Are you in the news, or are you the news?
Creative and agile campaigns and public relations strategies are a tried and true method of launching your client into the spotlight. For decades, press releases have been used to gain the attention of local media and journalists, being the primary tool for launching campaigns.
However, today’s technology allows for press release tactics to be much more versatile.
The primary goal of a public relations professional is building a positive reputation for a company. Alternatively, marketing professionals advertise your product and company to the public. A press release can be an excellent way to hit two birds with one stone by incorporating a strong SEO strategy into your press release.
Let’s investigate five tactics that will help you gain valuable backlinks for your website.
1. Write Using Keywords as Your Top Press Release Tactic
Perhaps one of the best ways to get your company's product or message out to the public is implementing a fantastic SEO strategy. Each day, there are over 3.5 billion searches on Google, making SEO an essential strategy for any public relations campaign.
Press releases can seem extravagant, making a story seem more interesting than it really is. This results in public relations professionals straying away from focused keyword strategies because they're trying to cover so much ground all at once.
Using one keyword throughout an entire press release seems to be the first mistake that professionals make. Including one keyword within your press release directly inhibits your content's distribution through search engine algorithms and other databases.
By choosing multiple and strong keywords (also known as LSI keywords), you are boosting the chance that your press release will be found by people already searching for your topic.
Before crafting your press release, it’s great practice to research which keywords offer realistic results and which keywords to avoid. Ahrefs is a great SEO tool to use to your advantage when determining which keywords rank high and which are weak.
Crafting your piece around viable keyword opportunities is a key press release tactic to gain visibility in today's digital environment.
2. Add Strong Reference Links Pointing Toward Relevant Content
Always add strong hyperlinks. They give your press releases more authority throughout the world of search, and credibility throughout industry to boot.
Adding links to specific statistics, quotes, or tools is an essential part of any SEO strategy. Remember to contextualize the reference link with relevant copy to make them more effective.
To ensure the quality of your press release's SEO performance, I would recommend implementing at least five hyperlinks throughout the release; one of which should be reserved for your company's website or press room cornerstone page.
3. Turn Industry Bloggers and Influencers into a Distribution Press Release Tactic
Most people have a vague idea about the "blogosphere," but they don't know how to tap into it effectively. However, this can be a crucial variable in determining the success of your release.
First, determine and research the audience of your industry. Sending a press release to an online influencer is practically giving them free content to write about... but it has to be relevant.
However, finding influencers within your industry can often be a challenge, especially if your niche is competitive. There are a number of services that help you find influencers and their contact information.
Ninja Outreach is a great platform to find influencers based on their interests and content. You can build lists within this platform and export the CSV files for your automated email campaigns. You can also email them directly from within the platform, which is handy.
Hunter.io is another tool that I strongly recommend. Hunter has a Chrome Plugin that allows you to find important contact emails that are supplied through websites or social media profiles like LinkedIn. Instead of rummaging through content-filled websites, Hunter allows you to save time and find the right email for your campaign.
While searching for influencers, it is highly recommended that you keep track of your progress. Creating an Excel file or Google Sheet document for keeping an up to date list of influencers is a best practice you'll want to follow.
4. Distribute Your Press Release To Related Newswire Sites
Distribution for a press release follows a traditional process. Most times, professionals will distribute a press release to local media stations, reporters, journalists or newspapers.
Many professionals tend to neglect the strong potential of distributing their release on newswire websites. Most of them offer free distribution methods to online news organizations. These organizations will post your press release online for a set amount of time, allowing your release to get more visibility and additional backlinks.
When choosing to pursue online distribution methods, you can opt-in for a paid distribution plan. These plans can vary, and the price will depend on the platform.
I recommend taking the time to compile a list of free distribution sites that you can utilize throughout your release strategy.
Lastly, pick one of these platforms and set a dedicated budget for paid distribution. This will allow you to generate concrete backlinks with real staying power, and gain temporary links through third-party sponsored content via the paid service.
5. Make Your Press Release Easily Accessible On Your Website
Our final press release tactic is the most overlooked one of all: posting the press release on your website. Often, we see small businesses compile their press releases throughout their blog sections. Please don't do that.
It's important to include a Newsroom, Press Room, or Media page on your website. Not only will this give media personnel a clear and official place to look for your press releases, but it will also give your press release a physical place to live on the web (without getting lost in top 10 lists).
Having organizations, influencers or media companies linking to your website is one of the best scenarios to improve and meet your SEO strategic goals. Use a newsroom page to make this as easy as possible.
Updating and modernizing your public relations strategy has a very high chance to provide increased visibility and public recognition, if you follow these press release tactics consistently. Optimizing your releases with a formal SEO strategy will create a strong opportunity for backlinks that most organizations leave on the table.
If you're thirsty for more, visit Dan's piece on press release optimization strategies.