Press release submission and creation is one of the services that come under the arsenal of a professional SEO company. It does play its part in a business’s online publicity, but things have changed in SEO since the past decade. Press releases have significantly evolved in terms of their importance in SEO and online brand building. PR distribution does have its benefits as well as drawbacks, and only businesses managing to cover the disadvantages can benefit from the advantages.
What Makes PR Submissions Beneficial
Here are some of the traditionally held advantages that have kept PRs in high regard for the past ten years:
- They help secure natural links from many external sources when it is really difficult to secure high quality inbound links. Building links yourself is a magnet for a penalty from search engines. But news sources are always on the hunt for fresh news to publish. So when you submit a press release you get in touch with so many of those news sources, helping you earn links from separate sites.
- The referral traffic is another advantage. Dedicated readership of the news outlet where your press release is published could direct its eyes to the link to your site and start visiting it. That’s another source of vital, quality traffic.
- PRs are great for building up your brand and lending it credibility. Most sites in which your press releases will get published are high quality ones looking to publish quality information. They would also have existed for quite some time and enjoyed the reputation which does lead to Google favoring such sites in its ranking pages. Links from them to your site are highly valuable.
- Press releases can help you blend your brand name with some of the relevant and important subjects and keywords. This will bring up your website or business in search results particularly with Google’s semantic search updates. This also helps contribute to reputation management online. When your press release title contains your brand name, it could rank well when users search your brand name. You can manage the content in your press release so the users can only see positive things when they search your brand name.
Some Things to Look Out For
But for all the advantages of press releases, it would be foolish to brush aside some of the negative points:
- Let’s face it – you need to take a significant amount of effort to get your press releases published on high-quality sources. They look for quality. Content quality is therefore important here or your press releases would not appear in authoritative sites and you would have to stick with low quality or less reputable ones. This will significantly impact the influence the PR can make on the traffic and search rankings, since low quality sites do not get favorable rankings and lesser known ones do not have much readership either.
- And when we say press release quality, it does not refer to the content language quality alone, but also its newsworthiness. Press releases must be newsworthy or they could be rejected. And it is hard to find a newsworthy item every time.
- There are also too many news sites and press releases out there, which means you have to work harder to make your press release stand out. Only if it stands out can it generate links, traffic, visibility, etc. You must also take care not to publish too many press releases or stuff them with links since Google would not consider it favorably and your SERP performance would suffer.
- Finally, the cost factor is important too. The press release platform that distributes the press releases could be expensive, which is why it works better for large firms who have the budget to boot. But smaller businesses can resort to outsourcing press release submission, or else it could end up being too costly.
Ultimately it depends on an analysis of the pros and cons with the budget and goals of your business. Sure, there are other means such as social media optimization to attain the publicity and reputation which PR submissions could offer, but press releases provide a more systematic manner of attaining these advantages and building your brand.
Here are some important press release sites that can significantly help in your online marketing and brand building needs.
PRLog is a free service and, expectedly, maintains minimalist features. It provides press release directory, business directory, product directory, and job listings. Every user has an online press room. Video press releases are supported, and various tags and categories are offered for storing press releases. It has Google News and various other RSS feeds and search engines in its distribution network. The best part is that it enjoys high PageRank and consequently, a large number of inbound links and unique traffic.
Another free press release site, PR.com is also a directory where companies across various sectors can post their information. The site is aimed at companies promoting their services and seeking to target wider audiences. As a result, it claims to be a great tool to generate leads. The directory or business listing service is paid, however, and offers membership through a $199 or $499 annual plan. However, the press release element of PR.com is pretty basic and minimalist.
PR Newswire is considered to be the best of the paid press release sites out there. It enjoys the highest PageRank and is pretty well known for its efficient and wide distribution. It also provides comprehensive tracking and management options for your campaigns. If you’re serious about your press release strategy, you cannot do without PR Newswire, though it is quite expensive. A press release could cost up to $1000 though, depending on the features you wish to add to it. The iReach feature begins at $129.
PRWeb enjoys an equally good reputation as PR Newswire and is just about as good though less expensive. The site claims that press releases submitted to it can help companies to be found quicker and faster, and that its SEO-friendly press releases will be easy to track on Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. Google News and other such news services are also targeted. A reasonably good press release submitted could cost around $200.
INewswire is a professional and highly recommended PR service. While it offers free PR submission, this facility is extremely constrained in its possibilities with only a single press release with basic text allowed. With the paid options though, consisting of the Silver ($79 per month), Gold ($149 per month) and Platinum ($499 per month) membership options, iNewswire can really benefit your objective for PR submissions – publicity with credibility. iNewswire’s claim to greatness is that it is frequently visited by journalists. Featured press releases are supposed to have greater readership.
This paid PR service also offers many cool, innovative features to enhance the reach and usability of submitted press releases. It facilitates greater interactivity and social media sharing by readers. Rates for submitting a press release of 400 words start at $400.
This is another great paid PR site that offers many features to improve the reach and interactivity of your press releases. It also provides special solutions for public relations, investor relations and small businesses.
Online PR Media
This PR service offers a free base submission option with one PR per day with search engine optimized meta and title. However, the paid packages have more beneficial features. Online PR Media offers a Social Media Press Release package at $22, a Search Engine Visibility package at $79 and a Maximum Media Visibility package at $389. It provides great media exposure and reasonable search engine performance.
PRLeap is another great paid press release service. It claims to have over 30,000 customers and provides guaranteed syndication, social media and SEO capabilities as well as analytics. The Standard package which costs $99 allows the submission of one press release, while the monthly plans cost $129 and allow for the submission of two press releases per month. The annual plans are available for $699 and allow for 13 submissions at once.
1888 Press Release
1888 Press Release is a paid press release service catering to PR firms, SEO firms, journalists and marketing firms. Packages are customizable and include the $25 Platinum package, the $50 Diamond package, the $150 Ultimate package and the $249 Ultimate Plus.