Digital PR

1000 666 JBH - The Digital PR Agency

Good link/bad link: The KPIs you should really care about to get a return on investment

Why are we doing digital PR and outreach? What is the purpose of link building? Some in the industry would say that they do it for SEO, for link juice or to achieve a higher DA figure or increase the number of referring domains. Whilst metrics such as DA, DR or TF and the number of referring domains are a good indication, they are not all that matters. The big misunderstanding often lies in a confusion over what the goal really is. The end goal of any digital PR campaign are not the links, it is an increase in sales for your business.

What KPIs should you set for outreach and how do you measure ROI?

Rankings and organic traffic

When you do SEO for your website, what you want is an increase in rankings in the search engines and more visitors. You want your business to be seen on the internet. When doing digital PR for SEO, the goal should be the same. You want to improve ranking positions for highly relevant keywords and as a result an increased number of visitors, hence organic traffic.

The caveat though is that better rankings and higher numbers of visitors are difficult to attribute to digital PR only. Any other SEO related activity on your website could have contributed to the improvements too. What can be said with certainty is that your number should be going up over time. If they are not, you might not be doing the right things for SEO and digital PR and should dig a bit deeper into what is working for your business and what is not.

This is how steady growth looks like (screenshot taken from Ahrefs.com):

Graph in Ahrefs that shows rankings improvements over time.

Referral traffic

There is another traffic figure that you should be looking at and this one can directly by attributed to your digital PR efforts: Referral traffic. Those are the visitors that come to your site by clicking on a backlink. You can get those numbers in Google Analytics:

Screenshot of the different acquisition channels in Google Analytics

The second row in the above table shows the referral traffic your website got within the specified time period. You could drill down further and see the traffic from each backlink individually. This will help you identify which links bring visitors to your site.

The above screenshot shows some more metrics that you should be looking at when evaluating the value of a backlink: bounce rate and session duration. Those figures are a strong indicator of the relevance of a link. If a user clicks on a link, gets to your site but immediately clicks back, the content was not relevant to them. Relevance also matters to Google and has an impact on the value of a backlink for SEO. When researching websites to outreach to, keep the topic and the target audience in mind to determine how relevant a link from that site would be.

When reporting on digital PR results you probably already include the domain name and the respective DA, DR or TF. Maybe add the following KPIs: referral traffic for each link, time referral visitors spent on your site, how many pages they visit and the bounce rate. With correct goal setups in Google Analytics according to your attribution model, you could also add conversion figures.

Conversions

This brings us back to the original question: What are you doing it for? SEO and digital PR should not only result in better rankings and more traffic to your site. For a lasting impact, you want to increase sales. This means you should track conversions and attribute those accordingly to each of your marketing efforts.

What counts as a conversion depends on your business model and business goals. It can be a newsletter signup, a price enquiry, or a purchase amongst many others. If you can, include those numbers in your link building reports – for each link individually and for your overall organic traffic.

Brand awareness

There is one other KPI that often is forgotten because all we seem to care about are links, links, links. If we look back at what traditional PR aims to achieve, it seems almost obvious that we should also account for it in digital PR. That is brand awareness.

It is another goal that is difficult to measure in numbers, but there are a few indicators for increased brand awareness that you can measure: unlinked mentions of your brand, social media signs and branded searches in Google.

How to measure ROI

We have now seen a mix of link building KPIs. Some of them are easily measurable, others are harder to put into numbers. What you can put into numbers though is the cost of your digital PR efforts – no matter if you are doing it in-house or with the help an agency like JBH. You always can tell exactly how much time the team has spent on a campaign from ideation through creation and outreach to the final reporting. Those hours come with a price and the day will come where the main stakeholders in your business ask for the ROI.

The formula seems straightforward: (PR Revenue – Cost of digital PR)/Cost of digital PR.

Formula to calculate digital PR ROI

The cost of digital PR only depends on a quick look into your books. The PR Revenue however requires some thought. You should include the conversions from organic traffic and the referral traffic, but also a certain percentage of social and direct traffic could be attributed to digital PR. All you have to do is decide on an attribution model for your overall business reporting.

 

 

1000 665 JBH - The Digital PR Agency

WATCH AGAIN: The biggest ideation challenges and how to overcome them

If you missed our webinar with creative content expert Mark Johnstone of contenthubble.com, you can catch up now. Mark shares his insight into the challenges and pitfalls we all face during the ideation process, whether ideating for content or digital PR campaigns.

 

About Mark
Mark is a creative content consultant and the founder of Content Hubble helping marketing teams make better content.

