This post first appeared in Anthony Bullick’s Daily Post column

Businesses seeking to increase their visibility and enhance their reputation online were provided a peek behind the Google curtain, following a tweet from a senior analyst.

John Mueller said that digital PR is more important in some ways than technical SEO (search engine optimisation).

What’s crucial for brands to understand at the outset though is what is meant by the phrase digital PR.

It’s often, incorrectly, seen as a synonym for link building, which is encouraging third-party websites to link to you as this helps to be placed higher up in search results.

Digital PR is much more than that: it is how your brand and messaging is seen and perceived in the online space, from message boards and social media to review sites, media and other influential websites.

Effective digital PR impacts business goals while, yes, sometimes securing vital links as part of SEO efforts. Create content with the user in mind and everything falls into place.

Produce resources such as e-books, infographics or educational blog posts that answer people’s questions or provide them with value to position yourself as an expert and build trust.

Third parties may also link to your page if they reference your guide.

Having your brand name-checked by a trusted outlet such as the media, even if they don’t include a link, significantly impacts your digital PR efforts.

How can you attract online news coverage for your company? Review the type of articles published on the sites you wish to target.

Can you contribute to breaking industry news? Carry out research to reveal insightful and interesting data.

Repurpose all content across your own channels including social media and email marketing to continue to increase engagement and results.

Analyse review sites to understand what story they are telling about your brand and how you can correct inaccurate perceptions through your activity.

Digital PR working in tandem with SEO can and does achieve amazing outcomes for businesses. For example, those links can drive traffic to your product or service resulting in sales, and as a bonus they have a hugely beneficial impact on the brand’s visibility in search results.

Futureproof your digital PR actions by ensuring everything is relevant. Simply producing content that gets seen, but has no relevance to your brand, is likely going to be under Google’s microscope.

Based on previous updates, this could see websites vanish from search results.