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February 20, 2024

Patrick Taylor

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Senior Director, Performance Marketing

An image of a search engine results page, representing the opportunity to increase brand visibility with digital PR and SEO.

“Brand visibility is defined as the proportion of exposure a brand enjoys in relation to its competitors and its industry.”

In short, brand visibility measures how influential a brand is. And in today’s ruthless digital arena of competition, driving influence and standing above the competition in the press, search engines, social media and other online channels is essential to both a brand’s visibility and bottom-line goals. If a brand isn’t highly visible to its prospects, you can bet that its competition is, as they eat up coveted marketing real estate and garner attention from potential buyers. 

So, where do marketers need to focus efforts to increase brand presence? How can they measure the output of these efforts and know whether they’re successful? 

By effectively combining digital PR and off-site SEO, brands can grow their presence and boost sales. Here’s how it works, as well as the success metrics to consider as brands look to grow their visibility:

The Waterfall Effect of Digital PR → SEO → Increased Brand Visibility

Like a finely paired wine with an excellent meal, successful digital PR enhances SEO results, creating a more visible and impactful brand narrative.

These two channels are quite intertwined, almost reliant on each other to produce results in the name of increased brand visibility. So, we’ll start by taking an individual look at how each channel operates.

Digital PR

Public relations has come a long way from faxing press releases and clipping print publications. Now, this practice thrives online in the interactive form of video interviews, podcasts, and written articles featured on authoritative outlets and websites.

This online shift has created significantly more opportunities for a brand to present itself as an industry thought leader, with added validation from the writers, publishers, broadcasters and influencers who host these online assets.

Even better news is that this interactive online format generates the opportunity to share, link, and expand the reach of a brand’s story with just 1 click. 

Sharing content or a media hit on social channels or syndicating it across other sites and mediums is easier than ever for a brand and its executives, partners and customers. This instantaneous sharing and linking ability expands reach far beyond its prior bounds.

Now, for the bad news. Since sharing content is so intuitive and can be done so quickly, the competition for brand visibility has escalated into a never-ending battle.

If a brand doesn’t have its storytelling down pat, or a content strategy to boot, it’s going to be impossible to beat out the competition in the realm of brand visibility.

Focused and relevant storytelling increases the likelihood of earned media permeating across channels and delivering the desired waterfall effect. As does a proper off-site SEO strategy and execution.

Off-Site SEO

Within the 3 pillars of SEO (on-site, off-site and technical), off-site SEO requires the most collaboration from cross-departmental marketing teams to conduct properly. 

Historically, off-site SEO has been defined as acquiring backlinks (commonly known as link-building) on quality 3rd party sites and publications (hello Digital PR) that indicate to both readers and search engines that a brand is trusted. In recent times though we’re seeing off-site SEO’s impact on search rankings and brand visibility is not just about backlinks.

More important than any backlink these days are brand mentions on authoritative 3rd party sites. Search engines, like humans, are quite intuitive and can clearly connect a brand mention (with or without a backlink) with the influence and visibility of that brand, which in turn increases both search engine rankings and brand recall.

But some brand mentions are worth more than others. It’s essential that the brand’s story is told in an impactful manner, while also aligning with a content strategy and keyword prioritization. Tying content back to a larger brand initiative and using the right-fit ICP-targeted keywords within content earned via digital public relations is all a part of well-executed off-site SEO. 

The work towards brand building via these channels requires chemistry between the SEO team and the PR team.

Brand Visibility Measurement

In conjunction with brand visibility efforts, it’s essential to make sure that a measurement plan is in place, so that ongoing success is achievable. Having a firm set of KPIs to measure against will drive new ideas and optimizations for increased brand visibility.

To measure the growth of brand visibility driven by digital PR and off-site SEO efforts, consider benchmarking and measuring growth for the following data points:

  1. Organic Search + Direct Web Traffic: Key indicators of increased brand visibility are increased website sessions and new users, especially from prospects who are finding a brand’s site organically on search engines or coming to the site directly. It’s also important to measure the engagement levels of these new users based on their engagement rate and conversions.

  2. Keyword Rankings: To effectively measure keyword ranking growth, it’s important that a brand has a keyword list split into content pillars and priority terms within each pillar. Doing so will enable effective measurement of how search engine real estate ownership is increasing as both digital PR and SEO efforts grow brand visibility. Through a trickle-down effect, higher keyword rankings should also increase the amount of engaged website traffic from organic search.

  3. Domain Authority: Although not a Google ranking factor, domain authority (developed by Moz) is an effective measurement of how likely a website is to rank on an SERP based on the quality and quantity of inbound links that site is receiving. This metric is best used in a comparative fashion against a brand’s competitors, rather than as an absolute metric, as it goes from a scale of 1 to 100. As of today, this is one of the most effective measurements of off-site SEO and digital PR’s ability to work together in gaining backlinks that drive up brand visibility. Notably, though, Domain Authority doesn’t account for brand mentions that don’t include backlinks, so it’s not a perfect measurement of the full picture of brand visibility. Nonetheless, it is worth tracking in addition to other brand visibility metrics.

  4. Share of Voice: This is another comparative metric that measures how much media coverage and/or social media mentions a brand receives relative to that of its competition. This can be broken down at the brand level, at a subject matter level, or in even more levels of minute detail based on specific priority topics (tied to keyword pillars) that a brand is seeking to own on its mission towards increasing brand visibility.

Or best of all, you can combine all of these metrics into one single measure of brand health via Alloy’s proprietary Brand Health Score, a key way to monitor changes in brand visibility. Driving and measuring growth for brand visibility requires high-intent planning, seamless execution and intelligent reporting and optimizations. If your brand is looking to increase its influence via digital PR and SEO efforts, get in touch.