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Digital PR Link Building: Will PR Backlinks Improve Your SEO?

By the Rhino Rank team
18th Aug 2023

With so much competition on the internet, every web owner strives for authority in their industry.

The importance of backlinks in search engine optimization (SEO) cannot be overstated. However, many individuals need more clarity on link building and often buy links. Sadly, most search engines, especially Google, view buying links as spam, which may hurt your website’s trust and credibility.

Instead, you can explore other effective ways to generate backlinks and establish an effective digital public relations content marketing strategy.

Digital PR campaigns are one of the few strategies to help you generate relevant links at scale.  

This blog post will discuss digital PR concepts in detail and explain how they can boost your website’s organic traffic and visibility.

Let’s get started!

Short Summary 

  • PR remains valuable for link building because it creates brand exposure and generates media coverage.
  • Building relationships with journalists and influencers through PR efforts can produce high-quality backlinks from reputable sources.
  • Combining PR link strategies with digital marketing can enhance link building efforts and improve overall SEO performance.

What Is PR Link Building?

Public relations (PR) link building is a form of inbound marketing that uses PR to get quality links to a website. This link-building method employs public relations tactics like media pitching and press releases to attract editorial links from authoritative websites

The success of your digital PR effort will rely on having high-quality inbound links leading back to your site. 

 

What Is Digital PR?

Digital PR campaigns involve marketing strategies to acquire backlinks to help your SEO strategy.

Creating linkable assets, link bait, and promoting your content will encourage relevant journalists and media outlets to link to your website. 

Success in digital PR is primarily about developing interesting ideas that journalists want to cover. Digital PR initiatives that effectively combine these factors can generate considerable rewards in terms of media attention, PR links, and general online exposure.

Digital PR centers around crafting and producing content that narrates captivating stories compelling enough for journalists to want to cover and link to them.

How PR Helps With Relevance and Authority

Relevance and authority are key performance indicators considered during pitching in an adequately conducted SEO or digital PR outreach call. An expert in digital PR outreach uses databases like Cision or Muckrack to find high-caliber journalists and media outlets interested in your product or service and can be pitched.

These sites include journalists’ contact information, regions of coverage, and even a list of recently published items so the PR professional may do some research before contacting the journalist.

A savvy PR specialist identifies the outlet and the writer in advance to avoid the “pray and spray” strategy some marketers employ.

The latter tactic involves spamming a list of bloggers and journalists with generic press releases in the hopes that someone would take it up and create a backlink.

Why Is PR Important To SEO, And Vice Versa?

A successful digital PR link building campaign provides measurable, regular, high-quality traffic from pertinent links to your website’s organic growth. 

This only occurs when a search engine, like Google, can tell that a backlink from a highly regarded website linking to your site has a common motif and is relevant to the information on the connected page.

Having an unpaid, third-party endorsement of your brand, product, or service, PR is crucial to SEO strategy. As a result, backlinks of a high caliber and authority cannot be purchased; instead, they must be “earned.” 

When an editor or influencer highlights your business, brand, product, or service because it benefits readers, such backlinks are regarded as earned.

Imagine how much traffic high-quality links from a website like Forbes or the Wall Street Journal could bring to your website. Unlike other spammy websites or blogs, these well-known sites aren’t in the business of making money by selling links. 

Their editorial is free from the impact of pay-to-play strategies utilized by other sites with less authority because they generate income from advertisements and other promotional sources.

However, getting links from highly reputable websites is challenging and can take some time. The pitch must match the writer’s plot and the tale’s setting; contrary, the journalist or editor won’t want to include it because it would lessen the story’s impact.

But let’s say the digital PR specialist has done their due diligence and research, and they have crafted a pitch that hits the journalist’s sweet spot and piques their interest. A high authority backlink from that work could give your site years of indexing and profit.

What Is the Difference Between Link Building and Digital PR?

