Press releases were a very popular form of SEO backlinking efforts, but have since fallen out of fashion – because they aren’t AS POWERFUL as they once were. Does that mean that they aren’t useful at all? Absolutely they still are – they are just one small component, of a natural link profile. We strongly suggest not linking in the actual press release itself, but rather letting the URL provided with the press release to be linked as most services do, and having this be your ‘exact URL’ linking activity for the year – creating 30-300+ exact URL links to create a natural anchor text profile and increasing your visibility for that page and that site.
In our experience – these type of distribution channels are not actually great at getting serious press attention, though that is possible by a stretch of the imagination.
Instead, the following services are intended to help you get links only. For seriously PR efforts, contact a PR professional who has spent their life getting real contacts at media outlets, and who can do the personal leg-work to get your new idea media attention.
1. PR Distribution.com – Clean UI, solid indexing – higher prices for higher levels.
This service used to be called Press Release Jet, and the prices were lower – but it has always been our go-to previous to the rate hike. This is actually what got us searching for other PR distribution services that were comparable. We still like the white label report option from PR Distribution (formerly Press Release Jet) but are not sure it’s the best value for the money currently.
2. Marketers Center – Bad UI, add-on’s optional – lowest prices.
This one is my underground favorite because I don’t think a lot of people know about it, but it has a solid level of service and low prices. Just make sure you add $ credit before you start, otherwise you can’t complete your order without leaving and refreshing the page. The actual distribution is good, just not the user interface/user experience. Marketers center also offers different link-building services like guest posts and local directory listings, but we don’t currently use their site for these.
3. PressCable – If you do press releases a lot, these guys offer a subscription
PressCable has standards and will give you suggestions for your press release, like using less “I”, “We” and “Us” language so more outlets will actually accept your press release, and they don’t get themselves banned from sites for too promotional of press releases. The whole point of a press release is to position your customer as the hero, ride the coat-tails of a big shift in your industry, and then have a little quote from your CEO or key stakeholder – it’s not to hit them over the head with why you’re awesome. So, I really do appreciate PressCable’s insistence on non-promotional language and believe taking this to heart will help you have a greater level of acceptance on your press releases in general.
4. Newswire – if you need more customer service.
Newswire touts a “4,500+ Site Distribution Network. Your story is syndicated to a wide range of business, financial and news outlets to increase your presence online and in search,” which is substantial. I would say Newswire probably is on the more premium end of the spectrum with $323 to $1079 options. If you do one press release a year, this might be the one to try, seeing as the network is so large, and customer service can walk you through complexities. We have not used this service, as we’re somewhat regular press release distributors and the price for the premium option is somewhat exorbitant in my experience.
5. eReleases – voted #1 by Fit Small Business, will write for you for $199.
I have not currently used eReleases – but a trusted source, Fit Small Business has rated them as their top choice. According to Fit Small Business “eReleases has three pricing plans, ranging from $299 to $499. These prices only include press release distribution. A customer may also select additional services a la carte, like immediate distribution and niche industry targeting, which cost $100 each. eReleases also offers press release writing services for an additional fee.”
6. PRweb – with a professional review.
Allows tools for optimizing the press release and is offered by Cision, a leader in Public relations tools like HARO, ‘help a reporter out’ – which we love and use extensively for getting press mentions by answering press contacts posed questions.
7. Send2Press – State-focused for $99, National focused for $199.
Definitely a wonderful sounding option, self described as “Online press release distribution including Direct-to-Editors™ e-mail delivery to targeted media pros at newspapers, print magazines and broadcast outlets (TV and news/talk radio); major wire services like AP and Reuters, plus aggregators like Apple News, Google News, Bing News, LexisNexis, and more.”
The way to go – diversify your Press Release distributor for best results
We like the option of diversifying to different services over time so that you hit different areas of the web, and can also see what gets the highest profile links. Yes, for the most part, press release distribution is just for the diversity of links, and not for the power of the link itself, but I’ve seen doing a press release for an interior page can sometimes have a pretty noticable result by itself.
In short, using press releases for SEO is still relevant, and if you diversify your PR distributors and keep your costs low, the ROI is there.
We do this in month two of our full-service SEO retainer if anyone is looking for an aggressive SEO team working systematically on your behalf every month, including content writing that’s done fully in-house and based on your ideal customers. Check out the other things we do at the beginning of an engagement, in a recent post about our process.