If you know anything about online marketing, then you’ve probably heard the term “search engine optimization,” otherwise known as SEO. And if you know anything about SEO, you know that in the last 2 years Google has completely turned the SEO world upside down through a series of search algorithm changes that has sent online marketing companies scrambling. Whereas once upon a time you could spend hours a day link building and shoot up in search rankings, suddenly Google made things a lot trickier and a lot of those links aren’t worth much of anything.
So what does that have to do with press release writing?
Well, for awhile there these online marketing guys began to use press releases for building links. Not that it was a bad idea, in and of itself. Why not post your press release around the web and get some good link juice from it while sharing your news with the whole world? Well, the problem was two-fold:
1. All sorts of sketchy, spammy free press release sites opened up. Few of them served any real purpose other than to build links. They had little to no standards as far as what content they accepted. Which leads me to…
2. The web became inundated with crappy press releases. Whereas press releases used to only be written to share actual news, suddenly these companies started producing gobs of releases for clients, regardless of whether they had any real news. Sometimes they rehashed old news, and other times they flat out made stuff up. The result? Just a bunch of web pollution.
But after the string of Google changes, suddenly many of those links became worthless. In fact, many of them actually started hurting the clients, as they devalued their stock in Google’s eyes.
So, Is It Worth Incorporating Press Releases into Your Online Marketing Strategy Anymore?
All that being said, there are lots of people left wondering if the press release has lost its value. And I would respond with a resounding “NO.” The fact is that you should still include press releases in your online marketing strategy for a variety of reasons. If you have a well-written press release with news people might actually be interested in, then your story could get picked up by a popular news site. From there you could get some real attention—all online.
That means you need to:
- Make sure you have a story to tell.
- Tell it well.
- Get people to share it.
- Know the right people to distribute it to.
- Know the right people NOT to distribute it to.
As we know, nowadays it’s all about content. You need to write to your audience. So make sure you continue that trend with your press releases. In many cases, if you have a good release, some sites will pick it up and use it as an actual article rather than writing about the event on their own. So it’s imperative that you spend time focusing on what you’re writing.
Are press release still part of your online marketing strategy? Has that changed over the years? Share your thoughts by commenting below.
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download a free copy of the PR Checklist – a 24 point list of Press Release Dos and Don’ts here: http://www.ereleases.com/prchecklist.html