Before I meet a new prospect, I go out to their Web site and mouse through the releases and various news tidbits tucked away in their online press room. I guess my ten years spent in public relations has made me biased towards the importance of a well-stocked press room on a company’s public Web site, but honestly every single press release you throw up there, if written correctly, can become a potential Web page. Just think of them as little visitor magnets that improve search engine visibility for free. (Psst…I’m not even supposed to be telling you this.)
Unlike top tier pages where white space and limited text is preferred from an aesthetic standpoint, a press release can be chock-full of meaty keywords and optimized phrases sure to catch the attention of the major search engine bots (or spider) scanning the web for awesome, authoritative content. The key is in the number, and quality, of inbound and outbound hyperlinks.
An inbound link shoots the reader to another page within your site for more info about something, for example, if you quote your company’s CEO in a release you can send the reader to his/her bio page in your About Us section. You can do this by simply highlighting his/her name, clicking on Hyperlink under Insert in the toolbar and entering in the URL for that bio page.
An outbound hyperlink, or hotlink does just the opposite; it opens up a new window and sends the reader to another site for more info. Both are important to use, but don’t go crazy, a good rule of thumb is one link per 100 words. Look at this good example from the Beacon press room, that uses two inbound links and one outbound, or even just within this blog post. Just remember if you use an outbound link to periodically check that page to see if it’s still active to avoid publishing a broken link. (Depending on what type of content management system you have, it can check them for you.)
But even with all the buzz about social media out there, less than one percent of the thousands of press releases posted each week by Business Wire include hyperlinks according to a 2007 study by Business Wire’s social media platform group EON (Enhanced Online News.)
Don’t leave all that potential “Google juice” out of your next press release, especially when your company is feeling the squeeze of the economy. Ask Beacon Technologies for more ways to juice up your Web site.