Are you tired of building backlinks to your site that don’t make a difference?
Want the very best, white-hat-earned links from the world’s most authoritative media sources, such as CBS News, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, ABC 7 News, and more?
PR link building is the answer.
In this blog, we’ll discuss what digital PR is and how you can run effective PR campaigns that build your site’s authority and lead to massive boosts in organic traffic and sales.
Let’s dive in.
What is Digital PR Link-building?
Digital Public Relations (Digital PR) is the process of creating a compelling marketing campaign that earns you coverage from high-caliber news outlets.
Most PR Campaigns involve the following steps:
- Brainstorm a newsworthy PR campaign that journalists would want to write about.
- Create a linkable asset such as a data-driven infographic.
- Promote the linkable assets to relevant journalists and publications.
When executed correctly, digital PR can help you earn high-quality (often do-follow DR 80+), relevant backlinks at scale.
Why is Digital PR Link-building Important for SEO?
You’re reading this article because you’re probably trying to build a brand that stands the test of time and thrives in today’s challenging and competitive digital environment.
Here are the top benefits of building Digital PR links for your website:
1. Create a safe, natural & effective backlink profile
If you’re in it to win it, Digital PR is the way to safely and effectively build your site’s backlink profile.
When executed correctly, Digital PR campaigns earn your website backlinks from high DA/DR sites that support your website’s SEO strategy and boost your Domain Rating (DR).
In some cases, the links you get from a Digital PR campaign have a DR of 80+ or even 90+, so they can provide a massive boost for your website.
2. Increased referral traffic
News outlets have a lot of readers, all of whom could discover your brand through a good Digital PR campaign.
Because of this, clients usually notice an uptick in traffic and conversions after launching a digital PR campaign.
3. Brand exposure
The more journalists write about your brand or content or produce television segments focused on your brand, the more brand awareness you’ll secure.
This is a huge deal for new companies or those looking to attract new customers.
Unlike spammy, outdated link-building tactics, links earned through Digital PR helps build your brand – and Google loves brands.
4. Organic traffic growth
The backlinks you earn through Digital PR campaigns make your site more authoritative, which benefits every other aspect of your digital marketing efforts and helps you increase organic keyword visibility and traffic.
5. Increased E-A-T
As you probably already know, E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
In recent years, Google has become increasingly focused on E-A-T and has begun to rank websites demonstrating high levels of it.
In fact, the importance of E-A-T is built into Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines – the training document Google issues to the people who evaluate and rank websites.
Put simply, E-A-T focuses on three things:
- The expertise of the person creating digital content.
- The authoritativeness of the content creator, the website, and the content itself.
- The trustworthiness of the content creator, the content itself, and the website on which the content is published.
High levels of each E-A-T value communicate to Google that the page is both high-quality and helpful to users, which increases the likelihood that Google will rank it accordingly.
How does Digital PR help websites improve their E-A-T?
If your website is featured in trusted media sites – websites Google trusts– Google will tend to trust your site as well.
Also, in many cases, the journalists that feature your campaign in an article will actually refer to you as an expert.
6. More leads and sales
Investing in Digital PR creates links in relevant publications, better ranking, and more visibility, making customers more likely to land on and click through your website.
Additionally, Digital PR campaigns also reach targeted publications, which puts companies in touch with a broader and more qualified audience.
This, in turn, boosts the company’s chances of generating website traffic, driving qualified leads, and making sales.
7. Increased website authority
Sites with higher DR/DA scores tend to appear higher in the SERPs.
When a company executes digital PR well, it creates high-authority links back to the company’s website, which works as a trust metric for Google and raises a site’s DA/DR scores.
8. Thought-leader positioning
During the campaign ideation phase, Digital PR focuses on providing expert positioning in your niche, which helps you become (and stay) a thought leader in your industry.
Additionally, as a company gains backlinks from highly authoritative media websites, it increases the website’s rankings for target keywords.
This, in turn, allows the company website to rank higher in the SERPs and improves its brand authority in the process.
Sometimes, clients are even featured in primetime news segments on TV due to their digital PR campaigns.