In his previous role at Distilled, he transformed the agency’s content offering – setting up and growing the creative team, and creating content that received over 18 million visits and 1.4 million social shares.

He’s also spoken at Inbound by HubSpot, SearchLove by Distilled, the Content Marketing Show and Turing Festival. In his presentations, Mark aims to demystify the creative process and boil it down to concrete actionable advice. His presentation, ‘how to produce better content ideas’ has been viewed 4.1 million times.

450 300 JBH - The Digital PR Agency

Graduation day: How to land a job in Digital PR?

We’ve all been there: You got your degree and venture out to the job market to find your first role in Digital PR. Landing your first job can be an intense process, but it is worth it. (This applies to any industry, not just digital PR.) That first job will be the foundation of your whole career and we have some tips for you how to get the job you really want in an agency you really want to work for.

Do what digital PR’s do

If you want to work in digital PR, you should early on get into certain habits of digital PRs. This will enhance your cover letter, give you a lot to talk about in an interview and show that you are passionate about the job you are applying for.

Consume Media

In digital PR, journalists are your best friends, and you must understand what they are looking for in a good story and what topics they are interested in. The best way to do this is by reading news and follow the media and you keep reading, reading, reading throughout your whole career.

Pile of Newspapers

Photo by Mike van Schoonderwalt from Pexels

Use Social Media wisely

When we speak of media, we also mean social media, mainly Twitter. This is not about posting pictures on Instagram, it’s about following the right people on Twitter and LinkedIn. Find those that are already working in digital PR and follow them. See what they are talking about and you’ll always know what the industry is doing. Here are a few accounts to follow for some serious digital PR inspiration:

Follow blogs and webinars

Agencies and digital PR do not only talk about their industry on social media. Most of them have their own blogs and run regular webinars or expert roundups. These sources will also tell you what the industry is currently talking about, plus you will find tips that will help you master digital PR better than any textbook could, because the information in webinars is based on real case-studies and experience always trumps theoretical knowledge. The JBH Missing Link Webinar features talks from industry experts and journalists. For example, we have talked about pitching to personal finance journalists and newsjacking, and you can view all of the previous webinars here.

Read inspiring books

When we say that you can put the textbooks aside, we do not mean that you should stop reading. What we are saying is that you should read books that are based on real job experience and are written by people doing the job you dream of. The probably most-read marketing library is by Seth Godin, but there is a whole list of marketing books to indulge in.

Pile of books. The book on top folds up in a circle.

Photo from Pexels

Get experience

In certain ways, digital PR is no different than other industries: experience is what makes you better at the job and as a recent graduate, experience is what makes you stick out. Not only will your CV get attention, but you will also have more things to talk about during the interview.

If you cannot find any internship opportunities in digital PR, have a look at the wider digital marketing space or journalism. If you widen the scope in your search for practical experience, there will be more opportunities to go after and any digital marketing experience will be beneficial for your career in digital PR. Practical experience in journalism will give you insights into the industry you will be mostly working with. Knowing how journalists think will be your secret weapon.

Hands-on

If you still cannot find opportunities to get work experience, why not make your own opportunities? Starting an own blog has never been easier than it is today. Write about a topic you are passionate about and see how it unfolds. Learn how to create engaging content, how to promote it and how to grow your readership. Your own blog will not only be a learning resource, it can also become your portfolio. Do something you are proud of and show it to the world.

Hands reaching a document to each other

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Keep on applying

The same applies to your job application for digital PR roles: Do something you are proud of. Creativity is key in this profession and a creative cover letter will certainly get attention and make you stand out.

All of the above does not only apply to recent PR graduates, but it is also for everybody else who wants to land a job in digital PR. What that means is that a PR degree is not an entry requirement, it gives an advantage, but there are other things that hold more weight in your CV and your portfolio. We have seen successful digital PRs with degrees in psychology, history, art or languages. Let not let a degree stop you from going after the things you want. What is more important is passion and experience. If you love what you do, you will become great at it.

That being said, do not let a failed job application weigh you down. We have all been rejected and redirected towards something that was more meant for us. Keep on applying, keep on going for what you want, and you will get it. Head over to our careers page to see the latest roles we have available at JBH.

1000 666 Robyn Munro

My First Two Months As A Junior Digital PR Executive

If you told me six months ago that I would be learning a new job role from home, during a global pandemic, I would have thought you were bonkers. Less than two weeks into my journey here at JBH, Boris put the UK on lockdown and like many others it was time to adapt to the WFH lifestyle and learn the ropes at the same time.

