How To Use Digital PR to Jumpstart and Power Your SEO Strategy

By Jason Khoo October 31, 2021

There are many marketing methods and strategies that business owners use to gain traction, increase brand awareness, and, ultimately, make more sales.

Without a doubt, one of the most attempted is search engine optimization (SEO).

We say ‘attempted’ because SEO is a maze with very tall, complicated, ever-changing pathways.

It’s no wonder that business owners and marketers spend their time, effort, and money trying to understand the algorithms.

Having a solid SEO strategy revolves around visibility.

It’s about pushing your site to the top of the search engine results page (SERP).

This doesn’t come with luck.

You don’t cross your fingers and hope that your website will outrank the masses of competition out there who do have an SEO strategy.

The only way to make sure your brand is front and center is by implementing a functional, effective search engine approach.

But, if it were that easy, everyone would do it, right?

In reality, SEO is tricky.

It’s a long-term game, and many brand owners give up before they’ve had a chance to evaluate whether their strategy is working.

It’s not surprising, really, because SEO demands a hefty investment.

But, there is another way.

You can optimize your site, become a well-known brand, and gain a steady flow of organic traffic consistently.

How?

Digital PR.

SEO Simplified

Three pillars carry a successful SEO strategy.

These pillars are the infrastructure that carries all of the smaller methods.

(Despite them being ‘smaller,’ the results can be massive. Don’t underestimate them.)

Before you can put methods in place, you must first understand the foundations you are balancing them on.

Then, each process needs to be placed on top of one of these three pillars.

What Are The Three Pillars of SEO?

  • The first pillar of SEO is discovery.
  • The second pillar of SEO is relevance.
  • The third pillar of SEO is authority.

The strategy we’re talking about today combines all three pillars.

Despite one pillar being the most dominant, it’s rare to gain a strategy that can balance beautifully on top of each of the three.

One of The Biggest SEO Difficulties: Link Building

Many marketers and business owners understand that you need to have a solid link-building strategy in place to better the ranking of your own site.

In reality, this is, arguably, the most challenging element of SEO.

Let’s explore why.

What Is Link Building?

There are two ways you can link-build:

Link building is when someone uses the link to one of your pages in their content.

External linking relies entirely on third-party entities to give you links.

Internal linking, however, are links that you place yourself which point to another link on your site.

This method is usually implemented with blog posts to point readers to another article.

For this to work, you must have a healthy balance of both types.

So, even if you used 100 internal links, they would be redundant if you had 0 external links.

This is because Google uses the total amount of links for your domain as a way to determine your site’s level of credibility and authority.

This makes sense, as Google needs to determine that your site is helpful and valuable, so when it’s ranked number one in the SERPs, Google’s users find exactly what they’re looking for.

If other high-quality websites are pointing toward your content, it acts as evidence to Google that you’re saying things of interest that have helped readers.

But, as we said, link building is very difficult to master.

Your SEO success relies entirely on other sites. You’re totally powerless.

So, how can you take that power back?

With our winning strategy. The SEO strategy that is pure gold if you get it right.

The strategy is thought leadership.

What Is Thought Leadership?

Thought leadership is a tactic that many marketers, content strategists, and business owners try to master.

Thought leadership is a marketing strategy that confirms your role as an expert within your industry.

It’s one of the most organic and holistic methods to adopt if you want to link build, as you’re able to take back the power lost to third-party entities if link building in a conventional way.

In short, link building helps your brand grow through trust, acknowledgment, and credibility—all at the same time as building links to your website.

How Can I Build Thought Leadership?

The opportunities to build thought leadership are everywhere.

Contributor or guest blog posts, podcast appearances, interviews, collaborated webinars – to name only a few.

If you’re given the opportunity to market your own brand under someone else’s business, that’ll lead to thought leadership.

It works based on your brand name ‘getting out there as a valuable, knowledgeable, and helpful brand.

Imagine, for example, that you own a design agency.

If a high-quality site asked you to write a guest post about how to design a logo for a luxury brand in the name of thought leadership, even if it was unpaid, you’d agree.

After crafting an excellent article, the loyal and avid readers of the high-quality site will read your guest post. They’d then visit your website to learn more about you.

Not only could you capture a high number of leads, but you may also gain some inquiries and book discovery calls.

The chances of your post being shared are far higher, as you’re writing for an already successful brand. With shares comes traffic.

Getting Started With Thought Leadership

For almost all businesses out there, thought leadership is the ultimate goal.

It’s exactly what they need to be seen as an authority within their industry.

This is why they spend so much of their time creating educational content.

However, in order to take it to that next level, they need to push themselves to be seen on multiple platforms under a variety of brand names.

And that’s where many business owners find themselves lost, frustrated, and they give up.

While everyone would love to build thought leadership, their self-doubt and lack of confidence cause them to crumble, and they put it down to ‘I don’t have what I need’ to be a thought leader.

