Press releases used to be a great way to improve your SEO. However, in the past couple of years (and this is since 2017), Google has devalued the value it used to place on these press releases. Internet marketing companies and SEO agencies were quite unhappy about this as they lost a great SEO avenue, but press releases, if written properly and not for spam value can still have a positive impact on your internet rankings.
If your press release, article or even blog gets picked up by a newspaper or magazine with a wide readership this will enhance your customer base and the value of your article you have just written. If the publications website has a strong page rank this will in turn improve your search engine rankings through trust. Back linking to your website like this, is the foundation of SEO and this type of natural, organic linking is what it’s all about. So make sure when your writing an article it has to be professionally written.
Its Easy to Get Your Press Release Turned into an Article by Writing Clever Copy
Many editors, PR agencies as well as journalists can receive hundreds of articles and news items per day. The trick here is to make your article stand out and scream: ‘read me’! This is harder than it looks, but following are some simple hints to help your article leap out off the page – these tips will either make or break your article.
Issue Press Releases & Articles that are Newsworthy
Is the information that you are sending out worthy of any news article? Does it really have something important to say? Is there merit in the content that can be substantiated by facts? All these need to be considered before submitting this? Again, ask yourself are readers going to want to read this and what are the benefits that this content will provide? Sending a random press release out in the hope it gets syndicated, strictly for SEO purposes, is a waste of time. In fact, it can go against you. Irritating and bombarding publishers with content will surely aggravate them. These guys are time poor, so make sure what you say is compelling.
A great rule of thumb here: its better to send an article out once every two weeks than one every week. Quality over quantity is the mantra here.
Newsworthy items of interest that you should write about include:
- A new product launch that is going to benefit many people – think pharmaceuticals or medical, even a service that is going to be very popular.
- An opening of a school, shopping centre, anything that is going to raise the publics interest.
- An event for charities, or organisations that the public need to know about.
- Has an employee of your company achieved something significant?
- Has your business won an award or been recognised as an industry leader?
- Have you started an new area of your business or just opened up a new retail outlet ( this is good for local publications)
Don’t Waffle on – Be Relevant and Short
Your press release should be between 500 to 700 words and the first paragraph needs to get to the point. Readers need to skim the first paragraph and know exactly what the whole article is about. Because journalists read so many articles, its best that this opening paragraph has clout, influence, sway and weight.
Waffling on and creating articles to fill in space, especially if you think that the published article will help with SEO, will not get published. Avoid needless hype and exaggeration. It’s a complete time wasting exercise and I’m sure that you have better things to do with your time, like run your company.
Try To Use Actual Statistics, Photos & Videos
The more real you can make your article the more likelihood it will get published. Adding statistics, photos or even one better, videos are more true to life and will, by their very nature have more of an impact and this will be more likely to get it published. Journos love these kinds of add-ons so if you think that words are enough, then think again.
To add spice to any PR Release you might want to add a graphic, such as an infographic. These help readers digest information quickly and make the article more palatable. This is a growing trend and it is a good idea to get your graphic agency to design a cool looking infographic for you. It’s in your best interest to reach out and attract as many readers as possible. If they like what they see they will also share it on their social media which is a SEO bonus.
Here’s an interesting statistic for you. An imbedded image in an article will increase user engagement by 22 percent and having a video will double this. Bear this in mind with any marketing you do.
Check Your Spelling!
I really don’t have to elaborate on this point. Spelling mistakes with grammatical errors are going to be the death knell of your article. Seriously, if you are going to spend the time writing something, then the least you can do it go over it for punctuation and spelling errors. It’s a no brainer.
The point to take away from this blog article is: Give your press release the best fighting chance to get published by keeping them pertinent, succinct, engaging and most of all error-free. If you think that you would like to try to have a go at this yourself, but feel a bit intimidated, start off small. Create one article that you feel is interesting and see how that goes. Perhaps publish on of your blog articles which is a good thing for SEO and your overall online rankings as well.
There are a few online PR sites where you can publish your articles but start with these few:
Again, be careful with how many articles you submit per site as this may look overly spammy. Try to vary and diversify your releases with different sites around the web. Again, the more relevant your article the more likely it is to be picked up and syndicated naturally, which is the best thing for your online profile.
The guru Barry Schwartz from SEO Round Table says at around the 1 minute 40 second mark that the only benefit your going to derive from PR releases is exposure and brand recognition. if people are actually going to those sites. So what you can really take out of this ( and I am writing this blog article around 3.5 years after initially publishing it) is that PR sites have little of no value when it comes to your SEO. Google does not place a high value on these sites and it’s basically not going to help one bit in the SERP’s. They used to be a great way to push rank but as usual Google wised up to this and has now devalued all PR links to the level where they are basically useless. Point to take out of this is try other avenues unless the link comes from really good newspapers or High Value websites. If your in Sydney and want real value try to approach local papers, I’m thinking the Wentworth or Southern Courier or North Shore Times etc etc. Getting them to publish an article or news about your business on their sites is gold. Rule of thumb here is the tougher it is to get published, the more valuable the link will be.