It will be coming up to five months since I started working at JBH, so I thought I would share you into some tips and insight into starting your first job in Digital PR.

1. Don’t be scared to ask questions – ask away

If it’s your first graduate role, then everything is pretty much new to you! From the clients to jargon, you won’t be familiar with it, and your agency won’t expect you to know it all! It’s really important to not be afraid to ask questions, plus the more questions you ask the more comfortable you’ll become. I must have asked our Senior Digital PR Executive Sophie hundreds of questions, and I always apologised and thought I was incredibly annoying in the process but she always reassured me to ask away and no question is a stupid question.

Top Tip: Ask other members of your team questions (rather than just one person) and you will get a wealth of information and knowledge.

 

2. Absorb everything – be a sponge

There are some amazing blogs, webinars, and newsletters out there that you can read for inspiration and help you understand Digital PR. I have explored different blogs since I started at JBH, particularly Jessica Pardoe’s blog, The Weekly PR Newsletter, and our amazing JBH Jane Hunt’s webinars that include incredible guests from across the industry.

Top Tip: Check out some free courses you can complete, Google Analytics have some good ones

 

3. Adapt quickly – lockdown loomed

I never anticipated that after a week and a half of being in the office, we would go into another lockdown due to coronavirus, which led to us all working from home. Since graduating from university, I completely lost my confidence so the idea of being on my own devices at home after only dipping into a few training sessions dawned on me. But life is all about adapting and I’ve adapted to change my entire life! Our daily meetings have resulted in being on g-meet, to stay socialising with the team we have a fortnightly win and games session, and we have members of our team we are yet to meet, but we are like a little work family (I say little but we are expanding quick!..)

Top Tip: Drop in on other members of your team and check up on them, see how they are! I’m sure they would love to chat about their day. They might even give your work a once over and a fresh pair of eyes.

 

4. Networking is important

The Digital PR industry is really rewarding and everyone is lovely – get yourself a professional Twitter account and build your network on there. Yes, LinkedIn is great for networking, but Twitter is where the fun is! You can follow others and get inspiration from accounts like @DigitalPRInspo and @DigitalPREx. Share your campaigns, praise others, get involved in conversations, and brag about your links!

Top Tip: Don’t be afraid to get involved in conversations, even if you don’t know them


5. Be patient with yourself

Everyone learns differently, some people might get things quicker than others but if you don’t get it straight away then don’t be hard on yourself – hard work takes time and it does pay off eventually! Remember that you’re learning and you are fresh in PR!

Top Tip: Sometimes campaigns don’t land, but don’t stress about it – this is a massive learning curve for future campaigns and you can learn from this.

 

6. Think like a journalist

I’ve figured since starting at JBH that sometimes, despite being in PR, you have to think like a journalist and think what would they want to read? You might think your campaign is amazing and you want to tell the world but be concise and straight to the point especially when you’re outreaching, as you want to draw the journalist in straight away!

Top Tip: When you’re outreaching, draw the journalist in within the first two sentences.

 

7. Practice makes perfect

You might feel like Bart Simpson writing the same thing over and over, and it might become mundane but practice makes perfect! You will eventually nail it and do it without thinking about it when you’re confident in what you’re doing. When you start seeing your work online or journalists email you, it is so satisfying.

Top Tip: Look at previous campaigns for your client and how the tone of voice changes from each client. Some clients you need to read so much information on them to make sure you know them inside and out.

digital pr beyond the backlink
1024 682 Rebecca Moss

Digital PR beyond the backlink: Reaching a wider audience on radio and TV

We often hear that the purpose of digital PR is attracting backlinks to a website to improve SEO rankings. But is it really? Maybe we should start looking at the bigger picture.

A good digital PR campaign does not only attract links but increases brand awareness and mostly draws attention. When we speak of media coverage, we look beyond the backlink. Google and Bing have said in the past, that mentions and citations on the web hold value, even if unlinked.

In that sense, digital PR makes a move to get a bit closer to traditional PR. Websites are not the only media that matters; Radio, TV and even print media play a key role in raising brand awareness and in spreading the word to reach a wider audience.

A study by Ofcom confirms that TV is still the most-used platform for news in 2020. The average adult watched 98 hours of TV news in 2019 and more than 80% of UK TV News viewers use BBC TV channels, more than 30% refer to Sky news. Even more interesting is the discovery that the number of UK adults using Social Media for news has dropped from 49% in 2019 to 45% in 2020. It seems that fake news has caused a decrease in trust in social media. BBC One and ITV are the most referred to news sources. Imagine how many people your campaign could reach if it appeared on those channels? And that on the other hand can lead to even more media coverage and links.

