Possible Goal: More Targeted Search Engine Exposure Twenty years ago, we would have never guessed that the general public would consult information from search engines before making a purchase. Today, of course, conducting such research has become commonplace. This means your press releases can find an enormous audience by ranking highly for your main keywords. Given that each PR can contain multiple anchor text-rich links pointing to your website, your main site will enjoy higher rankings, as well. How To: Search engine rankings continue to be the main driving force behind sending targeted visitors to your website. By optimizing your news releases with keywords your audience uses when they search for your products, you’ll improve your PRs’ ranking ability. The result? More search engine exposure to prospective customers. Possible Goal: Attention From Journalists And Media Influencers Media coverage can mean different things. Some business owners define it as an opportunity to be profiled in their local papers, giving them exposure to their local markets. Others see it as a chance to build their reputations as quotable sources for their respective industries. Whatever your objective, your press releases can draw the attention of journalists and those who influence them, including prominent bloggers and social media experts. How To: In addition to publishing your press releases online, make a list of key journalists and influencers in your field. Contact them personally. Introduce yourself, your business, and include a copy of your latest PR. Let them know you’re available to answer questions or serve as an experienced, knowledgeable resource for quotes. Improved Brand Awareness Sales won’t happen unless your target market knows you exist. This is the purpose of expanding your brand awareness. Your brand represents the manner in which your market identifies your company and products. It’s essentially your business’s signature. If your audience is unaware regarding who you are and what your company does, you’ll have a difficult time convincing them to buy. How To: Writing and publishing online press releases on a regular basis informs your market about the reasons they should buy from you. Your PRs help to eliminate uncertainty regarding your reliability and the quality of your products and services. Recognition As An Expert In Your Niche In every industry, there are several experts to whom reporters and journalists gravitate for insight and quotes about their chosen fields. The more they do so, the more these experts become known as leaders in their niches. This positions their companies ahead of their competitors who lack the same exposure. It is a savvy PR strategy that has been used to great effect for generations. How To: Try to offer your time and expertise to media professionals when they have questions. As previously suggested, introduce yourself by sending personalized letters with your PRs attached. An Increase In Leads And Sales Your primary goal for publishing online press releases should not be to sell your products. You’ll have far more success in getting your PRs published on authoritative sites if you focus on engaging news angles and announcements about your company. Then, promote your products and services by including a direct call to action (e.g. “visit our site,” “use this coupon code,” etc.) at the end of your PR. This type of promotion is less aggressive, less abrasive, and more natural. The result is that fewer readers will be turned off. More will be inclined to comply with your call to action. And that translates into more leads and sales. When it comes to publishing press releases online, it’s easy to miss the forest for the trees. Take a few moments to reflect on your goals. You’ll find that doing so helps you to refocus your efforts. Tell Us! Leave us a comment and let us know what your goal is when publishing press releases!! Christine O’Kelly is the co-founder of Online PR Media, the press release distribution site that supercharges traditional media press releases with multimedia, social media, and search engine optimization. A recognized expert in SEO press release strategy and distribution, Christine teaches marketers, advertisers, and business owners how to gain more online visibility and publicity for their businesses. For a FREE copy of Christine O’Kelly and Tara Geissinger’s e-book, “The Results Driven Press Release Formula,” visit: http://www.onlineprnews.com/how-to-write-a-press-releaseWe tend to organize our marketing efforts to minimize our time invested while maintaining consistency in our output and results. For example, we might create a process for identifying news angles, writing press releases, and publishing them on a set schedule. This process ensures that we produce a certain number of targeted PRs each week or month, and helps set us up for success. The problem is, there is a constant risk of forgetting the reasons why we’re publishing online press releases in the first place. We may continue to follow the necessary steps, but lose sight of our goals along the way. This means we’d continue publishing regularly, but likely with very low impact. With this in mind, it’s worth taking a few moments to revisit your objectives and refine your online press release campaigns to meet them.