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Digital PR Link Building┃How to Build Backlinks at Scale

February 27, 2024

Digital PR Link Building┃How to Build Backlinks at Scale

February 27, 2024

In the ever-expanding world of the internet and social media, the opportunities and partnerships for your business have become endless. With that being said, building a strong online presence is vital for an online business to not only survive but thrive. Digital PR link building is revolutionizing how your business can grow by offering traditional public relations techniques in combination with modern technological strategies to reach a global audience. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Link building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own, which increases online visibility and search engine rankings. 
  • The process of acquiring backlinks involves creating valuable content, reaching out to the right people and outlets.
  • Digital PR is the fastest and most effective method for building backlinks. 

What is Digital PR Link Building?

Link building is a crucial aspect of digital PR, used to enhance a brand's online presence and improve search engine rankings. It aims to establish a brand’s credibility through the acquisition of backlinks- links from other sources that your target audience already perceives as trustworthy.

These backlinks are essential for obtaining authority and increasing visibility, as they signal to search engines the relevance and quality of your website.

While this may initially take some time and effort to research and directly reach out to journalists, the ultimate goal is to naturally acquire backlinks. This can be achieved by consistently posting high-quality content that is engaging and informative for the audience.

Why Does it Matter?

Link building is a highly effective strategy that can completely alter the course of a brand when implemented correctly. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider link-building for your company:

  1. Boosts SEO: High-quality backlinks signal to search engines that your content is valuable and authoritative, improving your search rankings. 
  2. Enhances Brand Visibility: Digital PR exposes your brand to a wider audience, increasing brand awareness and engagement.
  3. Drives Traffic: Effective link building can lead to a significant increase in referral traffic from other reputable websites.
  4. Establishes Authority: By earning backlinks from respected sources, your website is seen as a trusted authority in your industry, which can improve user trust and credibility.
  5. Long-Term Value: While paid advertising can achieve short-term results, the benefits of link building can last for years, providing a continuous source of traffic and authority as long as the links remain active.
  6. Competitive Advantage: Having a strong backlink profile can give you an edge over competitors, as traffic is continuously being driven to your site by reputable sources, making it harder for them to outrank you in search results.

The Dos and Don’ts of PR Link Building 

The internet is a statured place with millions of videos, podcasts, and other forms of media entertainment floating around daily, making it difficult to penetrate the market. You not only have to reach your target audience, but stand out to them, to even grasp their attention.

There is a plethora of information constantly being produced which makes it hard for everyday users to find a reliable source. Once they find a source they can relate to, enjoy watching, and trust, they typically revisit that site.

This is where backlinking becomes essential. If you can find creators, journalists, podcast hosts, etc. in your same niche to promote you and your expertise - it's likely their crowd will follow. 

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We specialize in high-velocity Digital PR Link Building.

To do that, there are certain steps every business and/or creator should take:

DO:

        • Create Compelling, High-Quality Content

Let's face it, no one is going to want to feature another site or individual if they're producing low-quality content that, for lack of a better word, sucks.

On top of that, let's say you somehow manage to be featured on another site- you might miss an opportunity to attract a major audience base if your content is not up to par with their standards.

So the first step to anything in the digital world is creating compelling, high-quality content that is perceived as valuable, informative, and engaging.

        • Identify Your Niche Audience and the Platforms They’re Using

It's VITAL for you to recognize your target audience and know exactly where they are going for advice. Resources include but are not limited to podcasts, webinars, news outlets, influencers, bloggers, and more!

While smaller publications may be easier to get featured on, larger resources will likely attract a larger audience base. It's best practice to reach out to both when first starting your digital PR link building journey.

        • Build Relationships

Once you understand where and to whom your audience is turning to for advice, you can begin to reach out to those creators and media outlets.

Make sure your proposition is mutually beneficial in some way and you are only suggesting to speak on a topic you consider yourself an expert in. This way you can showcase your knowledge with their respected audience while adding value to their community.

An example of this may include a politician reaching out to a podcast about politics asking to be a guest speaker. Maybe you're running for office, have a new ideology you would like to share, or just want to reach a broader audience.