Before we go into some case studies, we should mention a few things to keep in mind in the early stages of a backlink campaign.

Considerations in the early stages of a campaign

One of the key elements of any successful marketing campaign is planning. Before even starting, there should not be any doubt about the target audience, the campaign idea and how to promote the content. Already at this stage, it should be considered whether this campaign would be suitable for media channels like TV or radio. With that comes the question whether you want to promote your brand in these channels. If yes, do you have an expert available that could speak for your brand and will not be shy to stand in front of a camera or a microphone? This is a question you should be ready to answer at any stage of the campaign because if a media outlet is interested in an interview, they usually want it quickly. If you start looking for an expert then, you might lose valuable time and risk losing the opportunity.

Tips to pitch a campaign for TV or radio

If the answer to all previous questions is “yes”: The campaign is suitable for TV or radio, the brand should be promoted on those channels and you have an expert at hand that is available for interviews, it is important to include that information in your outreach emails, especially when pitching to broadcast journalists. They will only know that you have an expert at hand if you tell them!

Other markets provide additional opportunity. If a campaign has broad appeal in different markets, even foreign news channels can cover it. Your pitch should be geared to journalists in that market. Especially in TV, foreign media is not shy to draw upon foreign news stories or interview in English because they are already doing that anyways. We will see an example further below in our case studies.

Case Studies

At JBH, we have run many successful digital PR campaigns and some of our highlights include coverage on TV and radio for some of our clients. That is what we focus on in the following examples. If you are interested in full case studies about campaigns, please refer to our comprehensive JBH case studies.

A dog sitting on a table with a cocktail in front.

Tails.com

In August 2020 shortly after the UK government had released the Eat Out to Help Out scheme. Together with tails.com, we created a list of 14 dog-friendly restaurants in Battersea. The pictures of dogs sipping on cocktails or tasting on a pile of pancakes have brought a lot of media coverage. Mid-August 2020, the Head Veterinarian of Tails.com Sean McCormack appeared on BCC radio to talk about the dog-friendly approach to Eat Out to Help Out:

LuggageHero

LuggageHero published a campaign in October 2020 that focused on leaf foliage in London’s parks. Not only was the campaign picked up by BBC radio with an interview with Simon Sunderbeck, but it also set the trend of leaf peeping. The interview even sparked the idea of a leaf peeping festival that could be spread across 250 London parks in the next year, given that the pandemic will lay behind us by then.

Hero image of the listicle about leaf peeping in London.

Emoov.co.uk

This campaign by emoov.co.uk required some creativity and we came up with an imaginary property listing. What if the queen decided to sell Buckingham Palace? The energy rating came out as quite poor, but what can you expect with 240 bedrooms, 78 bathrooms, a swimming pool and an on-site post office?

We didn’t hide the fact that this is an imaginary listing and turned it into a competition. Readers could guess the price of the property and win a royal hamper.

The campaign brought more than 20 links and was covered by global news sites such as sputniknews.com and German news sites such as merkur.de. We are particularly proud that this PR stunt had been picked up by the French TV station France Télévisions:

1024 681 JBH - The Digital PR Agency

WATCH AGAIN: How to pitch to personal finance journalists

If you missed our webinar with personal finance journalists Tara Evans from The Sun and Adam Williams from the Telegraph you can catch up now. They share insight into how the pandemic has affected their roles, the types of pitches they want to receive and the opportunities for brands. Plus, they also provide tips to help you secure coverage.

 

The webinar covers:

  • How their roles have changed
  • How the pandemic and economic climate has impacted the news desk
  • What type of stories should PRs be pitching?
  • What stories get the best engagement from your readers?
  • Pitch fails
  • How to optimise stories for coverage

Tara Evans | https://twitter.com/taraevans
Digital Consumer Editor at The Sun Online. In the past Tara’s stories have been turned into Dispatches documentaries, informed BBC Watchdog and led investigations for The Guardian. Tara has a special interest in growing online and social audiences, investigative journalism and developing new formats.

Adam Williams | https://twitter.com/adamfrwilliams
Adam Williams is an award-winning financial journalist working for the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph. He predominantly covers mortgages, property, investments and banking. He has previously written for publications including the Guardian, the Mirror and Moneywise. Adam was awarded both Mortgage Journalist of the Year and Investment Journalist of the year at the prestigious Headlinemoney Awards in 2020.


Next Webinar:

Sign up now!

