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Digital PR agency Manchester

Money: the real links effect

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Impactful Digital PR

  • 25 years of combined experience
  • National & global media contacts
  • B2B & B2C Digital PR

The only forensic Digital PR agency in Manchester. Data-driven digital dominance with hard results.

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What is Digital PR?

Links, links and more links. 

Digital PR is a fast-growing marketing service that improves your brand’s online authority. Tactics employed in the Digital PR arsenal include securing media coverage, acquiring more backlinks from high-authority domains and disavowing toxic links that are harming the health of your website. It’s PR, but online. Bit of a given.

As a marketing tactic, Digital PR is designed to support your overall SEO efforts. You create linkable assets in the form of insightful or interesting content that other websites will want to link to. These links are the really important bit for Digital PR. If a high-quality website (usually measured by the ‘Domain Authority’, a ranking score developed by Moz that predicts the relevance and ranking potential of a website) includes a link to your website, that is a signal to Google that your content and website is relevant and useful. Those authority signals in turn have a positive impact on your organic rankings – if Google sees your website as insightful and useful, it will favour your content on the search engine results pages. You with us?


The best bit about Digital PR is the tangible, measurable results. Increased referral traffic, brand mentions, organic rankings and conversions are fruits of Digital PR’s labour that improve your organic authority online. More authority, more customers, more money in your pockets. In short, Digital PR is bloody fantastic.

Everyone wants a bit of Digital PR. Since 2014, demand has grown by 154% with every other digital marketing agency out there now offering a Digital PR service. The Digital PR landscape in Manchester is polluted with PR buffs schmoozing their way through Spinningfields, offering a watery Aperol Spritz in exchange for 2 no-follow backlinks from the Chorley Chronicle for your hard earned cash. Poor rates.  

Our Digital PR service goes beyond links and SEO. We juggle journalists and supplier relationships, as well as creative and reactive campaigns, all while targeting audiences and media that didn’t know they needed your business. We utilise our extensive journo network to secure you the coverage that builds returns and hits your targets. Bullseye.


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SEO Honesty

Our Digital PR agency approach

Every Digital PR agency in Manchester uses the same USPs. Creative campaigns. Wealth of knowledge. Targeting your audience. This is not ground-breaking stuff. That is the bare minimum of Digital PR. Your digital marketing agency should be creative, who wants a rinse-and-repeat press release? They should be knowledgeable. If they don’t know about Digital PR, then what on earth are they doing? Probably rifling through HARO requests harnessing “their media contacts”. And they damn well should be targeting your audience. These are not USPs, they are just describing what Digital PR entails. Anyone selling you adjectives for your cash is a signal to tie up the purse strings real tight.

Dark Horse is a Digital PR agency that improves your brand’s online presence with results that would make Dirty Den blush. More relevant links, more coverage, more authority, more traffic, more influence, more leads and more money. More, more, more. (How do you like it?)

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1. Forensic research

This is where we get down and dirty. We get to know your business and your industry from the inside out. Your products, services, audience, competitors and backlink profile will be riffled through with a fine tooth comb to identify every gap and opportunity for your website.


2. Killer strategy

We meticulously analyse our findings to establish an impactful Digital PR strategy to increase your online authority combining link building and backlinks, thought leadership pieces, disavowing toxic links, securing product placements and reclaiming lost links. But we don’t stop there. Every strategy we implement has set goals and KPIs from the start so we can clearly measure the success and show the improvements to your website.


3. Impactful ideation

This is the fun bit. Our Digital PR experts craft compelling narratives that catch the media’s eye and make your audience double-take when they’re scrolling through their socials on their lunch breaks. We make you stick in your users’ minds as the brand they can’t wait to tell their mates about. Awareness, authority and the almighty dollar.


4. Meticulous media lists

With 25 years of experience in public relations, we’ve got to know a lot of journos along the way. We tap into our established, long-standing relationships with media outlets across all industries to create a list of media contacts tailored to your audience that ensures your brand is mentioned and linked to in the digital spaces your audience roams.


5. All systems go

Before you know it, we’re outreaching to media outlets and calling journos 24/7 to get your campaign featured on our target websites. Distribution, distribution, distribution. From direct contacts to responding to journalist requests for campaigns just like yours, we are reactive and proactive in our approach to securing your coverage and collating the links as they fly in.


