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How Press Releases Can Be Great For Search

Press Releases More Important to Marketing Than You May Realize

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Press releases are not only great ways to spread the word about any announcements your business might have. They can also drive traffic, particularly from search engines. This is not news, but it’s a commonly overlooked fact.

Have press releases brought you significant search traffic? Discuss here.

"Search engine rankings are arguably the most important small business marketing tool available today because it drives Web traffic — and potential prospects — to a small business’ Web site," a PRWeb spokesperson once told WebProNews. "However, because improving search rankings is desirable, achieving results can be both challenging and highly competitive."

Back in the summer, PRWeb shared a case study with us, involving a firm that typically sees a boost in search engine rankings and a 50% spike in web traffic after they issue a release. In fact, for one release in particular, the firm saw a spike of 400% on two different Web sites, and the firm doesn’t believe they were from the same users. They also incorporate social media tools like Twitter to extend the "shelf life" of press releases, and say that drives additional traffic.

"When we included a link to our press releases on Twitter and other social media networks, we saw these both expanded the scope of distribution and the extended the longevity of the announcement," the CEO of the company behind the case study had said.  "With other news releases we saw an initial spike in Web site traffic on the first two days and then it dropped off.  With these features we’ve seen increases in traffic up to five days after the news release was issued."

In a study from Arketi Group, also back in the summer, journalists were found to use the web in the following ways:

- 95% search
- 92% reading news
- 92% emailing
- 89% finding story ideas
- 87% finding news sources
- 75% reading blogs
- 64% watching webinars
- 61% watching YouTube
- 59% social networks

You’ve got to wonder if that social networks number has gone up by now. My guess is that it has, and social media has since become all the more important to search, particularly with the inclusion of real-time search results in Google and Google’s social search experiment (which may eventually move beyond experiment status).

Marty Weintraub, the President of aimClear shared some great tips and insight into the use of press releases for search in a recent interview with WebProNews. Among other things, he noted that when you do a press release, you’re "hitching a ride" in the search engine results and news results. You can use outbound links in press releases, and perhaps more importantly, you’re out there where the journalists are looking.

Here are some press release distribution sites (some are paid and some are free): 

- Business Wire
- PR Newswire
- PRWeb
- 24-7 Press Release
- PR Zoom
- PR Leap
- I-Newswire
- Webwire
- ClickPress
- PR.com
- PR Log
- eReleases
MarketWire

Beyond the distribution sites, don’t forget to include your releases on your own site. Journalists like being able to find the most up to date information from the source itself.  Earlier this year I discussed how some companies’ own press centers are holding back some marketing opportunities for them. Your site should have a section for press releases, and that should be up to date with the latest release when it goes out. You’d be surprised at how often these go without being updated even when a press release has been spotted elsewhere. It is also a good idea to link to any company blogs, Twitter accounts, or any other place where company announcements are made.

Do you use press releases for marketing? Do they work? Comment here.

Related Articles:

> Search Engine and Social Traffic from Press Releases

> Press Releases New SEO Back Door to Top Rankings

> Getting the Media to Cover Your Business

How Press Releases Can Be Great For Search
Top Rated White Papers and Resources
  • http://www.hawksby.co.uk James Hawksby

    Some great advice here, will be looking at integrating my diffrent areas to boost our serach presence. Good stuff.

  • http://www.tag44.com Tag44

    Thanks for the post Chris and yes i think that Press Release submission is definitely the best way to spread the words of your business or service and great for search too.

  • http://www.bigwordscontent.com Jim Schakenbach

    Great advice, Chris. It should be pointed out, however, that to maximize the effectiveness of any news release, it should well-written and correctly structured. Too many companies are now using “press releases” with very little thought to what they are writing and how they are writing it.

    To gain the interest of any credible editor or publisher, you must make sure your release contains information of benefit to their readers — not just “here’s our new product, aren’t we great?” stuff. A correctly written press release will get published faster and by more outlets than a poorly written one.

  • http://www.rankontoponline.com Rank On Top Online

    Lol, Sorry for an Internet marketer they aren’t good,
    for use for your customers its hit or miss.
    There is so many ways of attracting attention to people nowadays that it would seem irrelevant for a local business owner to consider, But now if your Dell and you make a statement like Dell xxversion 6 of latitplude New 8gb laptop 2tb hard-rive win7 for $200 Bucks Then you definitely need to do a release, just to even get the your bottom line covered, its all math..
    for local business we wouldnt recomend it.
    Sorry.

    Good article though.

