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The benefit of press releases for SEO is controversial; there are pros and cons to using them as part of your strategy. The influx of natural links from many authoritative sources is indisputably helpful for SEO. When many high-quality news outlets publish your press release, this sends signals of trust to Google. Furthermore, these added links help to diversify your backlink profile and establish brand credibility. Press releases allow you to reap the benefits of the broad readership of these major news outlets, providing brand exposure and referral traffic. It’s important to note that links from media placements are the KPI of a press release, not traffic or conversions.
When you do your research, identify working patterns and deadlines. Many weekly local papers, for example, have a Tuesday deadline for Thursday publication. So, you might be wise not to issue a time-sensitive press release to that audience on a Wednesday.
That means your release needs a good headline. That can be something saying how your new product is going to make life easier, or how it relates to a news event. Your headline should be an attention-grabber, so reporters can see right away how the announcement affects their audience.
Do not waste time writing the headline until the release is done. Copy editors write the real headlines in newspapers and magazines, but it is good to come up with a catchy title or headline for the release. This headline may be your only chance. Keep concise and factual. It’s a good idea not to write it until after you finish the press release. You don’t know yet exactly what you—–or those you interview, will say. When you have finished a draft of the release, you may decide to revise your lead—or not. Then, and only then, think about the headline.
Whether you run a digital marketing company or a record label, press releases are critical. Ideal for notifying the media and your readers that something new and exciting has taken place within your company, press releases can be used to announce new hires, partnerships, product launches, and more.
4. Lead Sentence: Set the hook in the reader’s attention. Keep them moving toward the objectives – key messaging & calls to action. Lead paragraph starts with an interesting statement, not boilerplate.
When you send a press release, it’s a good idea to include a short outline of your idea (no more than a paragraph) and where you think it might fit in the publication you’re pitching to. Paste your press release underneath, as a busy journalist may not bother to an open an attachment. Photos can be helpful if they add something to the story, but avoid sending big files that will clog up peoples’ inboxes.
Write the third paragraph of the body. This section can contain a quote from the product manager, CEO or other representative from the company launching the product to discuss why this product is so important. This section can be up to three sentences long.
I hope you’ll refer to this list often, help me keep it up to date, and share it with other SEO’s, online marketers, and DIY business owners. If you’d like to submit a site for review or suggest a correction, please contact me. I’d love to hear from you!
About the Author: Michael Lazar is a veteran freelance copywriter and SEO expert with a specific passion for Public Relations. He is a PR and Branding specialist at TrueShip (makers of ReadyShipper™ Shipping and Returns Management software solution), where he heads their online marketing operations as their Senior Growth Hacker. You can follow TrueShip and Lazar’s posts on Facebook.
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Duplicate content also comes into play in any discussion about potential downfalls of press releases. Since the media outlets that pick up your press release are syndicating the text, links will be coming in from identical content pieces. Because of the nature of press releases, this means that each link will be worth less than inbound links from unique content. That being said, the added domain authority of the news sites still makes it worthwhile to distribute.
To make it clear to members of the press – reporters, writers, and editors – that the information you’re giving them is a press release for their use, and not an advertisement or letter to the editor, you need to send it in press release format. Yes, there is a specific format you should use when preparing a press release. Here are some of the key features: