There is constant talk that press releases are dead. Quite the opposite, they are very much alive and kicking. Google seems to think so too!
Taking a small step to publish your press release online you could see it appear far beyond the online newsroom.
A recent statement by Google highlights that press releases are not just alive, but vitally important in the digital age and capable of driving traffic to company websites. They also enable company news to reach end consumers by being displayed alongside meaningful and relevant keywords searched through Google.
“The goal of search is to get users the right answer at any one time as quickly as possible — that may mean returning an article from an established publisher or from a smaller niche publisher or indeed it might be a press release,” the Google spokeswoman said. Source: Huffington Post.
Being previously restricted to editorial content, Google News now displays company news, including statements and press releases, for relevant search terms.
However, it is not just about what is displayed in the Google News section as press releases can also be part of the broader search results and bring traffic to your company news and your website.
By publishing your press release online, either independently or via distributing to journalists, you are giving your release a whole new level of exposure:
- Exposure to journalists looking for news about your company, or news about your industry;
- Exposure to end consumers looking for your products, your brand or products you provide.
Let’s take a look at some examples.
1.Searching for your organisation’s name
Press releases hosted online can be a great way of providing users with context and latest company news when searching for information about an organisation.
In this example, a Medianet client posted a press release on the Medianet News Hub (Australia’s largest and most visited aggregate of news content) regarding a Director being announced for the Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics.
If we search on Google “Centre for Nanoscale Biophotonics” we will see a number of search results. One of them on the first page of Google is the Medianet News Hub release.
This gives the person searching for information about this organisation a broader understanding of the organisation’s activity and news without having to laboriously search the organisation’s website.
2. Searching for a general topic relevant to your organisation
So we searched for the name of an organisation and the press release came up on search results. Great. But it could be better. What if users or journalists research a topic rather than a particular organisation?
Online press releases can help get an organisation discovered through association and context. Even if the search query does not exactly match an organisation’s name or any of the words in the press release.
With Google’s latest algorithm change, context plays a major role. Even when words are not in the press release, Google will match to company news contextually.
Let’s imagine that a journalist is researching on how different industry sectors have reacted to the news of a new deal between Australia and Vietnam to grant travellers from Vietnam visas to work and travel into Australia.
We searched for “how Vietnam working holiday benefits Australian growers” and two press releases by AusVeg on theMedianet News Hub were the first search results on Google.
Note that in this case, not all words are part of the press release, nor is the name of the organisation. The press releases are displayed as it was picked up as a relevant result for this query.
How to make Medianet News Hub work for your Google search results
So how do we optimise press releases to appear on Google?
The number one rule would be, do not intentionally drown your releases in an unnecessary amount of keywords. Google might actually penalise this practice, so it might do more harm than good. What you want to do is provide relevant information about a topic that is newsworthy and match your phrases with potential search queries. If you think about it, this works in a similar way to pitching a release to a journalist.
> Think of ways in which your audience may be looking for this news.
If you have a report about the effects of WiFi in the body, what are the search terms typically used when searching this topic.
> Include phrases in your release that contain a potential query.
Again, you don’t need to include iterations of the words “wifi” and “effects” all over your press release. One or two phrases that include these keywords and relevant information is enough.
> Include relevant information.
Google has become a lot smarter and will be able to identify relevant content from keyword-filled articles. By including genuinely relevant information, your phrases will naturally contextualise the main focus or your article – and all those synonyms and relevant keywords will help get your press release picked up by Google as a relevant search result.
> Share it on social media.
Posting your release on Medianet News Hub opens up another way of expanding the reach of your release. You can also tweet it on Medianet’s Twitter handles which are categorised by topics and has thousands of relevant and influential followers. By sharing your press release in the social sphere, you are expanding the exposure for the search of news and information on social media rather than on the web or traditional media outlets.
> Include links in your press release.
Never forget to add a link to your company website in your press release. Backlinks from trusted sources and quality sites actually help your website rank better on Google. In Google’s circle of trust, trustworthy, quality and relevant content is highly regarded and benefits your company’s reputation and placement on search results.
Take advantage of Medianet’s direct-to-publishing tools such as Medianet News Hub and Social Media distribution to extend your reach. Select them when you login to your account or create a new account for free.
Written by Medianet’s Marketing team