9. A Google update-proof website
When you invest in Digital PR, you’re helping to safeguard your website against future Google algorithm updates.
Because the backlinks you get are earned rather than paid for, they won’t raise any red flags with Google.
While there’s no way to 100% protect your website from algorithm updates, earning quality backlinks is a smart and effective strategy to authentically build your site’s SEO.
10. More consumer trust
Last but not least, coverage in relevant publications helps a company position itself as a trustworthy, reliable industry resource.
This, in turn, boosts consumer trust and helps your brand get (and stay) competitive.
Want to make the most of the coverage you’re getting from your Digital PR campaign?
Some companies create “As Featured On” banners or “In the Press” sections on their websites, which contain the logos of the authoritative media sites they’ve been featured on.
Why Can’t I Build Backlinks Using PBNs, Guest Posting, or Niche Edits?
You can, but you’d just be wasting your time – or worse, you’d be putting your site at risk of being penalized.
See, search engines like Google want web content to be valuable, informative, and written by a trusted, expert source.
Content that doesn’t meet those expectations won’t ever reach the top of search results.
How does Google determine which sites are trustworthy?
Google trusts brands that publish quality content and have strong backlink profiles.
Despite all the algorithm updates in recent years, quality backlinks are still one of the primary ways Google determines a site’s quality and trustworthiness.
Simply put, Google sees quality backlinks as votes of confidence for a specific site or brand and considers them when it ranks digital content.
There’s a catch, though:
It’s not just any backlink that matters.
The keyword is quality.
The old, black-hat techniques of buying spammy backlinks are no longer effective.
In fact, websites that invest in any of the following risk being penalized by Google and other search engines:
- Private Blog Networks (PBNs). PBNs are networks of websites created for the sole purpose of linking out to other websites to improve their organic visibility. While these sites may sound promising and might help your website rank in the short term, they violate Google’s Webmaster Quality Guidelines and can result in harsh penalties for sites that use them.
- Paid Guest Posting. If you want to get a backlink from a website, chances are they’re going to ask you to pay them a fee. And if you pay them a fee, chances are others are paying them as well. Link exchanges are strictly against Google’s terms of service.
- Niche Edits. Niche edits occur when a content creator places a new backlink into an old piece of content. Unfortunately, placing niche edits usually involves buying backlinks, which is against Google’s guidelines. Additionally, niche edits are usually performed for multiple companies, which means a single page can have more than five unnatural links pointing out to other websites via awkward anchor text. This looks phony and fake, and, trust us, Google will notice.
- Blog Comments. Are you considering commenting on someone’s page and leaving a link to your website? Think again. This approach is spammy and inefficient. No matter how many links you leave, most are no-followed anyway, so this tactic will not help your SEO.
- Web 2.0 sites. Are you considering getting a bunch of web 2.0 backlinks to your site? Don’t waste your time. Even if the DR of a web 2.0 site is high, the pages will likely not even be crawled by Google, and they won’t impact your rankings. Google typically discounts them.
The bottom line is this:
If you’re trying to build a brand, engaging in any of the above tactics only puts you at risk for penalties, downranking, and more.
At best, the tactics above will have no impact on your site’s visibility or SEO. At worst, they’ll result in a manual penalty that can take time to recover from.
Some sites never recover at all.
Word to the wise: don’t let your site be that site.
How to Run A Digital PR Campaign That Generates Solid Backlinks
To get your digital PR campaign off on the right foot, the first step is to develop relevant ideas for your niche.
These should be ideas that the media wants to cover, so you may need to get creative.
Here are the steps we recommend taking:
1. Brainstorm a good idea
The idea you come up with is the foundation of everything else, so it’s critical to land on a good one.
Before settling on an idea, ensure it hasn’t been done before.
Google it, research it, check out your competitors, etc. Or, if it has been done before, make sure you’re taking a creative, unique angle that will provide new information.
2. Decide how you’ll gather the data
When it comes to gathering data, you’ve got two main options: run a survey through a third-party provider or consult existing public sources.