  • http://officialsafetyandsecurity.com Official Safety and Security

    Hey, thanks Rank On Top Online! I’ve always wondered if a press release would help my safety and security web site. I have very little to spend on marketing so dropping a bunch on a press release and then have little or no ROI would be horrible.

    • Chris Crum

      Not all press release distribution services are paid services.

    • http://www.rankontoponline.com Rank On Top

      Yes, There are free ones,
      Mostly you get the back-end of the postings though.
      Which if the website your submitting to doesn’t have relevant content on that page when its finalized it really doesn’t help and you waisted an hour trying to come up with a good pr letter.

      Official Safety & Sec.
      check your meta tags over and make them not only about what your selling but also relevant in content searches. make sense?

      Also some aspects of your site are hurting you.
      Try to stay away from hosting a mini link farms & take the contacts from that and use that as a marketing tool to send out your news monthly. but let those know your going to send monthly news.

      and get some more back-links.

      Anyway..
      We didn’t mean to give the impression, Press releases were useless to small businesses,
      Basically to say:
      If your press release for small businesses posting isn’t a real shocker and stand out from the crowd and also be relevant, then you might not want to spend the money and time submitting.

      hope that clarifies.

  • http://www.climatechangemagneticenergy.com most deserving nonprofit research

    When you hear all the hype about press releases we find that to some degree they do help. But not as much as claimed. But unfortunately this may be true for product sales. But when it comes to research. This is a different situation, this does not seem to help.
    Especially when it comes to the most deserving nonprofit research
    Seems people are totally engrossed in believing the big names of selfish agendas have got the answers. But how little do they actually know. These persons have acquired their funds by means we can’t really comment on. But be wise in your decisions to do what is right.

  • http://premiumstores.com Jeff Baer

    Is it a mistake to use the same press release in multiple distribution websites? I’m afraid of getting nailed for duplicate content.

    • http://www.hormonesolutions.com.au Lance Chambers

      http://www.webpronews.com/node/52834/talk#comment-103650

    • http://www.hormonesolutions.com.au Lance Chambers

      Some sites will search to ensure that an article you submit is NOT available online ANYWHERE else and will NOT accept duplicate submissions. Others will perform the same search and then request that you prove you are the copyright holder and still others don’t care.

      I believe that is makes sense to submit wherever you can as the more exposure you get the better.

      When I talk about ‘exposure’ I am NOT talking here about Search Engine exposure but rather exposure to a wider array of publishers – people who will re-post your article on their website.

      The greater the number of sites your article is displayed on the more the search engines will see and register your article and it’s content and the greater the ranking you will get from the links from the article to your site/s.

  • http://www.fabfive24.com Beric

    My first concern having a press release on my website and a press website is double content? Or am I wrong?

    • http://www.hormonesolutions.com.au Lance Chambers

      Duplicate content is only an issue if the duplication is on the same website.

      Google themselves have commented on the ‘Duplicate Content’ issue many times and have re-iterated that there is NO issue if the duplication is on different sites or channels (eg Youtube, MySpace, LinkedIn, mom’s_site.com, Uncle-John’s_site.org, etc. and your own site).

      Regards, Lance.

  • http://pageoneseo.ca Alain – Edmonton SEO guy

    I agree that doing an online news release can be great for SEO purposes and have used them successfully many times.

    Speaking as a former journalist turned SEO guy, I would remind anyone using online news releases to really try to make sure you’ve got a potentially newsworthy topic for your release. While your local paper may not find it interesting, trade journals just might. Local papers with a business section might also find your release newsworthy.

    It certainly wouldn’t hurt to contact certain media directly if you figure they might be interested in your news release. When I worked as a reporter I waded through many ‘Bob Smith hired as VP marketing in Corporation X’ kind of news releases. If Bob Smith is a high profile guy, then maybe it’s newsworthy, otherwise, I’m not sure why you might bother. If you really want to find a newsworthy angle, dig into Bob’s experience and link it to how he might help the company.

    When I put out news releases, I always try to find a newsworthy angle to it in hopes of getting a mainstream media story. Despite what you might hear in the blogosphere, the mainstream media still carries a lot of weight online and the potential to drive a large amount of traffic to your site, whether it’s a hot link or not. People do cut and paste. I know this from experience.

  • http://www.birthdaypartyheliumballoondelivery.co.uk Nick

    We have just created a press release to be distributed.

    Which are the best PR companies to use in the UK.

    Nick

    Important Occasions

  • http://www.citypisces.com Citypisces.com

    I optimistically hope they do.

