What is Digital PR? Why It Matters in Quality Link-Building

With over 1.5 billion active websites on the world wide web today, it is easy for your website to be lost among others online.

Therefore, every webmaster’s job is to come up with a strategy that gets their site noticed by search engines and the target audience.

This is where digital PR, a powerful link-building strategy comes in.

You might have come across the term “digital PR.” But what is digital PR?  How is it different from traditional PR? How can it be used to improve SEO rankings?

Here, we will answer these questions, and much more.

 Make smart digital marketing moves by contracting us for your digital PR strategy.

What Is Digital PR?

Digital PR agency

Digital PR is a marketing strategy that helps websites build high-authority dofollow links in trusted online outlets.

As you know, backlinks serve as a “vote of confidence” from one site to another. High-quality backlinks from trusted authority websites can dramatically improve your site’s ranking in SERPs.

To build powerful links, digital PR experts write and send press releases to relevant partners, such as:

  • Journalists
  • Bloggers
  • Social media influencers

Through such collaborations, they reach target audiences on:

  • Their favorite online channels
  • The blogs they read
  • And the social media accounts they love

One example of digital PR in action comes from a music website that provided interesting statistics and commentary on the rise of sales in catalogue albums compared to those of current albums.

current vs catalogue total sales

Throughout the article, the writer references popular musicians, and includes quotable statistics and supporting graphics. This kind of detailed information has great appeal to audiences and is something that news sites would be quick to reference – providing great backlinks.

As you can see below, major news outlets referenced the information provided, and this led to great backlinks.

major new outlet ahref rank

So, you’re probably wondering: how different is digital PR from traditional public relations? Which one produces better ROI for link building?

Let’s explore the similarities between both forms of PR and determine which is the better option for website owners…

Digital PR vs Traditional PR

Both forms of PR have a common goal: to improve brand reputation and raise its visibility among the target audience.

In the past, a traditional PR agency would focus its efforts on interacting with editors and journalists to obtain coverage in major publications and channels.

However, Digital PR takes it further to focus on online media such as major online publications, blogs, podcasts, YouTube channels, and to some extent, social media.

traditional pr vs  digital marketing PR

Traditional PR is about winning coverage in traditional media. In addition to that, Digital PR focuses on building high-quality backlinks to boost SEO.

Digital PR is especially suitable for website owners who want to expand their link building efforts. It’s also preferred by many because it produces measurable results and positive ROI.

You might also be wondering how different Digital PR is from press release link building. Let’s take a look at that.

Digital PR vs Press Release Link Building

A press release is an official statement issued to publishing outlets by a brand to give information.

Press release link building is when you create a press release that includes a backlink to your website. You then syndicate the press release across as many news websites as possible.

ABC PR Diagram

Many PR agencies use press release platforms to give information to interested journalists.

A quality press release service can be great for link pillowing. But such press releases don’t usually contain the most powerful backlinks.

Digital PR, on the other hand, takes a more focused approach. It is designed to get links to your website in real news articles from powerful sites.

ABC Digital PR Diagram

This is original content created by the outlet – not syndicated content.  Such backlinks are a lot more potent.

Why Is Digital PR Important?

Digital PR is important because it helps you build a brand’s online presence and reputation.

It has many direct and indirect benefits, such as:

Building Powerful Links to Improve SEO Ranking

Digital PR enables you to build various types of links that improve your website’s ranking. 

It allows you to get links from top-tier websites that may not have been available to you otherwise.

yahoo news diggity marketing

Backlinks and mentions from high-quality sites also help boost a website’s Expertise, Authority, and Trust (E-A-T) in the eyes of Google.

Building Online Brand Visibility

Digital PR allows brands to reach a highly targeted audience through niche outlets and a  wider audience through larger news media.

A good digital PR story is likely to be picked up and amplified by various online channels, earning you even more links.

Increasing Referral Traffic to Your Site

Through building quality links, Digital PR increases referral traffic to your website.

referral traffic meme

People coming to your site via referral already have some level of understanding of your brand. This means they’re high-quality traffic and that drives conversions.

