Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Press Releases Had Value Before SEO Existed (and they still do)

Let's say you want to get the word out about your product, invite the world to your website, give current customers a reason to talk about your business, and generate a little buzz in the media. Are press releases worth the time? Twenty years ago, the answer was YES. A total no-brainer.  

Because, of course, the fundamental purpose of a press release was to generate awareness among potential prospects.

Today, the Fundamental Purpose of a Press Release Is... 

Then web 1.0 arrived and we started stuffing keywords into places we'd rather not talk about now. A few (bajillion) revisions of SEO rules and Google updates later, it's worth asking again: Are press releases worth your time? 

The answer might be, IT DEPENDS. On your marketing strategy and the success of your other lead-generation tools. IT DEPENDS on the news you have, the audience you've identified as most receptive to your release, and other means you have to reach them. 

However, my answer, generally, is still YES. It's a no-brainer.  

Primarily because, of course, the fundamental purpose of a press release (still) is to generate awareness among potential prospects. 

What PR Experts Say about Press Releases and SEO in 2013

"Press releases are more than simple SEO tools. Press releases [still] reach journalists, influencers and consumers.  ... Press releases drive social interaction.  They meet financial disclosure.   In short, they drive broad discovery of your message.  None of this has anything to do with linkbuilding and SEO. This is all about building awareness."
-- Sarah Skerik, writing in Beyond PR

In spite of Google's latest changes to link weighting and algorithms, press releases (still) can include inbound-link-building, but Google will penalize you for trying to pre-build the inbound links. Instead, the link-building will have to develop organically. 
In other words: In fact, the only true potential SEO benefit of press releases is if a journalist or blogger thinks the content of the release is compelling enough to write about and links back to you naturally. This also means that, as I said, the content of the release needs to actually be compelling." 
-- Pamela Vaughan, writing for Hubspot

All of which brings me back to my initial assertion - the point of a press release, really, is to generating interest among qualified leads or at least well-identified prospects. 

If you've got news to share, by all means, a press release is in order. 

No comments: