How ‘The Worldwide Expat Index’ Earned 100 Links for an Expat Insurance Provider

100 links earned

from 86 referring domains

Average DR52

of the earned links

Links earned from

relevant expat publications

Published on 16 Nov, 2023 Standout stats.

100 links earned from 86 referring domains.

Average DR52 of the links earned by the campaign.

Links earned from top-tier publications including Express, iNews & Travel & Leisure.

Links earned from niche expat and localised publications including,, I Am Expat, CPH Post and NZ Herald.

Learn how we earned 100+ links from a single data-driven digital PR campaign for expat insurance provider, William Russell, contributing to increasing the site’s authority and its continued organic growth.

In this digital PR case study, we’ll walk you through the campaign process, right the way through from coming up with the concept to pitching to the press and earning linked coverage from topically relevant publications.

We’ll talk through the decisions we took to ensure the campaign earned relevant links that came from within coverage that would resonate with the brand’s audience, as well as how we aligned it with their wider SEO strategy

The Client.

William Russell has been offering expat insurance since 1992, providing health insurance, life insurance and income protection for people living and working abroad.

For more than 30 years, the provider has been helping expats with straightforward and affordable plans that cover their health, well-being and financial security, wherever they are. And doing so with a personal touch that’s lacking with many other insurance providers.

William Russell is a retained digital PR client of Digitaloft’s, with the agency working to contribute towards the brand’s ongoing SEO success and increased awareness.

Our measure of success is press coverage that links to the site from within relevant stories, and which helps to increase the site’s authority and help it to see consistent organic search visibility growth.

The Idea.

Digital PR, as far as we’re concerned, is an umbrella term for a number of tactics. And it’s our role to determine the best-suited tactic for each client and their goals.

For William Russell, that meant combining data-driven campaigns with both proactive and reactive expert insights.

This case study looks specifically at one of the campaigns we’ve launched over the last few years.

We’re big believers that the best data-driven campaigns hit what we call ‘the campaign sweet spot.’

This is all about coming up with campaign concepts that balance the content you want to create as a brand (promotional content, for example) with the content that journalists want to publish (content their audience wants to consume).

When you’re able to come up with ideas that sit right in the middle of these two, you’re in the sweet spot; telling stories that are both relevant to your brand and engaging and interesting for your target publications.

And this is exactly what we aimed for with The Worldwide Expat Index for William Russell.

The brand’s audience is expats around the world, and we ultimately wanted to tap into this community and create content that resonated with them (and those considering relocating overseas to live or for work), but that also created a talking point amongst the press.

Past experience has proven to us that data-driven rankings are a surefire way to earn widespread coverage, for the simple reason that people love to know where their country (or, in this case, the one they’ve relocated to or are considering) sits on a list against others.

And this is exactly what we set out to do.

Our ideation process saw us come up with the concept of a data-driven ranking of the best countries for expats to live in; engaging both those currently in the research stage of relocation, or the curiosity of those who have already made the move.

Say hello to The Worldwide Expat Index.

The Execution.

This campaign was launched as an editorial deep-dive into the best countries for expats to live in, ranked on the following factors:

  • Happiness
  • Health
  • Employment
  • Quality of Life

Within each of these, we determined an ‘Expat Score’ out of 10, based on a series of relevant factors for each.

To create a list of countries to analyse we looked at countries that fit into three groups:

  • OECD Countries
  • G20 Countries
  • Developed Countries (Countries that are considered to be of “very high human development”) according to the UN Human Development Index.
  • Along the way, we excluded countries that fit all three categories if we could not collect data for them in multiple factors.
  • The 2022 population for each country was taken from World Population Review and compared to the land area for each country from the same source, to collect the population density for each country.

Here are the factors we looked at within each grouping:



  • World Bank data on life expectancy (2020 or most recent year available)
  • Number of hospitals: OECD data (2021 or most recent year available), and for non-OECD countries, multiple data sources were used.
  • ‘Average People per Hospital’ was calculated by dividing the population of each country by the number of hospitals.
  • The number of hospital beds per 100,000 people from World Bank data (2019 or most recent year available).
  • Worldometers live COVID-19 deaths data to see how well each country has handled the pandemic (as of April 19th, 2023).
  • And the World Bank data on the number of physicians per 100,000 people (2020 or most recent year available).


  • Unemployment rate as a percentage of the working population, from World Bank data (2021 or most recent year available).
  • The average income per capita from the World Bank (2020 or most recent year available).
  • Overall labour rights scores were sourced from the Labour Rights Index (2022).

Quality of Life

  • Seven factors were used to discover the quality of life score; level of crime, apartment cost per month, drinking water quality and accessibility, garbage disposal, quality of parks and green spaces, and gender equality.
  • The first seven were all sourced from Numbeo (as of April 19th, 2023).
  • Gender Equality data from the Global Gender Gap Report 2022.

The overall Expat Index scores for each country were calculated by combining all factors from each category into a single score out of ten, giving each factor equal weighting.

This score was then used to rank all the nations in our study, revealing the 2023 Worldwide Expat Index.

We took our findings and turned this into an engaging editorial write-up that we launched as a data study that balanced visual, written and interactive assets to form a campaign that told the story of the best countries in the world for expats to live.

Specifically, we included an interactive table that users could sort by the different factor groupings, in turn revealing not just which countries came out top overall but under the happiness, health, employment and quality of life factors.

The Results.

The Worldwide Expat Index, to date, has seen us earn 100 links from 86 referring domains, with these links having an average DR of 52.

Here’s a look at some of the standout links earned with this campaign:

NZ Herald87
Times Live80
CPH Post71
I Am Expat71

The campaign resulted in coverage that couldn’t get much more relevant to William Russell’s key audience; expats.

By taking that one step away from the brand’s core product (insurance) and focusing on why they need the product in the first place (because they’re relocating), we were able to hit that campaign sweet spot, tell stories that multiple publications wanted to cover (and link to) and contribute relevant and authoritative links to support the brand’s wider SEO strategy.

"This campaign is a fantastic example of a standout idea being leveraged to earn links from within relevant stories that appeal to the brand's target audience. Relevancy is perhaps the biggest differentiator between 'good' and 'great' links right now, and it's amazing to see what the team have achieved with this campaign, showing that relevancy doesn't have to suffer to earn quality links at scale."

James Brockbank Managing Director & Founder, Digitaloft

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