Woman with loudspeaker isolated on whiteOnline press releases, when done effectively and for the right reasons, can bring your small business many types of media exposure. Online press releases were used for years by Internet marketing companies for SEO link-building purposes, but recent Google algorithm updates such as Penguin have changed the way most SEO companies recommend using press releases.

While online press releases should not be used for the sole purpose of building backlinks to your site, they can still have a very positive affect on your organic ranking and online visibility. Consider these tips when writing a press release:

1. Newsworthiness. Only submit press releases for truly ‘newsworthy’ events or content. Press releases that are overtly promotional or lack effective messaging not only look spammy to readers, but also to search engines.

2. Secondary Targeting. From an SEO standpoint, the best result from a press release is from the secondary online exposure and the natural backlinks and social media exposure your website can acquire when niche sites cover your story. In other words, think about messaging that appeals to websites and thought-leading blogs that would want to write about your announcement. One of your primary SEO goals should be to get other websites to write about your press release content.

3. Leaking A Tip. One online press release trick is to contact a couple online media sites a day before your release is scheduled as a ‘tip’. You can send your press release to a couple a sites the day before the scheduled released and this may get some bloggers to write about your company news prior to the official release to get a jump on the story.

4. Website Linking: Be sure to include a link in the press release content back to your website, but try to use a “raw links” instead of a keyword rich links which are now heavily scrutinized by the search engines. For example http://kcseopro.com is safer and more beneficial from an SEO-standpoint than hot linking a generic keyword phrase like this: search engine optimization.

5. Social Media Account Linking. Also include links to your social media pages, especially your Google+ company page, in this case a branded keyword link is recommended like this: Kansas City Web Design.

6. 3rd Party Quotes & Joint Releases. With appropriate approval and when it makes sense, try to include, mention or get a quote from other companies or partners in your press release. If they get a mention in your release, they are much more likely to amplify your content with tweets, links, posts and shares – helping you to get more advertising value and SEO value via the extra social signals these ‘helpers’ generate.

7. Consult With A Professional. While you may be able to buy online press release distribution services on your own, you may be losing out on many missed opportunities. Companies like Valens Point offer online press release services and can help your company by crafting an optimized release that not only appeals to your targeted audience, but also to the search engines. Most press release distribution services have many advanced options for customization. By missing or misusing key features the, you could negatively impact the ROI potential of your press release.

About the Author: Phil Singleton is the owner of KCSeoPro.com, a full-service online marketing services company that provides organic search engine optimization and other Internet marketing services, and KCWebdesigner.com, a WordPress web development firm specializing in custom SEO-friendly websites and custom web applications. Phil is also a Duct Tape Marketing™ Certified Consultant and provides small business marketing product and service at KCMarketingAgency.com.

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