Online public relations provide several benefits beyond generating media coverage. The search engine optimization (SEO) benefits of optimized press releases include lead generation, link building for high rankings, and fresh content which appeals to visitors and search engines.
Distribute More Releases
Distributing more press releases builds greater online visibility which translates into more traffic, leads, and links from credible sources. Posting regular updates to your website also has the added value of ensuring fresh content, which the search engines love.
Optimized online press releases get first page exposure through the news search engines, and can rank well for weeks after the release.
Your company doesn’t need to wait for a major event to issue a press release. New online PR services have reduced the cost of press release distribution to zero. While we recommend making a financial contribution to receive tracking statistics and wider exposure, many services, such as PRWeb, PRLeap, and PRFree.com offer a free option.
With nearly zero distribution costs, and lower media news expectations for online releases, increasing your distribution frequency will get you SEO benefits with minimal costs.
Here are some opportunities for press release announcements a technology company might consider:
> Upcoming web seminar, in addition to all the SEO benefits of sending a release announcement, you will also increase attendance.
> Community event participation
> Mid-management new hires (in addition to those VP releases you send)
> Tradeshow participation
> Company milestones
> Expansion, such as a move to a new location or the opening of a new regional office
> Executive participation in speaking events (make your executives look like superstars)
> Publication of papers (get some visibility for that whitepaper you’ve been slaving over!)
> Industry statistics
> Minor awards (don’t wait to make it into Gartner’s Magic Quadrant to announce your product superiority)
Optimize Before You Send
In order to get the greatest SEO value from the releases you distribute, they need to be optimized for your keywords. Well optimized press releases build valuable inbound links from trusted sources. Here are some recommendations to get the most from your release:
> Optimize each press release using one or two of your keyword phrases. Each release should be focused on a topic which naturally uses the keywords. This is no different than writing an SEO page on your website.
> Include the keyword phrase in the anchor text. For example, if your goal is to rank well on Google for the search phrase “business accounting software”. On PRWeb this is how you would include the link:
ACME Software announces the latest release of the industry’s leading www.ACME.com/business_account_software.html [business accounting software].
> Use the keyword phrase in the headline
> Use the keyword phrase in the summary sentence
> Use the keyword phrase in the first paragraph and 2-3 times in the body of the release.
> Keep your release between 300-500 words.
> Take advantage of PRWeb’s option to have 1 link per 100 words and deep link to appropriate pages.
> Include a link to your home page as well.
Check Your Rankings
On the day of the release check the news sections of Google, Yahoo and MSN to see how well your press release ranked. Check again a week later. Depending on how much news is distributed in your industry, you may rank on the first page of results for several days, if not longer.
After posting on your website (don’t forget to use the keyword phrase in your meta title tag), wait a couple of weeks and check results in the general section of the search engines. Your release should appear there as well.
The value of PR and SEO seem to increase every day, as online press release services add more features. Recently PRWeb added a podcasting option at the $200 contribution level. PRWeb’s podcasting increases your company’s online audio content and it is a great way to build the expert status of your CEO or in-house industry guru.
It is an exciting time for public relations as PR takes on a larger role of lead generation, link building, and online visibility. Expanding your PR activities, with a focus on the online benefits will payoff long after your release is picked up by the media.