6. Reports with integrity

We don’t set and forget. Our Digital PR experts let you know when we’ve secured coverage every step of the way so you can see the fruits of our labour in real-time. Each month we assemble a forensic report that details what work was done and the exact impact it has had against the KPIs set at the start of the campaign. It all comes full-circle. 


Our Digital PR agency won’t stop at those results though. We’re always looking for new opportunities to get your brand front and centre of your audience organically, adapting constantly. Your competitor’s lost a backlink to a high-quality domain? No worries, we’ll steal it for you. Robin Hood with laptops. Waste not, want not. Dark Horse Digital PR is all about the ROI for your business. If it ain’t making you money, it’s not real Digital PR.

Digital PR salvation

  • 4420% increase in backlinks
  • 70+ domain authority of backlinks acquired
  • Coverage on global outlets, including Metro, Yahoo and TechRadar


Premium presentation design agency, Buffalo 7, wanted to increase their brand authority within their industry. The Dark Horse Digital PR team eagerly accepted the quest.

We designed a data-driven Digital PR strategy targeting on-site assets aimed at top-tier news and tech outlets. In just 1 week of outreach, we acquired high-quality earned links from over 200 relevant media outlets, making our piece the 4th most linked to content on the website to date. Our ROI on Digital PR didn’t stop there. This campaign has continued to naturally generate links and organic authority as evergreen Digital PR content. Beautiful.

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Our Digital PR team takes SEO link building seriously. We’ve hired the best brains from the Manchester digital scene to form a strategy that delivers you links and supports your overall commercial goals. See how we can help destroy your rivals.

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Digital PR services that dominate

Our Digital PR agency knows every trick in the book. We know it’s not just one press release every couple of months and hope for the best. It is expertise and knowledge that is carefully crafted alongside Content and Technical SEO. Always playing three moves ahead. Dark Horse leaves nothing to chance.

Here are some Digital PR services Dark Horse offers:

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Backlink profile analysis

Like any worthwhile Digital PR agency, we conduct a forensic analysis to determine the strength of your backlink profile. We need to know how many links are pointing to your website, how many different websites are linking to you, what authority those links carry, if you’ve lost any relevant links and whether any links are harming you. Oh, and we need to know how you fair versus your biggest rivals. It makes it all the sweeter as you rise above them.

Every next step is meticulously planned to take down your competition.

Link building and outreach

Digital PR as an SEO service essentially comes down to one key thing: link building. Our primary aim is simple: get as many relevant websites with a high Domain Authority as possible to link back to your website. Proactive and reactive campaigns, link reclamation and journalist outreach – we use any (honest) means necessary to deliver for our clients.

Proactive campaigns and ideation

Whether it’s looking ahead to mental health awareness week, Black Friday or the release of a new blockbuster, every Digital PR strategy should proactively anticipate what media outlets will be talking about and have pitches ready to go. Needless to say, we’ve got you covered there.

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Link disavowing

Most of the links that point to your site will be classed as ‘good’, helping to build your website’s authority and Domain Rating. However, some links, including shady links and spam purchased en masse by lazy digital marketing agencies who still live in the 2000s, will have a negative impact on your site. It’s simple: if a link doesn’t look organic, search engines will penalise you for it.

When we perform a backlink audit, we’ll analyse the quality of each link to identify those that come from spammy-sites. Then, our team will upload a disavow file to your site to tell search engines to ignore the links from those domains, so they don’t negatively affect your ranking in search results. It’s a wanky expression, but it’s low hanging fruit that can quickly benefit your site. Think of it like cutting the deadweights from your business, holding you back. It’s a no brainer.

Journalist outreach

Perfectly packaged and ready to spin into an article, journalists love a good PR story. That’s why they’ll often reach out to agencies requesting comments or data on given topics. If your Digital PR agency isn’t utilising that and fostering relationships with journos, you need a new agency.

Our Digital PR consultants have spent years cultivating close, healthy relationships with journalists across a range of industries so we can always get our clients featured in the best online news outlets out there. Getting an insulation company featured in GQ Italia? Completed it.

