A good press release can do more than just generate publicity. It can attract incoming links to your website from highly trafficked websites. These incoming links can give you a big boost in the search engine rankings. Many of the top distribution sites directly feed into Yahoo News Google News and other large new organizations. The problem is, press release distribution can be expensive and if your press release isn’t effective, you’ll be throwing money down the drain.
Here are five things you can do to ensure your press release is a success.
Make it Newsworthy
Reporters and editors scan distribution sites looking for news they can use in their publication. Your job when writing a press release is to convince the editor that you’ve got news their publication can’t live without.
One of the biggest problems with press releases is that they are often little more than advertisements filled with hyperbole and over used cliches. Consider a line like this:
“We are honored to see Acme Widgets receive this award. It’s a tribute to the people who work at Acme Widgets and our ongoing commitment to the quality of service we provide our valued customers every day.”
While I’m sure that the hard working employees at Acme Widgets appreciate the plug, put yourself in the shoes of an editor deciding what will go into his or her publication. Is this a newsworthy comment or p.r. schlop? A good press release presents the news an editor needs to make their publication successful.
As a blogger and former newspaper editor who’s sorted through his share of bad press releases, I don’t care about the top producer in your office or who sold the most widgets for the month of November but I’d be glad to sell you advertising space to announce it. However, if your widget won an award because it converts cars to run on solar power, I’m interested–not in the award but in the ground breaking technology of the widget.
Find the newsworthy angle in your story and feature it prominently.
Make the reporter’s job easy
The work involved in filling a daily publication can be overwhelming. When you provide a newsworthy press release that an editor can directly use to fill the pages of his publication, it’s a win/win for both of you. Editors can be very receptive to a good press release.
When writing, think and write like a reporter. Write it as if you were writing a news story using AP Style. If it looks like news and can be dropped directly into a publication, it has a much better chance of getting picked up than a release that needs extensive editing.
Deep link to inner pages on your website
When an online press release gets picked up by a large publication, the back links to your website can be very valuable both for SEO purposes and for directly driving readers to your website. To make the most of these pages, anchor links to targeted key words in the body of your text leading to specific pages on your website. This is where your businesses blog can really pay off. Instead of linking to your home page, you can link to related articles on your blog. You can then use your blog to direct readers throughout your website.
An effective strategy is to write articles on your blog specifically designed to support the press release. Look for opportunities to expand on your blog. When done properly, the links can provide a benefit to readers. The SEO value of deep linking within a press release can have a huge impact on the ROI of the release.
Write Powerful Headlines
Most pr distribution sites show little more than a headline. Editors scan the headlines and make a decision to read the rest of the press release based on the headline. A good headline can make or break your press release.
Make sure the headline is newsworthy, captures attention and physically fits the space allotted on the distribution site. Spend a few moments scanning the headlines on a press release distribution site to get a feel for what works and what doesn’t.
SEO Optimize Your Press Release
Make your press release search engine friendly just as you would a blog post on your website. Most press release distribution sites are crawled and indexed by Google and press releases will often come up in the search engine rankings. Editors also search distribution sites in the same way that you would search Google. Include appropriate keywords in headlines, descriptions and tags. Make it easy for both the search engines and the target audience to find the release.
Bonus tip: Hire a professional
Press release distribution on premium distribution services averages around $250 per release. A successful press release can quickly pay for itself through increased traffic, search engine ranking and brand recognition. At the same time, when you send out a poorly written press release that fails to meet your objectives, you’re throwing your money away. It’s often worthwhile to hire a proven professional with experience getting press releases published.