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Since the dawn of the internet, search engines have been carefully collating websites and ranking them in the best way possible to give the best results for the user’s search query. The way in which search engines choose to rank websites displayed in the SERPs comes with a set of thought-out rules and guidelines that each engine uses to determine these results, and thus SEO was born. One of main factor that helps search engines, such as Google, to determine the positions where websites should rank in the SERPs is links.
Links pointing to your website show authority and are one of the best ways to help improve your site’s rankings. They became even more integral to your SEO strategy when the 2016 Penguin Algorithm came into play. Google now views links in real time, meaning a great link can boost rankings straight away. You can find out about the difference between Google’s algorithms here.
So you may now be asking, “how can I get these all important links to my website?” Well, by using a little tactic called Link Building, where you acquire links back to your website, which can be done in several ways. There are two main techniques that the Ricemedia team use, and that is traditional link building and Digital PR.
Digital PR vs Link Building: What is the difference?
Despite the fact they both have the same end goal, both Digital PR and Link Building have some significant dissimilarities. Link building, in its traditional form, is looking for opportunities to gain a link in places the direct customer of your business will be looking. I.e. forums, comments and local citations. It can also be done by other routes such as finding unlinked brand mention (UBM) opportunities and being listed on sites such as universities, leisure and tourism websites.
So what is Digital PR? Digital PR, on the other hand will focus on using PR tactics to achieve the same goal of getting a link. This strategy, however, will be more geared towards targeting top tier international and national news sites, such as the Daily Mail, The Times, The Washington Post and so on. These sites will typically have a high trust flow and so reap a very high SEO reward for getting links on these sites. PR style stories will be created from data which the business will have collected. This data is collected in ways such as surveys and FOI requests and will create newsworthy information that the bigger news sites will want to write about.
The ways in which links on these sites are achieved are usually by creating a ‘linking asset’ to go with the story which will show further information to these stories. This will be hosted on your business’s website and is usually done via a blog post, video content or graphics. Find out why Digital PR is so important here.
Digital PR: The Risk vs The Reward
Digital PR campaigns usually require a bigger amount of investment in time than tradition link building tactics. There may also be additional costs, such as a third party survey or creation of video and graphics. The campaigns may require a lot of thought out research to gain the best stories and identify the target media to promote press releases too. Digital PR campaigns will typically run over several months at a time to achieve the best results. However, aside the time and money investment, the longer-term investment of a well thought out Digital PR strategy can reap many rewards. Gaining links, and even mentions, on top authoritative sites will in turn give your website a greater positive effect of traffic and rankings.
Whilst both techniques have different approaches, there end goal is always the same. Get the Link. They need to work in harmony and compliment each other to give your website the best visibility and rankings possible.
Here at Ricemedia we can carefully create both a link building strategy and Digital PR strategy. If you’d like some advice regarding either, then do not hesitate to get in touch with us – we’re more than happy to help!