Using A Press Release to Drive Traffic to Your Website

by Web Designer on 21/12/2009

in Search Engine Optimisation

As well as standard SEO techniques you may want to try this one: I will go over how a press release can help boost your search rankings and get you more traffic.

Like many Internet marketers I often neglect using press releases and if I do it, it is more as an afterthought. Perhaps it is because I have the idea that a press release needs to be newsworthy.. ie meant to announce some kind of time sensitive story. And for printed media like a newspaper this is still very much the case.

However, I have been discovering that for the Internet this is not so. Yes it still has to be newsworthy ( ie interesting to someone) but it doesn’t have to be a latest, breaking on-the-ground report. Perhaps an editorial release might be a better name for it!  Here’s my (newby) thoughts and findings on the subject…

Why Bother?

Simple. For the backlinks and the direct traffic. Remember as well you don’t want just any old back links – you want links from well established sites – sites that have been recognized as authority sites by the search engines. Many press release sites have this status. So it’s worth doing.

The reason why some press release sites work so well is because they include many high page rank sites in their distribution list. Imagine having sites like CNET, EIN News, InboxRobot, AmericanChronicle, etc. linking back to you.

Getting the right Press Release Site for SEO

There are several types of press release services that you will come across.

1) Free releases with no links allowed. These a press release sites allow you to submit a press release for free. But you can’t have any active links in your release. Not really worth bothering with from an SEO point of view.

2) Free releases with links allowed (but no anchor texts). Similar to the above only now you CAN have your website URL in there. Better but still not ideal for SEO where you want to have the anchor text hyperlinked.

3) Paid or free releases with links and anchor texts allowed. This is what you are after. For an affordable fee or even free, you get to publish a press release with at least 2 back links included. AND you are also allowed to choose your own anchor texts.

Press release traffic.

When you publish a press release, traffic will come to you from several ways.

1) Directly: Once your press release has been published, it will be syndicated across a wide network of news related sites. Readers who find your headline interesting will read your story and click through to visit your website.

2) News subscribers – A press release service will also submit your news story to news wire sites such as Google News, EIN News, Topix, NewsBlaze Daily News, and more. These wire sites already have an existing database of news subscribers. When you publish a press release, some of these subscribers will then visit your site. This is not a small deal by the way – some of these News wire sites have thousands of subscribers.

3) Search engines. This is the first SEO aspect. Your news article remains online for a long time so even after the initial traffic surge from 1 and 2 above you will still be getting traffic from the search engines that index and rank the PR release.

4) Search engines. This is the second SEO aspect. More backlinks form press releases means a better ranking in the search engines. Which means more search traffic.

How to prepare a press release

Publishing a press release on the Internet is not as hard as you might think. You may want to outsource it anyway if time is tight. But if you are planning to try it yourself here are some tips.

* Always write in third person.
* Come up with a compelling headline to attract eyeballs.
* Include one or two quotations from a person with authority in the industry.
* State facts, features and benefits clearly.
* Choose an interesting angle to write about to ensure that you publish an interesting story.
* Don’t overstuff your news article with the same keywords. Use synonyms whenever possible to ensure that the content looks natural.
* Remember to include your contact information at the end of the press release.

And lastly – if you are writing your own press release, make sure that you write in a clear and concise manner. Don’t beat about the bush. Usually, you should be able to include all key points in your press release in about 500 words. Keep the more lengthy text on your website – the interested visitor can read it there.

And – does it work?

I have released a few press items and I have to say yes. I haven’t had the fortune to be picked up by CNN (yet) so the effect has been modest. But I can see some very good high value backlinks to my site form some of the press release sites. I admit I am still a newbie at this game and will post more as I learn some of the tricks of the trade. (Or more likely, once I understand it all a bit more I will find a good outsourcer)

But as another string to your SEO bow its well worth looking into. And contact me for more affordable SEO services.

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