Measuring as much as you can allows you to prepare for as many scenarios as possible as company goals and strategies change. For example, a company that wants to be acquired may suddenly need to know about increased website visits as opposed to increased conversions. Set up as much reporting as possible, as early as possible.
Build a list of potential metrics to track PR SEO effectiveness based on what matters most to stakeholders, both immediately and long term.
Choose metrics that best reflect the goals of the company and individual departments to ensure that the integrated PR SEO effort is helping as many people across the organization as possible.
- Site traffic
- Referrals from links
- Time on page or articles read per session
- Changes to search real estate or share of voice
- Returning visitors
- Email signups
- Publication readership
- Branded search
- Social shares
- Publisher quality
- Publication URL
- Site spam score
- Whether a placed article included links or brand mentions, and how many
- Overall linking domains
- Inbound links to a site sector, like your blog or press center
- Links to specific landing pages
Initial KPIs without market experience on the project are educated guesses. After 3–4 months, evaluate how well your temporary KPIs are reflecting your performance to see what was easy to measure, and what best matches your company goals. Scale-up activities that are performing well but don’t take major effort or resources while deprioritizing others that are more difficult to scale.
This strategy keeps stakeholders calm while PR takes the necessary time to ramp up. For example, a KPI related to increasing domain authority can take months to show any tangible effect. Track related metrics, like how many links you’ve built and the quality of links built, to show the potential win of increased domain authority in the future.
Track coverage monthly using Google Alerts, online plagiarism detection services like Copyscape, and paid media tracking services.
Create Google Alerts of relevant topics and keywords, receiving emails when new results reflect these criteria in blogs, newspaper articles, or web pages. Use the online plagiarism detection service Copyscape to check whether similar text content to your press release or media alert appears elsewhere on the web. Paid services like Meltwater and Signal AI can create more custom reports, but they are expensive to use.
For each posted article, record whether the links are follow or nofollow and which areas of your website they link to. Over time, you can use that data to identify which types of articles and publications use which types of links and improve your media pitches accordingly. You can also use the reports to tweak your strategy to build a diverse link portfolio.
Celebrate and report on new pieces of coverage and the included links as wins for the PR SEO effort.
For any link or piece of coverage you send to other teams, explain what it means and why it is significant. Include a note on whether it was a full article or a mention, a link to the article, the page’s yearly visitors, the number of links to the company website in the article, and a page dedicated to expected coverage or coverage in the process. This comprehensive report type ensures that other stakeholders see the value of any PR SEO campaign.