Posts Tagged ‘press release’

The Power of a Press Release

December 16th, 2010 by Jessica Runberg

Releasing a new product? Opening a new store location? Offering a seasonal promotion? All of these are reasons to distribute a press release.

While press releases keep the PR people buzzing, their value extends far beyond the PR realm. Press releases that are distributed on major news outlets online, such as AP Digital, NPR, Yahoo News, MSNBC and others, have the power to spread the word in a way that simply isn’t possible with offline media.

SEO agencies take it a step further and optimize press releases for important keyword phrases that help them rank highly in Google’s natural search results. This way, potential customers who are searching for the products and services you sell are likely to find and read your press release. Strategically placed links in the press release will direct readers to your most important pages. This can work wonders for conversions!

But the biggest reason to write a press release is simply to spread the word. Newsworthy business happenings probably happen every week or at least every month at your company. Not sure what’s considered newsworthy? Ask an expert such as the PR pros at Search Agency what events are worthy of a press releases. Even online, press releases must be formal; this is not the place for marketing fluff. It is, however, a great place to spread the word about your business in a powerful and buzz-worthy way.

Can you still get SEO value from online press releases?

August 31st, 2009 by Patrick Hare

For a brief time, getting a good search engine ranking was as easy as publishing an online press release. The anchor text from a few selected phrases in the release would find itself on multiple outlets, including RSS feeds, and your release would show up everywhere from Yahoo news to various other outlets, many of which made their money from aggregating content and running contextual ads. In every sense of the word, the press release was used for link building, and even with no human readers, the release would create fast link popularity for the price of a few hundred dollars.

Today, press releases are still used in the search engine optimization process, but as part of a broader SEO and link building package. They can still be used very effectively, but it takes a savvier operator than the press release writers of days past, who could literally turn any topic into a news item. Search engines tightened up their scrutiny of online PR outlets, and as a result many of them decided to ensure that the release was “newsworthy” enough to warrant publication. Therefore, an advanced level of press release writing and distribution is necessary to make sure that you get the full value from a press release.

In some ways, writing a good press release goes back to the days before the internet. You need to have an attention getting headline, but now you need one that better incorporates your primary keyword phrase. This may not pass SEO value directly to your site, but recently Google and Yahoo have been placing press releases among their search results, so if your keyword is in the headline, your article may get some traffic. Naturally this means that the first paragraph of the release should have a concise value proposition along with whatever “news” you are delivering about your company.

When it comes to topics, your list of press release topics is limited only by your imagination, and (most importantly) the truth. People actually read online releases, and many companies use services like Google Alerts to look for certain words or phrases in online news. Therefore, your news should be accurate, but if your release is written well you can turn the most mundane events into stories. For instance any new hire, acquisition, purchase, recognition, or award can become a press release topic. If you’ve adopted a highway, bought a new vehicle, upgraded your order processing system, then you have a topic.

From an SEO standpoint, the essential thing about getting a press release involves getting links back to your website. Most studies of multiple links back to the same site indicate that the first link found is going to be the one that passes authority, so you should make sure that the anchor text in your first link is the most important. If you have a shop that rents dune buggies in San Diego, make sure that the link text for the first link back to your website contains something along the lines of “San Diego Dune Buggy Rental.” In subsequent parts of the release, you can have other links, and you are likely to have your site’s domain name in the “about” section that is usually the same no matter how many releases you publish.

When it comes to doing press releases for search engine optimization, one of the key takeaways is that online press release distribution should not be your only linking channel. Instead, it should be a periodic element in an expanded and diversified link building portfolio. Even if you send out press releases every two weeks, you will only be filling out a certain link profile, and the search engines may not recognize your site as the kind of resource that gets a variety of links. Most major websites get links from directories, forums, blogs, and other websites which reference information found on the target site. Therefore, in addition to going after many different kinds of links, you should also consider adding pages to your site where you cover a certain topic that would be of interest to someone hitting your site. Even if you paint houses in Fresno, you could have a page about popular paint colors or techniques. Every time you add a page, you could put out a release like “Fresno Painting Company Reveals 10 Popular House Colors” with a link to the new page on the site. You could then follow up with a few links to that page from blogs and other sites. Given enough time and pages, you will likely become the resource for your topic, especially if your competitors aren’t doing anything similar. Search Agency has been writing and distributing online press releases for several years, and the benefits have gone beyond traditional SEO. The releases themselves get picked up by the occasional news outlet, and may get fairly good search engine rankings in their own right. This kind of online public relations is great for newer companies, who are likely to be experiencing the “sandbox effect” in Google or Yahoo. By having press release pages on several established websites and news outlets, your company can enjoy an online presence in advance of the site’s eventual search position. Our press release writers also have experience in matching up your products and services with keywords that have a high search volume in major search engines. In addition to creating a “well rounded” link profile that is preferred by search algorithms, you also get to enjoy a press release’s traditional benefit, which is the improvement in publicity and general good will that are craved by growing and established businesses of all kinds.