January 6, 2015

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Read All About it! Press Releases and SEO



























By Lauren C.

Press releases are a method of marketing your company’s accomplishments through a third party platform, and critics have argued that they are absolutely necessary for public relation purposes. For a long time, press releases were considered an intricate part of your overall SEO strategy, however recent Google algorithm updates now punish sites that embed links to self-serving press releases, as well as those who publish too many of them directly on the site. So do press releases assist your SEO strategy, hurt it, or are they inconsequential? According to the critics, the answers are varied.

Benefits

1. Organic links grow from many sources.
Submitting a press release to journalists can generate organic links, especially if the link you submit to one site garners attention from another site which also uses your link. Though the content will be duplicated, there is still value in these links, as they can improve your overall rankings.

2. Helps online reputation management.
If you create a press release that includes a keyword- rich title, it will rank well when users search for a topic in your brand. You control the content in your own press releases, so users who search for information pertaining to your brand or company will see positive press release pieces in the search engine results, which helps with the clients’ first impressions.


3. Overall visibility increases, regardless of rankings.
A news outlet that decides to publish your press release has its own readership, who would otherwise have no idea about what your company is or what it does. The more popular the news source that publishes your press release, the better attention you will receive, and the more likely that readers will want to research your company. This includes users clicking on your site for your services, those looking up additional information, and more.

Drawbacks

1. The recent growing press release craze just made your job more challenging.
Large news sites sometimes have hundreds or thousands of press release requests every day. This makes it harder for your press release request to stand out, so you have to have a newsworthy event that makes your company a maverick in the field. Think about it like a job interview in a poor economy; it is harder for one applicant to stand out amongst the rest when he or she is one fish in the vast sea of the job market.

2. Small companies have an uphill battle.
If your company finished a project, appointed a new CEO, or participated in a popular conference, it will be harder to have a journalist publish your work unless you are a large corporation. Thankfully, smaller companies can still put press releases in local papers until they warrant the attention of bigger papers. This still helps search results, but it won’t garner the same type of client exposure.

Final Thoughts

In 2015, your press releases can still serve as a complement to your SEO strategy if executed correctly. Make sure that your press release is relevant to your company’s mission and is not just a promotional puff piece. As one critic puts it, “If it’s truly notable (like you’ve found a cure for Ebola) then do it. If you’re just announcing that you painted your office door red in order to increase productivity and it made one person show up for work on time 2 days in a row, no one gives a damn.” 

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