Building links back to your web site through Press Releases for search engine optimization value
One of the more challenging aspects of building your web site’s search engine ranking is the process of obtaining enough links back to your site that Google and the other top search engines deem valuable.
Quality vs. Quantity
The more high quality links back to your site from other sites, the more your site is considered important, authoritative, and relevant. Why does it matter how many other people link back to my site? Well let’s say you have a site that has the exact same quality content as your biggest competitor, they were built around the same time, and they’ve both got world class SEO implemented throughout, using identical keyword phrases in all the right ways – how is Google supposed to determine whether your site is more relevant then your competitors?
They do it by looking to see the links back – if there are 1,000 web sites that have links coming back to your competitor’s site but only five coming back to yours, Google sees this as an indication that more people consider your competitor’s site as important and valuable, thus more relevant to someone searching for what you offer.
Even though back-links are not the number one most important criteria for quality results in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), they can have so much weight when achieved properly that some of the on-site SEO work you might have otherwise needed to perform becomes less important.
Unfortunately, it can often take years and countless hours finding ways to get other web site owners to provide a link back to your site. Or your competitor might have an “in” with a really popular web site and can get links back from them but you can’t (and this is a problem then because having one link back from a hugely popular web site can result in much more value than having links back from dozens of less popular web sites!).
Another factor – if you have a link back from CNN.com, that’s worth more than a link back from “Mary’s personal page of links”. Because CNN.com itself is considered an authoritative site.
Also, if a link comes back from a web site that is related to your site in some significant way (similar market focus, similar keyword phrases) the more weight that link will be than if it comes from a site where the focus is completely different than yours.
So what’s an honest small or mid-size business owner left to do? How do we overcome the time and cost factors?
The Power of PR -The Fastest Way to a potential Plethora of links
Traditional media marketing experts pretty much all agree that good PR is worth ten times its weight in advertising. Public Relations (PR) in the traditional sense, consists of a whole host of methods, strategies and techniques for getting your brand, your offerings in front of your target market. Web PR can be boiled down to just a few key strategies, the most direct and potentially most valuable being Press Releases.
PR for Web 2.0
Press Releases traditionally involve hiring a PR specialist, having a well written release created, and paying them to distribute your release to all the “right” media outlets. Then it’s a matter of sitting back and hoping – waiting and hoping that the powers that be in those media outlets think your story is worthy of their ability to get your release out into the world.
Well, I’ve got news for you! PR is no longer the sacred cow (no offense to anyone who views cows as being sacred) that it once was. Thanks to the evolution of the Internet, there are a number of Press Release distribution services that offer the same or even more powerful services – and the best by far, in my experience, is PRWeb.
PRWeb.com offers four levels of press release submission:
- Standard visibility
- Social Media visibility
- SEO visibility
- Media visibility
Because this blog is about search engine optimization, and because my primary role in consulting with web clients regarding site promotion relates to online marketing as it relates to SEO, I always recommend clients go with either the SEO visibility (currently $200) or Media visibility (currently $360) levels. While you may think $200 – $360 is a lot of money, if you use the PRWeb release submission service and properly seed your release for SEO value, both in accordance with white hat SEO fundamentals as well as through the plethora of SEO related options they offer, within just a couple days of submitting your release you can potentially see hundreds of new links back to your web site!
If you don’t have the time or energy to submit the release yourself and do so while implementing proper SEO techniques, you can pay the PRWeb staff to do the work for you. Personally I always do all the work, but that’s because my clients pay us for our time and expertise.
The Link Building Magic of Press Releases
So how can a press release get you all those links back to your site? Well, at the top Media Visibility level, your release is going to be submitted on your behalf to all the top news services that matter – the AP Wire service, google Alerts, and Yahoo Alerts for example. And just think of how many news related web sites automatically display content that comes from the AP wire service? How many blogs and topic-specific web sites have news feeds built into them that display those press releases? A LOT! So every time a web site pulls news feeds within the topic or topics you designate in the release submission process, it’s going to get your press releases!
Going Stale – Long Term Repetition
While some web sites will retain news feeds indefinitely, many will automatically archive or delete older feeds from time to time. In my experience, I’ve seen the value of a press release maintain itself with the majority of links for several months, then begin to taper off, and ultimately, most of those links will disappear. So it’s important to submit a new press release every few months at the very least
Results will vary
Exactly how many back links you obtain as a result of this method will depend greatly on several factors. How “hot” are the topics or categories you associate to that release? How news worthy is your message? There’s really no way in advance to know exactly how many links you’ll get regardless of the categories (always associate your release with as many categories as you can legitimately do) that your release fits. Yet it’s definitely worth the effort.