If you’ve worked in the professional media and communications industry, you’re probably already familiar with press release submissions. These single page documents have traditionally been used to inform media personnel about upcoming news-worthy events for inclusion in newspapers and magazines. However, press releases are finding new lives in the field of search engine optimization, where site owners have found that these tools can be used for generating backlinks as well as increasing traffic back to their pages.
One of the biggest reasons for this trend is the increase in web-based press release distribution sites. In the past, press releases were submitted directly to contacts at media institutions. Today, however, sites like PRWeb.com allow site owners to distribute their press releases to news organizations around the world in a manner of seconds.
That means you can write a press release, and it may get published on hundreds or even thousands of different websites. If you include links with anchor text in your release than that means you’ll give the page you link back to a boost for the anchor text phrase you used. Just like the case with writing and submitting articles, you may see significant traffic from your release as well.
To get started with press release submissions sites, you’ll need to have something noteworthy to publish. Press releases on topics like, “SiteX.com publishes a new article” are unlikely to be picked up by news sources, so if you’re looking to generate traffic and have your press release published on a number of sites, you’ll have dismal results. On the other hand, if you’re launching a new website or product that provides an innovative new benefit, drafting and submitting a press release is a great way to generate interest in your site.
Press releases tend to follow a prescribed format, including a headline, body text and boilerplate section. The headline is the key to getting your press release picked up by news sources. It should pull the reader in, while summarizing the main benefit of your site or product in a few words. Take a few minutes to come up with a concise description (no more than 2-3 sentences) of how your site is different from the others on the web. From this description, pull out a single descriptive phrase and use it in your heading. For example, one of the top press releases currently listed on PRWeb.com is “The Business Plan Is Dead – New Book Shows How to Raise Capital in a New Way”. This headline simultaneously describes the book’s benefits and engages the reader’s interest.
The body of the press release comes next, constituting the majority of your press release’s text. The body should be anywhere from 2-4 paragraphs and should be written in third person, simulating an actual news story. In this section, you can describe your site or product’s benefits in more detail. This is a great place to include specific examples of how people have used your product or any testimonial quotes you’ve gathered regarding your site. You can also include a link to your site, along with keyword-optimized anchor text.
Please note that many press release submissions services charge a premium for putting anchor text in the body of the release, but as long as you carefully research your keywords, it can be well worth the extra price.
Finally, the boilerplate section of your press release should include a few sentences that summarize your business and contact information that news sources can use to reach you. The information in this section should be fairly general – the term “boilerplate” indicates that the text can be used in any of your press releases with equal relevancy. Depending on the interest your press release generates, members of the news media may use the information included in this section to contact you regarding potential stories or interviews, so it’s important to include it in any press release submissions you submit. Often, this is where you can include further links back to your site. In many cases, you’ll also be able to put anchor text links in here, although you may have to pay extra. At the very least, you can put in your full URL.
Submitting your information to press release submission sites are easy, and you’ll find that there are hundreds of different sites that will distribute your release for you. Some of these sites offer free distribution, while others charge fees to use their services. When you’re just getting started with press release submission sites, it’s a good idea to try out a number of different services to see which generate the best results for your site. Be sure to track how quickly your press release submissions are picked up by each service to further refine this search engine optimization strategy.
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