In the old days, a company faxed press releases reporter by reporter and then followed up with friendly phone calls to each.
But enough about the Dark Ages of 2005.
These days, online press release distribution services shoot a press release to tens of thousands of news sites (Google News, Yahoo News, CNN included) and individual journalists (Wolf Blitzer all the way to your neighborhood daily’s editor), as well as websites and blogs. Public relations experts consider 75,000 a good number for the amount of people the press release actually appears in front of. Press release technology also calculates how many actually READ the release as well.
So much for spending the day on the phone pushing your store’s grand opening.
But What Does News Distribution Have to Do with Website Success?
Once distributed online, news stories developed from press releases and even the releases themselves get posted on news outlets as well as on websites and blogs. A well-written release on an interesting topic may even make the top news sites like Google and Yahoo News.
While getting press attention is thrilling, it’s important to remember the real goal: the winning of a backlink from an outside source. If the release contains a link back to the business site, then that business has now established a link that lives away from its own site (an external link).
Why Does Another Site Linking to My Site Help My Rankings?
When you read anything online these days, you find many blue hyperlinks within the text, whether they’re directing readers to get more information, provide illustration or back up their own argument.
Looking at the example of non-profit Children and Nature Network below, you’ll see two links circled in red, Headline News Network and The Daily Beast. Links from Children and Nature Network help Headline News Network and The Daily Beast rank higher mostly because someone was not paid to mention them but mentioned them anyway. Clearly, the author not only knows about them but considers them a good source of information. This is called “organic linking,” and Google digs it.
When other sites link to yours, Google considers them endorsements from your community. The bigger and more respectable the site, the “better” the backlink.
You Control the Link in the Press Release
To get that link out here, however, it’s crucial to add a hyperlink in your press release copy, pointing back to a page on your site. That link should contain your business’ best keywords as well. Here’s a press release living on PRWeb that is linking back to the website and business:
Click on “World Champion Pizza Maker . . . “ and you go right back to Detroit Style Pizza Company.
So yes, getting on news sites helps you win search engine respect. The more quality backlinks you have, the more respect you get and the higher your website rises in search engine results. In other words, you want news, peer and consumer websites to lift your website up on their shoulders by putting your press release on their sites.
Where Will My Press Release Show Up?
Besides getting you more backlinks, another benefit of an online news release is that it creates additional search results in the organic listings. Voila! Yet another way potential customers can find you.
Within 24 hours of its release, you can check where your press release got picked up through a simple Google search. Often businesses are surprised at the number of “pick-ups” they get. Don’t be. Bloggers, review sites and more love to post content relevant to their industry. Just like magazines did back in the good old Dark Ages, these, too, need news to support the ads appearing in their “pages.”
After a day or so, search for the title of your press release. As shown below, the listing on the press release distribution site comes up first. Farther down, you’ll see a blog that picked it up, but on the very bottom, we get to see that San Diego’s biggest newspaper, The Union-Tribune, picked up the story as well. Yeah!
The Online Press Release’s KA-POWer: Its Fast Reach
The online press release has its own way of going viral. These outlets need YOUR news:
- industry publications (for the business spin),
- local and regional publications (the local spin), and
- online giants like Google and Yahoo News (to demonstrate their world dominance in every field).
Let your press release, carrying that innocent-seeming backlink pointing to your website, infect the internet and spread to hundreds and even thousands of sites. Your new backlinks suddenly show search engines you mean business. If others think your website is important, search engines will recognize your website’s new popularity with higher rankings.
Now that you understand just how a press release can “go viral,” stay tuned for our next blog post, “Top Tips for Using Press Releases to Create Backlinks.” There, we discuss
- where your keywords should go in the press release and how often to repeat them
- how to use anchor links, photos and video to get more attention from both search engines and journalists
- using social media to support a press release
See our second installment in this series, “13 Top Tips for Using Press Releases to Create Backlinks.”
Could Your Business Website Use More Traffic?
Proper backlinking helps a website rise in the search engine rankings. When combined with quality content, coding, design and more, you create a cohesive and unstoppable search engine optimization program. If you need help getting to the first pages of Google or Bing, contact us today and find out how we guarantee our Search Engine Optimization results.