 

1000 666 JBH - The Digital PR Agency

Digital PR in a Day: Here’s how to fit it all in

Digital PR professionals usually wear many hats. In a brainstorming meeting, you are the creative. When you open your email inbox in the morning, go through those replies you received and update all your contact lists and reports accordingly, you’re the admin. In a client meeting, you are the face of the agency. When preparing data-led campaigns, you are the project manager for researchers, designers and writers. If you are in a managing position, you also want to make sure to have time for a one-to-one-catchup with your team members. If that is not enough, your account manager might swing through the door at any time requesting additional information on the campaigns’ progress to update the client. Time management becomes crucial – even on quiet days in digital PR.

Get the most out of a project management tool

Yes, in the same way that a project manager handles all agency proceedings, you should manage your own time and work. Your team is most likely using a project management tool like Asana, Trello or Monday.com to communicate tasks and deadlines. Make use of it!

Create your own project board

Did you know that all of these tools allow you to create your own boards? You can split tasks into smaller sub-tasks and assign individual deadlines. If a project is due next Friday, you can break it out into smaller steps with a milestone being due every day. That will save you from staying longer on Thursday evening. When creating your own board, you can also add recurring tasks, e.g. reporting every last Friday of the month or an hour daily to reply to emails. The tool will automatically copy those tasks and remind you depending on the frequency you assign.

A handwritten to do list in front of a calendar.

Deadlines, priorities, and reminders

Project management tools also allow you to add priorities to each task and set up email reminders. If there is something due in 3 weeks, maybe set a reminder for the week before. If you plan to pick up a task again in a few days, add the file (or links to the files if they are saved in the cloud) to the task in your project management tool. That way you will not have to spend additional time searching for the file to find out where you had left off.

Plan your week

If you come into the office on a Monday morning, take 15 minutes to plan out your week. Your project management tool tells you what is expected from you every day (including recurring tasks), your online calendar tells you which meetings to account for. Estimate how long each task will take and create a schedule for the week, similar to the class timetable you had in school. You can even put those in your calendar to reserve that time for the particular task. Although, I like to write this down on a piece of paper that goes on the wall next to my desk. That way, it is always visible when my online calendar or project board is hidden behind multiple windows and tabs on my screen.

And now the most important tip of all: If you notice that your week carries too much for one human being to handle, have a chat with your manager. Certain deadlines might be adjustable or there might be another team member to take some of your workload.

An alarm clock in between stationery on a desk

Photo by Jeshoots.com from Pexels

Scheduling calls and meetings

When it comes to meetings and calls – either internal meetings or client-facing ones – try to schedule them in blocks. If you have meetings cluttered all over your day with 30 minutes in between each of them, you lose that entire day to meetings. Small gaps between meetings are not helping with productivity. You need 15 minutes now and then to refill your coffee or go to the bathroom, but 30 minutes are too much for a bathroom break and too little to get any work done. Keep that in mind when scheduling your meetings and calls. That brings me to the next point: breaks! You deserve them!

Don’t skip your lunch break

When you plan your day and estimate how long each task takes, ensure to also leave some room for breaks. Get a refill in your cup, get up and stretch every once in a while. Your back and hips will thank you for that. A little walk to the kitchen to refill your water glass gets you moving, and you make sure that you drink enough throughout the day. If you tend to forget these things, why not set a calendar reminder?

Even on the busiest days, one thing you should never do is skipping your lunch break. You need to eat, and you need a longer screen break. If you are struggling with that, make an appointment. This can be a lunch with your colleagues. If you are using a communications tool like Slack, you can create a channel with your lunch time buddies. Even there, you can set a reminder every day that reminds you of your lunch appointment in the office kitchen.  Another way to do this is to book a sports class in your lunch break. Many gyms offer 30- or 45-minute classes of all kinds of sports starting with a relaxing stretch class up to high intensity training. If you are working from home, you can take an online class. You book them, you pay them and that will be your motivation to not skip your lunchbreak. Plus, you get the additional benefit of a workout.

On a side note: You can also add those to your calendar.

An hourglass filled with red sand.

Focus

Seems like you are all set to make it through the week, meet all deadlines without having to stay longer. There is one thing though to keep in mind: Your estimates about the time a task takes are only working if you focus. You are human! We all lose focus from time to time and procrastinate a little. There are some precautions you can take.

The most obvious one is to switch off any distractions which includes notifications on Skype or Slack. Close your email programme and switch those notifications off too. Not to forget your phone: put it away.

