Digital PR can be used to rank for and gain links from target keywords

Using digital PR to earn links and rank for your target keywords

Who comes first? What comes first: The eggs or the chicken?

Links are still a ranking factor for organic search results. However, Google frowns on “link building” and states that the best way to build links is to create great content.  

If they make it, they will discover you. But how will they find you if you don’t rank, to begin with?

Ideally, when your site starts gaining authority and ranking well, your pages will start showing up in the SERPs, and you’ll gain links naturally.  

However, you can’t achieve this without some initial outreach and digital PR.

Let’s review the steps to create a digital outreach campaign.


You’ll need to do some prep work before starting outreach.  

Browser extensions

Chrome extensions may be used to add these extensions.

Select outreach personas

You’ll need to determine who will be your outreach coordinator and make sure they have a strong social media presence.

From having a good bio and profile image to having active social profiles, it’s important that they are credible and trustworthy to elicit answers.

The following should be the profile of your outreach representative:

  • Credible email (e.g., [email protected])
  • Social profiles which are active
  • Website for you 
  • LinkedIn Profile Strong
  • Publicly published example
  • Email signature for the company

All of these indicators are signs of authority. They will affect whether someone opens or answers email.

Select your audience

What pages should be promoted to increase inbound links? What keywords/anchor text should you choose for your links?

In the past, it was common to use keywords for anchor text when creating links. This can result in link penalties, so it’s important to vary your URL/Anchor text combinations to avoid being on the receiving end of manual action from Google.

It’s important to use a combination of brand terms, noise anchors and miscellaneous words for inbound links.

Monitoring your pages with tools such as Semrush will help you identify targets to link building.  

There are many choices: Choose pages that reflect current trends or keyword phrases close to striking distance. You also have the option of choosing keywords that are dropping in rank.

Increase your reach

You should start by compiling a list of possible places you could contact.  

Useful sites for content research

Most likely, you found numerous relevant websites during your research about your topic and the target audience. BuzzSumo lets you add sites to increase your reach by targeting specific audiences.

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Search operators can be used to find sites on Google

Sites that have shared similar content in the past are desirable. To find sites you are looking for, search operators can be used to create queries.

For example, for a site that offers online degrees, you could start off with broad keywords like “education,” “college,” and “online universities.” You’ll then want to qualify those terms by adding search operators, such as “education” + “infographics.”

Knowing how to search will greatly impact the effectiveness of your outreach campaign, so it’s definitely worth spending the time to gain more in-depth knowledge on how to use search operators.

These are only a few of the many ways that search engines can help you find amazing outreach opportunities.

Quotation marks (”…”) for exact-match searches.  

  • “guest author”
  • “write for us”
  • “submit”

The tilde (~…) before a word to generate similar topics and ideas.  

Inurl:guest-___ tends to yield good results, as many sites put “Guest Post/Blog/Writer/etc” in the title of the post, which ends up appearing in the URL.

It might appear to be the complete terms of your search.

• “guest post” “real estate”

• “write for us” real estate ~auction

• “foreclosures” inurl:guest-post

• ~home auctions “guest blog”

Now that you know how to find keywords, it’s time to start using them!

By using BuzzSumo and searching Google with search operators, you’ll be able to create a list of potential sites to reach out to and pitch your content. 

You can now gather all data, and then put it in a spreadsheet. Verify that the sites meet high standards of quality. 

It is important to look:

  • Semrush:
    • Authority Score
    • # Keywords Ranking
    • Organic traffic  
  • Majestic:
    • Trust Flow – This is a number that predicts how trustworthy a web page will be
    • Citation Flow predicts how important URLs may be based on the number of websites linking to them

If you don’t check these metrics, you may waste valuable time and resources contacting and writing for sites that won’t help your link profile.

The Chrome browser extension will help you locate the relevant information.

Contact information

Now that you’ve added the metrics and have modified your list of target sites to make sure they are qualified, you’ll want to look for contact information.

Don’t stop by going to the “Contact Us” page. Additional contact information is available, including direct email addresses and social media profiles. You must be careful with this step.

Sending an email to the main site’s contact form may mean that your request ends up in the customer service department, or worse, their spam folders, where it doesn’t get forwarded to the right people.

Spending too much time browsing the site will not allow you to track your progress. The site might have an editor profile, but it may not contain one. They can be reached directly through Twitter.

Pitching letters

People often receive lots of spam through their email, meaning that websites continue to get guest posting requests both from humans and bots. For this reason, it’s crucial that your pitch letters stand out and showcase transparency.

Here are some tips to make your pitch stand out in the world of letter-pitching. 

  • Keep your letter readable It is easy to understand and quick to scan/read.
  • PersonalizeIf possible, please include the letter
  • People are friendly and helpful – small talk goes a Long way. People want to know you’re a real person, not a robot sending auto-generated emails
  • Use perfect grammar – you can’t offer to contribute to other sites and use poor grammar. Double-, or even triple-check your grammar.
  • Check out other examples to see your work.Authoritative domains prefer articles

Now let’s discuss the letter itself:

FROM:Use a company account to make your email look more professional.

SUBJECT: Short, catchy subjects will draw the “open”

BODY:All of these elements must now be combined into an email.

It’s important to spend enough time crafting these outreach letters to have a chance to succeed.

Start outreach

Mailchimp and ActiveCampaign are not effective for sending outreach emails. You may lose many of your emails to spam, and worse still, you could be banned.

Use your Gmail to send out your outreach email instead. This is why it’s important to be thorough and meticulous in the steps above.

