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Forever ago, I put in a few months as a collegiate journalist. I vividly remember digging through our mile-high stack of press releases helping to search for story options. I recall thinking that this could not possibly be the most effective way for these brands to reach media. At the time, I was overlooking a very key benefit that many business owners also forget: brands can boost SEO with press releases.
According to howstuffworks.com:
A press release is a short, compelling news story written by a public relations professional and sent to targeted members of the media. The goal of a press release is to pique the interest of a journalist or publication. The press release should contain all the essential information (who? what? where? when? how? and most importantly why?) for the journalist to easily produce his own story.
From print to digital
By why? Why send a press release? Traditionally, press releases have aimed to get your brand published. Your press release would be delivered to a newsroom. By sheer luck, a reporter would find it interesting enough to follow up. An article would be written and your brand would be published in a printed paper or magazine. Ultimately, you hoped for a few leads to trickle in — but the entire process was exceptionally difficult to measure leaving many marketers blindly wishing, hoping, thinking and praying their releases would land.
Digital media changed that process entirely.
Today, press releases are distributed almost exclusively by digital means. Mostly through press release wires and email. And, instead of aiming for print publication, they’ve evolved into publication as online content.
The problem: the barrier to entry is minimal. Almost anyone can issue a press release. The bitter downside is that, because releases are so simple to distribute, newsroom inboxes are filled to the brim with releases making it virtually impossible to ever review them all. The competition to get noticed is cutthroat. And, at the end of the day, the traditional mindset behind why we issue press releases simply doesn’t apply. The likelihood that your release will be noticed, shared and actually have an impact on your bottom line is next to nothing — that is, unless you’ve adapted to how releases are used online.
Using digital to your advantage
Digital press releases have a ton of huge benefits:
You can measure your ROI
The basic nature of that connected content and the digital medium as a whole is that we can now track press release performance better than ever before. In a day and age in which content is regurgitated across the World Wide Web, we can see where releases have been picked up, determine a vague assumption of reach and — most important — measure the traffic, leads and conversions that are driven by the release. More than every before, we’re able to prove the ROI of our investment in press releases.
You can boost SEO with press releases
It’s no secret that links to your site and brand mentions across the Internet can help your site to rank higher in search results. But, you can gain even more search value by having specific content link to and mention you. Enter press releases.
In a release, you can control the entire message while also optimizing the content to help you rank. Optimize for specific keywords that support the SEO goals of your website. Then use strategically placed links to drive new users to your brand.
For example, you’ve built a landing page on your website that has been optimized for a new flavor of ketchup. Your press release may be optimized for keywords related to ketchup use on hambugers. Then, we link the release to your ketchup landing page. Now, the algorithms that run the Internet will begin to consider your new ketchup as having a valuable connection to hamburger ketchup. Or, so we can assume. How the algorithms calculate isn’t entirely defined — we simply don’t have all the science behind that proprietary information. But, in knowing how others have found success in their SEO strategies, we can start to build some theories for how to repeat it.
You can issue releases faster
Many press releases wires will issue a release in 24 hours or less. My personal favorite, 24-7PressRelease, has done it in as few as 12 hours before. Once your release is written, you simply provide a few extra details, pay for your release and provide a release confirmation (typically via phone). It’s exactly that simple.
I’ve had great service and results using 24-7PressRelease and would absolutely recommend that you try them for yourself. In the past, I’ve used PRWeb, PR Newswire, Marketwired and more. I always felt as though our campaigns were falling flat — even though we were investing thousands of dollars into hitting precisely the right audiences. 24-7PressRelease showed significantly better engagement results while hitting the same publications at a fraction of the cost.
Visit 24-7PressRelease to try it for yourself.
That 24-7PressRelease link up there — that’s an affiliate link. You should know that if you click it and then you buy something, their company will toss me some spare change for being cool and helping them advertise. I’d still recommend their services even without that — but as a marketing educator, I feel obligated to make sure you know what you’re clicking on. Cheers!