This is a monumental missed opportunity. Imagine they’d gone for it and starred in a guest webinar.

If 500 people attended that webinar, the chances of getting at least one lead are extortionate. Yet, due to doubt and the infamous imposter syndrome, that business owner will find it even harder to agree to a guest appearance next time.

Many people are their own worst enemy.

They stop themselves from becoming thought leaders. The pressure is too high for them.

However, if they saw the transformation they were working towards – if they saw the pot of gold under the rainbow – they would go through the storm ten times over.

That’s what you need to keep reminding yourself–you are more than capable of becoming a thought leader. Do not allow yourself to get in your own way.

There are opportunities everywhere to begin your journey to thought leadership.

Start small and speak at local community events. Write posts on smaller sites. Guest star on interview YouTube videos – but just make sure you start.

Bridging Thought Leadership and SEO

You may be thinking, this sounds great, but what has this got to do with my website? How will it help improve my SEO?

While the answer may not be a straightforward one, thought leadership has a tremendous influence on your search engine visibility.

When your brand is guest posting, for example, you’re able to incorporate links to articles on your own site.

That boosts your link count.

Despite the fact that you’ve written the post yourself, Google still registers that link as an external link that points to your content under your brand’s domain.

Ultimately, if you’re getting your name out there – if you’re making yourself visible – people will want to learn more about what you’ve said, the opinions you’ve shared, and the methods you’ve taught.

Make the most out of this strategy by incorporating links back to your website.

You’re linkbuilding, allowing your businesses SEO to skyrocket.

At the same time, you’re proving that your business can be trusted.

You’re demonstrating to a vast number of audiences that your brand knows what it’s talking about.

You’re able to cultivate leads, increase traffic, and even make more sales this way.

Is Thought Leadership And Advertising The Same Thing?

It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that thought leadership and advertising are the same things.

They are not.

Many business owners will invest financially into advertising, believing that it’s the quickest and surest way to boost their conversions.

There are many advantages to advertising, but choosing to invest in this instead of thought leadership is a huge mistake.

When you run ads, you’re showing the world what you have on offer. You’re showing a demographic what you create or aim to sell to them.

It’s focused on two clear steps: 1) show, and 2) sell.

There’s a time and a place for running ads. And we’re not anti-ad campaigns in the slightest.

But considering what thought leadership can do for your brand, there’s no comparison.

Thought leadership can build your brand substantially and consistently.

It works on the basis of providing real value, which turns prospects into warm leads. Warm leads are far easier to sell to than cold traffic.

You’re also able to become a thought leader organically. Some brands will even pay you for your time and work so that you could profit from it, too.

But, if the opportunity is unpaid, don’t shake it off.

Advertising can be expensive.

If you make no profit, but you’re not spending anything either, thought leadership can lead to a significant return on investment.

Can You Use Social Media For Thought Leadership?

This method has been used time and time again. And for a good reason.

Social media is a hotspot for value-based content, so it lends itself well to being a solid platform to convey yourself as a leader in writing or in video.

Make sure your social media posts revolve around providing immense value for your demographic.

If it’s not helpful in some way to your audience, it won’t help you become a thought leader.

It also relies heavily on your understanding of your target market.

Just like your SEO strategy, you must understand what your ideal customer is looking for when they open the app.

What questions are they searching for?

What problems do they type into Google?

Why are they in that position in the first place?

You must try to get into the mind of your demographic.

Once you’re there, plan out content that sets you apart from the competition through the sheer level of value you provide.

And don’t stick to just your one channel. Try to collaborate with other users on projects.

Live streaming is a great way to build thought leadership, as you can ‘go live’ with multiple users at the same time.

This works in the same way as guest posting. The person you’re going live with will have a different following to yours, even if you’re in the same industry.

Maximize your chances of gaining leads by providing value on the live stream where her audience is watching you.

Thought Leadership: The Strategy You Should Be Implementing Today

When you start establishing your brand as an authority within the industry, you’ll be met with hundreds of opportunities.

Not only will you gain consistent warm leads, but you’ll be invited to more events as a speaker, giving you the chance to promote your business through value all over again.

Our advice?

Don’t let any opportunity pass you by –no matter how big or small the brand.

And one more piece of guidance before we leave:

Don’t get in your own way.

You are more than capable of being a thought leader. And trust us, once you’ve gained thought leadership, you’ll see the world of business in a far brighter, more colorful way.

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Jason Khoo

Jason started freelancing in SEO back in college, sold his first agency, and now is founder of Zupo, which is an Orange County based B2B SEO consulting agency helping construct powerful long term SEO strategies for our clients. Jason also enjoys multiple cups of tea a day, hiding away on weekends, catching up on reading, and rewatching The Simpsons for the 20th time.

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