You can start sending email to your target sites and create templates for emails. To keep track of the contact information, you can mark each email’s date in a spreadsheet.

Once you start receiving responses to your emails, it’s easy for your inbox to become absolute chaos.  

This is a crucial stage to ensure that all talks continue.

Label emails

Once you receive a reply, label your emails. These are just a few examples of labels you may use.

  • Are you open to it? 
  • It is not your thing 
  • Pay to Post 

This way, you can separate emails that require responses and move the ones that don’t need responses to a different folder.

Categorize positive reactions

Label all positive responses by using a label/folder. A folder could be:

  • Topic ideas
  • Topic accepted
  • Do you want to be content?
  • Submitted
  • Published

After everything has been organized and labeled, you are able to take immediate action on every conversation. Sending topic ideas out to others who accepted your request will help you order your content. Also, you will need to send follow-up emails.

Topic Ideas

From your initial email, it is crucial to make contact with other web owners.  

After they accept an article, they will respond. Now it’s time to go to their site and get to know what content they share. What is the site’s theme? Who is the site’s target audience?

You’ll need to spend some time researching so that the title you pitch will be relevant, interesting and appealing to their audience.

Your targeted landing pages should be thematically related to any pitches. Include keywords and key phrases to guarantee natural link placement.

BuzzSumo allows you to search multiple keywords. BuzzSumo will then sort the articles based on the number of shares. This could be an excellent way to discover the content most loved by your audience.

Submit content

As soon as the target site approves your topic, it’s time to get your article written. You may have a dozen open conversations taking place simultaneously; it’s important that you get your content written and sent to the site in a timely manner, or you may lose the chance of getting published.

Ideally, your articles should be at least 750 words long, include a link to your site and to other relevant authoritative sites, and contains a couple of links to other relevant pages of the target’s site.

It is possible to add and refer to optimized images!

Keep following up

It is important to follow up with the websites that received your article. This will ensure they are well informed. Maybe you could set up reminders for yourself, or assign a task to remind you to get in touch with the site multiple times before your article goes live.

Although you might not hear back from the site owner often, your site review may have been completed and published.  

If you don’t hear back from them, it could be that the article wasn’t relevant, and they preferred to drop the communication. They could be on vacation or busy. It could be that your emails got lost in the inbox.

Send out 2-3 follow-ups, and if you don’t hear back after that, you can mark your article as available and pitch it to a different site.

Promote your published content

Although it can sometimes be difficult to post content to other websites, it is worth the effort.

Now, you’ll want to promote your published article.

Social media is a great way to share the article, and you can include the URL.  

Facebook advertising can help increase traffic to your site and visibility if funds are available.  

You can also use each published content piece as “social proof” when pitching other sites.

Influencers are two important things for brands:

Consumers have come to trust influencers and are willing to follow their lead. So does Google.

The best way to gain authoritative links and citations is through influencers. You can gain trust, social proof and brand awareness through them. These links and mentions will diversify your link profile and improve your site’s authority score. 

Let’s go through the steps toward creating and implementing an influencer marketing strategy:

Identify relevant influencers

  • Analyze each influencer’s metrics
  • Check out their profiles to see if they’re relevant to your brand identity

You should develop your influencer marketing strategy

  • It is important to determine what your budget will be and whether you are eligible for any incentive programs.
  • KPIs to be used in campaigns
  • Create a short campaign with all assets, such as sample posts or images for social media.


  • Reach influencers with a pitch note
  • You should keep track of the conversations with influencers you are having and respond accordingly

Track the campaign’s progress

  • Track impressions, clicks, and transactions.

Now that you have the inside scoop on influencer marketing, it’s time to get researching!  

Finding influencers and media contacts

  1. Research: You can use tools such as Traackr and BuzzSumo to create a list you wish to contact.
  2. Create a connection: You can follow their social media channels and like or comment on other content before you write a pitch. You will appear on their social media pages.BeforeContact them
  3. Personalize your pitch  When you do reach out, make sure you send them a personal email, so it’s obvious you’re not sending an automated email to a million people.
  4. Agreement: Once you’ve talked to the influencer and negotiated an agreement, we highly recommend getting the details and deliverables signed to create accountability.  While influencers may ask for payment, others might offer products or be affiliates.  

Adding authoritative links and citations to your backlink profile can have a substantial impact on your site’s visibility.  

Digital PR

Your industry should be able to offer unique content.

This content can be produced in many ways:

  • Conducting surveys:SurveyMonkey and Google Surveys both allow you to create surveys. You can also share the results using graphs and metrics.
  • Sharing industry research:You should keep track of any patents that are relevant to your area and make sure you share this information with others.
  • White papers, ebooks and other information available: It is possible to create comprehensive whitepapers, e-books, or guides on specific subjects within your niche. This can be a fantastic way to start.

These assets can be promoted using outreach.

It’s a powerful way to earn media mentions and coveted links.

You can keep track of how you progress

Monitor your outreach efforts by reviewing your backlink profile regularly and looking at how your authority score has changed.

How important was your score affected by links? What is your rate of link velocity? Are you continuously earning more links than you’re losing?

It’s important to keep a close eye so you can amplify your strengths and overcome weaknesses in your link profile.

Although these opinions do not reflect Search Engine Land’s views, they are those of the guest author. Below are the names for staff authors.

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About the Author

Marcela De Vivo is a digital market expert with more than 20 years of experience. Marcela enjoys frequent traveling and talks about data-driven SEO strategies. Marcela owns a digital agency called GryffinCalifornia based.


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