Company achieved a milestone? Launching a new product? Uncovered interesting statistics from a survey?

These are great reasons to put out an online press release. It will not only increase your online presence and drive traffic to your website, you can use it to leverage your newsletter content.

Press releases are effective vehicles for creating buzz and assisting in your SEO (search engine optimization) efforts through syndication back-links. By “syndication back-links,” I mean links from other blogs and websites that pick up your release and republish it.

There are many free press distribution services on the World Wide Web to help you get your word out. But there are some “rules” to follow if you want your release to get snatched up by the media, bloggers, and online news aggregators like Google News and Yahoo News.

Here are six easy ways to leverage an online press release…

1. Although most free PR distribution services have a template that you can upload your release through, consider using a standard PR template as a guide. This will help ensure that your release is constructed as a legitimate press release. Here’s the one I use: press-release-writing.com/press-release-template.htm.

2. It’s important to make sure your press release is newsworthy, written well, has value-oriented information, is editorial in nature, and is not self-serving (i.e., blatantly promoting you or your website). It should have a strong, keyword-rich headline, subhead, and lead (introductory paragraph). And since search engine spiders scan pages from top to bottom, your top 10 keywords should be densest at the top of the document. Some helpful keyword search tools include freekeywords.wordtracker.com/, google.com/sktool/, and adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal. These will help you identify keywords that have good search volume and fit your target audience.

3. Another PR basic, one that often gets overlooked, is to make sure your release in written in the third-person. It’s also a good idea to include 1-3 quotes about the main person the release is built around.

4. Don’t forget to use spellcheck and proofread your release. If there are spelling or grammatical errors, it will ruin your credibility. And remember to include one or two links to your website at the bottom of the release, such as, “To read the full article or schedule interviews, contact NAME at [your web address].”

5. Recycle your newsletter content in your press releases by  repurposing it to be exciting, newsworthy, and consumer driven. You can often use the same copy with minor edits.

6. If you use a PR distribution service like PRWeb or Business Wire (for a nominal fee), in addition to online media your release will be available to major national and regional print publications. However, there are plenty free online services that I like to use, including PRlog.org, free-press-release.com, and i-newswire.com.

Online press releases have helped me promote my own business as well as help drive traffic to my client’s websites as part of their search engine marketing (SEM) and social media efforts. It’s practically free — and the results are measureable!

To create a press release for a client, I would simply take an existing newsletter article that had been written by the editor and reformat the content. I would make the headline attention-grabbing and newsworthy, and also keyword-rich from a search engine standpoint. I would make sure the first paragraph, too, was keyword dense, and add some relevant quotes. In the closing paragraph, I would include a final quote, as well as a “call to action.” It would be something like “Click here for more information” Or “Click here to sign up for [name of the client’s newsletter].”

And take a look at the results…

During the week of the release, the client’s website traffic would be up by as much as 50 percent, on average. By using Google Analytics, Google Organic Search, and Back-Link Checker tools, I was able to see those measurable surges in traffic. I could also see who had picked up the release and published it on their site. If the release was posted on a site that I didn’t upload it to, I could conclude that it was passed on “virally” — further helping my client’s SEM efforts via back-linking and buzz.

So don’t overlook the power of the free online press release. As I always say, if you’re a strategic and creative thinker, you’ll be able grow your business for practically pennies.

P.S. Search engine marketing with press releases is just one of many ways to promote an online business. To get a step-by-step guide to everything you need to start and build your own Internet venture, you should seriously consider the ETR Perfect Home Business Quick-Start Kit. With this program, you’ll learn how to: determine if your business idea is viable, launch a search-engine-friendly website, write attention-grabbing copy, create fierce online buzz, and more!

[Ed. Note: Wendy Montes de Oca, MBA, has nearly 20 years of marketing experience with Fortune 500 companies and top publishers. She is the president of Precision Marketing and Media, LLC and publisher of Precision Marketing, one of the Web’s best free newsletters, packed with powerful and proven secrets to grow any business on a shoestring budget. Click here now for your free subscription!]

 

WendyWendy Montes de Oca, MBA is President of Precision Marketing and Media, LLC and publisher of the popular marketing and business building newsletter, Precision Marketing. She is an online marketing and direct response expert with nearly 20 years of experience leading the marketing efforts for top publishers such as Agora/Early to Rise, Weiss Research, and NewsMax as well as Fortune 500 companies such as General Electric, Chase Manhattan Bank, CitiGroup, and Automatic Data Processing.

Her consulting clients (past and present) is like a “Who’s Who” including top copywriters, anti-aging nutritionists, online publishers, supplement companies, travel service providers, political websites and more!

Her background includes multi-channel marketing (print, email, direct mail, radio, TV) with expertise in direct response marketing for the Web. Her marketing initiatives helped bring in millions of dollars in revenues for the companies she has worked for.

Wendy received a Bachelor of Science degree from St. John’s University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Nova South Eastern University. Throughout her career, she has been recognized with various awards for quality, innovation, teamwork, and new product/new business development.

She is also a distinguished speaker at marketing conferences such as Specialized Information Publishers Association (SIPA) and author of several marketing and business articles for Early to Rise, Makepeace Total Package, and Target Marketing, just to name a few. Her blog, www.musclemarketing.blogspot.com  was named by marketing industry staple, Best of Web, as “top internet marketing blog.” For more information visit www.precisionmarketingmedia.com.