Getting SEO Right: The Top of the Tops

Getting SEO Right: The Top of the Tops

People ask us all the time: “Can a press release help me with search engine optimization?” The answer we give is, “Yes, we think so.” Though some people are truly more expert in SEO than others, no one really knows for sure, right? We are good at writing press releases that help with SEO, but we are not died in the wool SEO experts ourselves.  SEO experts are our clients much of the time.

As a public service, then, I thought I would present a little roundup of SEO tips – a sort of top 5 list of top tip lists. If more information is better than less, this should give you something to chew on for a while.

 

  1. From CIO.com – Top 25 DIY Tips for Better SEO

 

  1. Smartinsights.com – Follow these SEO trends for better rankings in 2016

 

  1. Backlinko.com – 21 Actionable SEO Techniques You Can Use Right Now (Updated)

 

  1. Inc.com – 12 Best SEO Tips From 12 Top SEO Experts

 

  1. entrepreneur.com – These 9 SEO Tips Are All You’ll Ever Need to Rank in Google

 

 

Tips From 8 Years Experience In Internet Marketing

Tips From 8 Years Experience In Internet Marketing

Marketing tips from Charles Floate.

He starts, saying, “It seems crazy to think that I’ve been involved (in some way or another) in this insane online world for 8 years now.. And I know if you don’t know me, and you read the sidebar to your right that you may be asking what the hell a 12 year old was doing in internet marketing, but I’ve always wanted to earn money and I recently stumbled across a post I made in 2008 when I was selling Nintendo DS and DS Lite card readers on eBay.. ”

Read the article at http://charlesfloate.co.uk/online-marketing-tips

Introducing Press Release Writing Package for Amazon FBA Sellers

Introducing Press Release Writing Package for Amazon FBA Sellers

We just announced today that we have introduced a new press release writing package for Amazon Sellers. Our Press Release 4-Pack offers four 300-word press releases to Amazon Sellers and Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) businesses for $79.99 or just under $20 each. The package gives Amazon Sellers an economical way to make news announcements in a rapid sequence, a tactic encouraged for promoting an Amazon store.

We came up with this package after being asked to write sets of related releases by many different Amazon selling professionals. The 4-Pack enables a cost-effective way to mount a successful media campaign. With the 4-Pack, EconomyPR.com encourages Amazon Sellers to think through their news narratives. For example, a client can get a set of press releases announcing the launch of a new product on Amazon.com, a feature update, a discount code and free shipping. Distributed over time, the press releases can create news momentum and backlinks that help with search engine optimization (SEO). The press release can contain “anchor links” which place Web URLs inside keyword phrases – these are considered helpful for SEO.

The 4-Pack helps us deliver on a basic premise of public relations, which is to create a consistent cadence of news over time. Each business will have its own preference for PR, but anyone who is serious about media outreach will make regular announcements. It never pays to do a press release and then nothing for a year. If someone comes to your site and sees that your last announcement was in 2014, you look dead. That doesn’t mean you have to do a press release every week. Some businesses prefer to make news a couple of times a year but go big with an important announcement once in a while. Others like to make news more often.

Either way, you’re using press releases to tell a story about your business. A series of press releases combines to create a multi-layered narrative. For example, if you announce a new product, followed by a feature upgrade, followed by a sale, followed by free shipping, you’re telling at least three stories at once. You’re saying, on the surface level, that you are actively promoting your business. You’re showing that you want to grow, that you have ambitions. Customers respect that. You’re also saying, in a fundamental way, that you’re alive and taking action. You’re also saying, “Hey, I want to be top of mind. Here I am again!”

13 Secrets to Getting Media Coverage at a Big Conference

13 Secrets to Getting Media Coverage at a Big Conference

Clients sometimes ask me if they should try to do media outreach at industry conferences.  They are often concerned about getting lost in the noise of many companies trying to make news.  It is a legitimate concern, but I still strongly encourage clients to make the effort. Why? Because conferences are places where reporters usually show up in person and look for stories to write. You couldn’t ask for a better scenario for getting your name in the media, even if the field is crowded.  The question, of course, is how to get the media to pay attention to you once you are there.

Ready for 13 secrets to getting media coverage at a big conference?  The first three are fundamental to preparing for success:

  1. Understand who you are and why you are there. From a PR perspective, this may be quite different from the business reasons for exhibiting at a show.   If you’re renting a booth and paying a sponsorship at a conference, you’re invariably there to meet new clients and generate revenue.  That is not the reason you will get media attention, however.  The reporters are there for interesting news and stories for their audiences.  How are you and why are you there, from the vantage point of news and stories?  What are you doing that will interest their audiences?  That’s what will get you coverage.