Reactive content

Whether there’s a breaking story hitting all news outlets or a new feature story that’s only relevant to your industry, our Digital PR agency capitalises on it and produces reactive campaigns that will bag you loads of links.

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Link reclamation

Link reclamation involves finding broken or lost links to your site and repairing or replacing them with a new URL. It might not sound as flashy as building new ones, but we take those broken links and learn to fly again. It maintains your rankings and gets the most out of your backlink profile, helping you soar in Google.

If you’ve updated a URL on your website that has been linked to, we contact the relevant outlet and ask them to update the link. If you’ve lost a link, we find out why it was removed and ask for it to be added back in or offer an alternative. Another tactic? We look at the links your competition has lost and, if any are relevant, we create an equivalent page on your site, contact the journo and ask them to link to you instead. Hear that screaming? It’s your competition’s pitiful cries as they realise their mistakes. We’ll pull any loose threads to get the win.

At Dark Horse, our team is always ready to pounce. Whether it’s writing tips about how to sleep better during a sudden heat wave for a mattress retailer or sharing a report on the safest places to work following the release of a new survey for a health and safety specialist, our team knows how to deliver reactive campaigns at their finest.

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Ready to terrify your competition? Our industry experts give your backlink profile a shakedown and turn it on its head checking for spam, lost and broken links that are giving your rivals the upper hand. Take back what’s yours. Dominate or die.

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What to expect from our Digital PR  agency

If it’s not clear by now, we’ll be blunt: we know what we’re doing. We focus on interesting and newsworthy campaigns that we pitch to industry-specific and large profile media. Our Digital PR services philosophy is simple – high Domain Authority, highly relevant sites. Don’t believe us? Here’s a list of some of the media we’ve got our clients featured in:

Top tier

The Guardian
The Telegraph
The Times
The Sun
The Mirror
The Scotsman
The Daily Record
Daily Post




Real Homes
Ideal Home
The Spruce
House Beautiful
Homes and Gardens

Industry specific
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Digital PR vs traditional PR

The difference between Digital PR and traditional PR is very simple. Digital PR operates solely online while traditional PR covers offline media relations. That’s basically it. Both are part of the wider Public Relations service, and are essential for marketing strategies aimed at increasing your brand’s awareness and authority.

Traditional PR is all about maintaining a positive brand image and building your brand awareness. Edina, Patsy and lots of quaffed bubbles. People who look like they have been wiping their nose on very flowery bread. It’s been around for longer than Anne Robinson, and with the digital evolution dominating every brand it’s becoming less and less relevant as a standalone marketing tactic. The big downside of traditional PR is that you can’t fucking measure it. Number of times your brand is uttered or seen by the eyes of your audience is an impossible metric. With no real way of knowing the effect your PR campaign has had, you could be throwing your hard-earned cash down the drain without realising it.

Digital PR helps with that brand image too, but it also works to improve your website rankings and page authority by acquiring links that point back to your website. It’s the links effect. With about 50 million internet users daily in the UK, turning your PR strategies online means reaching a bigger audience and more potential customers. The big advantage of Digital PR is that you can actually measure the success of your effort directly. Traffic, links, mentions, rankings and conversions are just some of the metrics that signal the effects of your Digital PR strategy that equate to your bottom-line: Money, money, money.

You need to turn your PR efforts digital for one simple reason: the quality, relevancy and quantity of links that point to your website is a Google ranking factor. It often means the difference between page 3 and page 1. Between getting crushed – or crushing your competition. Gone are the days where prosecco lunches at the country club with balloon arches made any sense for marketing. Don’t waste your budget.

Digital PR agency | Stacks of old newspapers outside a shop
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Digital PR

Primary focus: Generating links and brand mentions to increase on-site performance and rankings in search results.

Targeted publications: Online news sites, industry-specific websites, blogs and video platforms.

Success is measured through site performance and rankings.

Edina & Patsy

Primary focus: Generating brand mentions and features to increase brand awareness and engage target audience.

Targeted publications: Traditional media channels, including printed press, radio TV and billboards.

Success is measured through impressions, reach and bolly darling.

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Digital PR agency | Person speaking on a megaphone to a crowd

What to expect from our Digital PR agency

We’re a Manchester Digital PR agency that won’t waste your money sending meaningless emails to websites no-one has heard of. We assess your sector and work to get a mix of top tier media and industry-relevant websites.

