When it comes to your company’s digital marketing efforts, there are so many routes you can take, and at the same time so many terms being thrown around out there. It can make it pretty confusing for those who don’t have experience in online marketing to try to weed through all the options, figure out what they mean, and what your company would benefit the most from. With that said, confusion is bound to happen, and one area in particular that is known to spark questions is the difference between link building and digital PR.
Unfortunately, people can sometimes group the two together and see it as one thing, but in reality, they are two totally different practices. With that said, it takes different skills and knowledge to be successful in each. Having that deeper and broader understanding will allow you to use the techniques to their fullest so that your company can benefit from the practices.
What is Link Building and Why is It Important?
In order to better understand the differences between link building and digital PR, it’s important to have a firm grasp on what each technique truly means. When it comes to link building, this is that you start to collect links from other websites that will lead back to your own. This process may sound simple, but many people out there will attest that it is one of the hardest things to do.
Keep in mind that you don’t want just any old links, they need to be high-quality links that actually send your target market to your website. It’s that extra twist that makes it especially difficult. There are a couple of ways in which link building can help your company.
First of all, the search engines use links, which means if you can create enough links you will likely rank higher in the search engines. When performing a search, the search engine will look at the content on the page, the keywords, as well as the external links, searching for those that are high-quality. Because companies seem to be on a constant quest to improve their search engine rankings, this is a great way to make it happen.
Also, there is the fact that it can drive more traffic to your website by following the link from the originating website to your page. This can increase your visibility, which is a top priority for businesses. When someone is searching on a page they trust and then come across a link to your site, it automatically helps to boost your brand because it gives your website confidence.
What is Digital PR and Why is It Important?
Now as for digital PR, this is a method that is very unique to today’s digital landscape and is something that may not have even been thought about 10 years ago. Most people are aware of what a PR representative can do in a traditional sense; they write press releases and send them out to various news outlets. They also work on increasing the company’s brand awareness and help when crisis management is needed. They work on building up contacts and push their content out to these trusted contacts on a regular basis.
Where a digital PR representative differs is in building the strategy. With digital PR, the focus is all on your digital presence and building a specific digital strategy. What this means is that you create a strategy that will help build links, make use of SEO practices, increase your website’s traffic, rank higher in the search engines, and more.
Another thing that sets digital PR apart from the traditional form is that every single aspect of their efforts is monitored and tracked, often in real-time, so you can see the results and make the necessary adjustments.
Now, even though there is the focus on digital avenues, that doesn’t mean you aren’t working on building contacts and networking at the same time. That will still be taking place and is important in terms of ensuring success. Instead you will work on building connections with influencers, bloggers, experts, etc. that have an online presence.
What Are the Main Differences?
So, what are the main differences? One of the biggest differences is the fact that link building takes on a very focused and targeted approach. You will be reaching out to a specific group of people that frequent the site your link is on. In that sense, it can act as a more targeted approach to marketing. Targeted marketing can often provide you with faster and better results, but that’s not always a guarantee.
Also, link building can help you better your search engine ranking in a more effective manner, since the engine is searching for high-quality links. When you can rank in that top 10 on the first page, there’s no doubt you’ll see an increase in traffic.
On the other hand, digital PR offers a way to target a broader audience and widen the net if you will. Rather than putting all your eggs in one basket, digital PR lets you branch out and try different techniques and practices with the hopes that at least some of them will prove to be fruitful.
Because you will need to build a whole digital campaign, this route can take more energy, time, and know-how as well. These campaigns can take weeks or months, and even more time to plan and then run. Also, a campaign requires research to put together, so it can be quite time-consuming overall. It should also be pointed out that where a digital campaign can fall short is that they don’t always give you that direct line to the customer, unlike link building.
What to Pick?
If you have been on the fence over which method you should be using for your business, it’s important to understand that it doesn’t have to be one or the other. Often the best option is to use both practices giving you better odds of increasing the traffic on your website, growing your brand’s awareness, and being successful in your online efforts.