 

  1. Know the conference “news theme.” Every conference has a news theme. It may be obvious, like if you’re at Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference and they’re launching Windows 10. You don’t have to be a bigtime insider to figure out that Windows 10 is the news of the conference.   Who are you in relation to that news?  Reporters will be looking for stories connected to the big news theme of the day. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you run a business that produces software utilities for Windows PCs.   You need to fit yourself into the news of the conference to get a good crack at media coverage.   You’re a Microsoft Partner. You’re at the partner conference.  The best approach is to announce news that makes your business seem relevant to the news of the conference.

 

  1. Choose the right news to announce. What should you announce? Let’s say you have a choice between announcing that you’ve hired a new CEO and the release of a new suite of Windows 10 compatible software utilities.  (I’m trying to make this easy…)  The CEO announcement will not align with the conference news and be seen as irrelevant.  If you’re announcing a new product that makes using Windows 10 easier, you’re starting to look interesting.

There’s a big difference, of course, between looking interesting and getting coverage. You have to go and get the reporters to be interested in your news.  In some cases, reporters walk the floor and look for companies to write about.  That’s cool, and it does happen, but waiting for that to happen is not a strategy.  Here are ten secrets to landing coverage at the conference once you’ve done your prep work, covered in the first three steps.

  • Pre-Show
  1. Write your press release very early, perhaps a month in advance.
  2. Show it to the major newsmaking entities at the show and try to get an executive quote.
  3. Get the show’s media list – they will usually provide sponsors with a list of reporters and publications that will be there.
  4. Selectively invite reporters to be pre-briefed on your news before the show.
  5. Invite reporters to your booth.
  6. If possible, coordinate with the PR organization of the major entity. In this example, Microsoft will have a whole team that runs PR at the show. Virtually any big company doing a show will have something like the following people present at the event and preparing it in advance:
    • The executives and product managers of the division that’s sponsor the show. (e.g. Microsoft Partner Organization.)
    • The PR firm team assigned to that sponsor’s business unit.

 

You can reach out to your contacts at the sponsoring entity (e.g. your Microsoft partner account manager) and ask if you can get an executive quote in your press release. There is usually a submission and permission process to go through. What you need to know is that often they will want to help you because it helps get them more coverage if your news is covered.)

 

  • At the Show
  1. Make sure your press release is in the media room. (There will usually be a room where reporters can work, drink coffee, make phone calls, etc.)
  2. Walk the floor and look for reporters to invite to your booth. (They’re easy to spot because they usually wear a distinctly colored badge.) Don’t be obnoxious, but it’s definitely considered appropriate to approach them and ask if they want to see what you’re announcing.  They may give you a card and tell them to call after the show, and so forth, but you’ve scored a solid hit – certainly more effective than a cold email to a reporter you don’t know.
  3. Don’t worry if the reporter is late or doesn’t show up. You may still get coverage. Many reporters take a pile of press releases with them after the show and do write-ups in the days that follow.
  4. Follow up and build your media list.

Conferences are a great venue for PR.  You have to work them, but they are set up for media attention. That’s one of the reasons that the major sponsors put them on in the first place.  The trick is to understand the value of your news in the bigger news conference. Then, you have to go out and make it happen.

 
Photo Credit: www.jeremylim.ca via Compfight cc

Case Study: Skyyo Media – Leveraging the Power of Press Releases to Improve SEO Backlinking

Case Study: Skyyo Media – Leveraging the Power of Press Releases to Improve SEO Backlinking

Skyyo_LogoSkyyo Media Inc., is a full service digital marketing agency that specializes in helping small business owners, entrepreneurs, and site owners increase their online visibility.   As they sought a way to help a local plumbing firm, Palo Alto Best Plumbers, increase its search engine rankings, they considered using press release distribution as a way to build backlinks.  Backlinks can help increase a web site’s ranking with Google and other search engines.  A well-written and carefully distributed press release has the potential to aid Search Engine Optimization (SEO) by having news sites link back to the press release issuer.