Getting things done

If you know that your thoughts might drift off, try the pomodoro technique. Set a timer to 20 or 25 minutes. Whilst the timer is running, you keep the focus on the task. When the timer is up, you take a break. A more advanced way of this technique is an accountability buddy. Partner up with a trusted colleague. You meet at the coffee machine 15 minutes before your day starts, have a little chat and you both plan your day. You both write down what you want to get done by lunch time. When you then meet for lunch, you can quiz each other about your progress. That way, somebody – who is not your manager – will hold you accountable in a friendly way for the goals you set in the morning. You can also identify reasons why a plan failed. Maybe you miscalculated the time it would take? Maybe you got distracted and you can now identify exactly how this distraction looked like and discover ways to prevent it tomorrow.

Change of environment

There is another tip that might help if you start to lose focus on your work. It doesn’t work for everybody, but it has certainly worked for me. Changing environment is like resetting your brain. When you are in the office, work from the coffee area, the kitchen or a meeting room. If your manager agrees, you can work from the coffee shop across the road. This will also prevent any colleagues interrupting your thoughts with questions. When you are working from home, maybe try the dining room or even the sofa or the garden for a certain time and go back to your desk for the next task on the list.

End of day

It means exactly that: END of day. Your workday finishes by 5.30 or maybe 6 pm. Get up, leave and do something else. We are all guilty of staying long hours because we just want to get that one, quick thing done. The moment we realize it, it is 8 pm and the quick thing had turned into 2 hours. When working in an office it is a reminder when your colleagues start leaving the office. If you are regularly staying much longer than them, something must change. Have a chat with your manager if your workload is too high for you alone to handle.

A sure way to leave the office on time is to have plans for the evening: another sports class, a dinner with friends or even your weekly grocery shopping.

When working from home in times of lockdown, it is very tempting to just keep on working until you fall asleep or get hungry. The things you used to look forward to at the end of the day are not possible and this means you have to find other things. Have a dinner with your housemates or your partner. Pick up a new hobby that you do in the evenings. The online sports class you could have done in your lunchbreak is possibly scheduled again in the evening. Read a book or take a long bath. Enjoy your evening and be proud of everything you achieved that day!

1000 666 JBH - The Digital PR Agency

The anatomy of a back link

We hear that all the time: “Can you get us 200 links per month?” Or: “We would like 100 links for this campaign with a DR of 50+.” Those are traditional metrics in Digital PR, but do they really provide the full picture? And more importantly: Do they have positive impact on your organic rankings?

Sometimes they do, other times they do not. If the number alone was all that mattered, we could easily buy thousands of links within seconds. Those would probably rather hurt your rankings though, then improve. (We strongly advise against bulk link buying.) That is why it is time to look at more than just the pure number of links.

About the link itself

There are first and foremost a few things to look at that concern the link itself.

Relevance

A high DR, DA or TF is great, but you also want your links to be topically relevant. Topical TF in Majestic is a good metric to measure this.

With topical relevance comes the target market and language. That does not mean that links from foreign websites are not good, but they should be relevant to your brand and the content you publish that deserved the link.

Link type

Links can come in many shapes and forms, the one we strive for is a link in content. For those, it is important how a link is embedded. Does it seem natural? Is it relevant? Does it make sense that this journalist is mentioning your brand in that context and not a competitor? If the answers to those questions are negative, the link might give the impression of a paid link that has been shoehorned in by a not-so-clever link builder.

Other types of links that can be good are image links. However, a high number of image links in a backlink profile can also be an indicator of spam.

Site wide links or links in the navigation are nice if you want to connect your different brands. The value they bring for SEO though is disputed as it can be easily manipulated.

The same applies to links in user comments or directories. If you can easily access a forum or a comment section or submit links in a directory, the value for SEO is low. Those tactics worked in the past, but Google’s algorithm has evolved over time. If it is too easy, it probably does not make a big impact.

Follow vs. nofollow

Google has changed its stance on nofollow links plenty of times. They now seem to hold more value than they used to, but a follow link is still preferred in the industry. Links marked as “sponsored” hold the least value but can still get you some brand exposure. Keep in mind that a natural backlink profile always has a certain percentage of all link types. If a profile looks “too clean”, it probably is.

About the donor website

The link itself is a nice achievement but when it comes to measuring value it is also important to look at the rest of the website.

Traffic

Is this website getting traffic? Is it ranking for a significant number of keywords? Do both numbers align? If a website ranks for 500 keywords but the traffic estimate is only 20 visitors per month, the value of the website is questionable.

You also want to take penalties into account. A website can have a high TF but have been penalised by the search engine. Traffic and ranking drops are a good indicator to recognise a penalised site.

