DOMAIN AUTHORITY, SEO AND PR – THE BASICS

A successful SEO plan can significantly increase your brand or company’s online presence, drive traffic to your website, deliver ROI and increase sales. But how much do you incorporate SEO into your PR strategy?

As a PR agency we place a great deal of value in search engine optimisation – the process of making a website more interesting to people and of course search engines. Good PR works hard to build and secure links from valuable media platforms and the results of this only serve to improve a company’s site authority and ranking. In our book, your PR function should be part of and contributing to your company’s search …

In the first of three PR and SEO blogs that we’re sharing at AMBITIOUS, we outline why you should care about SEO and why it should be part of your PR effort.

Onsite and offsite SEO

It’s easy to dismiss SEO as a techy job for web developers and online writers. Yes, onsite SEO factors like site structure, URL structure, page loading times, internal linking, and keywords are important.

But what about all the work that goes on outside your website that influences how you rank online? Offisite SEO activity includes backlinks, social engagement, influencer engagement, reviews and brand mentions, this can be the perfect complement to your onsite SEO – and it’s where PR activity can really make a difference.

What is domain authority?

Let’s take a few steps back. In 2014, SEO gurus Moz developed a search ranking score to help predict how well your website will rank on search engine results pages (SERPs). They called it ‘Domain Authority’ (DA) and it ranks from 1-100; the higher your score, the better chance you have of being listed higher up. Brand new websites start with a DA score of one.

So, how does Moz score each website? This is what Moz says on its website: “Domain Authority is calculated by evaluating multiple factors, including linking root domains and number of total links, into a single DA score. Generally speaking, sites with a very large number of high-quality external links (such as Wikipedia or Google.com) are at the top end of the DA scale, whereas small businesses and websites with fewer inbound links may have a much lower DA score.”

It also points out that there is no black and white answer to the question ‘what is a good Domain Authority?’ Moz advises that the best indicator that your website is doing well is to look at your main competitors and see where you rank in comparison to them. After all, these will be the sites that you are competing against in search results.

How to measure your DA score

It’s a good idea to start measuring your own (and your clients’) DA scores – and it’s easy to do. Simply install the MozBar extension in Chrome. Not only can you see your own performance, you can look at the ranking for every website that is listed on your search results – useful, interesting and highly addictive!

How PR affects DA

When Moz calculates your score, it doesn’t just count the backlinks to your site – it takes in to account factors such as brand sentiment, trust, authority and reputation. In other words, simply embarking on an aggressive link-building campaign to increase backlinks to your site won’t cut it.

Moz wants to see:

  • other sites talking about your brand/company/product in a positive way
  • links from other trustworthy and reputable sites back to yours – such as government websites and high-ranking news sites
  • real reviews from real people saying positive things
  • social shares of news about your company or pages from your website, such as blog posts
  • a variety of sources talking about you and linking back to your website

All these indicators tell Moz that your website is well-regarded and will help nudge your DA up. In PR, it’s our role to build this activity into our strategy. As an industry, PR is experienced at organic brand placement on third party channels; we naturally focus on brand reputation and influencers. And, being clear about the role of PR in influencing SEO can be a winning part of a pitch or a useful way to report back on success to clients.

Our next blog will look more closely at why PR and SEO need to work closely together, giving further ideas on building SEO into your campaigns and strategies.

Do you know the DA of your website and do you have the Mozbar extension installed so you can monitor other websites’ scores? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us @Ambitiouspr.

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