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How To Distribute A Press Release Effectively Online

How To Distribute A Press Release Effectively Online

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So you have heard that press releases can help you get better search engine page rankings and more traffic to your site. You have taken the plunge and written a release. Now you have to figure out how to make the best use of the release to further your goal of promoting your site and gaining new customers.

According to Yellow7, a website development firm, 93% of journalists visit online newsrooms to research stories. It seems to make sense, then, to use a press release directory as the best way to distribute your press release.

Press Release Sites

Press release sites gather press releases and direct them to other media outlets. They also index and store press releases and make them available to visitors. Press release sites are helpful to small businesses because they offer the ability to distribute your press release widely with one submission. Plus, because they are very highly rated by search engines, your press release listing is more likely to get indexed.

Finally, as Yellow 7 points out, press release directories are also resources for people covering news worthy events and activities.

As you might expect, not all press release sites are created equally. There are hundreds of sites across the Internet that offer distribution and indexing services. There are several kinds of considerations for which distribution service or services to use.

Free or Paid

Free services have the great advantage that they are free! That is a big help, especially if you are starting out and you do not have a lot of money to spend. However, you need to understand that free press release sites often come with disadvantages that may outweigh the advantages, given your situation.

Free sites are not always staffed as well so your press release may be delayed in being processed and getting out.

Free sites do not always have the ranking that paid site get on Google, Yahoo and others. Why? The paid sites have serious staff and are used by the largest companies. The largest companies tend to be more news worthy. As a result, search engines favor some services over others.

As it turns out, to get around some of the biggest disadvantages of free sites, you can pay to upgrade from a free service to a paid service. Upgrades can get you better approval time, better distribution, wider distribution, the ability to add photos, video, higher listing placements.

Industry analysts are quite divided on the topic of whether to use free or paid services. Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases and Marc Harty, an online press release consultant and CEO of MainTopic Media, Inc both feel strongly that paid services are best; not surprising since they both represent this industry. Lenin Nair, on the other hand, believes that there are good and bad sites among both free and paid offerings. She offers her review on her Cutewriting Blogspot Blog.

It is a tough choice. You want the best opportunity you can get. The best way to decide is to figure out what you specifically need and how much you can afford to pay for it.

Factors to Consider

Whether the site is free or paid, there are some factors you want to consider.

- Anchor text links: You already know what a hyperlink is; it is words or photo or icon that can be clicked on to take you to another web page. You want to be sure that the service you choose allows you to use anchor text in your link, not purely text links.

- Do Follow or No Follow: You want to make sure that the site attaches a Do Follow on your links to ensure your links count towards your link popularity score with search engines and thus improve your natural rankings.

- Distribution: Many services target specific markets. If you can find a service that addresses your specific market, that is terrific.

- Social bookmarking buttons: It is especially helpful if the site provides these linking buttons.

- Analytics: You want to be able to see how your press release is helping you so look for a strong analytic offering.

A Final Thought

If you are interested in attracting a real live journalist who writes for a site or non-virtual medium, Jeremy Porter, writing for Journalistics, surveyed journalists and found (from 85 responses) that journalists use these sites :

- 29% use BusinessWire
- 29% use PRNewswire
- 14% use PRWeb
- 11% use Marketwire
- 5% use PitchEngine
- 1% use BurrellesLuce
- 11% use Other (Not Disclosed)

Your press release strategy should be like any other marketing strategy, researched and implemented based on your specific marketing objectives.

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