Link-building and digital PR are crucial online content marketing techniques that business owners utilize to grow their brands. However, they differ significantly from one another. 

Check out this summary of these two SEO and web marketing tactics.

Method

Link building involves link builders collaborating with expert keyword researchers to identify the precise links they may employ to maintain the linking of a website. The procedure, which keeps your company at the heart of all advertising concepts, can be complicated. 

The technique of link development also emphasizes increasing website traffic. Link builders collaborate with bloggers that assist them in producing high-quality content to earn quality links. Since they work with smaller specialty websites to obtain worthwhile links, these bloggers also assist link builders.

These sites are pertinent to the material that hyperlinks push for, even though the audience doesn’t read them as frequently as traditional news media. Google evaluates how relevant links are to a webpage. Link-building initiatives are only effective if they raise a website’s search engine rating.

Digital PR, on the other hand, is more research-driven. Specialists here work for online businesses and collaborate closely with SEO teams to gain insights into the field and a deeper understanding of what happens behind the scenes.

Digital PR professionals concentrate on increasing client exposure while developing concepts that add to a meaningful online discussion.

An effective digital PR strategy should focus on online marketers. Digital PR teams often work with reputable websites, online magazines, and journalists to give current and prospective clients content they can talk about.

Objective

The other distinction between link-building and digital PR tactics is each strategy’s goal. For instance, a digital link building tactic focuses on excelling in the SEO industry. They try to impress Google and other search engines to obtain a higher ranking on these search engines.

Digital PR, conversely, considers how to impress people and produce something that people will speak about. Experts in digital PR concentrate on creating something engaging that people will speak about, which helps them garner a vast network.

Additionally, digital PR benefits businesses aiming to improve public opinion. You must use social media in addition to your website to drive traffic if you plan to use digital PR for your content marketing campaigns. 

Long-tail keywords are another strategy these media database experts utilize to boost their search engine ranks. Digital PR experts do this by enhancing their social media profiles, which ultimately helps their profiles rank on Google alongside their company’s website.

Risk

Campaigns for link building are less expensive than those for digital PR. Digital PR efforts require considerable planning, which might take several months before they begin to function effectively. 

You need extensive for your digital research efforts to be successful.

Before creating their digital PR initiatives, players running digital PR focuses and campaigns must solicit customer reviews. Such drawn-out procedures may increase the expense and danger of these efforts.

Link building is a more significant investment than a digital PR campaign because web admins take less time to find the good links they will use. Also, hyperlinking PR link building campaigns are less dangerous than executing a digital PR campaign.

Approach

Link building entails reaching out to a specific audience. This audience comprises users who frequently visit the website where the content marketing links are located. Link building, aimed primarily at online marketers, provides a more concise approach to Internet marketing. Digital content marketing doesn’t entail audience targeting.

It concentrates on anyone looking for specialized information online regarding a firm and the goods and services it provides to both potential and current clients. Simply defined, digital PR marketing aims to increase a brand’s popularity among those who may need to become more familiar with it. 

Every digital PR campaign and marketing strategy aims to increase a brand’s visibility and popularity.

Is PR Still Valuable for Link Building? 

Public Relations (PR) continues to play a role in link-building. Digital PR helps gain exposure, foster relationships, and even earn links and high-quality backlinks from reputable sources.

Here are some reasons PR links remains valuable for digital link building strategies:

  1. Acquiring high-quality backlinks: Media coverage and mentions from sources can lead to backlinks for your website, positively impacting your search engine rankings and overall online visibility.
  2. Strengthening brand visibility and credibility: PR and influencer marketing efforts enhance your brand’s reputation and visibility, opening doors for opportunities to acquire quality links and increase traffic.
  3. Building relationships: PR involves establishing connections with journalists, bloggers, and influencers, which can result in opportunities for link-building through collaborations on content or interviews.
  4. Diversifying your link profile: Having a range of high-quality links from sources strengthens your overall link profile making it more appealing to search engines.
  5. Amplifying through media: PR campaigns can generate buzz on social media platforms leading to media contacts, increased sharing of your content, and potential acquisition of links.

