Press releases offer a fantastic opportunity to promote your business and boost link building efforts; I’ll take a look at how you can maximise your PR and SEO.
Traditionally press releases have always been about sharing a news story with the wider world. You’d send them off to the appropriate media contacts or a newswire service and hope your story would get picked up. If it got overlooked, that was usually the end of the line for that particular release.
Today though, it’s quite different. Whilst the basic principle remains, in so far as a press release will still contain a news story and be sent to appropriate editorial teams, the Internet has provided an additional freedom to distribute.
In fact this freedom has brought with it new opportunities. The most obvious of which is the ability to use a press release to glean SEO strength. Your release doesn’t live or die by the hand of a newspaper editor anymore, it has a life of its own. A press release can live on, providing invaluable links that will generate site strength, improve keyword relevance and create traffic for your site.
Distributing Releases Online
That’s right, the modern press release has a dual purpose. Great news for SEOs, bad news for editors.
The promise of free (or cheap) links has turned the press release into a key SEO tool, not just an opportunity for publicity. They get syndicated across search engines, featured on various blog and Google News, pretty much anywhere that will have them really. Whilst never appearing in the local paper, they still do a job.
This of course leads to manipulation. People use press releases like articles, firing them off in all directions and hoping that they find somewhere to stick. Great for SEO, not always for standards.
If you have some genuine news to share though, press releases can’t be beaten. When you use a professional service like PRWeb you have the opportunity to get your story seen right across the world. You can still send it to your press contacts as usual, but the whole process is simplified and speeded up by the Internet.
Even if you get overlooked at first, over time your news will start filtering through to editorial powers. Your brand name will become more recognisable and you can become a really trusted source of news. It’s an easy way to boost your profile where it matters.
So What is Newsworthy?
Well, if you want your press releases to get picked up by the media it has to have a wider public appeal. So if you’re doing some fundraising, have done some important research or have reached a momentous milestone within your business, you might be in luck.
You won’t necessarily be targeting national publications. It could be that you’re going after more localised media coverage or to get seen within a particular niche industry outlet. Regardless of your target, you need to be able to give them something that’ll engage them and their audience.
For example a major recruitment drive might get picked up by a local newspaper, but is unlikely to get much outside interest. Conversely, if you have made a major scientific breakthrough that has broad appeal and, if sent to the right places, should get you significant attention.
How About SEO-focussed Releases?
If you’re more concerned about developing your link building and getting seen in search engines, then your press releases still need to stand out. It has to command the attention of blog owners and republishers as well as search engine users who stumble upon it.
You can optimise your release by using specialist keywords throughout, although not to a spammy extent of course. Two or three links will be sufficient too. As they will be embedded in set key terms you’ll get the benefit of added relevance for target pages. They should also be contextualised by the surrounding language too, so again, great for keyword relevance.
It should still be written in a style that will engage with readers and follow the principles of a standard press release. As it will be carrying your brand name it needs to be treated with the same respect as a page on your website. A press release is promotional, therefore make sure that you do yourself justice.
Producing decent press releases can have a significant impact on your SEO work and brand visibility; however it has to be done right. Many companies don’t have their own PR team and outsourcing can be costly. Professional press release writing services can help to avoid the pitfalls of a poorly written and over-optimised release.
When you’ve got something to shout about, make sure you do so properly. Get it seen by the right people, distributed to the best online sources and optimised for SEO purposes too. There’s a lot to remember, but get it right and it can pay dividends.