  • Quality over quantity – 1 high domain rating or industry media DA link is worth more than 10 meaningless nobody influencer links to your website
  • Valuable links, and lots of ‘em – Generating links from top tier publications will improve your ranking score, boost brand awareness and reputation, increase social shares and get more converting traffic to your website the Dark Horse way
  • Experience your junior doesn’t have – Masterminds at what we do with 25 years of experience. Our Digital PR consultants were hired to increase your revenue. We don’t let just anyone join our ranks and we made sure that this team is built on campaign genius, not emailing skills
  • No waffle – There’s a reason we hate small-time bloggers: we have no time for vanity metrics and shit links. You won’t get shit work with us. If we can’t make something happen, we’ll tell you how it is and pour resources into what works. Our team does what it takes to get the £££
  • Award-winning Digital PR services – No thanks. You don’t need a Digital PR agency with a paid-for made up award to get you a solid backlink profile. We don’t believe in sponsored awards. We believe in proving our work by getting down in the mud and wading through to success the old fashion way
  • Personality – No one likes chemistry calls, including us but we just get on well with honest decent folk. If you are a nob then check page 3 for our competition and click there please
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A Digital PR agency that Manchester can count on

Lies, lies and damned statistics. Not every number you read is data supplied by an honest Digital PR agency. Somewhere out there in a Manchester office, there’s a junior DPR Exec named Freddie plucking numbers out of thin air to make their data sexier and more appealing to some unknown regional. Sending it out, with your name on, to “media” that won’t do jack for you. With. Your. Name. On.

Then, we’ve got the link building strategies that are basically mummy blogs, vegan bloggers, travel insta-stars and other paid-for cretins circling the internet. It sounds easy enough to give a Love Island wannabe some of your tea, ask them to add a post to their website and then beg for a follow link… but do you have the money and patience for that? Could you live with yourself knowing you have supported Love Island? Neither could we.

Our Digital PR agency doesn’t do made-up data or make-believe stories – we remember Volkswagen and their clean diesel… not all PR is good PR, we only deliver the positive stuff. Overpriced Manchester bloggers that no one’s ever heard of isn’t our thing either. Digital PR outreach is the fine art of generating interest and awareness for your brand, leading to valuable links that beef up your backlink profile and increase the value of your website in the eyes of Google. It requires finesse, research, diplomacy and elite level Digital PR services to get those do-follow links. No mummy blogs, no fake data. Just strategy and relevant links.

If you’re looking to partner with a Digital PR agency in Manchester that grows your backlink profile, increases your domain authority and makes you a ton of money – send us a sign.

Digital PR agency | Old photo of chains
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A free Digital PR audit? Go on then

The rule of three – omne trium perfectum – apparently means that whatever comes in threes has some ultimate power. We may not be Latin speaking monks, but we do know that magic happens when Content marketing, Digital PR and Tech SEO (three distinct disciplines that need three wildly different skillsets: coding, copywriting, creativity, marketing, data analysis and more) work together to increase sales and make a website shine. SEO is a team game and has to be. We have never met a freelancer or tiny agency who covered all bases. All audits we have compiled for websites using freelancers have been frankly turd.

For great SEO, and to make a dent in your margins, you need specialists across the range. A team of highly skilled brains that will get their hands dirty and check under the hood of your website to find the issues, fix the gaps and start making you money.

Sounds too good to be true? It’s not, it’s the Dark Horse SEO trio. Let our Dark Horse SEO masterminds rip your website apart and show you where you could be. Seriously, book a consultation, shoot us an email, send us some smoke signals and let our team audit your website for free. No strings attached, just brutal honesty.

Dark Horse SEO audits include:

  • Breakdown of your Technical SEO, Content and Digital PR faults and opportunities
  • Gaps and opportunities vs competitors
  • Evidence and experience-based strategy
  • Insights into what you should be doing and how we’d do it
  • Timescales for how fast and how hard we’d hit your website
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See all Digital PR examples and case studies

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Other things we do


Digital Audit

There is no room for mediocrity in the future. We will forensically retire your incumbent agency.

Piece by ickle piece individually wrapped in powerpoint slides.

