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  • Writer's pictureErin Ratliff

"Digital PR": Understanding the Longterm Value of Backlinks, Media Mentions & Press Coverage




It's been said that there are no guarantees in marketing.


Really, the only guarantee is that if you DON'T invest in holistic marketing strategies, you will not get the kind of sales, public recognition or attention your biz or organization deserves.


Two of the most cost-effective holistic marketing strategies that small businesses should 100% invest in are SEO and PR services. Together these methods, sometimes referred to as "digital PR" are proven to drive traffic and conversions over the long-term. By leveraging these approaches effectively, businesses can strengthen their position in the digital landscape and attract more customers and opportunities in the long run.

In this blog, we'll break down Digital PR strategies and delve into how you can measure them effectively to distinguish the longterm value of your efforts.


"Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first."

Wendy Piersall


The Benefits of Digital PR (PR + SEO)

Digital Public Relations (PR) is a strategy used to increase awareness and visibility of your brand using online channels. It differs from traditional PR in that it offers the opportunity to reach more people in a measurable and targeted way, using holistic strategies such as linkbuilding, search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing and more.


Link building, defined as the process of acquiring links (called 'backlinks') from other reputable websites, is depicted as a crucial factor in enhancing a website's credibility and authority in search engine rankings.


SEO helps businesses rank higher in search engine results, making it easier for potential customers to find them organically. PR, on the other hand, helps build credibility, trust, and positive brand associations through media coverage and public relations activities.


Resulting media coverage, press mentions, and backlinks can provide significant visibility and reputational benefits for businesses, regardless of their size or industry.


Visibility Benefits

Backlinks are one of the most influential factors for improving a website's search engine ranking. Search engines like Google view high-quality backlinks from reputable and relevant websites as tiny votes of confidence, signaling that your content is authoritative and trustworthy.


In the short-term these links can contribute to increasing your website's referral traffic, as users click on links from other sites to visit yours. Over time these links can boost your website's domain authority, which in turn can improve your rankings for target keywords.


Further, when journalists and bloggers write about your brand or products, they often include relevant keywords and phrases that can improve your website's keyword relevance and visibility in search results.


Lastly, while press mentions themselves may not provide direct backlinks to your website, they can still drive brand awareness and secondary referral traffic, which are other important factors for SEO authority and increased trust from both users and search engines.


Reputational Benefits

Positive publicity, media coverage and press mentions and endorsements from reputable sources will...

  • enhance your brand's credibility and authority

  • validate your quality and expertise to build trust and confidence

  • increase your brand's visibility and exposure to a wider audience or potential customers who may not have been aware of your brand previously.

  • shape public perception and generate buzz around your brand, increasing brand recognition and loyalty over time.

  • open doors to future networking opportunities and partnerships within your industry

  • lead to future opportunities for coverage and exposure, further enhancing your brand's reputation and visibility.

  • support relationships with journalists, bloggers, influencers and other industry experts


These are some BIG wins. Some of them can be quantified, track and measured directly, but others can't. They are nonetheless super valuable to the success and sustainability of your brand and biz.


92% of consumers trust earned media (such as PR) more than any other form of advertising.


The Bottom Line: Results & Outcomes

  • Increased website traffic means increased brand exposure, more leads, and ultimately, more sales.

  • Improved search rankings means increased visibility, credibility, and trustworthiness among potential customers.

  • Improved brand visibility and awareness means greater brand recognition and increased trust among consumers.

  • Improved brand reputation means higher credibility, trust, and loyalty among customers, leading to increased sales and customer retention.

  • Increased leads and conversions means more customers interacting/engaging with your brand and taking desired actions, such as making purchases, signing up for newsletters, or filling out contact forms.

Put together everything above and that means MORE REVENUE and more growth, which is the ultimate end goal, isn't it?


Reminder: Slashing marketing budgets in economic downturns is often a knee-jerk reaction that only backfires or businesses later on. Founders who continue to invest in marketing even when "times are tough" tend to come out on top. Because when your competitors spend less, your money goes farther.


Digital PR Process & Linkbuilding Methods

Starting a Digital PR campaign involves knowing the target audience, setting clear goals, building relationships, brainstorming ideas, and allocating resources effectively.


There are a few different ways to build links across the web, some which cost more than others. The ideal objective, of course, is that your backlinks are natural.


  • Create high-quality, valuable content that organically attracts backlinks from other websites....or, simply ask- with a supportive, strong reason, of course.