However, it is vital to acknowledge that the digital marketing landscape and approaches to link-building are consistently evolving.

Although public relations (PR) is valuable, combining it with other link-building strategies, like, content marketing campaigns, guest posting, and blogger outreach, is essential. This comprehensive approach ensures effectiveness and a rounded strategy.

Also, stay updated on the trends and best practices in SEO and digital marketing so that you can adjust your link-building strategies accordingly.

The Benefits

1. Authority Links

A Digital PR strategy is the only technique to earn authority links from reputable media outlets.

You might get the occasional organic mention, but if you want to keep up with your rivals or pass them, you must continuously gain these links at a respectable rate. 

Different inks hold different values. Having said that, if you want to rank for highly competitive keywords, you need high-authority links, and that’s where digital PR may come in handy.

2. Gain A Competitive Advantage

Strategies like resource link building and guest posting expose you to your rivals. 

For example, your website may be linked to by an authority page, but your competent rival, which monitors your link profile, will most likely realize it. They can then deftly approach the web admin and present themselves as the exceptional complement to the page. 

Not suggesting that these links have no value—they do—but if your rival is copying your link positions and obtaining the same valuable links? No one gets a competitive advantage.

Replicating someone else’s link profile is frequently that simple. Identify who is linked, get in touch with them, and ask for the link while expressing why you’d be a fantastic addition. This is common amongst rival organizations and businesses.

Note: Link-building tools like Semush can help spot link chances when trying to catch up with your competitors’ link-building efforts.

Get smart and use a tactic that helps you earn links that aren’t easy to replicate: digital PR.

3. Drive Referral Traffic

Many link-building strategies lead to rarely clicked links. While some SEOs don’t care, you should. Besides, Google and other search engines won’t grant a link with zero clicks the same authority as a link that generates referral traffic.

Aside from link development, referral traffic refers to visitors to your website. People who might buy from you next. Create compelling ways to encourage these people to join your email list or add them to your remarketing lists. 

Digital PR has advantages over conventional link development strategies, including getting referral traffic. By utilizing a digital PR link strategy, you can obtain links from pertinent, reputable media to support your investment in the strategy and advance your overall marketing objectives.

Digital PR and the link-building campaign is not a standalone activity. The appropriate strategy is to land links that boost traffic through more channels than increasing organic search rankings.

4. Build Brand Awareness

Your company will benefit if you employ a digital PR agency to obtain links from reputable sources that are topically relevant to your target market. Through your campaign, you can introduce your company to thousands of readers.

Coverage increases top-of-funnel awareness, even if readers need to become familiar with your company. While conversions might take time, media attention and brand development will advance your sales funnel.

For those already aware of your brand, this might also act as a reminder that you are still around. This level of exposure to your target market is unmatched by other digital or traditional PR link building strategies.

5. Build Trust

Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness, or E-A-T, have been shared among SEOs for years. However, what needs to be discussed more is how linkages present your company and its employees as authorities.

Top-tier media outlets in your industry linking to you as authorities on a particular subject are a powerful indicator that you’re a voice worth paying attention to, especially when this happens frequently.

Gaining recognition in prestigious business publications can also increase your audience’s confidence in you.  

You can share where you’ve been featured and get publicity from digital PR that you’ll be happy to share.

6. Drive Social Engagement

Although search and social media are frequently viewed as two distinct marketing platforms, they can complement each other to produce excellent results.

Creating news stories and promoting them to the press is excellent. But if you don’t also promote them on social networks, you’re leaving possibilities on the table.

Mention a company or person by name in your marketing materials. Remember also to tag them on your social media posts. 

Challenges of PR Link Building 

1. The Issue of Scalability 

You must continually raise the caliber and quantity of links you receive to maintain your SEO value and link profile. It is initially achievable in a low-competition business with a low beginning position but gradually gets more complex over time.

