You have several goals for your press release marketing. For example, you want to build links to your website; you want to get your PRs published on as many high-quality sites as possible; and you want to gain the attention of influential journalists and bloggers whose respective audiences include your customers. But too often, online press releases fail to produce these results. The question is, why?
We'll solve this mystery by presenting five critical factors below that help to ensure your news announcements accomplish your goals. You may be neglecting one or two, either of which may hold the key to getting more out of your press release distribution efforts. Or, you might be missing several, in which case the following guide should prove particularly valuable.
#1 – Create A Press Release Distribution Plan
A single press release can deliver a short-term boost in search engine visibility and the traffic that comes with it. With luck, you might even attract the attention of a reporter or popular blogger. But these benefits wane with time. Over the long run, that single PR is unlikely to produce more than a modicum of exposure, links, and sales.
To get the most out of your press releases, you need a plan. A strategy. It should include a distribution calendar that takes into account upcoming events in your business. For example, do you have a holiday promotion planned? Are you hosting a charity drive? Will you be launching a new product in the near future? Plan your press release distribution to get the word out regarding these events.
#2 – Focus On High-Quality Press Release Sites
There is value in getting your news announcements published on as many sites as possible. Doing so expands your link profile (assuming you are including links to your site), and makes it appear more natural to the search engines. That said, high-quality sites deserve more attention.
The press release distribution service you use will likely send your PRs to a large number of directories, syndication sites, journals, and newswire services. This process is automated. But you should also create a small list of sites to which you personally submit your PRs. These sites may offer a high Pagerank, huge audience, or access to certain individuals whose positive opinion about your company can drive customers to your site.
#3 – Write Attention-Grabbing Headlines
To be sure, your news announcements will build links to your site even if few people take the time to read them. This is one of the benefits of optimizing your PRs to rank well in Google. But that leaves a lot of potential exposure behind.
Your goal should not only be to increase the number of links pointing to your site, but also to engage your target audience. Your headlines play a major role. They encourage your customers, as well as journalists, to read further. If your headlines fail to motivate them, your press releases will remain unread. As a result, you'll benefit from the links, but little else.
#4 – Include Target Keywords As Anchor Text
Links are always good. But links that include your main keywords as anchor text are far better. The anchor text informs the search engines about the topics of the pages to which the links point. Since topical relevance is an important factor in Google's ranking algorithm, a properly-anchored link delivers more ranking value than a non-anchored link.
As a side note, there is also value in including URL-based links within your press releases. This should be done in cases where the sites on which your PRs are published disallow clickable links.
#5 – Reach Out To Journalists And Bloggers
Earlier, we noted that you should maintain a small list of high-quality sites to which you manually submit your press releases. You'll improve your chances of getting your PRs published if you cultivate relationships with contacts at the sites.
The temptation of online distribution is to be happy enough with the automated process of sending your press releases to thousands of sites from your computer. But by personally reaching out to journalists and bloggers who cover your niche, you'll better establish yourself in their minds. They'll be more likely to run your press releases, or at least look at them before the hundreds of others they receive each month.
Reaching out takes time. It takes effort. But it pays dividends in the long run.
Whether your news announcements vanish without a trace after you distribute them depends, in large part, on your execution. Merely hitting the “Send” button on your keyboard is not enough if you hope to maximize the value of your press release marketing.