Insights

Rankings tanking: top takeaways 

Google’s stance on link buying is clear: brands must stop buying links and earn them instead. This means we’re facing a digital marketing challenge – how can you use digital PR to craft compelling stories while earning high quality, relevant coverage?

In our  Rankings Tanking webinar, our team of experts explored how to use digital PR as a beacon to chart a new course in link building. Watch on-demand as  Beth Nunnington, VP of Organic Media, Caitlin Halpert, VP of Growth, Jessica Edmondson, Director of Media Outreach & Data Journalism at Insurify and Alex Haslam, Senior SEO Manager at Adobe, delve into the strategic benefits of digital PR. 

 

Why is digital PR important?

The fundamental aim of digital PR is to build brand awareness and increase SEO ranking, through digital link building tactics. 

Alex Haslam discussed how efficient digital PR really is, across multiple different sites and business types and sizes, acting as a central initiative that “wears many hats”.

Jessica Edmondson highlighted that digital PR drives SEO traffic, awareness, and new business through authority signals within link citations. She added that authentic storytelling is the most valuable to both journalists and websites. She also discussed how the ‘spray and pray’ approach, sending out vast amounts of emails to journalists, used frequently in the past and by many link builders today, is an old-fashioned and spammy approach. 

Digital PR should help journalists tell their stories, as opposed to promoting a brand like traditional PR”. 

Jessica Edmondson, Director of Media Outreach & Data Journalism at Insurify 

 

The three pillars of a successful SEO strategy 

There are three pillars to a successful strategy in SEO: technical, content, and links. 

However, Beth Nunnington shared that links are often neglected and even abused in their use. Black hat link building tactics are rife, despite Google experts insisting that this goes against their policy and will, therefore, be penalised in the rankings. 

Beth highlighted the March 2024 Google algorithm, which strives to discipline search engine manipulation and marks these links as spam, and instead, clarified a new way to boost performance: creating and earning high-quality links and content using digital PR.

 

Measuring relevance

Beth highlighted that a common misconception in the Google algorithm is that the more links you have, the better your ranking, but, actually, the total number of links doesn’t matter at all. The real impacting metric is relevance. A relevance-led strategy is not only easier to control, but will also increase awareness, trust, organic visibility, and sentiment. 

Jessica reinforced that relevancy is key. She advised avoiding measuring success solely on SEO software such as Moz.com and Ahrefs, as these can be easily manipulated. Instead, you should dive deeper, using these only as a starting point, if at all. 

 

A combined SEO and digital PR strategy is the future 

Overall, it’s clear that when SEO and digital PR teams work together, the result is magnificent. Digital PR is a performance-led channel, rooted in SEO insight, so all activity is trackable and measurable. However, the key to using the channel successfully and maximising ROI is to devise a strategic plan that focuses on relevancy rather than the frequency in which your brand is seen. 

 

Want to learn more? You can watch the full webinar on-demand now for free