This would be a unique topic for any podcast host to broadcast and therefore they'd be more inclined to accept your request. 

DON'T:

  1. Buy Links:

Purchasing backlinks is a practice where a website pays another site to create a hyperlink that directs back to the first website. While this might seem like a quick way to increase the number of backlinks and improve search engine rankings, it is highly discouraged and can have negative consequences:

  • Search Engine Penalties: Major search engines like Google have algorithms in place to detect unnatural link patterns, including paid links. If a website is found to be buying links, it can be penalized by having its search rankings reduced or, in severe cases, being removed from search results altogether.
  • Loss of Credibility: Trust is a crucial factor in the online world. If your audience or competitors discover that you're buying links, it can damage your reputation and make your website seem less trustworthy.
  • Risk of Low-Quality Links: Paid links often come from low-quality or irrelevant sites, which can hurt your website's SEO rather than help it.
  1. Use Spam Techniques:

The WORST thing you could do for your business is appear to be a spam account. No one likes spam- not Google’s search engines nor the audience you’re trying to reach. This includes:

  • Excessive link exchanges which can come across as manipulative, unnatural, and spam-like. When acquiring backlinks just for the sake of having links to your website, this often involves partnering with low-quality sites that you wouldn't want your company to be associated with when trying to build credibility. 
  • Irrelevant Directory Submissions: Submitting your website to directories that are not relevant to your niche or industry can be seen as an attempt to gain backlinks without providing value. Focus on submitting your site to reputable, industry-specific directories that are likely to drive relevant traffic.
  • Comment Spam: This involves leaving irrelevant or generic comments on blogs, forums, or social media posts with the sole intention of including a link back to your site. Not only is this practice disrespectful to the community, but it's also likely to be ignored or deleted by moderators, and it can harm your reputation.
  1. Link Farms are a No Go

A company needs to have a clear, defined niche and expertise as stated earlier. This objective shouldn't be lost when trying to build backlinks.

Certain websites exist for the sake of selling and repurposing links. Although this may help produce a large quantity of backlinks, these are usually low value, spammy links that are worthless and dangerous to your website.

Furthermore, if they have any value now, they are likely to be devalued in the future - an important factor when thinking of longevity in the online world. 

Top 3 Digital PR Link Building Strategies

Reactive PR 

Reactive PR, or newsjacking, is all about reacting to current news events, trending topics, or stories that might be relevant to your company’s expertise in hopes of acquiring backlinks and gaining media attention.

Monitoring the current news cycle puts you at an advantage to respond to journalists with relevant content, expert commentary, and insights that can put your brand amid ongoing, trending conversations. This can lead to media and press coverage of your brand, ultimately increasing brand awareness and attention naturally through the use of backlinks that will be used in said media coverage. 

The news cycle is all about time and relevance and reactive PR is no exception. Staying informed about the latest developments in your industry and having rapid response mechanisms in place allows you to capitalize on opportunities as soon as they arise.  

Data-Led Digital PR

Data is the driving force of any company. Data-led digital PR involves using original research, data analysis, and/or surveys to create engaging stories that spark the interests of various journalists and media outlets. By offering them exclusive data or insights regarding current trends, patterns, or news stories- you can pique their interest and secure backlinks from reputable sources. 

Consistently providing valuable data-driven content in an engaging way that’s easy for audience members to comprehend positions your brand as an authoritative source in your field. Transforming this valuable data into examples such as infographics, a detailed report, blogs, or other visually appealing and easily understood techniques enhances its shareability and appeal to journalists. 

Expert Commentery (HARO) 

Journalists are constantly on the lookout for fresh stories and expert insights to enhance their articles. By tapping into resources like Help a Reporter Out (HARO), you can connect with journalists from various media outlets who are seeking expertise in your field. This presents a golden opportunity to showcase your knowledge and secure valuable media coverage.

At Cupid PR, we understand the power of HARO and how it can be leveraged to boost your brand's visibility. We specialize in helping clients effectively respond to relevant queries and pitch their stories to journalists. Our expertise in crafting compelling pitches increases the likelihood of your responses being selected, leading to mentions in reputable publications.