Download as PDF: Leveraging the Power of Press Releases to Improve SEO Backlinking

Working with EconomyPR.com for an Effective, Newsworthy Press Release
Skyyo selected EconomyPR.com to write and distribute the press release for Palo Alto Best Plumbers.  The challenge they had to overcome, however, was one of newsworthiness.  For a press release to look professional and reflect well on the issuer, it needs to have a real “news hook.”  It must be announcing some news about the company that distributes it.  “People sometimes forget that the word ‘new’ is in ‘news,” said Hugh Taylor, CEO of EconomyPR.com.  “You have to be making a real announcement, even if the purpose of the press release is technical and SEO-oriented.  The press release still has to read right.”

Working with Skyyo, EconomyPR recommended that the press release focus on the plumber’s newly expanded commercial service.  Though the firm had added more commercial services in the last several months, the expansion was newsworthy enough for a press release.  The release, which is shown below, led with the headline, “Palo Alto Best Plumbers Introduces Commercial Plumbing Services in Palo Alto.”  Skyyo instructed EconomyPR.com to make the phrase “commercial plumbing services in the Palo Alto area” into an anchor text link containing the URL for the plumbing company’s website.

SEO with Press Releases - page ranking results from Press Advantage
Page rankings of backlinks picked up by Skyyo Media using EconomyPR and Press Advantage.

Distribution through Press Advantage
After Skyyo approved the press release text, EconomyPR.com arranged for it to be distributed through Press Advantage, a process managed by SEO expert Scott Hammond.  Hammond sent the Palo Alto Best Plumbers announcement out through the Press Advantage system.  Within three days, the results were in:

  • 227 backlinks
  • 168 backlinks on sites that allow images
  • 1 site that feeds into Google News

“We were very pleased with the process and the results of working with EconomyPR.com for an SEO press release,” said Steven Miranda, CEO of Skyyo Media.   “We have improved the client’s standing in search with this press release.”

 

 

Examples of news site pickups of the press release

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The Press Release 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact

Steven Miranda

steven@skyyomedia.com

Palo Alto Best Plumbers Introduces Commercial Plumbing Services in Palo Alto

Maintenance, Repair, Emergency Services Tailored to Needs of Business Customers

PALO ALTO, Calif. – July 15, 2015 Palo Alto Best Plumbers, a long-standing local plumbing provider, announced today that it was expanding into commercial plumbing services in the Palo Alto area.  While the company has performed commercial work over the years, today’s announcement represents a decision to offer a distinct service to business customers.  The company is now making specialized services, maintenance programs, and scheduling times available to corporate clients.

“Any kind of plumbing problem is trouble, but when your livelihood is affected by it, you want it taken care of pronto – and done right,” said Sean Smith, President of Palo Alto Best Plumbers. “That’s what we’re doing with the launch of this commercial service. We are gearing our operation to the unique needs of the corporate client.”

The commercial service, which is available today, offers flexible appointment times to best fit the needs of business customers.  Late night and early morning time slots, which are not typically in demand for residential customers, are often ideal for businesses.  Palo Alto Best Plumbers is able to attend to business plumbing needs at virtually any time.  The service offering includes maintenance and repair, emergencies, and custom specialty projects.  Special programs are available for restaurants, healthcare facilities and residential buildings.  Businesses can now establish regular maintenance contracts for plumbing systems.

Palo Alto Best Plumbing operates throughout the region, performing services in Atherton, Foster City, Belmont, Los Altos, San Jose, Los Gatos and other surrounding towns. The company is considered to be a top provider, with a reputation for integrity and craftsmanship at fair prices.  Palo Alto Best Plumber’s team of plumbers are licensed and bonded.   They use only high quality equipment and supplies along with premium parts.  Services include fixing clogged drains, repairing leaks and faucets, showers, garbage disposals, dishwashers as well as sewage backups, damaged lines and system maintenance.

For more information, visit http://www.paloaltobestplumbing.com/ or call (650) 319-7187.

END

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Announcing Our New eBook on Press Release Writing

The Entrepreneurial Press ReleaseI am pleased to announce the publication of our first eBook, The Entrepreneurial Press Release.  This book is about press release writing. I wrote this book with the goal of teaching entrepreneurs to write press releases that will drive their businesses forward.   Writing a press release can be challenging, though it is absolutely possible for you to write your own press releases — also known as “announcements” — without the help of a professional. Writing your own press releases can save you time and money. At the very least, learning the process of how a press release gets put together will help you understand how to achieve your desired business goals from public relations.

While the book focuses on press releases, the context is always about making public relations into an effective part of an overall corporate communications strategy.   The book contains a chapter I call the “Ten Minute Communication Strategy Workshop.”  It discusses how to situate PR within the marketing and business process and understand the relationship between press releases and your overall business objectives.

