If you’re struggling to build backlinks to your website, you should consider publishing press releases. It’s a time-tested search engine optimization (SEO) tactic that’s helped countless webmasters achieve higher rankings in the search results. In January 2021, Google’s John Mueller even confirmed that press releases are equally if not more important than technical SEO processes. By publishing press releases, you can let the world know about your website while simultaneously building SEO-friendly backlinks.
Choose Newsworthy Topics
Press releases aren’t the same as traditional forms of website content. They are specifically designed to generate publicity through an announcement. Traditional forms of website content, on the other hand, are typically used to educate visitors. You can still include educational information in your press releases, but you should choose newsworthy topics for them.
Each press release that you publish should focus on a unique newsworthy topic. Publishing purely educational and evergreen press releases won’t work. The platforms to which you submit your press releases may reject them. Most press release distribution platforms only accept press releases that cover a newsworthy topic. Without a newsworthy topic, they’ll reject your press releases.
Newsworthy topics for press releases include the following:
- Rebranding of your website
- Launching a new line of products or services
- New partnerships or affiliations
- Results from a recent study or survey conducted by your website
- Announcing upcoming events, such as webinars or livestreams
- Awards given to your website by a third party
Use Naked Or Branded Links
You should only use naked or branded links in your press releases. Naked links are those consisting entirely of your website’s address, whereas branded links are those featuring your website’s brand name as the anchor text.
Some press release distribution platforms only support naked links. In other words, you’ll have to enter the address of your website’s homepage — or a subpage, depending on the topic that you choose — without any Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) formatting. Even if a platform supports HTML formatting, though, you should avoid using keyword-rich links.
Keyword-rich links are those that contain an SEO keyword as the anchor text. If you want to rank your website for a keyword, you may build links using that keyword as the anchor text. But the problem with keyword-rich links in press releases is that they often perceived as being artificial. Search engines identify them as being unnaturally created, so they devalue their ranking influence.
Naked and branded links are safer than keyword-rich links. They may not bolster your website’s rankings for a specific keyword, but they’ll project a more natural link portfolio. Therefore, naked and branded links in press releases can make it easier to rank your website for all keywords.
Craft Catchy Headlines
The headlines of your press releases will affect the value of their links. Links in press releases with a catchy headline will prove more valuable to your website than those in press releases with a dull headline. With a catchy headline, more users will read your releases and follow the included links.
Using numerical figures in your press releases’ headlines can make them more catchy. The presence of one or more numerical figures will make your press releases stand out from those with only letters. You can also craft catchy headlines by using compelling words. Choose words that are relevant to your press releases but instill an emotional response.
Don’t go overboard with syndication. Syndicating your press releases to a few high-quality channels will often yield better results than syndicating them to hundreds or thousands of low-quality channels.
Syndication is a service offered by most press release distribution platforms. If you opt for this service, the platform may send your press release to news websites, journalist blogs, Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds, social media networks and other places.
While syndication can lead to more exposure, it may cause a loss of link value. Syndication will place your press releases, as well as their included links, on many channels. As search engines encounter these duplicate press releases, they may devalue some or all of the links. You can syndicate your press releases; just choose a small and limited syndication service so that your website has a more natural link profile.
Diversify With Nofollow
Publishing press releases with nofollow links can still benefit your website’s rankings. Nofollow links are those that feature the nofollow HTML attribute. When given the nofollow HTML attribute, links lose some of their ranking influence.
Nofollow links might be less influential than standard links, but that doesn’t mean they are worthless. Whether included in a social media post or a press release, they can provide SEO value that lifts your website’s rankings.
Google has changed the way in which it interprets nofollow links. Until recently, Google didn’t use them to calculate rankings. The search engine changed its tune on nofollow links in 2019. Since then, Google has been using nofollow links as a minor ranking signal. Some press release distribution platforms automatically make all links in press releases nofollow. Whether the links are standard or nofollow, however, they can provide SEO value.
Follow the Guidelines
Be sure to follow the guidelines when creating press releases. All press release platforms have guidelines. In addition to a newsworthy topic, for instance, many of them require a third-person point of view writing style. News stories are typically written in a third-person point of view, so press releases follow this same writing style.
Some platforms require a specific format as well. You may have to format your press releases with a headline, summary, body and contact sections. Other platforms require a minimum and a maximum number of words. To avoid rejection, you should check the platform’s guidelines before submitting a new press release to it.
You don’t have to resort to spammy tactics to build backlinks. You can build them by publishing press releases. Search engines will crawl your press releases just like a traditional web page. Upon discovering the included links, search engines will factor them into their ranking formulas.