Digital PR vs Backlinks

Digital PR vs Backlinks: Are They Different?

AJ Saunders profile picture

By on 12 Jul 23 | Filed: SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

I'm a former ecommerce founder turned growth agency owner. When not helping our clients grow, I enjoy automating my home, dogs, and architecture.

Trying to grow your brand only using digital PR means you probably missing out on a ton of backlinks that will help you rank your website. Many think it’s a case of digital PR vs backlinks, but that’s a mistake.


It doesn’t take long to realize SEO comes down to content and backlinks. Of course, there’s more nuance to it than that, but that’s the meat.


You have plenty of options when building backlinks for your ecommerce brand, and digital PR is one option. But it’s not the only link building tactic we have in our tool kit.


I aim to explain why it’s not a case of digital PR vs backlinks but a case of needing a robust plan to build links that uses multiple tactics.



What is Digital PR?

There are more publications than ever before, thanks to the low cost of starting a website or printing a short run of a magazine. So, reaching your ideal customers is easier than ever. Well, in theory.


Public relations (PR) is now more than calling your local paper with a vaguely interesting story. You can create a buzz in niche-related publications yet be unknown to the wider world!


Traditionally PR was about generating a buzz around a story, and to a large part that’s still the case. However, digital PR has become about gaining backlinks as part of the process.


You hope the article generates more awareness of your brand amongst your target market and the backlink help push your website higher in the SERPs.



what is digital pr



How Can Ecommerce Brands Use Digital PR?

The days of pushing out a press release using an online press distribution service such as PRWeb or PR Newswire and considering it job done are long gone. 


Of course, these services provide a great starting point for getting your message out. But you can easily find 100s of online publications related to your niche in seconds who are more likely to cover your brand.


Our standard approach to digital PR is to start by gaining coverage in smaller publications. By leveraging the awareness we build at this stage, it’s easier to generate interest with larger websites and publications.


By braking the process down into smaller steps, we can build greater awareness and gain more backlinks. Both help promote the brand on a greater level.



Why You Still Need To Build Backlinks

One of the benefits of digital PR is backlinks. But there are thousands of sources of backlinks. So, it’s unwise to ignore them and solely focused on PR.


Ideally, you should pick several link building tactics, such as PR, human edited directories, strategic partnerships, and social media. The name of the game is to create a diverse backlink profile that looks natural.


If Google or Bing can spot a whiff of you building a ton of backlinks with no care or reason, they’ll strike you down. So be careful!



Digital PR vs Backlinks: Why You Need Both!

Hopefully, you recognize that digital PR includes an element of link building, and so they are linked. It’s not a case of digital PR vs backlinks, you need both.


You can run several link-building campaigns each year that target general links. On top, you can as you release new products or create something newsworthy, you can use PR to strengthen your link building efforts.



backlinks pr



How to get started Building Backlinks and Press mentions

The best starting point is to create different buckets of link building tactics. Next, arrange them by how long it’ll take for you to get your first link from executing that tactic.


It might be easier for you to get a link from a blog or local directory than trying to persuade your local newspaper to cover your ecommerce brand. You should aim to get both, but one might take longer and require more effort. 


So it’s highly important to run several different tactics at once and not rely on a single one. In time, you’ll pick up backlinks that will lead to you naturally gaining more. And that’ll make the process easier.

Want an actionable plan to grow your online sales and reach your business goals? Let's build one together. Book Your Get To Know You Call

Want To Drive A Ton Of New Ecommerce Sales?

Join our weekly email for the latest ecommerce digital marketing strategies, tips, and information.