Sunday, July 19, 2009
Create a press release optimization strategy to enhance your SEO program
Posted by Craig Abramson on 18 July 09
Most companies understand the importance of distributing press releases to promote product launches, make special announcements, or even responding to controversy. But the press release isn’t just a promotional vehicle to be used by large companies relying on public relations firms to develop the best message. All companies should take advantage of the opportunities that are available to them through the use of press releases. In fact, press release optimization (PRO) should play a key role in any search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
So how does PRO enhance SEO? The key is to use the various press release distribution services available on the Web that enable you to link content in your press release to your Web site. By adding these links, it helps build your Google PageRank, which effects your keyword position on the leading search engine.
Using these distribution services is important for another reason as well; the major search engines will only include two links to your Web site per keyword search. But by distributing your release, news about your company can take up countless positions on a keyword search. For example, I was targeting an accounts payable phrase for one project. We already achieved a listing in the top two positions on Google. Soon after we issued a new press release that focused on the keyword phrase, we actually took over the top 7 positions on Google and all 10 on Yahoo. This ensures that if anyone does this keyword search, they’ll see our company. If they click on the press release link to read it, they’ll have numerous opportunities to click on specific keywords that link back to our corporate site.
All of this is accomplished with very little spend. The services can cost anywhere from $1 up to $300. They typically offer different programs; some are enhanced specifically for SEO purposes. Some of the better performing services include 1888pressrelease.com, 24-7pressrelease.com, prweb.com, and prnewswire.com. These also distribute your release over the wire so it will be picked up by numerous other online sites through RSS feeds.
Of course, you may think this sounds like a great idea but you can’t think of an announcement that you’d make that’s newsworthy. That’s the wrong type of thinking. Almost any new program you implement, new product feature, new product offering, new service, or new sale can be incorporated into a press release. For example, if you are launching a new Webinar, you should issue a press release about it. Did you recently make a significant sale? Are you speaking at a tradeshow or industry event? Are you offering a new product or service? Did you make a significant new hire? All of these are press release-worthy.
When writing the press release, you have to consider what keyword(s) you want to target. Typically, you want to work this keyword in to the headline of your press release and in the first paragraph with a link back to your Web page in which this keyword is targeted. It’s important though not to force the keyword in to the copy. It should flow naturally with the news you’re presenting.
Several of these press release distribution services enable you to include several hyperlinks back to different pages on your site. It’s important to take advantage of this opportunity as long as the keyword links flow with the story. But you can always work critical keywords into your company boilerplate that appears at the end of the press release.
PRO is often overlooked because many companies think they’re too small to issue a release. In fact, it’s even more imperative for smaller companies to issue a press release to make sure their company can be found through keyword searches. It’s a cost-effective way to compete with the larger companies and make a significant impact in your SEO program.