How to boost an SEO campaign using press releases
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing the exposure of your website to search engines. For those just getting their feet wet in SEO success might mean getting a website listed in Google for the first time, but for many, SEO generally involves campaigns designed to increase web traffic for select search keywords or phrases (“clean fuel technology,” for example) or even additional lead generation.
Regardless of the goal, press releases provide a great platform to assist with search engine optimization campaigns because they are well-linked and distributed to select audiences and downstream channels that keep those links intact. They can also be archived for many years, and republished on high-ranking websites in your industry.
While each search engine has proprietary ranking factors that are used for weighing a page’s relative algorithmic rank (thus dictating page rank), each engine agrees that their primary mission is to uphold good end-user experiences (making search work for surfers, if you will.)
The three primary factors that influence any SEO campaign are:
- Content relevance. Your content should reflect a high degree of relevancy to your target keywords or phrases. In your press release, focus on one subject throughout and develop keywords and phrases that speak to that subject. For example, if you are writing about “clean fuel technology,” you might consider collecting information previously established by third parties and expanding on the subject using a company value proposition or solution. To find out what keywords people are searching for, consider using a free tool such as Google Trends.
- Links. Press releases are a great way to build links. A benefit of news distribution is that it is guaranteed to be republished on a number of downstream media websites thereby creating the potential for a lot of short-term traffic. However, the real value of syndication comes from long-term SEO benefits, since many search engines consider links on authoritative sites a primary ranking factor. By using target keywords in the anchor text of links to relevant pages on your site, you can start ranking higher for those terms and phrases over time. If your story is big news, newsroom editors can pick it up and publish a story on extremely popular sites, thereby sending you a lot of traffic and ”link love” that boosts your SEO.
- Accessibility. Many press release distribution services keep your news archived for long periods of time (five years or more.) Every release distributed via Marketwire is archived indefinitely, which means it’s always accessible through a long-standing authoritative source. Keep in mind that, as with most content on the internet, once your release is there, it doesn’t go away – it’s permanent. Tech note: It’s extremely important to keep links updated by using SEO-friendly redirects (301 redirects) if target pages on your website change over time.
There are many hard-and-fast rules with respect to SEO, but the benefits of using press releases for boosting organic search campaigns has been proven time and time again by top SEO firms. The key is to establish milestones and send out your that news consistently; regardless of the short-term traffic benefit noted above, the true value in SEO comes from long-term investment in relevant content, links and accessibility.