PR is a vital way for any size business or organization to communicate its message. It is also typically viewed as highly credible by consumer markets because it is distributed and published by a third party.
World renowned marketing strategists Al, and daughter Laura, Ries give detailed explanation to this position in their 2004 book, The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR. In it they offer solid arguments on the subject of modern-day brand building. Al and Laura explain how brands can soar to the top through the savvy use of PR. This is because advertising has lost credibility among consumers, while PR has not.
There are two standard ways to distribute/publish a press release:
1. traditional print publications
2. electronic publications
In 2008 an industry survey by TopRank found that 91% of journalists use standard search to fulfill a component of their job. This may include researching a story or locating a subject matter expert. A different market research survey, conducted last year by comSource, found that there were over 14 billion core searches on the Internet done in December 2009. These market intelligence findings tell us that consumers rely on searches daily to find news and information.
It is important for any marketing or PR specialist to understand the consumer search behaviors and preferences (keywords) of their client. They should also be aware of which publications their client wants to be featured in.
Key tactics behind optimizing PR:
SEO makes it easier for various types of search engines to find, index, and rank the PR content. Optimizing the PR makes it more visible on the Web. In addition, optimized PR can be mutually beneficial to the client’s Web site if keywords in the piece link back to the site. This is why many SEO consultants will include PR writing and electronic distribution in their monthly SEO maintenance agreements.
The following types of online content should all be search engine optimized:
· Press Releases
· Online Newsroom
· Media Kit
· Blog posts
· White papers
Key word Research:
Keyword discovery and online competitor research is needed to effectively determine what keyword phrases need to be used in the press release. The PR should be optimized for at least 2-4 targeted keywords.
Keep in mind press releases are meant to be read. So, the writing of the piece should always be optimized for people first, and the search engines second.
Use keywords in titles, subheadings, and the body of the PR. Also, embed links in the release to the company sites. In addition, keyword optimized media can be included in the press releases as an extra way to generate visibility to the news piece. This may include images, podcasts, and video.
Measuring the Value of the PR:
With electronic PR distribution it is easy to measure the value of each PR piece. Ways to monitor metrics include:
· Review PR-wire service metrics
· Track Web analytics for Web site
· Create PR landing pages and track conversions
· Observe inbound links
· Continuously check search rankings
There is a lot to consider when striving to build your brand and increase revenue through PR and marketing communications campaigns. Be sure you understand the importance of integrating proven SEO tactics into your press releases.
If you are interested in using creative PR writing to build your brand, or are looking to optimize your Web presence, contact ALR Marketing Solutions, a premier Atlanta marketing agency for your free solutions consultation.