What are the best ways to use online PR to generate leads for high technology hardware and software products. Let’s take a look at PR from both a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Lead Generation perspective.
Where Should I Place My Press Releases?
There are several places where you should put your online releases, depending on your budget and goals:
- Online Trade Journals, Portals and Magazines – Relevant publications that can drive lots of quality traffic to your site.
- Free Press Release Services – Generally of low quality, but some may provide value.
- Paid Release Services – These run the gamut from quite good to horrible. Selection is key and you don’t always get what you pay for.
How to Choose the Best Websites for Your Press Release?
Two key factors should drive your site choice: Web traffic generation and SEO link value.
Web traffic value – The number of visitors who come to your site by clicking on a link in the press release. Sites with web traffic value will be relevant to your topic and also be popular for related terms in the search engines.
Choose a site that ranks well–and a popular keyword or phrase– and your release could end up on the first page results for Google. Page one means lots of new traffic from people clicking through to your site from the release.
How to Determine Web Traffic Value
To determine the web traffic value, you can look at your web sites analytics reports for referral traffic. This will show which of the current press releases (and sites) are currently generating the most traffic for you. If you have not used press releases or do not have analytics data, you could ask a partner with a related but non-competitive product for this information. In addition, some trade journals and press release services can provide traffic estimates.
SEO link value – is the value of web links from the press release to your web site. Press releases with more link value will help your web pages rank higher in the search engines. Sites with Link value will be relevant to your topic, be popular for related terms in the search engines and allow you to control various on-page aspects of your release such as anchor text and page title.
How to Determine Web Link Value
To determine the SEO Link value, you should use verify the following:
- The site ranks well for your keyword or phrase. (Press releases show up high in the search engine results for the site.)
- The release allows a link back to your web site
- The link is a normal link and not a nofollow link which passes no link value.
- The link allows control of the page title
- The link allows control of the anchor text or the link back to your site
- The site allows Multiple links from a release to your site
The more features that are available, the better your link will be.
What to Put in an Online Press Release
In the online release, you would put information about your product. The trick to ranking well is to use keywords and phrases in your release that are specific to your product and to choose trade journals and press sites that will rank high in the search engines for your release.
It also is crucial that you use a compelling title that describes a benefit of your product in the release. You should be careful not overuse any key word or phrase in a release. Your best bet for avoiding key word overuse is to use several common variations of or synonyms for any important phrase. Placing words that a user may type in a phrase are best grouped in close proximity to each other in your release.
How Do I Find Good Online Homes for My Press Releases?
To find the best places to put your online releases, you need to focus on:
- The Relevance of the Site to Your Product
- The Search Engine Popularity of the Site for Your Product
- How Hard it is to Get Your Release Placed
- The Cost, If Any
- How much Traffic The Release Can Generate
Let’s take a look at how you would find good online sites for your releases.
To find relevant, popular journals, simply type a search term that relates to your product into Google:
For example if you were selling new multimedia management software, you could type that phrase into Google. When I did this, four of the results (including the 2nd result) were press releases from various sites.
By typing in various phrases related to your product, you can come up with a list of places where you can put releases. As you look at the results, be sure to note where your competition is listed so that you can do the same. The key here is to find the trade journals and press sites that rank well for the terms that you care about, and then to get your release placed there.
How Hard is it to Get Your Online Press Release Placed?
So now that you have found likely homes for your releases, it is time to see how to submit your news.
First look at the page and see if there is a submit news or submit press menu or button which leads to a page. Some journals may also list the page with the form as submit story or submit product news. If you cannot find the submit page by inspection, you can use a more complex Google search: site:name-of-trade-journal.com submit
If this fails, you may want to look for an editorial calendar. This section may have information on how to contact editors and getting them to place your release.
Should You Pay to Put Your Press Release Online
If you use the search criteria described earlier to find potential homes for your releases, some of the sites that you find will charge a fee. In general, if the value is good (link value and/or traffic value), it may well be worth while to pay. I would be sure to get as much information about the results that you can expect before you pay for a release before you place the release. In addition, I would carefully track results on you site to see which sites and releases product the best results best for you and your market.
Using Online PR to Dominate Page One of the Search Results
Instead of doing just one online release, why not do a number of them. The value here is that if your choose the right online journals and press sites, you can blanket the first page of Google’s results. Your end goal would be to have the first page of search results for your product or service to contain a result for your web site, and as many press releases as possible for your product. When a searcher looks at the results, they keep seeing your product and site mentioned. This kind of visual saturation will usually cause them to click through to your site.