I’m already a fan of using keyword-optimized press releases as part of your online marketing. It’s often a low cost way to get backlinks to your site adn build your search engine presence. Yes, some industries are less effective and they have fallen in importance, but SEO press releases can still be a very cost-effective strategy to getting search engine rankings.
I’ve long recommended PRLeap (and Clickpress) as an SEO press release distribution option for small businesses. It’s ideal for small budgets or for times you don’t need or want a lot of extra features. You just want a link.
If you hope to capture both traditional and online media, along with more reporting and multimedia features, I’ve gone with PRWeb‘s service. Just make sure it’s well-written because if the editorial score isn’t a 4 or 5 most journalists won’t see your release. To filter out the noise you can exclude lower quality releases. They also offer more social media features.
I’ve never used PR Leap’s free service because it didn’t allow anchored text in the press release, but no matter now. Starting January 1, 2008, PR Leap won’t offer a free option.
PRLeap is now adding social media features as a primary focus. As of yesterday, their top offering will be $149 and the most first tier is $49. The $149 release allows you to attach up to five multimedia features – such as video, a PDF file, your logo, or a podcast. Up until now they’ve only allowed text. Replacing the free version is now their basic release with no images or frills. However, they submit your news to Ask.com News and Google News. They don’t mention anchored text but I assume that now comes standard. Social bookmarking links to Digg, Delicious, Reddit, and Stumble are at the end of each release, but not a way to leave comments.
I became a convert to SEO press releases over a year ago. I asked my boss if I could experiment with optimized press releases. I simply took the press release written by our PR firm and SEOed it. The release became one of the top 5 sites sending traffic to our web site for several months. Then another one I sent out got a #5 ranking for a niche keyword just two days after it was released.
Some say SEO press releases have fallen in importance, however I’ve still seen results, especially when combined with social networking and blogging (example: Avant Link – a niche affiliate network). I’d be curious if anyone reading this has feedback on how it’s working for them.