I read an article recently that sparked some interest in me, particularly because of the opinions that were opposite to mine. It was published on Authority Labs and it was an honest look into the value of using press releases for SEO purposes. A question was posed to industry experts by Melissa Fach: “Can you tell me what you think about press releases as an SEO strategy?”
Melissa, much respect to you, but straight off the bat, the question is incorrect and misleading… because it’s already guiding the board of professionals towards a one-dimensional use of press releases as a standalone strategy, which is never the case. Had the question been more along the lines of using press releases as a part of an SEO strategy, then there might have been a different overall response. Still, the answers were interesting and thought provoking.
I started my career writing press releases for friends and their local businesses. It was a great way for me to express myself in a creative way that simultaneously allowed exploration of my literary prowess… that was yet to be polished. I’ve always seen merit in the way that press releases support changes and milestones within a company and provided it’s not abused, it has always seemed like a channel that can only increase exposure and enhance the visibility of a brand or business on the web.
Press Releases As A Part Of SEO Today
Many of the responses from the professionals who were questioned showed their irritation at how press releases are being misused for random exploits that companies are proud of. Julie Joyce was particularly succinct in her response, “If you’re just announcing that you painted your office door red in order to increase productivity and it made one person show up for work on time 2 days in a row, no one gives a damn.”
The web is polluted with garbage press releases that no one wants to read, but that doesn’t make the act of writing them wrong or invalid. And it also doesn’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t use press release writing as an element of your SEO strategy.
SEO has evolved so much over the years that it’s become “inbound marketing” more than search engine optimisation. Yes, there are elements of SEO that still apply but they are used in conjunction with social media integration, content marketing and building up engagement on various platforms, which makes the collective activity more of an overall inbound marketing campaign. It isn’t so much about “ranking” anymore, but more about building up a prominent presence on the web. Links are still necessary – whether they are “nofollow” or “dofollow” links – to enhance authority and to increase traffic to sites, so why not use press releases as an addition to your overall marketing strategy to help reach both of these goals?
Google has warned against using press releases to distribute spammy content that merely has the purpose of holding multiple links, so it’s always a good idea to listen to them. But done in the correct way, using them to share relevant information that is valuable to both your business and your audience will not only increase the incoming traffic to your site / press release, but also offer additional opportunity to engage your audience. How can that be bad?
Press Releases Have Their Place In Marketing
Relying solely on press releases as your only means of reaching out to your audience will never extend to every corner of your demographic. It’s also going to get a little tired and boring. But using press releases in addition to exceptional social media content, well-thought out blog posts and content marketing campaigns, will act as one more avenue for traffic to follow. It will also solidify your brand or company as a legitimate enterprise that is progressing and evolving in the world of business.
Press releases also have the added bonus of being syndicated on a number of news portals and journo sites, which offers additional exposure that may be much needed. With so many people competing for space on the web, gaining any kind of traction is always welcome.
Rand Fishkin, whom I think is the shizz, shared an opinion that I find to be more aligned with my view on making use of press releases for SEO and inbound marketing as a whole: “My view on press releases is similar to my view on a lot of marketing & content channels – be the exception and you can stand out in a remarkable way.” It’s all about how you choose to do it and use it.
Isn’t it time you started looking at using press releases to bulk up your inbound marketing offerings? Let people know what you’re doing – provided it’s actually worth writing about, of course!
Contact us to find out how we can inject cleverly thought out press releases into your overarching marketing strategy.