by on October 13, 2011
Press releases have long been a preferred (and now a patented) part of optimizing sites; when done well, they can be a good method for link building on steroids. Larger corporations often use the medium effectively, while it doesn’t occur to many local businesses. Here’s why you should consider it for promoting your local company online.
I’ve written in the past about using press releases for improving PageRank, and as a vehicle to get reporters to promote businesses. Press releases are nearly a throwback to an older time period — they follow a moderately standard format and have been used for over a century to announce new developments to newspapers and other news media.
Perhaps it’s this semiformal nature of the press release that makes many small businesses overlook it when planning ways of promoting themselves. But, press releases are not just for large, national companies.
Press releases are a great source of links (when links are included in them). The websites that host press releases can be worthwhile for link weight, and newspapers or other news sites may sometimes publish the entire release as well. In the past, this near-instant PageRank value conveyed by issuing PR was considered very worthwhile.
But incorporating press releases into your marketing mix includes other compelling reasons that go beyond the value of links you might get. (And, as Google and Bing have become more sophisticated, it could be that press releases are no longer high-quality sources for links, and some sites may be “nofollowing” links in press releases when redisplaying them, negating their link value.)
Press releases are a promotional vehicle that can help you gain more attention for your company. When done effectively, they help you attract attention you might then be able to translate into more customers and sales.
Releases can still function in the classic way, by getting the interest of a local newspaper reporter, who could then choose to do a story about your company for his or her publication. In this day and age, press releases can also get paraphrased or reported on by bloggers, too – I’ve had press releases picked up by specialized industry blogs, bringing attention to my topic from communities interested in the subject matter.
For local businesses, press releases can be an effective source for local citations, particularly since they can get picked up by geo-authority websites such as local news.
Finally, press releases can coordinate well with social media, so using services like Facebook and Twitter to push the PR can help generate more overall buzz about your business.
Using these techniques can help you in promoting your local business. However, the best press releases are planned with sophistication, savviness and good writing. It can take experience to do a good job of it. If you haven’t done it before, it can be helpful to hire a professional to do it on your behalf.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.
About The Author: Chris Silver Smith writes for the the Locals Only column at Search Engine Land. Chris “Silver” Smith is director of optimization strategies for KeyRelevance.