We also take on a topic that gets overlooked in the excitement of writing a press release, which is “Why Should Entrepreneurs Write Press Releases?” This is a great question to ask, because not every marketing campaign or business event requires one.  Public relations is amazing for some communications projects, but it is not always the best way to land a message with potential customers.

The book looks deeply at the press release. We dive into what’s in a press release, the components of the press release and what each of those components does. We get into some style issues, providing some behind-the-scenes tricks used in writing a great press release.  Later in the book, we offer some thinking on how to actually get your news out into the media.  Finally, in a chapter contributed by SEO expert Scott Hammond, we talk about how press releases are relevant in search rankings — if done right.  Doing a press release for SEO is an exercise in nuance. We address some of these issues. The book’s appendices contain a suggested press release template, checklist and an article on press release distribution.

The book is a 46 page PDF document.  You can download your free copy now at http://economypr.com/ebook-signup-form/.

 

 

 

SEO and Press Release Distribution

Contributed by Scott Hammond, SEO Expert and Press Release Distributor

The Distribution of press releases to news sites and across the Internet has an interesting history. Though marketers and searching engine optimization (SEO) companies enjoyed search ranking gains for several years by simply issuing a press release to the various online publication engines, those days are now over. Google and other search engines are constantly changing, and so too has the use of press releases in SEO.

History

For many years Press release distribution companies like PRWeb.com and Prlog.org for example, earned substantial sums by promoting high-priced press release distribution to clients and businesses, with distribution costs of up to $500 per press release. However, these prices were justified, because at the same time businesses were achieving great rankings in the search engines and making good money from the rankings.

Google’s Penguin update things changed drastically in the PR world, though. PRWeb.com, Prlog.org and several other major press release distribution companies were hit extremely hard by Google’s Penguin and other algorithmic modifications.   They saw huge declines in the number of their rankings. Google, it seemed amongst other things, had decided to target these press release companies, and others, and put an end to their easy rankings, and unfortunately for them, their multi-million dollar businesses.

The problem was, unless you were actually part of these PR distribution companies, for the most part no one actually knew how huge the Google shakeup had been on press distribution. It was not until February 2015 that Terry Kyle of seotraffichacks.com revealed to the SEO world some very interesting data by using the SEMRush software. He showed the drastic declines in the authority and rankings of these, until then, highly respected and expensive press distribution companies. SEMRush revealed that these companies, amongst others, had seen huge, game-changing drops in the number of rankings in the search engines and the revelation of this news sent waves through the SEO community. Figures 1 and 2 capture the trends.

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Figure 1 – Prweb.com rankings drop as reported by SEMRush and Terry Kyle – http://seotraffichacks.com/live-test-parasite-pages-well-google-february-2015/

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Figure 2 – Prlog.org rankings drop as reported by SEMRush and Terry Kyle – http://seotraffichacks.com/live-test-parasite-pages-well-google-february-2015/

 

PR Distribution 2.0

Considering what happened to several of the major press distribution companies in May 2014, an obvious question is… Do SEO companies still use PR distribution today?  The answer is yes. Press releases do still work for product launches and affiliate campaigns. They work because, in general, a product launch brings an all new keyword into the Google search engine. They also work for backlinking to high authority sites such Amazon, Yelp, Yellowpages.com and so forth.

SEO to regular websites, though, looks different now, given Google Penguin. Google brought in penalties on sites with over-optimized anchor text ratios. Any site that had too many backlinks with the same keywords was penalized and relegated far away from page 1 rankings. The old days of having 1000 backlinks saying ‘best plastic surgeon Beverly hills’ and ranking were over. This now meant that SEO managers had to be very careful how they structured their backlink ratios. Instead of 50%, or more, backlinks being the primary keyword, SEO’s now had to use the main keyword very, very sparingly. But, backlinks still needed to be made to get rankings. So a post-Penguin modified form of press release distribution came into play that assisted SEO managers in accomplishing their backlink goals quickly and effectively.

Greg Alssop, or Viperchill, as he known through the SEO world, is a world-leading SEO authority who regularly publishes the latest SEO strategies working today. With over 28,000 subscribers to his SEO blog, he’s taken seriously by most top SEO consultants in the world. Greg recently released a $2,000 course on SEO marketing in June 2015. There, he explained how he uses press release distribution now to help rank sites in the post-Penguin era.