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Paid Social

They haven’t got mortgages so why not take their savings instead of Netflix. Paid Social so startlingly revolutionary that it could make Gen Z vote Tory with Kirsty Allsop as PM.

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seo manchester

SEO Service

The only thing you will get from page 3 is going blind.

Law professional, Tracey 23, from Skegness says "No sales below my favourite position - number 1 of course!"

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PPC Service

PPC results to make you cry tears of joy.

PPC results to make your competition cry. Period. Make a Martini out of them.

Learn More
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Digital PR FAQs

The below scratches the surfact of Digital PR but it does give us a platform to put some internal links. We’re taking it.

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Is it bad to buy backlinks?
Is it bad to buy backlinks? - Expand

Buying backlinks is considered a violation of search engine guidelines and can result in penalties or even a ban from search engine results. While buying backlinks may seem like a quick and easy way to improve your website’s ranking, it is ultimately, not a sustainable or ethical practice. Search engines value organic and natural link building, where backlinks are earned through high-quality content, reputable sources and genuine relationships. It is important to focus on creating valuable content and building relationships with other websites in order to earn backlinks naturally and improve your SEO in a legitimate way.

How do you build ethical backlinks?
How do you build ethical backlinks? - Expand

With a bloody good Digital PR agency. Building ethical backlinks involves creating high-quality, relevant content that others would naturally want to link to. This can be achieved through guest blogging on reputable websites, engaging with industry influencers and participating in online communities. It’s also important to avoid using black hat tactics such as buying links or participating in link farms, as these can lead to penalties from search engines. By focusing on creating valuable content and building relationships with other websites, you can establish a strong backlink profile that will benefit your SEO efforts in the long run.

What are backlinks?
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Backlinks, also affectionately known as inbound links, are links from one website to another. Think of an online article published on Yahoo News about a new treatment that links back to the trial data published in an online medical journal. That link will be a backlink from Yahoo to the medical journal. You scratch one back, they’ll backlink yours.

What is a backlink profile?
What is a backlink profile? - Expand

A backlink profile refers to the collection of links from other websites that point back to yours. Some will have been engineered with a Digital PR strategy, others will happen organically. We tick both boxes with our smart strategies and top-notch content.

The value of each individual link within your backlink profile will be based on their domain authority, relevance, type and anchor text ratio – but more on that below.

What is link building?
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Link building is the process of getting other websites to link back to yours. It’s all about acquiring backlinks to boost your online visibility and authority. Think of it like the cool kids vouching for you so Queen G takes notice.

How does link building help SEO?
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The links acquired from your linking building strategy act as trust signals, telling search engines that your site is valuable and authentic. When those links come from websites with high domain authorities, the transferred link juice increases your own authority and thus your rankings in search results – or at least that’s the complicated explanation you’d get from our Digital PR experts.

In simpler terms, links are like digital friends. If Google likes your friends and your friends are vouching for you, then Google is likely to like you too. The more likeable friends you have, the more Google will value you. Though those awful hormonal high school anxiety days of appearing popular were long gone? They’re back.

What is link juice?
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Link juice, or link equity, is a term used to describe and measure how much authority one site passes on to another by linking to it. The link juice flows from the linking site into the linked-to site through hyperlinks. The more reputable the site, the bigger boost of link juice the linked-to site gets. A deep, thirst-quenching drink to soothe your shrivelled, dried out DA. A term mostly used by people to avoid at parties.

What are dofollow links?
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A dofollow link is backlink that search engines can crawl, and that passes authority from the linking site to the linked-to site. These are the links you ideally want to acquire through your link building efforts, for it’s a jolly dofollow which nobody can deny.

It looks something like this:

<a href="">Link Text eg Big Fountain Pens</a>

What are nofollow links?
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A nofollow link occurs when one site links to another site but embeds a piece of code into that link to tell search engines not to follow that link or pass on any authority to the site it’s pointing to.
It looks something like this:

<a href="" rel="nofollow">Link Text</a>

If you receive a nofollow link, you won’t get the full benefit of the link but it’s better than no link. Think of it as a subtle nod, a quick smile, an inconspicuous wink.