It’s important to remember the following:

  • Daily Opportunity Monitoring: Regularly keeping an eye on HARO queries that match your niche ensures you don't miss any opportunities for exposure.
  • Expert Pitch Crafting: Crafting the perfect pitch can be time-consuming. However, knowing the right keywords and approach can make your story stand out to journalists.
  • Strategic Follow-Up: Following up on your pitches is crucial. It's easy for emails to get overlooked, so a gentle reminder can increase your chances of securing backlinks.
  • Media Relationship Building: Establishing and maintaining relationships with media outlets and journalists is essential for consistent media coverage over time.
  • Comprehensive Coverage Tracking: Tracking the coverage of your expertise in stories is important. It helps you understand the impact of your efforts on your brand's visibility and backlink profile.

Digital PR vs. Tradition PR: What Will Bring Your Business the Most Success

Don't get confused- digital and traditional PR are similar in a lot of ways. They both focus on company visibility, increase brand awareness, and establish forgeable bonds between your brand and media outlets. These strategies simply use different techniques to obtain these objectives. 

TRADITIONAL PR
VS
DIGITAL PR
Traditional media outlets such as print, radio, TV, events
OUTLETS
Online platforms like websites, social media, blogs, influencers, podcasts
Brand reputation maintenance, increase viewership, crisis management
OBJECTIVE
Establishing credibility and trust, supporting SEO, and attracting an online community
More niche targeting as these outlets tend to be less popular- often local or national viewership with a slower growth pace
REACH
Easier to reach a wider, global audience at a rapid pace
Estimated audience reach- including circulation numbers for print media, viewership or listenership for TV and radio, and attendance figures for events
TRACKING METHODS
Digital analytics directly on platforms as well as third party websites makes it easier to track engagement and the type of content your targeted audience is looking for
One way communication- harder to interact directly with the audience, usually they call in, email, or write to media outlets
ENGAGEMENT
Interactive- able to like, comment, and share easily with audience members
News stories which are typically short lived, but since the market is niched down to a local area, it may get more attention for that short period of time. 
LONGEVITY
What’s on the internet stays forever, this isn’t an exception when it comes to your content or partnerships. However, with so much saturation it may be hard to penetrate the market.
Can be more expensive, with costs for printing, broadcasting, etc.
TARGETING
Often more cost-effective, with lower distribution costs

Let's face the facts- we're living in a digital world. While traditional PR methods are still useful to some degree, in the long run, digital marketing is where you should focus your efforts. Online platforms last forever, they can target a wider audience faster, and it's easier to directly engage with your viewers- which is MAJOR! 

Facing Adversity in the Future of Digital PR 

In the ever-evolving digital world, staying ahead in the realm of digital PR is more important than ever. As technology advances, new trends are shaping the future of link building and online visibility:

  1. Artificial Intelligence: An invention that is often feared by individuals and companies alike. The emergency of AI does not equate to the death of your business, quite the opposite actually. In the world of digital PR, AI can be used to analyze data and personal content- making it easier to stay up-to-date on current trends that are likely to NATURALLY attract backlinks.
  2. Interactive Content: Utilizing features such as quizzes, polls, and interactive infographics is becoming an increasingly popular way to increase engagement. This type of content not only captivates the audience but also encourages sharing and linking, enhancing your Digital PR efforts.
  3. Data-Driven Insights: Data is everything. Utilizing data analytics to inform your Digital PR strategy is crucial. It's your cheat sheet informing you what is and isn't working- it's always in your best interest to refine your approach based on what is meeting the needs of your target audience. 
  4. Adapting to Algorithm Updates: Search engines like to keep us on our toes with frequent algorithm changes. Staying in the loop and tweaking your approach is key to keeping your link-building game strong.
  5. Staying Fresh and Relevant: In the whirlwind world of digital content, staying relevant is a must. Regularly dishing out engaging and newsworthy content helps keep your audience hooked and coming back for more.

Link Building & Digital PR: Are they the same? 

Digital PR and link building are similar strategies that focus on enhancing a brand's digital footprint. However, they differ in the ways they go about this, specific tactics and goals, and ways they measure success.

