Most online business owners are looking for a way to get more exposure online. I mean the entire goal of owning an online business is to make sure that people can actually find you online! What a lot of business owners don't know, however, is that publishing regular press releases is an excellent way to boost your visibility and create valuable SEO links.
But how do you get started? What does it take? Today we'll look at all that you need to write and distribute your first online press release — AND answer your questions in the comments section!
Choosing a Topic
Press releases are used to announce something newsworthy. It doesn't have to be earth-shattering news, but it DOES have to be something new happening in your company. There are dozens of reasons to publish a press release. Here are a few of the most common:
· You are hosting a contest
· You hired new staff or brought on more contributors to your blog
· You redesigned your website
· You are offering special pricing or a monthly promotion
· You won an award
· You are launching a new book or product
· You donated money to services to charity
· You published a new article, or blog post, or case study
· You hit important sales milestones or growth milestones
Another press release topic is to put your own spin on an already trending topic. For example, if a recent news story about diabetes in children is on the rise is getting a lot of attention — and your business focuses on health and business — you can release a news announcement where you comment on the epidemic and offer your suggestions for the top 5 things parents can do to prevent diabetes in their children.
Writing Your Press Release
Now that you've identified the topic for your press release, it's time to start writing a draft. One of the most important things to note is that press releases are formatted like newspaper articles. This means they are written in the third person and anything that is an opinion needs to be part of a quote.
Start off with your news angle right away. This usually entails answering the Five W's — Who, What, Where, When and Why. We also recommend including two quotes from either yourself or a company representative. (These are great for inserting 'salesy' language about how great your company is!) Lastly, it is important to write a boilerplate "About" section at the end. This is where you talk about your business as a whole — not just in regards to the news you are announcing. Many people reuse this boilerplate text on all of their press releases.
Optimizing Your Press Release
Once your PR is written, you can make some quick changes to ensure you're getting the most SEO value available. Most importantly, make sure your title and summary contain one of the keywords you are targeting with your online marketing. Many times the title of your published PR will be used as the title tag for the page — meaning any words in the title carry extra SEO weight. The same is true for the summary, which often becomes the meta description for the published page.
If possible, take advantage of the ability to embed links in your press release too! It is better for SEO if you link to your website using words or phrases that your customers are typing into search engines when looking for a product or service like yours.
If the press release distribution package you choose includes multimedia, by all means try to use it! Press releases are a lot more engaging and 'clickable' when they contain images or videos. Many times you can embed an image, video or slideshow as well as attach extra files like additional images or PDFs. Your goal is to provide the reader — whether journalist, blogger or customer, with as much information as possible!
Your press release is ready! Now it's time to publish! There really aren't any good or bad times to publish — especially if you are looking more for visibility and less for actual news coverage. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday seem to be the most popular days, however. Your press release should build SEO value over time as the links mature and more people (hopefully) link to it or visit the page.
Tara Geissinger is Co-Founder of online press release firm, Online PR Media, and Co-Owner of content marketing firm, SEO Content Solutions. She is committed to helping people brand their businesses online and boost their online presence. Follow her on Twitter for more tips: https://twitter.com/#!/TaraGeissinger
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