Good news for publicity seekers! The old guard gates between a small business with news, the media, and the public no longer exist. The Internet makes it easy to get the word out about anything. You only need to learn
1) About writing for the Web, and
2) Where to upload an online press release for good exposure.
What’s Special About Online Press Releases?
There’s no longer a need for a small business to beg the media to devote airtime or print space. If you choose to do special follow-ups with selected media, that’s smart.
But there’s a benefit in simply getting your news visible to online consumers. And the backlink you get from the best press release distribution sites help your Web page rise on search engines, too.
Online Press Release Writing Tips
The basics of online press release writing aren’t much different from traditional (i.e., paper) press release writing. You still need to explain The Five Ws: who, what, when, where, and why…
But when writing for the web, you need to ensure the search engines robots for Google, etc. understand who to show your press release to.
So, how well you apply search engine optimized writing techniques impacts whether only a few people can find your press release on Google vs. tons of people…
- Keyword Research
When writing for the web, a press release needs careful keyword planning. Use the free Google Keyword Tool to choose the best keyword phrases related to your topic. You’ll need to write these phrases liberally throughout your online press release.
- Keyword Placement
Where in the document you write your keywords and how often you repeat them matter a lot. Use your chosen keyword phrases in your press release title; within the first two sentences; in every subsequent paragraph; and near the very end.
- Keyword Density
A typical online press release runs about 400 to 600 words. That’s a page to a page and a half long. This length gives you ample space to repeat two, maybe three keywords many times. Strive to make every paragraph contain two of your three keywords.
- Write For Human Ears
Edit your press release at least twice. Make sure it “sounds” smooth to the human ear. Break those super-long sentences in two. Remove one or two keyword uses if the writing starts to sound … forced and robotic.
- Format Your Document
Better organize your press release by creating a bullet-point list, if appropriate. Also insert three or four sub-headers between paragraphs, wherever you have a subject change. In the sub-headers, use one of your keywords.
- Create Anchor Links
Craft your online press releases to include anchor links leading to your website (or your client’s website). Up until recently, this meant turning your EXACT keyword or phrase into a clickable link. But now, search engines welcome anchor links with extra words in them, for better context.
- Include Multimedia
Many online releases include a logo, eye-catching photos, and videos. Use keywords when describing each media element. This helps get your news and business even more search engine attention.
Press Release Distribution Services
Press release distribution helps a small business create buzz and drives much more traffic to your website. So, once your press release is polished, upload it to sites where many people will see it.
For a small business on a budget, a best practice is to use more than one distribution site. There are many free distribution services, but only a few are worth your time. Upload to at least three press release distribution sites, including some of these:
With packages starting at $80, PRweb is one of the best-value press release distribution services. Press releases are indexed quickly by the search engines.
Your news is shared with several thousand journalists and consumers who subscribe. Plus many website publishers reprint these press releases as content, potentially giving you many additional backlinks.
Create a social media newsroom (SMNR) and upload all of your press releases, videos, and photos. This press release delivery system gives small business owners and marketers access to a half-million journalists.
It’s also a small business networking platform. Offers free and paid membership starting at $150 per release.
A free news exchange site, MyNewsDesk is where many journalists and bloggers search for sources when pulling together all kinds of stories.
Create a great social media newsroom here and chances are your small business may fit within some journalists’ stories.
This “social media release” (SMR) service allows you to easily share your news release and multimedia with social media fans and journalists.
Moreover, PitchEngine aggregates all of your press releases and distributes them via RSS to anyone who subscribes.
An add-on service allows you to create a Newsroom for Facebook featuring your “pitches.” Pricing starts at $29 per press release.
This concludes Part 2 of our five-part series for newbie Web marketers. You can read Part 1 here: Marketing a Business Online – Get a Website.
So, what’s your hottest press release writing tip? Do you have a favorite press release distribution site not mentioned here? Tell us in your comment — we want to know!