Link Building 

  • Uses techniques such as guest contributions, distributing content among various platforms, and listing a website on various directories to increase brand awareness.
  • Aims to improve a website's search engine rankings through backlinks, in turn enhancing domain authority. 
  • Success is measured by the quantity and quality of backlinks obtained, increased organic traffic data, and improvement in search engine rankings. 
  • Specifically centered around increasing the number of high-quality inbound links to improve a website's SEO.

Digital PR (differences)

  • Uses techniques like press releases, influencer collaborations, event promotion, and managing online reviews.
  • Aims to enhance a brand's presence and reputation across digital platforms, this can lead to acquiring backlinks, but it's not limited to this strategy.
  • Success can be measured by the extent of media coverage, the quantity of social media mentions, as well as the target audience's engagement with the online brand.
  • While similar to link building, digital PR includes a wider range of efforts to increase brand visibility. 

Similarities

  • Content Creation: 
    • Both rely on creating high-quality, shareable content that provides value to the target audience. 
  • SEO Benefits
    • Both focus on positively contributing towards a website's SEO digital PR can result in organic backlinks that enhance SEO, while link building is directly focused on this goal.
  • Online Visibility
    • The objective is ultimately the same: improve a brand's online visibility.
  • Target Audience
    • A deep understanding of the type of content that resonates with one's audience is needed for both strategies to perform at an optimal level.

Additional Effective Link Building Strategies

There’s not a “one size fits all” when it comes to your digital footprint. That’s why you must implement a mix of strategies when it comes to link building. Besides reaching out directly to managers, influencers, and sites that you would like to be guest-featured on, other options include:

  • Broken Link Building: Identifying and replacing broken links that are already inserted on a webpage and suggesting your content is not only beneficial for yourself but also for the company you’re reaching out to since broken links create a poor user experience. 
  • Request Publishers Link Your Unlinked Brand Mentions: Websites may already be aware of your brand and buzzing about it! Make sure that any site that mentions you by name also has a link to your services.  
  • Skyscraper Technique: Essentially this strategy emphasizes being better than your competitors. When you see a backlink in an article, blog, podcast, etc. reach out to that publication to suggest linking your content instead of outrank them in the search engine results page (SERPs). The existing high-ranking content is the tallest skyscraper and you want to build a taller building. 
  • Resource Page Link Building: Reach out to websites with resource pages in your niche and suggest adding your content as a resource.
  • Social Media Promotion: It’s easier to go viral on specific platforms in comparison to others. Sharing your content on social media platforms increases its visibility and chances of getting linked.
  • Forum and Community Engagement: Participate in relevant online forums and communities, providing valuable insights and including a link to your website in your signature or profile.
  • Competitor Backlink Analysis: Analyze your competitors' backlinks and target the same websites for your link-building efforts. 
  • Internal Linking: Use internal links to connect your content, making it easier for search engines and users to navigate your website.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the difference between link building and backlinks?

A: Link building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own, aiming to improve your site's search engine rankings. Backlinks are the actual hyperlinks obtained through link building. Essentially, link building is the strategy used to increase backlinks, which are indicators of your site's credibility and relevance in the eyes of search engines.

Q: When should you start link building?

A: You can start link building as soon as your website has a solid foundation of high-quality, relevant content. This ensures that when you reach out for backlinks, you have valuable resources to offer in return. Starting early in your website's lifecycle can help establish its authority and improve its search engine rankings over time. 

Wrapping it Up

In conclusion, the landscape of digital PR and link building is dynamic and ever-changing. As businesses strive to enhance their online presence, it's crucial to adapt to new trends and technologies. Embracing digital PR and effective link building strategies can significantly boost your brand's visibility, credibility, and authority online. 

At Cupid PR, there’s no niche too difficult for us to tackle. By using research-based insight and PR stories that journalists love, it’s our promise to you to get you 10-16+ links featured on platforms that align with your values. It’s hard enough trying to build a business and create high-quality content, that’s why there’s no shame in a little help! 

Mark McShane
Mark McShane is the founder of Cupid PR as well as owning multiple affilliate and serviced based websites. He has over 10 years experience in SEO and link building. He is published in some of the worlds most renowned media publications.

We specialize in high-velocity Digital PR Link Building.

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