Here is a list of reliable databases available to the public:
- Weatherspark – This is a website that provides historical and real-time weather data and analytics for locations around the world.
- Statista – This is a portal for market research and business intelligence that provides data and statistics on a wide range of industries and topics, including technology, media, and consumer behavior.
- data.gov – This is the US government’s open data portal where you can access a vast array of data across many topics, including education, health, climate, and more.
- US Census Bureau – This is a US government agency that provides data and statistics on the US population, including demographics, economics, and social characteristics.
- National Center for Health Statistics – This is a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and provides access to a wide range of health data and statistics.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics – This is a US government agency that collects and publishes data on labor economics and statistics, including employment, wages, and productivity.
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – This is a US government agency that provides weather, climate, and ocean data and forecasts.
- World Health Organization – This is a global public health organization that provides data and statistics on health issues across the world.
- United Nations Data – This is a repository of data from the United Nations and affiliated organizations on a wide range of topics, including economics, environment, and human rights.
- European Union Open Data Portal – This is the European Union’s open data portal where you can access data from various EU institutions and bodies.
- The World Bank Open Data – This is a platform that provides access to data on development issues from around the world, including poverty, education, and health.
- Open Data Institute – This is a UK-based organization that promotes the use of open data for social and economic benefits and provides access to a range of open datasets.
- Google Trends – Reveals how often specific search terms are entered into Google’s search engine relative to the site’s total search volume over a given period. Note: this tool should be used in conjunction with other data sources.
- Pew Research Center – This is a nonpartisan research organization that provides data and analysis on social and demographic trends, public opinion, and other issues.
- International Monetary Fund – This international organization provides data on global economic conditions, including exchange rates, the balance of payments, and debt.
- National Science Foundation – This US government agency provides data and statistics on science and engineering, including research and development expenditures, graduate education, and workforce characteristics.
- Eurostat – This is the statistical office of the European Union and provides data and statistics on the EU and its member states.
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services – This is a US government agency that provides data and statistics on healthcare expenditures, utilization, and outcomes.
- United States Geological Survey – This is a US government agency that provides data and statistics on geology, geography, and natural resources.
- Global Open Data Index – This is a project of Open Knowledge International that ranks countries based on the openness of their data.
- Refseek – This search engine specializes in finding academic resources and boasts over a billion sources in its database.
- WorldCat – With access to the content of 20,000 libraries around the world, this website is a valuable tool for researchers and students alike.
- SpringerLink – Offering access to over 10 million scientific documents, including books and articles, SpringerLink is a comprehensive resource for those in the scientific community.
- Bioline International – This online library features published bioscientific journals and is a helpful resource for those interested in the life sciences.
- RePEc – Run by volunteers from 102 countries, RePEc has collected almost 4 million publications, making it a reliable source of economic research.
- Science.gov – As a search engine for over 2200 scientific sites, Science.gov is an excellent starting point for those interested in a wide variety of scientific topics.
- PDF Drive – A large database of free PDF book downloads (more than 225 million titles).
- BASE – With over 100 million scientific articles in its database, BASE is one of the most powerful search engines for academic research. And, more than 70% of its articles are free, making it an accessible resource for many.
Both methods involve creating a press release and contacting journalists individually through outreach or purchasing access to journalist lists.
3. Compile the results
Next, you’ll need to organize and compile the results to have all your data in one place and move on to the next phase.
4. Create a linkable asset
We recommend sharing the results via a high-quality, attractive, and appealing asset like an infographic, which displays the results in an accessible way.
5. Write a Press Release
Your press release should contain several key elements, including the results of your findings, commentary that journalists can pull from or quote when writing their articles, information about your company and website, a quote from the representative of your company, and your contact information – to name a few.
6. Set up brand monitoring
You’ll also need to set up alerts for your brand name to monitor coverage. Google Alerts is free and a good starting point.
7. Decide which journalists you will be targeting
To do this, you can use a source like Muck Rack, Cision or Prowly to purchase access to journalist lists.
