Digital PR is a mechanism used by web managers and PR agencies for stimulating the online visibility of a company. This is achieved via a number of strategies, a range of which we shall outline below.
The objective is to gain high quality backlinks from other sites and publications as well as excellent peer and customer reviews. To achieve quality digital PR it is imperative to understand how search engines like Google construct their algorithms to assess the quality of websites and their content.
Good digital PR strategy is as fluid as Google’s own algorithms and constant evolution is necessary in order to remain relevant and try to stay ahead of the pack. The best digital PR strategies will help a company to reach predominantly their target audience, rather than more traditional scattergun PR strategies that will inevitably reach a whole host of irrelevant people.
It is no longer enough to stuff articles full of SEO (Search Engine Optimised) content, because Google’s algorithms monitor content for its user friendly nature, rewarding sites with consistently high quality content that is targeting the resolution of real problems and issues facing the target demographic.
Part of the strategy of a successful digital PR manager will be to forge close links with some quality content writers in order to receive some good press hits or citations, while increasing the chances of high quality backlinks by nurturing relationships in the sector. Forums can be a good source of backlinks and they allow you to showcase your expertise in your field.
Essentially, however, in order to understand how digital PR differs from traditional PR and simpler SEO focussed PR it is simpler to think of it as something of a fusion of the two.
Those specializing in digital PR are able to come up with excellent content that usually benefits from a strong, original angle to pique the interests of fellow scribes (to boost the backlink prospects), while combining it with watertight SEO strategy in order to meet Google’s stringent requirements.
In terms of local business presence, it is important to adopt a focussed Local SEO digital PR approach to get your company featured in online publications that deal with your local area as well as in Google’s local search recommendations for your given niche.
Some of the key approaches to digital PR are listed below
- Forging close links with journalists and editors to boost backlinks
- Getting close to bloggers and influencers to gain mentions and social media presence
- Publication of articles online in order to procure to high-quality backlinks
- Involvement in affiliate programmes involving giving commission for referrals (usually to bloggers)
- Publishing regular press releases and releasing newsworthy content to gain press features
- Setting up of real life press events or blogger events to boost online coverage
Digital PR boasts a whole range of distinct benefits but I suppose it is fair to say that the main objective is to achieve high quality backlinks. This is how it differs from overall PR, which is interested in the loftier goal of boosting overall reputation.
Digital PR can become costly and it is definitely true that not all companies need digital PR, while for others it can be a veritable goldmine. For some small businesses there are some simple steps to try before embarking on a digital PR campaign. You should certainly claim or create your ‘Google My Business’ listing and encourage your customers to review your business. Even offering an incentive to do so if necessary.
Spring clean your website including all pages, to make sure it is designed optimally and there are no issues with usability on both mobile and other devices. Ensure that you have someone (a website manager) in place to give you a tip-top SEO strategy.
Finally, before looking at digital PR it is important to explore other, low investment link building ideas you may have.