With the Holiday season upon us, companies vamping up their marketing efforts, it’s time to rethink your press release strategy. Our company does a lot of PR for people not only for links, in fact usually they’re not first in mind, but to build the overall brand through exposure.
There’s nothing wrong or negative about the usual process, I just like to do things a little bit different..a little more ninja like. We can definitely get more out of the resources available to we the people, you just have to dig a little deeper.
As of late, Google has really been putting emphasis on building your brand. This could be through social media, the links you build and other citations. This is good news for companies and brands because this adds more fuel to the fire.
Social media is also an important aspect of a typical PR these days, so this can be used to your advantage. How many social media sites pick up these news stories? I can tell you now, getting a extra link or two from the likes of Squidoo, Topix.net and others isn’t too difficult.
One last thing before we get into it. I know that the search engines are not giving amazing link juice from each news site, on the same topic. So throw out any thoughts of targeted anchor text in your release. For one, it looks cleaner, and secondly, you’re putting these efforts towards your brand/site overall. You can obviously used targeted anchor text, I would however leave PR power to go towards just building up the root domain.
Part 1: Mixing up the sites you use to send a PR
There are many press release sites to choose from, and picking the right one will make the difference. The first advice I like to give clients is to utilize different PR sites for your news. You might as well spread it out and get some nice and easy links from their homepage. PRWeb releases tend to stay indexed easily, as well rank quite easily for long tail terms.
I’m going to list 5 PR sites I like to use, as well the ones I think that have retained the most link authority and brand status. These sites usually don’t push junk news, so you can rest assured you’re not getting garbage.
PRWeb.com – We’ll start with the biggest, most networked and one of the most trusted news distribution services around today. PRWeb combines their large news network with not only newsrooms, but blog sources as well as its social media connections. Prices range from $150 USD up to $350 and beyond.
24-7pressrelease.com – These folks are another big player and they have a couple good things going on. First, their network is quite large and has a lot of top niches in its arsenal. The prices for a PR here are really affordable, and if the second point is that they have a company/business directory. That directoriy itself has held up its quality and is well worth the review process.
MarketWire.com – Another large PR network that has a huge business network. I’ve had a lot of success releasing normal PR’s for my clients, and personally. You can see a list of each indsutry contact resource beforehand, so this feature plays into the next section for this post.
URLWire.com – All you SEO consultants are most likely well awre of Eric Ward’s news wire. It’s highly recommended by me, not because I’m brown nosing, but due to Eric’s style. Again, this isn’t a place you can go to submit junk news and expect the world. URLWire works to network your news with the most related sites in your industry. Release prices start at around $500 USD and I’ve seen some of the most successful news campaigns launched from here.
PR.com – Another PR service you are most likely familiar with. This news network also boasts a lot of connections within its distribution network. PR.com also happens to have their own business/company directory in which you ca get into.
Part 2: Press Release Link Analysis
Link analysis on a press release you say? Hell yea and why not?! Before picking any service I highly recommend you start snooping on the competition. Open up the link builders beloved Excel and start off a spreadsheet for me. Next, hit up the 5 press release sites linked above and try and find your competitors releases. If you cannot find any, take a look at what other companies are doing PR’s within your industry.
Ok, so now what? When you find a press release or two within your niche, turn on SEO Quake, Open Site Explorer, Majestic SEO or any backlink analyzer that does individual pages. All I ask you to do is see which news releases got picked up where. This will give you an idea of what to expect from your news. Obviously this isn’t fool proof, but I like a little more tactical application in my process.
Next, go back to news that’s 6 months or older and do the same thing. I’d take account of which PR sites do better at keeping that release indexed. As well, see if that release is ranking well for any long tail keywords associated.
This ain’t rocket science, but it is a little link science I guess. Even though I wasn’t a boy scout, they’re slogan certainly applies nicely to this industry. Just remember to look at the tags used and make sure those are on your list. That should help you target the news sites looking for your content.
Part 3: Build Links to Your PR
Some releases you put out are going to fall flat, sorry to say. Even with careful planning there are certain aspects that are just out of anyone’s control.
If you already have a network of blogs, social media profiles and other websites then you can do your part. Linking back to your news release from these areas is relevant, and will help keep that news alive and kicking.
Some companies even have a newsroom on their site, and from what I’ve seen it doesn’t cost you any dupe problems and helps keep things indexed. It’s all relevant to your company, so there is nothing black/grey hat going on here.
While you’ll not notice a huge amount of traction from your first optimized release, keep at it, mixing things up. After half, or even a full year you’ll have a great diverse link set from all sorts of news sites.
I’d also keep in mind that these releases are spread across so many different sites. Google is obviously not giving “max link juice” through heavily syndicated content. Then again, prove me wrong by keeping meticulous statistics and track the movement yourself.
I hope this inspires businesses to take their PR campaigns to a new level. Let me know if anyone else out there has been implementing something similar, and if it is working for you.