Press Release Marketing

One of the best ways you can market your business online is with a Press Release. These PR tools are relatively simple to setup and send out. More importantly, they can be extremely effective when optimized correctly for news wires, readers and search engines.

However, as press releases become more widely used by marketers, it will become increasingly difficult for your press release to stand out in the crowd. It is estimated that more than 2,000 press releases are distributed each day across the main online wire services like PRWeb. With that being said, we are going to show you how to optimize your press release so that it quickly gets noticed and so that it provides your website(s) with the most value for search engine exposure and branding.

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Press Releases: Online vs. Print

A press release, as online marketers know it today, is a little different than the traditional press releases of just a few years ago. In the past, a press release required a drawn out writing, approval and publishing process. In addition, a business would usually have to maintain some pretty good contacts in the publishing industry to even get their press release distributed and circulated amongst the best print publications. Some of this is still true today, but smart marketers know that there are much simpler ways to publish an effective press release.

For the sake of this post we are going to use the examples of online press releases only. We feel that there are still opportunities for print press releases, but we have found online press releases to have the following advantages over print:

  • Can be distributed much quicker
  • Can provide SEO value to other websites
  • Can be easier to find, read and pass on to others (more viral)
  • More cost effective
  • Larger reach through online syndication

If you have never setup a press release and don’t know where to start, let us know by leaving a comment below or sending us an email at info@businessmarketingblog.org.

How to Optimize a Press Release

As with any other tool or piece of online marketing, optimization is required to ensure maximum exposure, branding and success. Press Releases are no different. Anyone can write a press release and send it out online, but without proper optimization it is highly unlikely that an amateur press release will receive anything but amateur results.

If you are going to take the time and spend the money to submit an online press release, then make sure to use the following 10 tips to properly optimize your press release first:

TIP #1: Make it Newsworthy

If your press release is not newsworthy, then please do not send it out. We get enough noise and interruption in our daily lives so if you are going to submit a press release, then make it something interesting, unique and newsworthy.

Not sure what constitutes newsworthy? The most simple gauge you can use is a friend, family member or even a random stranger. Give them a brief summary of what you would be writing a press release about and gauge their reaction to see if they sound excited, interested or even a little curious. If their reaction is not made up of any of these emotions, then your press release is NOT newsworthy.

TIP #2: Use Keywords

Before you misunderstand what we mean, allow us to clarify….use keywords strategically, DO NOT STUFF IN KEYWORDS. If your press release is just a couple of run on sentences with one specific key phrase repeated many times over, then we promise you that it will be a waste of your time and money.

Instead, strategically insert key phrases into your press release content where they (1) sound natural and (2) provide value to the reader.

BAD EXAMPLE: John Smith, a business broker, just brokered a business deal that places them as one of the top business brokerages in the area amongst other companies that specialize in the business brokerage industry.

GOOD EXAMPLE: John Smith, one of the premier business brokers in California, recently orchestrated one of the largest deals in the past 10 years. This deal has placed John Smith of Company XYZ as the top producing business broker in the state for the 10th year in a row.

TIP #3: Use Anchor Text Links

One of the basic techniques with on page optimization for any type of web content is to use relevant anchor text links. Anchor text links offer value to your press release and the website(s) you are linking to by (1) increasing the probability that someone will click on your link and by (2) helping the search engines realize what the link that is pointing to your website is about.

Using our examples from above, let’s take a look at the difference between the wrong way to use anchor text links and the right way.

BAD EXAMPLE: John Smith, a business broker, just brokered a business deal that places them as one of the top business brokerages in the area amongst other companies that specialize in the business brokerage industry. Click here to view more.

GOOD EXAMPLE: John Smith, one of the premier business brokers in California, recently orchestrated one of the largest deals in the past 10 years. This deal has placed John Smith of Company XYZ as the top producing business broker in the state for the 10th year in a row.

In the “bad example” above, using a generic link with no descriptive text will decrease click through rates. In the “good example” above, a link with very descriptive text tells the reader that they will most likely be taken to a site that talks about John being a top producing broker.

BONUS: Do not make every anchor text link you create hyperlink to only your homepage. Try to find specific pages of content on your website to link to instead. If you find yourself with nothing but your homepage to link to then you need to get going on adding some quality content to your website.

TIP #4: Include Media

No one likes to stare at pages and pages of text. Text becomes more interesting and digestible when different types of content are included to break up any monotony. Some great forms of content to intersperse throughout your press release(s) are photos and videos.

Great images can speak a thousand words. Videos actually do speak for you, but in a more interesting and interactive way. Try including things like your photo (only if you’re at least somewhat attractive, seriously), your logo, or pictures of your business. You can also include videos of client testimonials or brief commercials about your business. Whatever you decide to include make sure that they are good quality as a fuzzy image or annoying video will turn someone away from your press release before they even read it.

TIP #5: Write Professionally

This seems like a no brainer, but you would be surprised at how many press releases we come across that are so poorly written it hurts to read more than a couple sentences.

When writing a press release there are some specific rules you must follow for maximum effectiveness. First, write in the third person. Most press release services will not even allow your press release to be submitted unless it is in the third person anyways. Third person writing makes your press release sound unbiased and as if a professional was hired to do a write up on your newsworthy topic.

Second, stay away from using industry jargon that interested readers may not be savvy to. Remember that your press release is ultimately for your customers. If they don’t understand it, then you are completely missing the point.

Lastly, reference reputable sources if you are going to include statistics or data in your press release. Nothing adds more validity to your statements and claims than a link to a legitimate resource.

Press Release Case Study

To help you understand how to use and optimize a press release more effectively, we thought it would be helpful to include an actual live example.

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Business: Marcus & Millichap (commercial real estate)
Press Release: http://www.prweb.com/releases/retailinvestment/realestate/prweb2967024.htm
On Behalf of: Brad Nathanson
Website: http://www.nathansonretail.com

This press release was professionally written and optimized by Brad’s marketing team. As a result of the marketing team adhering to the optimization tips and guidelines that most savvy online marketers use, this press release got an almost immediate push to the first page of Google’s results for a very competitive key phrase “retail investment real estate.”

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The search result seems to be off the first page of Google at this point, but the press release received about 400-500 visits within the 3 day period that it was placed in this spot showcased above. To put things in perspective in terms of cost, this same amount of traffic for the same key phrase would have cost Brad at least $500 – $1000 in pay per click advertising with Google AdWords.

Online Press Release Advantages

As you can hopefully see from above, Press Releases can have a great impact on your marketing by driving relevant traffic to your website(s). There are some other key advantages that a press release can bring with it as well. Here are some of the main benefits that your business can realize from using optimized press releases:

  • Attain relevant anchor text links back to your website(s) – link building, SEO
  • Accumulate web assets that rank for your name, company name, product name, etc – reputation management, SEO
  • Get relevant traffic from press release readers - traffic generation
  • Syndication across hundreds, sometimes thousands, of different websites – link building, SEO, exposure, branding

Ready to start your first press release?

Go to PRWeb.com, or any other reputable online PR service website, and walk through the simple steps to get your first press release out there. Make sure to follow our optimization tips outlined above. And, if you have any questions or get stuck somewhere, simply leave us a comment below or send us an email at info@businessmarketingblog.org.

Good luck!

  • Peter

    HI there,
    I am just curious if the service of PRweb.com is free?

  • vinnylabarbera

    PRWeb is not free. They have a few different options, with their lowest one starting at $200.