By John Eberhard
A couple years ago I began doing a lot with optimized press releases. These are press releases that contain several important keywords for which you are trying to rank on search engines. Then they are disseminated out on the web in several very effective ways.
David Meerman Scott, in his book “The New Rules of Marketing and PR,” describes a new way to do press releases. They are not written exclusively for the media anymore, with the hopes that they will reprint the release or use it as the basis of writing an article about you.
The new releases are written so as to communicate directly to your buying public. And then you put those releases on the web in various places so they will be picked up by Google News and other search engines and your public can find them.
Scott calls these new types of releases “news releases” rather than “press releases,” to distinguish them from the type of releases you send out only to the media.
Topics and Frequency
So what do you put in these news releases? Well, anything about your products or services. If you are doing something new like releasing a new product, that is of course great fodder for a news release. But you don’t have to be doing something brand new to write a news release. Find new ways to talk about your products and services and then write it and get it out to your public.
I find it best to get out one new news release per week. It’s OK to do it once a month or twice a month, but once a week or even more often is better.
Let’s say you have a web site that sells gourmet coffee. So you’d like to have your site come up high in the rankings when someone goes to Google or Yahoo and types in “gourmet coffee.” Research can be done to isolate the best keywords for you to use in your releases, mostly by ascertaining how many people are searching for each keyword.
Once you pick several keywords, you then write a release about some aspect of your business containing those keywords. I included a chapter in my book, “The Internet Marketing Super Book,” which has detailed instructions on how to write a news release for online use.
I used to write the release, put it up as a page on the site, put links to that in a special kind of a file called an XML file, put that online (which makes it into an RSS feed), then notify search engines about the new press release. Then we would submit the release to several online PR sites.
These days, I write the release, then put it up on a special blog just for news releases (mine is at http://www.realwebmarketingreleases.com/). The blog service I use (Typepad) automatically creates an RSS feed and notifies some of the RSS/blog search engines. I then notify the rest of the RSS/blog search engines, then put it up on several online PR sites.
I believe this type of setup, where you set up a separate blog just for news releases and put your releases there, works much better than just putting them up on a regular web site and using an XML file to create an RSS feed. Blogs are somehow given a higher preference than regular web sites by the search engines, and plus it is just much easier to put it up on the blog and not to mess with the extra steps.
If you’re looking to increase your search engine rankings for certain specific keywords, then regular news releases, put up on a special blog just for releases (with a notification or “ping” sent out to blog search engines), and submitted to online PR sites, will have a significant impact. The key is to do it regularly, once a week or even more, for a stretch of at least 4-6 months. You will start to see your rankings and traffic really improve.