Are nofollow links good for SEO?
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While your link building efforts should always focus on gaining dofollow links, a link is still a link, and will help grow your backlink profile and authority regardless of whether it’s dofollow or nofollow. We advise having a healthy balance of each. It’s more important that the link is relevant and has a high DA than that it’s dofollow. It’s all about quality over quantity.

Why are links important for SEO?
Why are links important for SEO? - Expand

Links are important to SEO because they’re a ranking factor. The more (valuable, of course) links you have, the more authority you gain, the higher you’ll appear in search results, the more traffic you’ll get to your site and the more money you’ll make.

What is domain authority?
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Domain Authority (DA) is an SEO scoring system first developed by Moz, an SEO analysis tool, that predicts how likely a domain is to appear in search engine result pages (SERPs) compared to its competitors on a scale of 1 to 100. The higher a score your website achieves, the more likely it is to rank higher in SERPs. It basically works to predict how Google will perceive your website, based on the quality and the quantity of links that point back to your website. We don’t like sucking up to Google, but we’ll go down on any amount of journos to secure the right coverage.

What is a domain rating?
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Similar to domain authority, domain rating (DR) is an SEO scoring system (developed by AHrefs, another SEO analysis tool) that shows the strength of a website’s backlink profile relative to all other websites. The higher the domain rating, the stronger your backlink profile – and that’s exactly what you should be aiming for. You want to be comparing, we know size matters, is your DR bigger than their DR?

How to increase domain authority and domain rating
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To increase your DA and DR, you need to improve your backlink profile by disavowing harmful backlinks, reclaiming lost links, and gaining more links from websites that have a higher DA than you. You need to get as many quality links as possible. You need a Digital PR agency that knows what they’re doing. You need Dark Horse.

How do we measure the success of a Digital PR campaign?
How do we measure the success of a Digital PR campaign? - Expand

Almost every campaign we run aims to do one thing: acquire backlinks. But the benefits of Digital PR doesn’t end there. We measure (and report on) success based on: 

  • Backlinks acquired: The obvious one. Digital PR aims to increase a website’s backlink profile. How many links your site gets off the back of a campaign and the quality of those links is key to how successful a campaign has been. 
  • Media coverage: The number of media placements, the reach and the audience of the publications in which the placement is featured is measured too.
  • Brand mentions and delivery of key messages: We also measure the number of brand mentions acquired and the inclusion of key sales messaging from news outlets and social media.
  • Increased traffic: The backlinks and brand mentions acquired can drive traffic to a website. We’ll check for an uplift in referral and direct traffic for this.
How can Content and Digital PR work together?
How can Content and Digital PR work together? - Expand

We hate the term but we love the concept: a holistic approach. Our Content and Digital PR team work together to maximise our in-house resource, make best use of your investment and hours available, and get you the best results possible. Let’s say our content team writes a great blog, why wouldn’t we then repurpose it to increase visibility and reach? We know what the media like and how to spin a blog post into a media pitch.

What is the Digital PR process at Dark Horse?
What is the Digital PR process at Dark Horse? - Expand

At Dark Horse, we always let the data do the talking and drive our strategy. We start by performing a backlink profile audit, looking at the number, quality and history of your backlinks. Do we need to reclaim lost links? Disavow toxic ones? We get to the bottom of it all. From there, we move into the ideation phase, developing a proactive campaign before outreaching it to journalists and media outlets. As the campaign develops, we’ll track the number of links and brand mentions it generates and report on it. In the background, we also answer ADHOC media requests to get you as much coverage as possible. After 12 weeks, we review our strategy, building and adapting it based on performance data.

Is Digital PR a standalone service or part of an SEO campaign?
Is Digital PR a standalone service or part of an SEO campaign? - Expand

Luckily for you, it can be either. If you signed an SEO retainer with us, you get Digital PR services as part of it. Let’s not forget, backlinks are a ranking factor. We also offer Digital PR as a standalone service, including backlink profile audits, proactive campaigns and ideation, and link building and outreach.

How does Digital PR impact SEO performance?
How does Digital PR impact SEO performance? - Expand

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Digital PR has such a positive impact on SEO. It generates backlinks, increases brand awareness, increases brand mentions, drives traffic to site, improves keyword rankings, increases relevance and brand authority, and improves brand reputation.