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Figure 3 – A video snaphot from Viperchill’s link diversity plan as shown in Marketing Inc 2.0 of June 24, 2015 http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:Ii1QJt1DwvQJ:marketinginc.com/mini-agency/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=au

“The meat of the backlink profile is made up of press releases,” says Viperchill. He now uses press releases to diversify his keywords (or anchor text to be more correct) and rapidly obtain a good amount of good quality backlinks from different domains and IP addresses pointing to his site. Other SEO people term this as having a good link diversity, link ratio, anchor text ratios, amongst other things.

The post-Penguin key in SEO today, as mentioned before, is to keep the main keywords at a minimum, and only using them sparingly on a few high-powered sites. Viperchill recommends that links on press releases pointing directly at a site should only use brand name or the actual URL of the main site as anchor text. Thus the result of running a press release is that one achieves a great amount of backlinks rapidly, from a diverse amount of good quality domains, and simultaneously takes care of his anchor text diversity by only using brand or domain name links.

Since most press releases allow for a few backlinks, it is also recommended to add a second link to either an inner page on the main site, as well as a link to the site’s social accounts like Facebook, Twitter, or the site’s directory listings such Yelp or Yellowpages listings. This boosts these properties by passing some of the press release ‘juice’, and inevitably also helps the main site, as the juice flows from these social or directory pages, through to the main site because they link to the main site anyway.

 

PR Distribution 2.0 Pricing

If the purpose of a press release distribution has changed so much in the post-Penguin era – in that it is now not designed so much to get rankings in of itself – then who wants to pay $500 for a press release? Thus the birth of PR distribution 2.0. Post Penguin has seen some cheaper PR distribution companies arise that allow for a rapid building of a significant quantity of decent backlinks from across the Web from good authority sites like online TV news channels and newspapers. With one cheap press release, an SEO manager can acquire a guaranteed minimum of at least 200 backlinks coming from good authority sites with different domains and IP addresses overnight! This is a godsend to SEOs who need to generate many good quality backlinks pointing at their site as quickly and as economically as possible. If anyone has tried to build 200 backlinks from good sites by hand, then they can easily attest to press releases being heaven sent.

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A few companies have sprung onto the 2.0 scene, two being Pressadvantage.com and Presscable.com. Although both these companies use different submission platforms, they distribute to the same news channels and guarantee 200+ backlinks.

Presscable.com advertises a press release for $159 and Pressadvantage.com is $197, which by old standards is good, but still can get a little expensive. We at Economypr.com are now able to distribute a press to the same news channels as Pressadvantage and Presscable and also guaranteeing at least 200 backlinks, only doing so at a $30 rate or $50 for write-and-distribute.

 

Press Release Stacking and Credibility

Another interesting SEO strategy is press release stacking. Press release stacking takes advantage of a very powerful high authority press site like Forbes.com or Huffington post for example, and tries to get that ranked in the search engines. The strategy is to pay a premium to get a press release done on a powerful authority site like Forbes.com, and then later to do a second Economypr.com type press release to 200+ news channels and link those press release to the original authority press release. The second release generates 200+ links to the first, and boosts the initial press release in the search engines.

Posting a press release on Forbes.com, Time.com or Huffington post is not cheap, however this strategy has a very desirable two-sided benefit. Not only does press release stacking help to get nice rankings in Google, but it gives credibility to a business. Who wouldn’t want an “as seen on Forbes” logo on the front of their website? Imagine the credibility a lawyer would earn, for example, in having such an image on the front page of his site. As anyone in business will attest, credibility and trust plays an enormous role, and there is no doubt if a lawyer posted such an article in Forbes, it would pay for itself many, many times over!

Contact Scott at scott@localseochamp.com

Repurposing the Press Release

If you’re involved in content-based marketing, you know the value of repurposing content.   There are many business benefits that come from transposing one form of content into another.  For one thing, the practice reduces costs and saves time.  Writing an article and then adapting it into a video script or infographic, for example, is simpler and faster than writing an article and then writing a completely new video script.  The other advantage is that you can land your important messages in multiple formats with multiple chances for engagement with prospects.

You can repurpose a press release in several different ways.  Adapting it into a blog post or contributed article is the easiest and most direct approach.   It’s not a difficult process if you remember that the content carries the same story, but in a different voice.   It’s like the difference between a wedding invitation and a personal email inviting someone to a wedding. The invitation says, “The honor of your presence is requested at a wedding to be held on a date at a specific place, etc.”  The email might say, “We’re getting married.  It would mean a lot to us if you were there. Here are the details.” It’s the same message, but stated differently.