Generating More Leads and Sales

Online PR can generate a lot of traffic. Through more organic traffic gained from:

  • Ranking increases
  • Direct referral traffic
  • And social media buzz.

More traffic to your website means the opportunity for more leads and sales.

These people will click around your website, sign up to your email list, and potentially buy through your affiliate links.

These extra eyeballs can also mean a nice bump up in ad revenue if you run ads on your site.

You can use the metrics (discussed below) to track the ROI from your content marketing campaign.

Improving Brand Image

A nice side effect of Digital PR is that it improves your brand’s image.

branding perception and value

Your brand will get in front of a large target audience. People will see you as an authority.

Mentioning that you were featured in large outlets on your website also helps build trust with new visitors.

Having links from online outlets your audience trusts positively influences their perception of your brand.

So, how do we bring this all together…

The Link Between Digital PR and SEO

Digital PR is a fantastic compliment to a solid offsite SEO strategy.

Digital PR link on SEO

You have probably already built links through link inserts, infographics, and guest posts.

But Digital PR opens up the opportunity to get top-tier links on high-authority sites that wouldn’t be available using standard link-building strategies.

In competitive niches, the types of links gained from PR could be the advantage you have over your competition.

It could help you rank above them for highly sought after keywords.

For an effective combo, online content marketing campaigns combine digital PR alongside more common offsite SEO strategies.

But how exactly do you create a digital PR strategy?

Creating a Digital PR Strategy

The first step is to define your goals and objectives. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What is the primary goal? (Links, shares, or both)
  • What kind of market am I targeting? (Where you’d ideally like to get links)
  • How will this fit in with my current link building efforts? (Particular topic/keyword to help you rank and build authority)

Digital PR goals might include:

  • Building links in high-authority sites
  • Boosting referral traffic to your site
  • Increasing social media shares, mentions, and followers
  • Increasing brand awareness
  • And reputation management

Digital PR Tactics to Get Started

The focus of digital PR strategies is on:

  • Creating great content.
  • Securing backlinks from high-authority online media outlets.

Here are a few effective strategies to start your digital public relations campaign.

Find Newsworthy Content

Online editors and journalists are looking for potentially viral content. They want content that is shareable on social media and in their publications.

This example of a beer brand encouraging their consumers to drink water is definitely newsworthy.

PR week guiness

As you can see, the story was quickly taken up by news sites that linked back to the brand’s original content.

Less is more PR post

So, where can you find ideas like this?

BuzzSumo is a great place to start your search for engaging content ideas. You can also use BuzzSumo to discover potential outreach opportunities.

Another tool to find interesting ideas is Ahrefs Content Explorer. Use it to trigger ideas and find what goes viral.

Here are some tips on how to research content ideas:

  • Put your niche into the Ahrefs Content Explorer or BuzzSumo. This will give you a list of topics that have gotten the most links and shares.
  • Find a subreddit in your niche and sort by the most popular of all time.
  • On Amazon book category, search for a topic related to your product. Look at the table of contents for the highest-rated books to find interesting topics.
  • Identify influencers in your industry and study their posts. Which posts have the most engagement? You can expand their brief social media posts into articles.

Create the Content

When creating Digital PR content, focus on making sure that it can be easily used by journalists in their news pieces.

This means:

  • Including quotes that journalists can use,
  • Highlighting interesting statistics
  • Including interesting graphics and custom images that journalists can use and cite your website as a source.

Remember, journalists are time-poor. Organize and display the content so they can easily scan and find the most relevant and interesting pieces of information to use.

Make sure it is well laid out. But don’t worry about interlinking just yet. Wait till after you have completed the PR campaign.

Videos and graphs are also incredibly popular.

Video graphs for Digital PR

Journalists and website owners love this type of easy-to-consume content.

easy to consume content ahrefs ranking

If you combine these types of content alongside relevant and authoritative quotes then you will have a powerful combination that will be sure to get the attention of news outlets.

