Harness This Effective Public Relations Practice for A Better Online Presence Your business may be caught up in new marketing, but effective marketing comes by connecting directly to journalists and your audience

By Jigar Thakkar

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Do you want to increase online mentions, create more backlinks and boost brand awareness? Who doesn't? Digital PR can do just that, and one of the most overlooked digital PR strategies is creating and distributing press releases. Let's see how to use the process within your SEO strategy.

A press release is a written text about specific news or events within your business. Press releases are a proactive way to provide journalists and media outlets with important information about an organization so they can write their piece and publish it.

Look at it like digital storytelling. You want your press release to be interesting and exciting enough to capture the attention of media outlets, blogs and other distributors.

Related: Harness the Power of New Public Relations Technology

Press releases and SEO

So can press release distribution help your SEO? The short answer is yes. The goal of press release distribution shouldn't necessarily be to gain a particular number of backlinks to your website, but it should be used as a distribution channel to share your brand's content. The links you want are created by the journalists who have transcribed your story. They'll likely be high-quality, natural, relevant and authoritative backlinks, and quality backlinks are a significant ranking factor.

Every website wants these included within its backlink profile, so with press release distribution, you should aim to provide content that would get journalists and news publications to talk about your business and the information you've provided. They'll write about the press release and put their natural spin on the story; when they do, they'll link back to your website as a reference for their readers.

They're most likely to be linked to your homepage, making press releases an excellent brand-building exercise. Landing media coverage, both online and offline, is great for brand exposure and can generate a good range of natural backlinks to your website, as well as plenty of referral traffic from users who are reading and sharing the news publication.

Related: How to Write a Press Release Reporters Will Actually Read

Press release distribution

Now let's take a look at how press release distribution works. Firstly, don't attempt to write a press release if you don't have anything to write about. A journalist's time is limited. So is the real estate on their websites. You want to make your press release about a potentially groundbreaking employee initiative or an innovative product you've just launched.

It would be best if you instantly grabbed the media outlet's attention. You don't want to be mass selected and deleted before they've even had a chance to find out what your press release is about. This applies to the length of the press release too. Get to the point as quickly as possible, and if the journalist wants to know more, they'll contact you directly. Because of this, stick to one topic. Now that you have your press release, it's time to look at how you're distributed.

To start, it depends on whether you're planning to distribute your press release or use a service to write and distribute it. If you choose to distribute your press release, you may find that the conversion rate is low. However, you could use a service where everything is done for you.

Press release writers will craft an engaging press release to get your news across professionally. The benefit of using a service to write your press release is that you don't need to spend time and resources researching the best way to craft one. You'll have unlimited revisions, and it won't be distributed until it's just right.

Related: Press Releases Aren't Dead. Here are 4 Reasons they Remain a Valuable Tool

Implementing press release distribution into your marketing strategy

Firstly, you need to consider what your press release should be about. More and more brands are adopting a more personalized, human approach to press releases. People are craving reality now more than ever, so true meaningful stories could work best.

There is differing research on when to issue press releases; many suggest issuing them on a Tuesday or Friday at 7:00 and 8:00 a.m. Remember that an average of over 1000 press releases are fired into journalists' inboxes each day, so varying the time of your release could enable yours to stand out and encourage more visibility.

It may be smart to share releases a few minutes before or after the usual bombardment. Alternatively, if you choose to share your press release on social media, you want to time this when your users are most active. Share on social media in the afternoon and over the weekend because this is when people are most active on these platforms and therefore are more likely to discover, engage with and share your content. Press release distribution can be a very beneficial tool for your SEO strategy and a proper strategy can change the user experience with your business.

Related: 5 Things Not to Do When Pitching Journalists

Jigar Thakkar

Entrepreneur

Founder & CEO of United Press

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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