Do Press Releases Still Have Value?

Press releases are an essential online marketing tactic that predate both Google and the Internet itself, in the days before press release sites and the internet marketers used to have to fax their press releases out to selected publications.

Once the internet and Googles ranking algorithm came along press releases were used heavily by marketers, press releases became quite abused and lost a lot of their SEO ranking value. So the question is do press releases still offer value when it comes to online marketing? I believe they do for the below reasons:

Traffic

A press release published on a big news site like Yahoo! can generate massive traffic, even a listing in Google news can send a lot of traffic to your website. The traffic you generate from a press release will be targetted, consisting of potential buyers and subscribers. Having a busy website has SEO benefits. Whenever my traffic gets a bit low and I start to feel lonely or a bit skint I like to write a press release, this tactic always generates a few enquiries.

Increase Domain Authority

Press release links are usually no follow as per Google’s webmaster guidelines, a no follow link is not meant to pass pagerank but many press release and news sites have high authority. A link from one these sites will still pass some authority to your own site.

Reputation Management

Press releases used to be excellent for reputation management, because of the authority of the sites they were listed on and the fact they were published multiple times then linked back to press releases would often outrank any negative publicitiy. Press releases don’t rank as well as they once did but they still do OK. Google sometimes shows news results in organic search too especially for brand names, this means you could potentially take up two results on the first page of Google pushing down negative results.

Do Press Releases Still Have Value?

Link Diversity

As mentioned above press release links are no follow and don’t pass pagerank but no follow links do still have SEO value, one benefit of a no follow link is link diversity. Too many do follow links may look unnatural to search engines, no follow links should not be sniffed at for this reason alone.

So How Do You Write a Press Release

Now that we have covered a few of the benefits a good press release can offer we will look at how to create a good one.

Write in The Third Person

You cannot use words like our, we, your, etc. you must write in third person language to do this I like to use quotes, “Panda SEO say that their clients”. If a site is allowing you to submit a release in first person language it it probably not worth submitting to.

Only Release Newsworthy Content

Don’t release any old rubbish, try to make sure you have real news to release. As above a good site will reject releases that are not newsworthy.

Layout

Make sure you write a catchy title, try to include your keywords in the title as this will influence your Google news rankings. Subtitle, the subtitle can be a bit longer and should contain keywords as it can still influence your news rankings. Content, press releases always need a boiler plate paragraph at the beginning or the end. The boiler plate can be used to publicise your company and what you do.

Still Effective?

Press releases are not as powerful as they once were but they should still be included in any marketing strategy, as long as you follow the above tips and publish your release on a good quality site you will be happy with the results.

This post was supplied by Mark Stubbles. Mark is an experienced marketer who has been writing and distributing press releases for several years, he has had his releases published by major news publications such as Yahoo! and Bloomberg. Details of Mark’s press release writing and distribution service can be found here.

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