don’t rely on them and it hasn’t seemed to stop us picking up coverage if we have a good story.

Twitter Poll Showing Press Releases Are Still Needed
Do You Need A Press Release?

3) Submissions for User Generated Content

This is one that we learned from our past experiences that could have turned loads of coverage into links. If you’re running a campaign that involves submissions - put a submission form on your website.

Example #1: Client A is running a competition campaign utilising user generated content. The campaign picks up lots of coverage and users are told to submit their entries to the client’s email address.

Example #2: Client B is running a competition campaign utilising user generated content. The campaign picks up lots of coverage and users are told to submit their entries via the contact form on the client’s website.

Which example feels more likely to pick up links from their coverage? With the 2nd one, websites covering the campaign are pretty much forced to link to the contact form because it’s an integral aspect of the story they are covering.

4) Include Images That Journalists Can Use

If you create your own imagery to go alongside your campaign, you’re creating your own copyrighted material. Allow Journalists to use that material and you now have the authority to ask them for a link out of more than just the kindness of their heart. Simply state if your images are used then accreditation must be given by linking to your campaign page.

Many of the top tier news sites will create their own images that they own the copyright to, but you’ll often get sites that use yours, and many times they won’t give proper credit to the owner of the image. These link reclamation emails are so much easier to convert than just asking for a link because they used your story.

Example Of Our Work In The Press

5) Expert Quotes Are Another Asset To Earn Links

Expert quotes are great additions to your campaign and are often where Journalists will add the link to your website. Journalists love these quotes because they give them easy content they don’t have to write themselves. With the amount of work in a stressful environment they have to get through, easy content they can just drop into their article makes them happier, and happier writers are more likely to be more generous with their links right?

These quotes are also great for building up an individual’s personal brand and authority as an expert around the topic that the article is about. If you have personnel pages on your site for the people giving these quotes then add a link to these pages in the press release with their name as the anchor text. These pages are great to pass authority to and may result in getting two links to two unique pages rather than two links both to the homepage.

6) Think About What Pages You Want To Be Linked To

Usually you have two options when it comes to which pages pick up links from your campaigns - a combination of the campaign’s landing page and the homepage. But that doesn’t always have to be the case.

Example: A fashion website is running a campaign about leather shoes. Where they would usually add a link in the press release to the homepage, they instead change that branded anchor text link to the leather shoes category url.

This won’t always work, but it does sometimes! That’s because from a user’s point of view, this is a page that would be relevant and of interest to them if the article is about leather shoes for example. The higher the relevance to the article, the more likely you are to get that link to a commercial page. Plus, sometimes writers will just copy and paste the link that you sent them 😉

Why is this helpful for your SEO efforts? Your homepage will always naturally pick up a good number of links and usually ranks well for its target keyword. Commercial category/product pages are usually more competitive keywords and pages that are harder to build links to, making them more valued links.

7) Make The Product The Story

As we mentioned above, commercial links are really hard to get from Digital PR campaigns, especially so to product pages (with the exception of roundup guides). Again though, they are by no means impossible if you’re proactively working to secure them.

Example: A famous celebrity is pictured wearing your product, either spontaneously or as part of a PR stunt. “Kylie Jenner looks amazing with [product] from [brand].” You send out a press release to capitalise and push for extra coverage and the link you include is to the brand’s homepage.

This is a great example of an opportunity to land product page links when the product is the story. But you have to make sure the Journalists know where the product/category page is because they’re unlikely to spend much effort seeking it out themselves.

In this example, the commercial page is the natural “extra value” as the reader will be interested in the possibility of buying the product themselves, or viewing the rising fashion trends.