With everyone fussing around SEO and focusing on the Internet the good old Press Releases are slowly being forgotten; and if still used they are run by a different team altogether then the one taking care of SEO. But wait a second are not good press releases an opportunity to create link-building opportunities?

What is a Press Release?

A press release (aka News Release)  is a piece of news about your organisation that should be in a way or another of public interest. Such as the launch of a new product or moving premises are very good examples of instances where you can use a press release. It is important to note that press releases are not an extension of a sales campaign; as they cannot take the form of an advert. Press Releases are usually sent to news agencies with the hope that if the matter is of enough public interest this would be published on a news website or a printed publication.

How can a Press Release help my SERPs?

First of all when creating a press release keep SEO in mind make sure that you in your press release you include the keywords that you would like to optimize, and if possible embed a link with these keywords. So if your send your press releases via email these are copied along. Secondly you can make use of a Press Release Distribution service that caters for your area or market; sometimes you would like and prefer to go local with these especially if you are offering a service in a specific location. These distribution services most of the time publish your article along with any keywords you submit; as well as sending it to other local news outlets.

When including links in your press release think about the readers; what if I was reading my own press release does this link provide value for me? would I follow this link? If the answer is yes then most likely that your link is relevant to the text or is of interest. Ask any workmates or friends for an opinion if it would cause interest. Once you put a link that is of interest then you are also increasing your incoming traffic.

Importantly at the bottom of every press release weather you manage to find a suitable link or not; include a description of your company include what you do and what you are renown for. This is a very good place to insert links which direct to your organisation and any brand related keywords and links.

Going Beyond the Press

So far if your Press Release was successful you have managed a few links, one from the distribution service and maybe another few from news agencies that thought that your press release had any value. Not a lot really but might already be worth the effort since news agencies usually carry a very good stature and rank with search engines. The key is then the final reader, your press release has managed to pass through the eyes of the few to be available to the eyes of the many. With blogs becoming ever so popular your press release is bound to attract the attention of a few bloggers that read news websites; you might also attract interest of someone who is a normal user but maybe shares the link on Facebook or twitter. This will help create some buzz and hype about your brand and products. Further increase your opportunities of gaining organic links, reviews about your products and a lasting interest.

If you manage to master the art of press releases, you can be sure to see an increase in Interest in your brand, an increase in inbound links and most importantly of all sales. Once people start clicking your links they are in one way or another interested; having these visitors linking back to you or making a purchase is then all about the content of your website. Next time you are planning a SEO strategy keep press releases in mind and consider the impact and value they can have in your strategy.