Why free press release sites may be all you need

Our strategic partner, Louise Desmarais of Mud Creative always writes great and valuable blog posts and the latest is no exception, its all about effective online PR on a shoestring:

Why free press release sites may be all you need

Online press releases are perfect for an SEO tactic called “link building.” Link building is the process of creating inbound links to your site from other sites. The more inbound links your site has pointing to it, the more popular your site is perceived to be by the engines. And that bodes well for your rankings.

An online press release will offer readers a story that is newsworthy and have – at the very least – your sites URL in it. Because your press release stays on the web for extended periods of time, that link is always working for you.

Readers of this blog know why I like PR Web for online press releases. I have also used www.marketwire.com and www.newswire.ca for releases that are geographically targeted with good results. But these are all paid services and for many small business owners, their rates can be a little out of reach. Plus, for best SEO results, online press releases should be issued on a regular basis – once a month or more frequently, which can really drive your costs up.

Start out free, and see what happens

If youre just trying online PR for the first time or you have a tight budget, you can still get solid results by using free services. To find a good one, look for these characteristics:

  • Free to use – or low cost for additional features
  • Releases show up in Google and sometimes on Google News (Pick any release on the site, type the headline in the Google search bar, and see if it comes up.)
  • The releases posted on the site are newsworthy, not sales focused. This is an indication that the site has editors who care about which releases they accept
  • They allow at least one direct link to your site

There are gazillions of free press release distribution sites, (A Google search of “Free Press Release Sites” shows 70,900,000 results), but you can save yourself tons of time and still build inbound links with just three or four services, like these:

  • For $12US, www.onlineprnews.com lets you add an image (could be your logo) and three anchor text links, gives you listing above the free releases, tweets the headline and guarantees inclusion in Google News. Not a bad deal.

Did it work?

While free services wont provide a results report, its easy enough to see how successful your release was with these tricks:

  • “Google it” – A day or two after your release, simply “Google” (or Yahoo) your company name, your targeted keyphrases, or even the entire headline of your release. Google will let you know which services, blogs, and industry publications picked it up.
  • Google Alerts – Google Alerts is a time-saving feature that delivers results right to your inbox. Heres how to set up Google Alerts.
  • Google Analytics – Google Analytics are free, and easily added to your site. Your analytics will tell you where traffic came from and even which keyphrases were used to point them to your site.

If youve got news to share on the web, but you are avoiding press releases because of cost, give the free services a go. Online press releases just may be the extra boost you need to improve your rankings.

Thanks again Louise for letting me post this for my community too!

13 Comments

  1. I still prefer http://www.pitchengine.com for free social media release distribution for 30 days for a few reasons: 1. you can upload as many photos or logos as you like, which makes it easier for people to download and use different images for their blogs; 2. it tracks number of views of the press release – and if 450 people look at my press release within 30 days, I consider that a success, regardless of who they are; and 3. the ease of sharing the release via social media distribution tools (Twitter, de.lic.ious, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, Facebook etc.) is unparalled, from what I’ve seen.

  2. A brandnew press release service that allows integrated links and picture upload, furthermore all releases are distributed to microblogs like twitter and buzz and all releasing companies and/or agencies are listed in the free widepr.com directories.

    Furthermore http://www.widepr.com will store your releases next to your directory entry – a nice show case of your work.

  3. PressReleaseCircle is a new web2.0 optimized free press release distribution website. You can submit press release absolutely free. Visit http://www.pressreleasecircle.com now to submit your press release free of cost. You can also use our service to distribute press release to 50+ free PR websites for a small fee.

    Please help us promote our free press release distribution site by considering this link for your list of free PR sites

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