In this Flaunt Digital webinar, we discussed how to create Digital PR campaigns with the potential to generate a high number of good quality links. Au natural, of course.
We’re talking news-worthy content, with the power to provide you with high-authority backlinks. Quality over quantity every time.
WHAT ARE BACKLINKS AND WHY ARE THEY IMPORTANT?
Simply put, backlinks are links from one website to another.
- If someone links to your site, then you have a backlink from them
- If you link to another website, then they have a backlink from you.
Backlinks are valuable for SEO as they represent a ‘vote of confidence from one site to another. Earning relevant backlinks can have a positive effect on your ranking position and search visibility.
Search engines look at the backlink profile of a website to see which sites are linking to them – are they authoritative? Are the two sites related? Activity to try and earn backlinks from other related websites is known as link building.
WHY ARE THEY IMPORTANT?
Backlinks to your website are a signal to search engines like Google that others vouch for your content.
If multiple sites link to the same webpage or website then search engines can infer that content is worth linking to, and worth surfacing higher up in the search results. Backlinks formed the foundation of Google’s original ‘PageRank’ algorithm and while a lot has changed since then backlinks still remain a key ranking signal. Relevant backlinks boost your credibility and increase brand exposure amongst your audience.
NOT ALL BACKLINKS ARE CREATED EQUAL
There are different types of backlinks. Certain backlinks are more ‘valuable’ than others.
Followed backlinks from relevant, trustworthy, high-authority sites have more SEO value than backlinks from low-authority, irrelevant, potentially spammy sites. Whether or not a link is followed (whether a site owner specifically instructs search engines to pass, or not pass, link equity) is relevant, but there is still value in nofollow links.
A SINGLE QUALITY BACKLINK CAN BE MORE POWERFUL THAN 1,000s OF LOW-QUALITY BACKLINKS.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD BACKLINK?
Google places more value on relevant backlinks. The goal for them is to return the most relevant content for the query.
Backlinks from authoritative and trustworthy sites are more valuable. Every website has a Domain Rating or Domain Authority score out of 100, which is an indication of how authoritative a site is. The higher the number the more authoritative that site is.
Where the backlink is placed on a site impacts the level of potential referral traffic. Prominently placed links are more likely to get clicked and send higher levels of referral traffic to your site.
Relevancy of the backlinks is key. Here are a few examples where we’ve gained backlinks for clients:
As you can see looking at the publications, we have very different audiences here, but these publications and backlinks are all relevant for each client and their audience – we’ve got a home interiors brand, a boiler manufacturer, and a fine jewellery brand.
Understand your target audience and the publications and sites that they visit and read before you begin outreaching. Pull together a list of relevant target publications and sites that you’d like to gain a backlink from
SO HOW DO I GET MORE BACKLINKS?
BUYING BACKLINKS IS FINE, RIGHT?
No. Google is clever. Everyone in the SEO industry understands the power of backlinks and they know that we know this!
In 2012, the link landscape changed forever when the Penguin algorithm was released – which penalised websites for buying backlinks.
You might remember Interflora’s manual penalty for buying links in 2013 which resulted in them not even showing in the SERPS for their own brand name!
The aim of the Penguin algorithm was to ensure authoritative, relevant and natural links were rewarded. In 2016, Penguin became part of the Google core algorithm, reaffirming that gaining backlinks naturally is here to stay and that buying spammy backlinks is never going to be worth the potential penalties and damage you can do to your website.
CREATE LINKABLE ONSITE CONTENT
If you want people to link to your website, you need something on your site worth linking to.
TYPES OF LINKABLE CONTENT
… anything that people will want to link to.
Think about how you can provide added value and resources that journalists or publishers can only get by linking to your website.
HOW DO I CHECK MY BACKLINKS?
A good starting point when it comes to looking at your backlink profile are the free ahrefs backlink checker or the Moz Link Explorer https://analytics.moz.com/pro/link-explorer/home both offer basic information on your sites Domain Rating, Referring Domains and Backlinks.
DIGITAL PR DOESN’T MEAN BORING BACKLINKS
Have fun with your Digital PR campaigns, you want to create linkable content and campaigns that will get you noticed on the right publications and sites for your audience.
A couple of examples of creative Digital PR campaigns we have worked on:
NETFLIX & SPILL CREATIVE
Netflix and Spill, which was a very ‘scientific’ experiment to discover once and for all which are the messiest snacks to eat in bed, the snacks were ranked against a number of factors to calculate the top ten snacks when it comes to making a mess. We used engaging photography and creative to display the original data and included the full results and data set on the campaign landing page.
IDEAL BLEND CREATIVE
The Ideal blend campaign included collaborating with Maude Coffee, an independent coffee roaster who helped us to create a bespoke coffee blend for the campaign. We outreached the branded coffee alongside the press release to target press and publications as well as collaborating with relevant influencers on the campaign. Having a physical send-out as part of the activity was memorable and proved popular with target media and influencers.
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