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Can a press release really help me get more traffic to my website?

For todays post I thought I would go through a list of questions I have got over the past week.  This question is a really good one that deserves some attention.

Can a Press Release really help me get more traffic to my website?

Simply put, Yes a Press Release can help you get more traffic to your website.  First, it's important to understand what a press release is and what it does for you on the top search engines.

What is a Press Release?  A press release is some sort of newsworthy announcement about your business (either a major event, entertainment, or newsworthy happening).  A press release is written in 3rd person, and should be as professional as possible.  A press release should answer the 5 main W's:

  • What (What is the company about.)
  • Who (Who is the company?)
  • Where (Where can I find the company?  Online, Offline or both?)
  • When (When does this major even take place?)
  • Why (Why is this important?)

When your release can answer these 5 most important questions, you are on your way to a good Press Release. 

Now getting to the main answer of this question.  Can it help my traffic?  Yes, and here is how:  Search Engines look to media sources and publishers with extra credibility.  The media sites are crawled (by the spiders) more often because news is something that is happening all the time.  If you can get your release submitted to a major news organization or site like Google News you have a good chance of picking up a very valuable link.

I have read from postings (including Matt Cutts) that Google does not give any weight to the anchor text that some press releases may allow you to have, (or that you pay for, but Yahoo! and MSN do) but Google will look into the headline to see what the press release is about.  It is essential that you are using your major keyword, or keyword phrases to write the headlines of the press release.

Where do I submit Press Releases?  Here is a list of three I use all the time:

The first example is my favorite, and you can find a very useful "press release tips and tricks" for writing and submitting a press release by clicking on the link.  They have an $80 option that will get you a release included in Google News.  I have always had good success with the Free Press Release submission as well as the $30 one. 

Understand in the world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) press releases are not written to get you on Oprah, or in the NY daily news, (although I joke with my clients if they ever do-to take me with) the intent is to get you valuable links giving your site more credibility and building your link popularity.  If you happen to have a publisher or media source pick up your release, you get that much more credibility on your site by telling your readers about it.  Have a link on your site that says, "Press" or something like that and when the readers see that you have press done about you (even if you are doing it yourself) you gain instant credibility in their eyes.

Also remember the valuable link you pick up is worth more then just a regular link from a normal site or directory.  The press and media sites always carry more "spider food power" with the search engines. 

You will find that when doing a release correctly your traffic will double, or triple for weeks after.  You will also find how the actually press release will gain top rankings on the major search engines.  This could give your the potential to have multiple top listings for certain keyword phrases (one for your release, and one for your actual site). So why not try to do a press two or three times a month?  If you have business with information that would be newsworthy (often) its worth a shot.   After all, the only thing you need to make more money on your site is more traffic!

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