8. Send out your Press Release
Next, it’s time to engage the journalists! Send out your press release and monitor click-through rates, engagement, and press mentions surrounding your brand.
9. Monitor coverage as it comes in
Finally, it’s time to monitor your coverage as it comes in. Don’t forget to feature high-profile mentions on your website and other platforms.
If running DIY Digital PR campaigns just isn’t your style, we’re here for you.
Contact us today for DFY (done for you) Digital PR campaigns that actually drive results for your brand.
How do Agencies Run PR Campaigns?
Different agencies follow different processes.
Here at Bright Valley Marketing, we follow these steps:
- Campaign ideation. We spend the first two weeks of a campaign researching and brainstorming campaign ideas that will be a hit with journalists. While we establish a two-week timeframe for our brainstorming session, we usually come up with ideas within a few days.
- Approval. Once we’ve brainstormed ideas for your campaign, we’ll seek your approval. Either you love the ideas we’ve come up with, or we go back to the drawing board until you do.
- Production. Next, we enter the production phase. During this phase, we either run surveys or consult existing data. From there, our designers create a branded linkable asset for you (usually in the style of an infographic or slideshow), draft a press release, and send all files to you to review and approve.
- Media outreach. Finally, we spend two weeks reaching out to journalists and monitoring the coverage as it comes in. We keep you in the loop every step of the way and provide you with weekly coverage reports.
What to Look for in a Digital PR Agency
How do you find a digital PR agency that works for you? Here’s what we recommend looking for in digital PR services:
- Solid online reviews and strong customer recommendations
- A track record for achieving more coverage than what is guaranteed
- Produces reliable, accurate, data-driven research
- Demonstrates ethical and moral conduct, such as not working with gambling sites or other questionable organizations.
- Excellent customer service – a good digital PR agency should keep you in the loop every step of the way.
- Truly invested in your business – at Bright Valley Marketing, we care about your success. Our customers stay with us long-term; we have a high retention rate because we simply care.
Looking for a PR Link Building Service? We’re Here to Help!
Don’t waste another day building backlinks that don’t have an impact on your website’s SEO.
Competition is fierce, and with Google rolling out more core algorithm updates, NOW is the time to bulletproof your site.
Here at Bright Valley, we’ve secured over 10,000 media links from the world’s top media sites through our Digital PR link building services.
If you’re ready to supercharge your website with digital PR, send us a message. Please include your niche and website URL so we can assess if we can help.
1. Is my website a candidate for Digital PR?
Most likely, the answer is yes. We primarily work with B2C websites and affiliate websites. Some of the industries our clients are in include travel, pets, beauty, health, and business. We do not work with adult sites or gambling sites, however.
2. What kind of media coverage can I expect from a digital PR Campaign?
In the past, we’ve secured coverage from outlets like CBS News, Boston.com, Star Tribune, Miami Herald, Orlando Sentinel, Oregon Live, Hartford Courant, the SF Examiner, and more.
3. How much does a Digital PR campaign cost?
It depends on the type of campaign you choose. We offer two types of campaigns. One is a survey-based campaign, where we poll your target audience and generate data that way, and one is where we research existing data. Contact us for more info.
4. What makes a good digital PR campaign idea?
The best digital PR campaigns are catchy and compelling. They should be relevant and should offer information journalists want to write about. Fortunately, our creative team has years of experience with this.
5. How many PR campaigns should I run for my website?
It depends on two things: how fast you want your site’s organic visibility to grow and your marketing budget. Some of our clients run multiple campaigns per month, while others run campaigns once every quarter. You determine the cadence.
6. Do you have any minimum campaign requirements or contracts?
We do not require you to commit to multiple campaigns. We believe if you’re happy with your campaign, you’ll continue working with us. We do have a standard online marketing agreement to cover our bases, but it’s not a long-term contract. We hate being locked in, and I’m sure you do too!
7. What is the average DA / DR of the media coverage you secure for a PR campaign?
On average, the media outlets we secure placements are a DA of 62. We don’t count coverage that comes in from websites with a DA of less than 30. We’re soon transitioning to DR as the key metric.