Add Online Press Releases to Your SEO Toolbox

February 17, 2010 by Forrest Yingling
In the modern digital age of today, online press release writing and distribution can be a remarkablly effective method to climb to the top of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) and increase your online visibility.  Press releases should definitely be a major component of your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) campaigns.  Press releases are a fantastic way to market your company whether you are announcing major news, sales, promotions or accomplishments.  Since numerous sites, journalists and bloggers are constantly searching for newsworthy content, press releases are a highly effective link building technique.  Furthermore, quality releases will get you quality links from sites with high authority and will ultimately drive traffic to your site.

There are a few different ways to go about distributing press releases.  After writing a release in the proper format, you can try to distribute it to websites, media outlets, blogs and any other relevant content providers yourself.  While that may be a cheaper option, you will have more success using a distribution service such as PRWeb or Send2Press.  These services are relatively inexpensive, offer various pricing plans and will get your release to an abundance of relevant sites, search engines and news outlets.  These services work hard to ensure that your story is syndicated throughout the web.

Some reasons to write a press release include newsworthy stories within your company, such as the hiring of a new CEO, changes to your business plan or updated mission statements.  Accomplishments such as breaking a sales record, hosting volunteer projects or involvement in community public affairs are some other examples of reasons to publish a press release.  Furthermore, if your company is having a major sale, special or promotion, these seem to be topics that journalists and bloggers love because they get the attention of a wide base of readers.  Press releases announcing sales can benefit your company in many ways.  You are guaranteed links, traffic and most likely conversions, which will increase your search engine standings as well as your bottom line. 

Before you write your release, if you have been employing proper SEO techniques, you should already have a list of target keywords that you are trying to rank for in the search engines.  You will want to use these keywords throughout your release with anchor text links to the appropriate pages.  Be sure to pay attention to keyword density while writing your press release.  The general rule of thumb is to use no more than one keyword per 100 words.  Keep in mind that long-tail keywords might be your best bet if you are a smaller company with a lot of corporate competition because you are not likely to rank high for the most sought after keywords.  In other words, if, for example, you are selling chocolate then you are going to have a difficult time ranking number one for the search term “chocolate” since there are bigger fish in the pond selling chocolate (think Hershey, Godiva, Dove, Lindor, Dove and the list goes on and on).  However, if you can focus on your specialty or something that sets you apart from your competition then you will be better off.  For example, if you sell “fine imported Belgian chocolate,” it will be much easier to rank higher for this long-tail keyword.

Press releases are a highly effective SEO method and sometimes tend to be overlooked by many webmasters and online business owners and operators.  If you are not currently utilizing the press release in your marketing strategies then today is the day to add press releases to your SEO toolbox!

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