Identify Outlets and Journalists to Partner With

The next step is identifying relevant online outlets to partner with.

Here are some ways to easily find and connect with the right reporters and outlets:

  • Social Media – Most reporters are easily accessible through their social media accounts. Use the search function on social media platforms to find the right people to connect with. Search for “[keyword] journalist” or “[keyword] editor”. 
  • Google News –  Search the names of your brand’s competitors in Google News. This will give you a list of outlets where they’ve been featured – where you can pitch your content ideas. You will also find the names of reporters in your niche.
  • Backlink checkers and other SEO tools – Use Ahrefs to see which outlets have linked to similar content by your competitors. Reach out to those outlets/journalists.
  • Email search tools – You can also find relevant contacts by using email search tools such as BuzzStream and Hunter. Once you have an email, run it through MailTester. This will let you know if the email is still active.

Make sure that the outlets you choose have:

  • Strong domain authority – preferably, their domain authority should be comparable to yours or higher.
  • A track record of linking to their sources – use Ahrefs metrics to determine the quantity and quality of a site’s outbound link profile.

Before choosing an outlet to reach out to, look through their other articles and check whether they not only link to their resources, but those links are also dofollow.

If they’ve already linked out to one of your competitors, assess the context of the link placement – then you can use this to capitalize on your pitch.

Create and Distribute the Press Release

A well-written press release catches the editor’s attention, increasing the chances of being published. 

create a well written press release

Reporters are bombarded with plenty of emails from brands that want to be featured. They are likely to ignore sub-par press releases.

With time and effort, you can create a press release that is difficult to ignore.

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Use well-crafted templates – Templates take the hustle out of writing releases from scratch every time. You can measure the success of different pitch templates and use that information to refine your outreach for further pitches.
  • Think like a journalist – Consider what journalists and their target audience are likely to find interesting. Include useful quotes and statistics. Make the information they need easy to find, and keep the release as brief as possible.
  • Include your boilerplate copy – At the bottom of the press release, include a brief description of your company. 
  • Distribute it right – The most effective way of distribution is by pitching to carefully selected editors and reporters. However, you can opt to blast out your press release using wire services, but it’s nowhere near as effective.

Measuring the Success of Digital PR

Once you’ve sent your press releases, you want to measure how successful your digital PR campaign was. This helps you determine ROI.

To measure success, look at factors such as:

  • Amount and quality of links
  • Social media shares
  • Amount of referral traffic
  • Amount of leads and email sign-ups from referral traffic and social shares
  • Rankings over the next month or two

There are several tools that every digital PR agency uses to measure the success of their strategies. Here are some of them:

  • Google Analytics –  Use it to track referral traffic, leads, and social traffic. Note if there are any traffic spikes across the board after distributing a press release.
  • BuzzSumo – It helps you track your social shares to measure brand awareness.
  • Ahrefs – Use it to check your backlink profile for any new links gained.
  • Rank trackers – They are handy in tracking your site’s ranking. Review your ranking a month after publishing a press release.
  • Mention and Google Alerts – Use them to track any unlinked mentions you may have received. You can reach out to these websites to ask for the link.

Extra Tip:Once you have completed the Digital PR campaign and the dust has settled, include links within your content that you were promoting to the pages on your website you want to divert link juice to.

Get Help With Your Digital PR Strategy

Digital PR is an effective way to build powerful links and improve your website’s search engine rank. It also provides a more measurable ROI than its traditional counterpart.

But it also requires a lot of work to be done right…

At Authority Builders, we are currently in the process of refining a new digital PR service.

We have built relationships with journalists and editors at the highest levels.

We know exactly how and where to get you the most powerful backlinks to boost your SEO rankings.

Whether yours is a brand new site or you’re an older website struggling to get noticed in a crowded marketplace, our new Digital PR Service can help you build authoritative links.

Sign up to be a beta tester of our new Digital PR service.

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