The early techniques of SEO were straightforward but sneaky affairs, aimed at just collecting all-important links. Ten years ago, the reliability of backlinks didn’t matter so much. It was simply – to an extent – that the page with the largest number pointing to it was deemed to be a better source of information, and so ranked highly.
This led to a lot of shady practices, known by techy types as ‘black hat’, that can unfortunately still be suggested today if you Google ‘link building’ – chiefly buying links. Take this approach and it won’t get you very far. That’s because these techniques exploit Google’s algorithm for short-term gains, rather than authentic reputation-building, ultimately earning you a penalty.
That’s because, these days, Google is far more adept at separating a genuine reference for information from a link that’s simply paid for, either through the old black hat technique of buying them from a directory or through sponsorship. If and when the all-searching eye spots this, it’ll penalise your site in its rankings, dropping you down the results and achieving the exact opposite of what you were aiming for.
It’s not just links alone
Remember: it’s all about authenticism. Google’s central aim is to provide the most accurate and reliable information for a user’s search query.
Digital PR is the most effective way to gain reliable, high quality links and endorsements in an honest way. It keeps visitors relevant to your market and ensures your authenticity with Google, with recommendations from trusted industry sources. However, it’s not all about the links themselves.
i. Traffic and referrals
The coverage achieved through digital PR is, if anything, even more effective than that gained through traditional PR in physical media. It puts your brand under the noses of the very people you’re targeting but, by giving them a link to a specific page of your website, it feeds them directly into your sales funnel.
These referrals can be measured, so that you can see exactly how hard coverage from a particular website is working in order to gain leads for you. As a result, we can refine your approach, ensuring you’re able to make the most of it.
By carefully directing a campaign at particular media – be it in national press, local news or in the most niche B2B trade media – we can make sure that every piece of coverage it achieves is relevant and productive in driving traffic.
ii. Give the people what they want
Even coverage in which a journalist doesn’t include a link is still a beneficial function of digital PR, for much the same reasons as its traditional counterpart. Google further refines its searches by prioritising the most clicked results for a given search term.
So, if a digital PR campaign about a particular topic in your industry means an upswing in people searching about it will click on your business’s search result, your website will be in a stronger position for it. By the same token, social media marketing produces a similar effect.
Slow and steady wins the race
A successful campaign is, of course, welcome, but activity needs to be steady and consistent. A site receiving big jumps in links is a red flag to Google that it might be using those old techniques of buying links.
This is why we’re experts at managing digital PR activity that bubbles along with constant activity, rather than big campaigns with periods of inactivity between. Even if the amount of coverage and number of links after a year is the same, you’ll be in a much stronger position.
This is what modern SEO is about – using digital PR to build brand visibility and drive people with a genuine interest towards your site. The days of surreptitious black hat tactics are long gone.
Intrigued? Visit our digital PR agency page or continue reading the following articles to learn more about digital PR: