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Are Press Releases useful for SEO?
If you’ve been around the Internet for long enough, you’ve probably stumbled across a few press releases in your time where you stopped, frowned and asked yourself “Why did they issue a press release for that?”.
If that sounds familiar, then be reassured, you’re not losing your mind, it is a little weird on the face of it when a company issues a press release for anything less than a major new hire or a key business partnership. If you’ve seen a press release that says something along the lines of “ABC Logistics gets new coffee machine in break room”, there’s a simple reason for it: SEO.
When you issue a press release using modern methods, the intention is that it will be picked up by media companies looking for a story. They’ll write it up, and in the piece they will include a link to your site, and without really trying you’ve got a backlink from a news outlet. Tomorrow, nobody will remember that your team can enjoy a perfectly-brewed caramel macchiato at break time, but that was never the intent. Links are forever.
So, does this strategy actually work?
No, not really. At least, not in the way it was originally intended. If your press release finds its way onto a Newswire site, it is going to be with a nofollow link, which means it has pretty much no link juice to help your SEO plans. That link could end up on dozens of sites and it won’t push you any further up the rankings. So before you fire up Word to put out 500 words of copy about someone’s hat going missing from the staff cloakroom, just know that it’s not the SEO cheat code it used to be.
This doesn’t mean that press releases can’t be beneficial. Here’s a little secret: Journalists are frantically busy since the advent of rolling news, and they don’t have the time to chase up many leads and turn them into stories. So press releases are heaven-sent for them. Your press release will get picked up. But it needs to bring organic traffic from people who want to see more about your business, not from people accidentally clicking the link and ending up on your page. So if you do send a press release, it needs to be about something people will want to read about.
A press release should be timely. So, if there’s a lot in the news about an upcoming heatwave, issuing a press release with (ideally industry-specific) tips on how to survive rising temperatures is beneficial. It should pique people’s curiosity, so try to find a way you can make it relatable to everyday lives. Better yet, it can publicise an event: that’s a type of press release that is easy to write up because it’s full of time and place details.
Make it useful and make it convenient, and a press release can certainly boost your business; just not in the way you may have been told.
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