2. Securing High-Quality Links Regularly

In the past, there have always been methods for obtaining many linkages. Purchasing links from marketplaces like Fiverr and building links using programs like Private Blog Networks or GSA; however, we are no longer in 2010, and Google is much more intelligent now.

Paying for links is a traditional PR strategy that will result in new links having no added value for your readers, which is a surefire way to be penalized. 

The difficulty here is obtaining links with high quality and domain authority, which goes back to developing those relationships with journalists and publishers and utilizing traditional PR strategies to develop your SEO strategy.

3. Producing Well-Written and High-Quality Content

Journalists will only include your links in an article if you beg them to, and they should only include them if they contribute something to the piece.

Earning a link in a news item is not easy and is only growing more complex. Still, you can raise your chances by creating content journalists would like to link to or provide additional information to a reader.

Journalists are more likely to connect to your site’s eBooks and market research reports than to your ‘contact us’ page or product pages because of the wealth of information they contain.

Different Digital PR Tactics

1. Creative Campaigns

The idea that a campaign will find it easier to gain traction with data is a common misconception.

A creative campaign is an excellent method to come up with something journalists want to cover, even though data can be an excellent way to develop a hook.

Think about imaginative pranks that spark conversation, such as visualizations or prescient imagery. Even though it’s frequently referred to as “do something cool,” the key is to have a brilliant idea that sticks out from the pack.

2. Expert-Insights PR and Thought Leadership

Even when unrelated to a breaking news story, those around you, their expertise, and their skills can successfully get excellent linked coverage.

More than ever, journalists seek the opinions and guidance of subject-matter authorities to deliver to their audience and drive organic traffic. 

Discuss the demands of your target audience, frequently asked questions that might be raised and trending themes with experts in your company’s products or services. Then, develop these into pitches for expert insight.

Along with other strategies, you may constantly generate links and publicity by offering journalists advice and developing connections with them. This will increase the likelihood that they will return to you when they publish pieces on topics related to your industry.

Planning an expert-insights pitching calendar to assist you in organizing what to put out and when is made more straightforward because you can frequently foresee what topics journalists will be discussing at specific times of the year.

For illustration, look at these sleep advice articles from Kally Sleep that appeared on House Beautiful:

The only thing you require to begin using this strategy are insights from someone who can provide counsel or direction (it goes beyond just what comes up when performing a straightforward Google search). Journalists should be given advice, and you should be available to work with them to produce a compelling article.

To increase the proportion of articles that link rather than mention a brand, create blog content to build links to go along with this.

3. Data-Driven Research Studies

This digital PR tactic is a favorite of journalists; therefore, this is the most widely employed digital PR link strategy.

You can create campaigns around your data (if you’re fortunate enough to have it available), third-party data, or both. Data is a terrific method to tell a story.

Journalists desire original and fresh content, and data-driven research initiatives are the ideal method to provide it. The American Ski Index from Koala is a fantastic example of this asset:

4. Product PR

Product public relations frequently give the impression that they should be entrusted to more conventional forms of public relations.

However, the reality is that the distinctions are becoming more and more hazy, and your services (or, more particularly, offers or stories surrounding your products) can assist you in obtaining links. 

Due to the nature of the approach, product connections frequently generate substantial amounts of revenue. Ultimately, some users will purchase if your products are mentioned in an article and these links are clicked.

Products by themselves are rarely the subject of tales, but fantastic savings from your most recent sale can. How your items can aid in resolving a typical issue faced by your target customers, or market is also relevant.

Don’t just pitch your products independently; go above and above. Consider what might motivate a writer to write about your product and, more importantly, why readers would be interested in reading about it.

Put yourself in the reader’s position and search for intriguing methods to connect your offerings to their problems.

5. Newsjacking

involves watching the media and responding to the news with informed opinions.