  • http://www.hormonesolutions.com.au Lance Chambers

    My experiences are that the response can vary dramatically.

    I have had articles/press releases that have generated 1000′s of clicks and others that end up sending 30 or so.

    I believe that the reasons for the variation fall into the following:

    1/ Is the title captivating and keyword rich;

    2/ Is the content truly relevant to the title and keyword rich;

    3/ Is the content sufficiently interesting to be re-posted on relevant sites;

    4/ Is the writing exciting, informative and well written (this last point is very important. If you cannot write good English then DON’T try writing for the web);

    6/ Do you have a follow-up program of ‘promoting’ the article/press release using Social Media and other channels, and finally

    7/ Are you willing to make writing for press releases/article site a long-term undertaking. (as you and your work gets know people will start to look for your work specifically and that’s a GOOD thing).

  • http://www.gaydata.com KeyWestDan

    All the distribution services listed are johnny-come-latelys. GLINN Gay News Distribution at gaydata.com has been online and distributing news to the gay/lesbian community for over 12 years. Before GLINN was on the web, we had a direct dial BBS distributing news since 1989 and we produced the two largest glbt publications in Wisconsin for ten years. We currently have a news feed with photographs, podcasts and articles.

  • http://www.controldatainc.com agency collection

    Great info, thanks for sharing this post. I agree with what you said. We have used this method in the past with awesome results.

  • http://clearwebservices.com Ian Spencer

    Really good advice. Press releases are a big part of our SEO packages we offer, so its good to see others saying they are very worthwhile.

  • http://dir4construction.com Rich Brunelle

    I have made it a point to advise the use of Press Releases for web site promotion for years. I wrote the following article back in 2005:

    The Most Beneficial and Most Under-Used Web Site Promotion Tool by Rich Brunelle
    in SE Tactics (submitted 2005-01-21)

    The Most Beneficial and Most Under-Used Web Site Promotion Tool By: Rich Brunelle

    Of all the methods of Web Site Promotion, the Press Release is by far the most beneficial tool available. It is also one of the least used tools. When thinking of Web Site Promotion, a web site owner or his delegate has to consider what method of promotion will bring the best results. But, a majority of these people fail to recognize the significance of the Press Release.

    Press Releases are one of the few documents that can be submitted one time to one location, but be considered for publication in millions of other locations. Press Releases submitted to a quality News Distribution Service are routinely reviewed by a bunch of Journalists. Journalists from all forms of media consider use of Press Releases in their publication. It is probable that a Press Release of significance will get selected by numerous Journalists for inclusion in their publication or media as a Press Release, as well as used for a subsequent news feature. How many times has Google generated a Press Release that creates news features on television, radio, print publications, and all over the Internet? In case you aren’t sure the answer, every time.

    Now, most of us will never write a Press Release of such significance as to reach all forms of media like a Google press release, but a simple Press Release from an unknown stands a pretty good chance of getting significant distribution. A Press Release published on the Internet, immediately upon publication generates attention to your business or web site. How? Most of the News Media select Press Releases for inclusion to their Internet news publications. Most of these News Media sites also are Free Content Providers to millions of other web sites by offering free news feed linkage from the News Media site. Not all of the sites using such feeds are going to select the specific feed that carries your Press Release. But, what if only one in ten do? You cannot pay for banner ads or search engine placement that will give you as much promotion in a single day.

    Press Releases are one of the few documents that get published in other media that immediately attract attention to your business or web site. Newspapers, Newsletters, Magazines, and a large amount of company bulletin boards frequently pick up and publish Press Releases from News Distribution Services. If your Press Release is picked up for publication, the first day of its release will probably be the strongest in the print media. However, newsletters and magazines usually are not a daily or weekly publication. So it’s possible that two weeks or a month after its release, your Press Release will get another strong viewing.

    Press Releases are one of the few documents that get published to numerous locations without much effort. One single Press Release, submitted to a quality News Distribution Service is considered for publication in millions of media publications, read by tens of million readers. So, even if only one of these publications picks up and publishes your Press Release . . . Do the math!

    A Press Release is the best method of increasing Search Engine Ranking by linkage. Once a Press Release is published by any of the News Media, it is archived in a searchable database. This placement of your link into a high ranking, high traffic media site is priceless. Test this for yourself if you wish. Simply prepare and distribute a press release. Within two to five days, do a search for your web site. If your Press Release was accepted and published, you will find a number of links from the media that published your Press Release back to your web site. And, what if one of those media sites just happen to be Google or Time Magazine? We can wish and dream, can’t we?