Syndication

It is no secret that duplicate content is not good for SEO and yet, syndication is an acknowledged tactic. Where duplication ends and syndication starts can be hard to determine at times.

When it comes to outreach campaigns, one journalist might publish your story and others re-publish what the first one wrote. That can significantly increase the number of links to your campaign. When measuring their value though, the first link is a lot more important than the syndication links.

Paid links

We may sound like a broken record, but: buying links is not a recommended way to do SEO in 2021. Yet, we still see many websites doing it. This can also impact your outreach campaigns. You might have gotten the link without any payment in return, but if that same website is also selling links, your link might get devalued too. This aspect is hard to measure as neither we nor Google’s algorithm could ever determine for sure whether a link was paid for or not. But if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. Try not to reach out to those websites in the first place.

Is the URL indexed?

This last one seems to be the most obvious one, but still is forgotten many times. If the URL of the page that is linking to you is not indexed in Google, the link cannot pass any value. Simple as that. The link should not only be devalued in your reporting, but it should also not be counted towards your KPIs until it is indexed.

What matters to the journalist?

When we do an outreach campaign, the audience we are primarily trying to reach are journalists. Those that can pickup our content and publish new content around it with a link. In that context, we should also look at those metrics that matter to journalists. Amongst those we find the number of page views, the time spent on page, comment activity and social shares, in short: engagement metrics.

Those figures do not have a direct impact on rankings, but they increase your chances of attracting links significantly. Additionally, it provides brand exposure.

Counting links and noting DA, DR or TF figures remains the most feasible way to measure the success of a backlink campaign, but there is more to take into your reports and campaign creation. Most importantly, one single link is not tipping the scale, it is your overall backlink profile that matters.

800 471 JBH - The Digital PR Agency

Funding Female Founders: The Shocking State of Female Founded Businesses Revealed in New Study

By analysing companies from the UK, the US and globally we have revealed the industries and countries where women are flourishing and which countries are falling short. 

Women have come a long way in the last 100 years. In 1918, they were finally able to vote, in 1919, The Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act became law and in 1970, the UK Government passed the Equal Pay Act and in 1997, Marjorie Scardino became the first CEO of a FTSE 100 company, but we’re still not seeing enough women rising through the ranks in unicorn companies around the world.

According to Business Insider, every day 849 businesses are founded by women in the US alone, in 2019 21 female-founded unicorn companies were created, a number higher than ever before.

Women have been making their mark in the workplace with more women than ever before rising high up in the ranks and revealing their potential. Whilst progress has been made, female founders are still outnumbered by males. 

Revealed: 2% of the World’s Top Companies have Female Founders

Of the top 100 companies from the Forbes Global 2000 list, just 2% of the top 100 are founded by women, that’s just 2 companies in total. 

Only two of the top 100 companies were founded by women, both companies are also in the tech industry, one of the most competitive fields. 

Both female-founded companies were created in the late 20th century compared to the other 98 companies which began as early as 1792, the list has an average founding year of 1940. Sadly it is not surprising or shocking that these companies have male founders as they were formed during a time of limited rights for women, a time when women held much less value in business or even day-to-day life. 

2% is a figure that women know all too well, according to MarketWatch 2.2% of all investments in the US go to companies founded solely by women. Only 2% of female-owned businesses reach $1M in revenue, this is much lower than men.

Female Founders Thriving Worldwide

Combining data from Crunchbase and other sources, we have revealed the best place for female founders worldwide. The data reveals that the US is the top country for female founders with 3.8 out of 4, more than double the score of China which came in second place.

This data aligns perfectly with previous research, the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs 2019 offers great insight as to why some of these countries fall so low on the leaderboard. The index shows that cultural perceptions of entrepreneurship align with our data where the US comes out on top with Uganda close behind. 

Industry Insight

Taking the top-funded companies in each country we have found the industries who back their businesses the most, revealing the financial industry is the top player for funding with over £16bn from just one company.

According to The World Bank, the US had a GDP of almost £16 trillion, this means that the top-funded female-owned company in the US is worth just 0.09% of the country’s GDP. The amount of funding received by the US top funded company is representative of every person in the US giving the company over £40 each.

The State of US Female Founders

Using data from Crunchbase we have ranked the top female founder-friendly states in the US. California has been crowned the best state in the US for a female to start a business.

Most people may predict New York as the top state for business, California actually comes out on top for female founders. Not only does California have the powerhouse that is Los Angeles, within the San Francisco Bay area sits the famous Silicon Valley. Described as the mecca of tech and innovation and holds incredible tech opportunities. 