It works well and doesn’t call for complicated content assets. Your linkable asset in newsjacking is typically a subject matter expert from your industry.

However, three things must occur for this strategy to work:

  • A news item must surface. Some media desire to discuss a subject on which article writers need specialists’ advice.
  • You should get in touch with the reporters who are covering the subject and offer them comments or expert analysis. This must advance the subject, not just reiterate what has already occurred.
  • You must move swiftly. Your chances of success increase the faster you can get a superb comment into a journalist’s inbox.

Ineffective Building Techniques

Getting links from other websites is an excellent way to boost your SEO value. However, digital PR requires significant time and resource commitment, and it is tempting to cut corners.

Some marketers opt for unethical link-building techniques that could attract punishment from search engines. Most of the time, you may even be required to pay additional fees to professionals to assist you in recovering your website. 

Here are some examples of poor link-building tactics and what you should do instead.

1. Buying Links 

This is the most alluring poor link-development technique because you can choose the websites from which you receive links. Additionally, links with anchor text that contains the keywords you want to rank for can be inserted within pertinent content.

However, paying for links to impact PageRank violates Google’s Guidelines for Webmasters.

Instead

Invest in hiring seasoned content writers to assist you in developing quality content or increasing traffic to existing material through paid advertisements.

2. Aiming for Domain Authority instead of Website Relevance

Domain Authority (DA) is a valuable indicator of a website’s likelihood to appear on a search engine result page. But it shouldn’t be the only aspect considered while searching for backlinks.

If you concentrate on DA, you only receive backlinks from a few websites, which could result in an inorganic link profile.

Instead

Establish links with as many relevant websites as possible, regardless of their domain authority.

Additionally, a backlink is essential when it comes from a website that discusses topics related to yours, not because of the site’s domain authority.

3. Borrowing Link 

Today, most websites no longer allow comments on posts. This is mainly because many people include a link to their site in their comments section.

If you enable comments on your website, a spam filter that catches these comments is a must-have feature.

Borrowing links could provide you with a temporary boost in rankings. However, these low-quality links will only be beneficial in the short run.

Instead

You can agree to participate in a case study in exchange for a hyperlink after it is released. Making a revised version of an existing manual or report is an additional choice.

4. Begging For Links

Beggars ask for links in emails they send to strangers.

Of course, there are many other ways to beg. But most people email their web page administrators to link to them. Although begging is one link-building method, it is futile and the quickest way to irritate a severe web page administrator.

Instead

Create content your target audience would value and naturally share rather than pleading with them for links. Additionally, ensure your email is customized and your article is superior to the one they already link to if you need to email web administrators to request a link.

5. Not customizing outreach emails

The days of emailing editorial teams with the subject line “I read your piece on xxx and liked it so much” are long gone. We recently wrote an article about xxx. The information would help bring more traffic. Ask, “Can you link to it?” and anticipate a response.

These templates need to be updated, but they also need more effort.

Every day, website administrators receive emails of this nature, and they are more than happy to send them all to the rubbish folder.

Instead

Personalize each of your outreach emails with new and unique stories. This may take more time from you, but it usually pays off better.

One method to customize your outreach email isn’t just to use the recipient’s name. You may share something you learned about the company you’re pitching in the news or demonstrate how your expertise can benefit their operations.

In Conclusion

Despite the common misunderstanding that digital PR tactics may wait to produce results, it is valuable for creating relationships and links. For PR to be successful, securing press mention links and media attention is crucial because it facilitates the acquisition of reliable backlinks. 

Backlinks have a positive effect on a website’s search rankings as well as the volume of organic traffic it receives.

Building relationships with media outlets within public relations initiatives is challenging and labor-intensive. Nevertheless, the advantages in terms of a brand’s visibility and reputation outweigh the investments made in it. 

PR can boost participation on social media sites, reaching a larger audience and even more traffic while fostering the development of organic connections.