Press Release SEO Best Practices

press release SEO best practices

I get a lot of questions about press release SEO best practices and basically, using press releases is a great shortcut.

People get concerned because obviously, they want good links from news sites but at the same time, press releases seem a bit too easy and most of the links are no-follow. The question they ask is ‘Is there any actual real benefit to this?’

If you do it the right way, then I can tell you from experience that there are several benefits to a press release.




The Power of Press Releases (Even with No-Follow Links)

For one thing, it’s basically about sheer volume alone. For a few hundred dollars, you can normally get about 500 referring domains but they’re not going to be the best quality domains in the world, even though they tend to be very high authority. Yes, the links are no-follow but there’s still some power there and crucially, doing this gets some of the really big hitters like GlobeNewsWire, Bloomberg, and Yahoo Finance. If nothing else, these are nice links to have for your brand.

So you’re building with Google and your consumers. Another great advantage is that doing press releases with these sites makes great logos for your home page.




Quantity Leads to Quality: Building Link Power

The fundamental thing is about volume and power. So, again this is one of those early link-building tactics where you might not have a big budget for links yet, or you might want to build up your link profile without appearing suspicious. Even if you had all the budget in the world, if you just launched your site, you don’t want to be building 30 high-quality editorial links – like my brand provides – overnight

Google will see that and think ‘What on Earth is going on here?’ That’s very suspicious. On the other hand, if you start with basic listings and appear in local business directories alongside your social media profiles, then you have a press release, Google will see you as a legit business starting out – and that’s what you want.

You can get these 500 domains right out of the gate without any problem. Some people even recommend doing a press release before you launch because that way, Google can see the anticipation building and when your site launches, you’re already ahead of the game, Google’s already expecting it. It interprets all that information as ‘this thing was coming, and now it’s here.”

That said, using press releases can be quite shady because some people just go to Fiverr and pay $100 or something like that to be featured on MarketWatch. You can get a perfectly reasonable PR distribution for $70, but it’s not going to have any of the premium news outlets and that can have a significant negative impact.

If you want to have those important logos on your home page, you won’t be getting them if you go this route.




Building Brand Credibility Through Outbound Links

Now we come to the issue of outbound links. A website that links out to millions of websites is being thinly distributed, even if it has a powerful DR of 80 to 90. Whereas, if you find a high DR site that’s not linking up to that many websites, then you get more of that power funneled into your site.

What that basically means is there’s a big benefit to going where other people haven’t been, so you can get the cheap PR distribution while everyone else is going to be piling in on that same service which means a site like Market Watch.

press release SEO best practices for top ranking


So let’s consider a site like AP, which links out to about 50,000 websites (at the time of this writing blog post)

When you’re looking at your distribution, you should go for variety because the way SEO works requires you to link from every domain and there’s not much value to doubling up those domains. So it’s all about going with the distribution that’s got the biggest inventory so you can get as many referring domains as possible.

You should, preferably, choose distributions that are harder to get; those that haven’t been abused by thousands of PRs over the years.




Press Release SEO Best Practices: How To Create SEO Press Releases That Make a Difference

Now, let’s consider what an effective press release looks like. The difference between a standard press release and an SEO press release is that traditionally, all businesses write press releases but it tends to just be something going on, or this announcement that no one really cares about. A few Business magazines may pick it up but even that doesn’t happen so often.

For SEO benefit, remember that for any link that we’re placing, we want some contextual relevance to that link. Ideally, we want the referring page to have some traffic and have some rankings for our Target keywords and for the text around our link to talk about our keyword, not forgetting the link itself should be a brand keyword.

When you’re writing your press release, it pays to use SEO best practices and correlational tools.

With our clients at SEO Jesus, we provide affordable SEO packages that guarantee publication on Yahoo News, AP, Market, GlobeNewswire, and Bloomberg and when we write the press releases, we use correlational tools.




Newsworthy Content is Key

You need to have a notable event to get accepted by the news channels. That can be anything. It can be that you’ve just launched, you’ve got new products, you’ve won an award, etc. Just make sure it’s something plausible.

The press release SEO best practices example I’ll give here is about my book launch and if you go down that page, you’ll see we’ve got sections that have been SEO optimized for different topics. The book talks about SEO for coaches and SEO speaker, so they feature prominently in the press release as those are keywords we were trying to rank for. You can also see that’s what we used as the anchor text for the links.




Strategic Distribution Matters

We also used loads of websites as part of the standard distribution: Yahoo Finance, Yahoo News, Bloomberg, AP News, Globe News Wire, MarketWatch, Trade Wire, Morning Star, and many more, including local and regional new sites.

Those are not particularly high-quality sites, but through sheer volume alone we’re getting something close to 500 links, all talking about SEO for coaches on contextually relevant, high-DR sites. The links are no-follow but we’re looking at volume here so that’s nearly 500 contextually relevant links, all with strong anchor text, pointing at my site.

I dropped a few of these links into Ahrefs and found that they’re all in the 90s, 80s, 70s for DR. Clearly, that tells me that those are all major news websites.

low budget press release SEO best practices


Let’s reiterate that it’s just a press release, and it’s not great quality, so it’s not going to move the needle massively. But you’ve got a huge amount of power coming into your website at a very low cost. If you think about the equivalent cost if you were to try and manually get a couple of links from sites with DR of 80-100, it would be much more than the 500 to a thousand dollars a press release like this costs.

