Digital Press Releases:Organic SEO Tools vs Traditional PR

As traditional print media publications go out of business, or consolidate their operations to online visibility only, the digital press release becomes an even more desirable publicity tool. Traditional press release companies and publicists are slowly catching on to the effectiveness and economy of digital press release distribution. Some well-respected PR websites operate much like article submission websites, only with stricter writing guidelines.

The website publicist or owner needs to understand that a digital press release generates online success and helps increase a website’s visibility on search engines if it is well-written and linked correctly.  The word count is usually limited to 400 words, for many of the top press release websites. Additional charges usually apply for a word count above this.

The traditional press release can and does exceed 400 words.  It aims for success in print, radio, and television.  Since the Web is a secondary focus for this type of release, keywords may not be integrated into text. One primary link may be inserted into that traditional PR, while a well conceived digital press release will display multiple hotlinks to different pages of a website.

Traditional print media writers and editors also need some re-training on this and other issues that affect the visibility of text on websites, but this is another topic for a future article. Today, this article outlines the defining points of a digital press release and compares the effectiveness of this type of distribution to traditional PR channels and news wires.

What is a digital press release?

There are several characteristics that define a digital press release. First, a digital press release is posted on the World Wide Web at PR websites, where it is distributed to various news wires and archived on the sites as well.  The Internet press release is optimized with live links to different pages of a website and a fee is usually charged for each link or a set number of links. Digital press releases are written with keyphrases in mind for optimum impact on search engines, while traditional press releases do not focus upon or integrate keyword selection.

How does distribution of an Internet Press Release differ from Traditional Press Releases?

Distribution networks for a digital press release usually focus on large search engines such as Yahoo, Ask, MSN, and Google, as well as  news distribution websites where Associated Press, Reuters, and Real Simple Syndication (RSS) subscribers may pick up information. The goal in pushing out a digital press release is to have it reproduced on as many websites and RSS feeds as possible, with backlinks to the website spread across the Web for the maximum exposure. For widest exposure a reputable web distribution service may be selected. There are many different geographical options that affect pricing.

A traditional press release is geared towards print, radio, and television. Some digital press release services (such as Marketwire and BusinessWire) offer penetration into traditional media as well. With a focus on being picked up by traditional media, the distribution channels and priorities are clearly different for a traditional PR.  A traditional PR service might focus on good regional or statewide lists that are up to date with recent names and phone numbers of editors who may be contacted with follow up phone calls and emails.

How does a digital press release increase a website’s visibility on search?

The digital press release, if written professionally with a hook, can be posted at multiple locations on the web. A link to the website is sometimes provided for free (in the contact info) or the user must pay for multiple links. The digital press release is very effective at stimulating search engines because once added to the websites search robots will dig for keywords and find the new text. The backlinks are set up on PR websites where the release is posted immediately. Many of these sites archive their press releases so these backlinks are mostly permanent (unless the PR site goes out of existence). As the release is republished by website editors and picked up by those who subscribe to RSS feeds with related topics and themes, the backlinks are spread even more widely.

Should a digital press release be used with a website launch?

The answer to this question is yes!  Do not miss the opportunity to help search engine spiders find a brand new website.  When the press release is  posted on the site, it gives search engines tangible keywords by which to identify the site. If the press release is properly syndicated online, then search engines will also find backlinks  from valuable, industry related websites, which is tremendously helpful for high ranking on select keyphrases as well.  In addition to posting the press release on the company web site, it can also be posted and shared on various social networking web sites including Facebook, Linked In, Fast Pitch Networking and any other sites where user generated content is encouraged.

The digital press release was still in its infancy 10 years ago, and not well recognized by marketing specialists  or SEO firms even five years ago. Yet, with the downfall of large newspapers and other print publications, the digital press release can no longer be ignored.  Writing and posting a digital press release can be very effective at aiding a website in gaining recognition by search engines immediately and at promoting an existing website.

For more information about Maximum Web Marketing’s digital press release service email

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