January 22, 2010

How Press Releases Can Boost Your SEO Strategy


Hostway Team

By Dan Kenitz

In the world of search engine optimization (SEO), nothing rules supreme quite like the prospect of getting someone to link to your Web site. Once your site is properly optimized, you can attract niche traffic to your site and increase the amount of inbound links pointing in your direction. But how do you launch an SEO program that will actually produce results?

Believe it or not, the good, old-fashioned press release still has a place in today's marketing strategies — and not only that— press releases can still attract major attention on the Web. But there's just one question remaining: how, exactly?

Quite simply, when you launch a press release, you are able to include a link back to your Web site. Submitting this press release to a number of outlets sends out that link across the Internet. When sites like Google and Yahoo! see that you have more inbound links pointed your way, they're more inclined to trust what's on your Web site and post your site higher in their search engine results.

So how can you submit an effective press release? Let's break it down, step-by-step.

1. Send press releases to the right places. If you submit your press release to Press Releases 'R' Us, then there's a good chance that your little chunk of promotional information won't exactly attract a lot of intention. But if you can find more powerful distribution sites like i-Newswire.com, there's a lot more opportunity for your words to find a wider audience.

2. Provide value. Let's face it: not everyone is interested in what your press releases have to say about your company unless they actually provide some bit of value. If you have an interesting take on a popular trend like social media, or if you have new statistics to announce, your press release stands a much higher chance of garnering some attention.

3. Use inverted-pyramid format. Any student of journalism is well aware of inverted-pyramid: you give away your most valuable information up front because that's where people pay the most attention. If you can attract more people with a powerful headline (more on that soon) and good information up front, you've written a successful press release.

4. The headline is probably the most important element. If the title of this article were "Press Releases," there's a good chance you wouldn't have found the prospect of reading it very enticing. But since the headline tells you how you'll boost your search engine rankings, there's suddenly more incentive to click through and read what this press release thing is all about. Spend a lot of time crafting a solid headline for your press release.

Remember: your goal here is to generate some serious inbound links to your site. But you won't get your press release published in as many outlets if it doesn't at least have some value to readers. Focus on making and submitting a strong press release and you'll have a good number of inbound links in no time.

About the Author

Dan Kenitz, a graduate of Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, is a former Search Engine Optimization professional and a current freelance writer who works out of of the Midwest.

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