Backing Britain

The UK is the home to so many well-established companies and bright-eyed up and comers, many female-founded businesses started in the UK such as Starling Bank. The UK sits at number four on the global list but which area of the UK backs their female founders the most?

The UK holds so many funding opportunities, London wins by a landslide with £3.9bn of funding, the capital of England is also the business hub. Amongst the other contenders, there are some expected cities such as Manchester, however, lesser-known towns such as Colchester and Stevenage that both have more funding than Newcastle.  

How We Can Help Female Founders

Research by The Boston Consulting Group and MassChallenge reports that although females are incredibly underfunded, female-founded startups generate more than twice the amount of revenue per $1 of funding. 

While women are becoming more and more successful in the business world there are important steps we need to take in order to ensure women break through the gender divide. 

Co-founder of JBH the Digital PR Agency Jane Hunt says: 

“Being a female founder brings setbacks and challenges that male founders don’t have to experience. I’ve had to work harder than male colleagues to earn respect as a company founder and boss, but also as an expert throughout my career in marketing and PR. It’s fantastic to see other female founders succeeding and that there’s more support for women to start businesses today, especially in traditionally male-dominated industries. With data showing that female-led businesses are more successful, I’d love to see more opportunities for women in the c-suite in the future”.

There are a number of ways that female founders can be supported, it is incredibly easy to support these businesses from just a click.

Here are some great ways you can help:

  • Share the Love: If you like a brand’s services or products, nothing is more helpful to them than you shouting about it. Whether it is through a review or an Instagram story expressing your positive experience it helps a lot.
  • Constructive Feedback: If you have any issues with a businesses services they will welcome the feedback, by emailing them telling them your thoughts and feedback not only will they likely help resolve any issues but it will help them improve in future.
  • Donate your Time and Expertise: Rather than generic monetary donations, if you consider yourself an expert in your field offer mentoring or advice to aspiring entrepreneurs.
  • Buy Local, By Females: Choosing a local female-owned business will mean more to the owner than you can imagine. Rather than supporting large corporations, head to a local business which will give you a much more personal experience where your purchase isn’t just one in a million.
  • Remember… Someone Else’s Success Is Not Your Failure: Whether it’s a friend or a stranger, someone else’s success should be congratulated, a simple like on Instagram or a follow will help them grow.

How you can help women across the world

Many charities and organisations exist with the sole purpose of supporting women and helping them reach their potential. Where you want to volunteer, educate yourself or donate, find the links below:

What Support Can Women Business Owners Get?

Female founders help:

Female founders in STEM help:

Women in business networking platform:

Methodology: 

Using a mix of sources including CrunchBase, Tide, MasterCard and Linkedin we have calculated the best places for female founders globally, in the US and the UK. Each component was ranked based on normalization ranking with a maximum score of one or 10 to find the best destinations. These ranked components include:

  • % of women business owners
  • Top funding amount 
  • Number of female-only founded businesses with rounds of over $100M in 2019
  • Estimated number of female founders
  • Total funding of state or city
  • Number of founders on Linkedin
1000 665 Jane Hunt

WATCH AGAIN: Data Fails – A data analyst reveals the mistakes we’re ALL making

If you missed our webinar with Thierry Ngutegure, data and insights manager at Rise at Seven on data fails you can catch up now. Jane and Thierry discuss the types of mistakes we’re making when we use data in our digital PR campaigns and how to solve or avoid them. There were so many great pieces of insight and tips, so well worth a watch or re-watch!

 

The webinar covers:

  • Ideation phase: How we approach “I wonder if there’s is data on” vs “We should do a survey about”
  • Research techniques: How not everyone gets 110% out of their surveys/reach techniques and the analytical tricks we’re missing
  • Content creation: 32% is not a third and 22 people in Leeds does not speak for the entire of Leeds – data etiquette
  • Methodologies: why your methodology should be as good as your headline/hook

About Thierry

Thierry is the Data & Insights Manager at Rise at Seven, overlooking everything data and research-orientated. Aligning with operational efficiencies, reporting strategies for SEO/PR, data-led content creation, data journalism and consumer research.

An expert in data-led insight, Thierry’s roots in biological sciences and consumer economics makes sure the audience is always at the core of everything.

Thierry’s client experience spans Berghaus, MyHermes, Missgudied, PrettyLittleThing, Gocompare, Uswitch, MyProtein, GAME, Ladbrokes and Badoo/Bumble.

Follow Thierry on Twitter

 

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