Online PR – A Way of Gaining Visibility

Three tips to help along the way

Online PR can be looked at as a component to SEO campaigns. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about building visibility by ranking in search engines. It isn’t about spending a ton of money to place ads in Google, rather it’s about creating keyword-rich content and getting that content to be found and ranked by Google bots.

As online PR is a popular topic of ours lately, I wanted to take some time today to discuss how online PR is truly a type of SEO campaigns. It is certainly not the only one, but it is one worth discussing.

The basics of online PR

When performed correctly, online PR will help you gain visibility for the topics you cover. After creating your press release, you should begin the SEO process. This is where online PR incorporates aspects of SEO campaigns. With your press release optimized for your keywords, you will be positioned to receive coverage on these topics.

If your press release is picked up by Google after distribution, you will likely see the listing of the release on page-one, two, or three in Google. I have personally seen some of my press releases get picked up by Google and reside on page-one and page-two for over a week.

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Three tips for online PR

Tip #1 for online PR – Begin by creating a press release. It may sound simple, but there is an art to press release creation. You cannot overstep the bounds of true PR by making your release sound too promotional. Even if you are promoting for a product, make the release newsworthy. Allow the content to show the importance and value of what you’re promoting. Do not come off as a pitch person.

Tip #2 for online PR – Optimize your press release with keywords so that your release can be found by Google. Add a keyword or two to the release’s title, in addition to your company’s name for branding purposes. Include your keywords throughout, for a density of at least 3%. Most press releases should be between 250 and 400 words, depending on what you’re writing on. This length will be able to satisfy distribution sites and interested parties, while keeping the content to a manageable length.

Tip #3 for online PR – Do a little research before selecting distribution sites to use. I began online PR with free distribution websites and continue to use them on a regular basis. I have also experimented with paid sites, which I will discuss during my upcoming Online PR Tips, Tricks and Traps webinar on July 13th.

To research the free press release distribution websites, I turned to the Compete Tool. This is a free tool that allows you to compare the traffic of different websites.

As most of you can agree, I did not want to start out on a project that was going to waste time and not prove effective. The Compete Tool at least gave me the knowledge of which free distribution sites people were visiting, which is a big step in heading the right direction.

Three sites that I came across before starting online PR were PR Log, Press Release Point, and BigNews.biz. To show how the Compete Tool works, I have included the graphic below.

prlog-org-bignews-biz-pressrel_uv_1y

As you can see, PR Log, which is represented by the blue line, has the highest unique visitor count.

I do still currently use all three of these sites for weekly press release distribution, but I have seen more successful listings on Google when using PR Log.

For more about Online PR, join me for our Online PR Tips, Tricks and Traps webinar on July 13th. For more on SEO Campaign Management, attend our Mequoda Summit Boston 2010 to hear Bob Kaslik of Interweave Press discuss the subject.

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