The other thing about press release SEO best practices is that it works as parasite SEO which we’ll address in another video. But fundamentally, parasite SEO means you’re leveraging the power of a major news website to rank for your target search term on that website rather than on your website. A press release is actually a great way to do that.

Globe Newswire seems to work very well for this purpose. They’re a DR 92 site.

For my press releases which I already cited above, I didn’t put too much effort into it and I’d neglected it slightly but when I checked, I saw that it briefly ranked when it was published for SEO for coaches albeit at position 61.




Press Release SEO Best Practices as Parasite SEO

You can do the standard parasite technique where you build links to the press release and and push that page higher up. If you’ve got a branded search for your brand name, then they tend to rank very well for that as well. So if someone searches your brand name, it looks really good on you if it’s not just your name and website that pops up, but also loads of news publications talking about you as well.

That’s exactly what I have done, and PR was a contributor to getting my Google Knowledge Panel – I talked about that in one of my videos on the SEO Jesus YouTube page.

If someone’s already considering buying from you and they search your name or your company name and they can see you on Yahoo Finance, that’s just a little nudge there that might just push them over the line.




How Press Releases Fast-Track Google Indexing For New Websites

In my video on indexing, I mentioned the power of Google News in getting indexed. For most (new) websites, it’s a struggle getting indexed on Google — Indexing means to get Google to acknowledge you and add you to its directory.
Google News gets indexed right away because Google doesn’t want to publish out-of-date news, so if a Google News site makes any changes at all, those changes are indexed immediately.

Here are two ways you can use that to your advantage:

  1. Register Your Website for Google News: This is pretty easy to do and speeds up indexing for your content.
  2. Get Links from Google News Sites: Another option is to secure a link from a reputable Google News website. Many PR sites are Google News registered, so indexing is not going to be a problem. If you’ve just launched a site and you do a press release that gets Google News sites linking to your website, you’re going to be indexed really quickly.




Do Press Releases Have Any Positive Impact on SEO?

From my experience and from working with our clients, I’d say it’s not an absolute game changer but it’s definitely a quick win.

Now Let’s Create A Link-Building Campaign

Our effective link-building campaign follows this structure religiously

  • A minimum DR 30
  • Lots of quality checks in place
  • A minimum traffic of 1000

You can tell that every link we build is really good quality. It still takes time to build up results with press releases but it’s not expensive and it gets loads of links into your website especially if it’s a new product launch or something like that.

There are tangible benefits from that at a very low cost. I’ll provide an example here of a client who started with us on a DR 6 but they also changed their domain, so effectively they were starting from zero with a redirect.




Press Release SEO Best Practices Case Study

With our link-building campaign, we’ve got them up to a Dr of 27 within about six months, and the traffic increase has been steady ever since. They’re now up to 6000 in Ahrefs, which is more like 8000 or 1000 in analytics, with a traffic value of $1500 per month.


Example of Our Press Release and Its Results

During a new product launch, they had a pretty commercial keyword that was very competitive. The keyword difficulty was 70 or something like that.
My advice to them was to do a press release just to get maximum power into the page. They did and are now ranking for 552 keywords, and getting some pretty decent traffic considering it’s only a DR 27 site. Let’s also not forget that this is a high-competition keyword.

The time of the press release coincided with a big jump in their traffic as we’d tailored it specifically to that niche and that keyword. The press releases included exact links going to that page talking about this product and we saw immediate benefits.

If you want to make a dent in a competitive niche that isn’t really in your league yet, this is a good way of getting a lot of power into just a few pages on your website.

Realistically, if you’re building a few links a month to a page, you’re not going to rank for this kind of keyword difficulty with a low DR site and without getting a lot more power. For the site above, that added power has come from the press release.

We had a look at the Globe News Wire page published for the client and we found that for the main keyword (which has a difficulty in the range of 70) the the page was ranking at position 90. That may seem low but the point is this is just only the Globe News Wire page. We’ve got 500 other pages like it, and they’re all ranking and getting traffic for the target keyword.

Clearly, if you’ve got 500 links from high DR news sites and those pages are ranking and talking about your target keyword, then that’s a huge benefit for you and your target keyword.




A Recap on The Value of Press Releases

A decent press release will cost 500 to a thousand dollars. It won’t break the bank but you get 500 referring domains from powerful new sites.

There are many SEO benefits to that if you optimize the press releases but that’s not all. There are also human benefits.

It’s really good for audience perception. If you’ve got a logo that says ‘as seen in, then you go on to showcase the sites you have been featured in, it’s a good look for your brand.

Many do this halfheartedly but I’ve taken it seriously. All over my brand, we’ve got Bloomberg, Morning Star, Yahoo Finance, etc, and it’s really good for building trust with my audience.




Do Press Releases Get Picked Up By Actual News Sources?

It’s possible, but generally, you need to be more tailored than that and think about specific publications that are more relevant to your audience.

You also have to be intentional with crafting a story that fits them. Your local newspaper will not be interested in a business doing business. They have a saying that ‘a business doing business isn’t news.’ but you can distribute business updates to them via a premium press release provider and you get placements on business news websites.

Fundamentally if you just started a website, get some citations I covered on the SEO Jesus Youtube channel and do a press release. It’s an easy way to build up a lot of link power quickly without breaking the bank.


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