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The venerable press release has become the search-optimized news release…and it can build your website traffic!

The Traditional Press Release
Press releases have traditionally been a method of reaching out to journalists and other news media in order to bring newsworthy stories to their attention. At its very best, a press release could result in a story published or aired about the subject of the news release; at the worst, not much coverage at all. After all, journalists can only cover a limited number of stories.

The New, Search-Optimized News Release
It is time to rethink the traditional press release. In the new, search-optimized world of the Internet, press releases are becoming news releases because they are reaching beyond the “press” to talk directly to consumers, investors and analysts!

With virtually unlimited space and few restrictions, the Internet has opened up a new avenue for the news release to get your story out to a much wider audience.

And just as importantly, the search-engine-optimized news release can drive web traffic to your blog or website and increase your site’s organic search results by associating important phrases with your URL. Companies using online news distribution services have routinely observed traffic to their website increase as much as 30 to 50 percent—all at a price that is very competitive with (and sometimes less than) pay-per-click advertising. A typical search-optimized web release can achieve up to 100,000 headline impressions and over 1,000 full-page reads! Add to that the ability to reach thousands of journalists, bloggers and analysts. All for around $350 to $600.

You don’t have to limit yourself to a “newsworthy” story for your news release now because your target is broader. Keep in mind what information appeals to each audience:

Expanding its impact, the online news release can include photos, YouTube videos or podcasts! Because it is searchable, and can incorporate active links to your website, blog site or social networking page, the news release can now play many new roles. It can:

Plus, the original goal of reaching news media is also enhanced by keeping your news releases permanently searchable online where news media personnel (like the rest of us) search for news and information.

Who can utilize news releases? Any company can with the right help. A local insurance company found themselves the unexpected focus of a story in a national industry publication when their news release was picked up from a news feed after being distributed on PRWeb along with a YouTube video. Golf development company Turf Solutions Group sees their Google Analytics leap every time they distribute a news release via Vocus and PRWeb. This link shows one of their search-optimized news releases: prweb.com/releases/2010/04/prweb3899144.htm.

By itself, the news release can impact your marketing, inform consumers and drive traffic to your website. Or, augment your online marketing strategy by integrating the news release with your other online marketing and social networking. You can enhance your social media presence through your news release by incorporating social bookmarking tools, tweeting it, publishing your release on your website and allowing interested viewers to receive it through your blog or RSS feed.

Don’t miss out on news releases, the newest power tool in the search-optimized world of the Web. Adding the news release to your marketing mix can drive additional web traffic at a lower cost. iBi

Chris Shay operates dba/design & marketing, a marketing communications firm. She can be reached at [email protected] or (309) 740-9718.

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