  • Reach out to relevant websites and offer to contribute guest posts or articles that include backlinks to your site.

  • Collaborate with influencers or industry experts to create content together, which may result in them sharing and linking to your content.

  • Monitor mentions of your brand or content online and reach out to websites that mention you but haven't linked to your site, politely asking them to add a backlink.

  • Look for journalist/media-sourcing opportunities to serve as a subject matter expert in your field

  • Distribute syndicated press releases with a link in the boilerplates and to attract attention from journalists, bloggers, and news outlets.

  • Employ citation management programs to ensure that your business's NAP and website are accurately and consistently listed across online directories, review sites, and similar platforms.

  • Look for "pay to play" - sponsored post/advertorial opportunities



Quantifying Success

While linkbuilding strategies require upfront investment and ongoing maintenance, they ultimately offer a high return on investment and lower cost per acquisition in the long run.


Quantifying the value of marketing, PR, and SEO services can be tricky but there are several ways you can do this. The top KPIs are most helpful:

  • Traffic Metrics

  • Keyword Rankings

  • Links Acquired

  • Conversion Rates (Leads)

  • Brand Mentions

  • Metrics like Clicks

  • Revenue Gains


These metrics, insights and data can effectively demonstrate the value of your marketing, PR, and SEO services to help achieve your business goals.


Ultimately, understanding the impact of your efforts can also help you identify areas for improvement, capitalize on opportunities for growth, and ultimately drive success for your brand.


Friendly Reminders


No Guarantees

Remember, there are inherent uncertainties and complexities involved in the field of marketing. Marketing involves numerous variables, including consumer behavior, market trends and dynamics, competitive landscape, and external factors like economic conditions and technological advancements.


Even with careful planning and skilled execution, there are no absolute assurances that a marketing campaign or strategy will yield the desired outcomes every time.


Success in marketing often requires experimentation, adaptation, and a willingness to learn from both successes and failures. While marketers strive to minimize risks and maximize returns through strategic planning and data-driven decision-making, the unpredictable nature of human behavior and market dynamics means that guarantees in marketing are rare.

Playing the Long Game

While traditional marketing is focused on leads and sales, Digital PR focuses more on creating a positive impression of your brand, increasing brand visibility, awareness and authority.


It’s necessary to build relationships and reputation before marketing can be effective. So, digital PR and marketing should work together, with each strategy complementing and enriching the other.


Unlike paid search which face increasing customer acquisition costs and bidding wars for keywords, or paid advertising, which stop generating results once the budget runs out, linkbuilding efforts continue for the long haul. PR and SEO are more holistic strategies that can deliver sustainable results (traffic and rankings) over time. This requires PATIENCE and PERSISTENCE.


While the time it takes to see measurable results and growth can vary depending on factors such as the competitiveness of the industry, the quality of the services, and the consistency of implementation, businesses can typically expect to see noticeable improvements within 3 to 6 months of implementing SEO and PR strategies. Some experts believe it could even take up to a year to really see the impact.


Like all marketing methods, SEO and PR are ongoing processes that require continuous experimentation, optimization and refinement to maintain and further enhance results over time. It's important to view these strategies as long-term investments rather than quick-fix solutions to business growth or visibility.



Successful link building is the gift that keeps on giving.


Wrapping It Up

The Goal of Link Building: to secure organic, relevant mentions from credible websites and ultimately grow organic traffic

The Goal of PR: to secure media coverage via compelling stories that resonate with audiences


Together, SEO and PR can create a mutually beneficial relationship while allowing people to find information more easily. And when done well, these tactics share a very important common thread: the power of narrative.


Backlinks from publicity, media coverage and press mentions offer a range of ranking and reputational benefits that can help businesses improve their online visibility, credibility, and authority. But achieving those benefits (AND staying ahead of the competition) takes time and dedication. So if you’re interested, there’s no better time to start investing in Digital PR and linkbuilding strategies than right now!



Want to work with someone who executes effective SEO & PR services, but most importantly delivers SOLUTIONS for your biz? Schedule your consultation today to learn how I can meet your longterm growth goals with a holistic marketing strategy that works for your needs and budget.


 


Erin Ratliff is a holistic business coach and organic growth & visibility marketer serving energy-sensitive, earth-loving, heart-led soul-preneurs, self-starters, and founders with the mission of personal and planetary healing.


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