    What do you have to do to get your Press Release published? There are only two rules to successful Press Release distribution and publication. 1. WRITE WELL. And 2. SUBMIT IT WELL. There are no Editors that like poorly written anything. Poorly worded or full of grammatical errors gets one thing, the trash. And, regardless of many peoples opinion, the News Distribution Service utilized is very important. You can submit a press release about Jimmy Johnson getting caught eating boogers and subsequently getting promoted from the Mailroom to Building Maintenance, as long as you follow the proceeding rules.

    To write a Press Release well, you have to understand the use of a Press Release. A press Release is not a Sales Brochure. A Press Release is not for telling stories about your weird Uncle Alfred. A press Release is to tell the world some newsworthy event has or will occur. And believe it or not, your web site or business probably has such newsworthy events happening all the time. Once you have ascertained that you have such an event to tell the world about, you have to write your article properly. Not only do most places you can submit your Press Release to require it be in a certain format, but they also expect it to read a certain way.

    A Press Release should start strong with an informative title, followed by an equally strong first paragraph. The first paragraph should contain answers to Who, What, Where, When, and Why. Subsequent paragraphs should be used for interview quotes and or supportive content. Having done that, there is one more important element to a proper Press Release. There is no such thing as an anonymous Press Release. Press Releases contain all the specifics relative to the person making the Press Release. There are some Editors and Journalists that actually want to discuss the Press Release content, and your Press Release will not see the first glimpse of publication if they are unable to contact you.

    This article has not prepared you for writing and distributing your Press Release properly. Doing so is not my intent. The sole intent of this article has been to raise your awareness regarding the value of Press Releases. I recommend that you consult a professional, read a book on the topic, or find a friend that works in Public Relations to help you for best promotion of your company or web site using Press Releases. But, if you are willing to put forth the effort, you will find the Press Release one of the strongest promotional tools available to you in any media.

  • Akhil

    Yes, very well said, the use of social media incorporated with the different Off Page strategies is great!

  • http://www.zygella.com Joe

    Interesting and good advice!

  • http://www.usadapter.com laptop power supply

    To gain the interest of any credible editor or publisher, you must make sure your release contains information of benefit to their readers — not just “here’s our new product, aren’t we great?” stuff.

  • http://www.NationalShowTickets.com NationalShowTickets

    I agree we do see spikes when we post a press release and again when we tweet it out so I agree with most of what this article has to say. Press releases do help.

    David
    NationalShowTickets.com

  • http://www.topedhardy.com topedhardy

    a good post here,looking for more useful info here

  • http://ldii-sidoarjo-jawatimur.blogspot.com ldii

    No wonder that press / news for long time have incredible power in society changes.

  • http://www.specialist-gifts.biz decorativeliving

    Great article I just had to add my comments. I have done several press releases last year being 2009 and I have check with my software I really did get more traffic to my website and blog, so you can see it does work for you.

    One word of warning there are loads on the internet so choose carefully as the free are just as good as the paid press releases.

    Michael

    Director

    Decorative Living

    World of Unique Gifts

  • http://www.deshkaadesh.viviti.com desh ka aadesh

    that was very useful article with lot of insight

  • http://www.pr-interactive.com florida web design company

    A well written press release on a good network is a great way to boost your rankings and get your brand out there quickly. I loved the article great advice, good resources.

  • http://mobilewowpower.com WOW Mobile

    the importance of press releases is something I have disregarded opting for article marketing instead. With local business meet-ups on our calendar and trying to optimize for local search results, I will be paying more attention to press releases for sure!

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  • http://www.southcatering.co.uk Phil – Manchester Catering

    Hi,

    Some good advice here.

    Do you know a service that could distribute a release to all the sites you’ve listed above?

    Thanks

    Phil

  • http://www.adverpro.co.uk Whiteboard

    Make sure that it is well written and that it has an angle. Some PR’s i read are pointless & mundane. Often they sound like sales copy with no incentive to repeat them. They need to be informative yet offer a wider angle where others can put a story round. Any PR’s we do are on that basis and do get picked up to a wider audience.

  • http://www.costarica.allabouttailormadetravel.com/ costa rica holidays

    Thanks for sharing your experience doing press release, i don´t know the list.

  • http://www.rinconandroid.com/ aplicaciones android

    the truth is I did not know this information, thank you very much, helped me to know that it is more important

  • http://www.rinconandroid.com/ aplicaciones android

    a good tip for get to promote your site in the serps