A blog version of a press release has the same transposition of voice.  A press release invariably begins with a formal, factual statement such as, “Acme Tech announced today that it has released a new patch for version 3.2 of its Security Suite.”  The accompanying blog might start with, “We’re announcing our latest patch today.  If you have version 3.2 of our Security Suite, you will want to download it…”

A good press release should embody your corporate voice but it is bounded by the norms of press release style.  The blog allows you to be more authentic and direct – “we” and “you,” not “it” and “they.”  The challenge is to write the blog, or any other derivative content, in a voice that matches your overall corporate identity.  There’s a temptation to get overly familiar or slick in a blog, but that should be treated with some circumspection.  You wouldn’t want your blog to say, “Look, dudes, we’ve got a totally radical security patch. Check it out!”  Well, at least I would discourage that kind of tone for a serious business unless it was part of a deliberate shtick used to cultivate an image.

The other issue to address when repurposing a press release is to make sure that repurposed content aligns with your overall marketing and business goals.   If you’re trying to communicate a consistent message over time, across multiple media and user experiences, you have to map it out carefully in advance.  The hard work occurs before you write the press release.  So, while some press releases come about on their own, for their own reasons – such as when there’s a merger or surprise event – most good press releases are part of a cadence of news that maps to a broader communications plan.

 

Press Release Distribution Tips

Press Release Distribution

 

Overview:       A press release is a written announcement of news about you or your business.  What you do with the announcement should depend on your communications and broader marketing goals.  There are no “have to” actions to take with a press release.  You can and should do what’s best for your own needs.  Unfortunately, press release distribution is an area of marketing where it is easily possible to overpay for unneeded services.  Our approach is to help you get the best value for your marketing spend when it comes to public relations.  Here are some thoughts on how to get an optimal result for a press release.

Why Distribute a Press Release?       Press release distribution is the process of getting your news announcement into the hands of people who will publicize it, with the end result of drawing attention to your business and hopefully furthering a specific set of marketing objectives.

Will Press Release Distribution Get Me Media Coverage?  We can’t answer this with a definitive yes or no, but in general, the act of sending a press release on the wire is not guaranteed to get it noticed.  This will depend on your news, of course, and whether you’re in a segment where reporters are looking for news like yours. For example, if you’re in a specialized trade and you announce a new product, reporters in dedicated trade publications might pick it up without any direct outreach by you. However, this is rare.   Distribution can help in indirect coverage, though.  Reporters often research stories and, in that process, they might find your news if it’s been distributed effectively.

How Do You Distribute a Press Release?     There are several major wire services that distribute press releases for you.  Their offerings, quality, and prices vary greatly and depend on the specific services ordered.  Briefly, and without any implied endorsement, they include:

There are also free press release distribution services.  In some cases, these may be adequate for simply getting your news online in a basic way, but like any free service, it’s usually not offering the kind of reach or quality you might want for an important announcement.

What is the Best Way to Distribute a Press Release?

The best way is what’s best for your needs.  If you’re making a huge announcement and want a lot of attention, you may want to invest in a broad reaching distribution service, such as the Marketwired Global Newslines.  These services can run into many hundreds of dollars.   If you simply want to get your news picked up on a selection of news sites, such as Yahoo, you may want to go with something like the PRweb basic packages.  In some cases, it might be optimal to write it and simply post it on your website.   If you simply want people to see that you’re doing things when they visit your site, you don’t need a distribution service.  Some of our clients distribute their press releases to their email lists and do not put them on the wire.

Your Own Private Send:        It’s worth doing direct outreach to reporters.  We strongly recommend this process, as our experience in PR has shown it to be a proven way to engage with the media and secure coverage.  It’s not guaranteed to get coverage, but emailing and calling reporters with relevant news is a great way to gauge interest and build relationships.   The trick is to be selective and polite in your approach. Reporters are overworked, so you need to be respectful of their time.

Press Releases and SEO:        One issue to address is the relevance of press releases for search engine optimization (SEO).  Many people ask us if a press release will help their site rise in the search engine rankings.  We are not SEO experts, so we are not offering an authoritative answer to the question. However, we can give you our impression of the current state of SEO with regard to press releases and point you to a site that has true expert discussion of the topic.  IF you look at that article, you will see that most SEO professionals do not think the press releases contribute much to search rankings. And, in fact, a poorly executed press release can actually hurt your SEO.  That said, press release distribution can have a positive impact on search discoverability.  And, as one commentator explained, if your press release can gain social media traction, it will push you up on search as other point to you online.