How To Write An Online Press Release

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One of the most popular ways to boost a company’s Internet presence is through online press release distribution. There are countless websites that allow users to upload online press releases to increase targeted web traffic and boost overall search engine ranking. While each of these websites has its own benefits and drawbacks, various pricing levels, and rules to follow, if you adhere to the following tips, you are bound to achieve success.

The most common reason to write and submit an online press release is to increase traffic to a particular website. Unfortunately, many press release writers submit useless content that is meant to boost search engine ranking, but lacks the substance required to make it have a lasting effect. Although many reputable press release distributors have rules in place to prevent such submissions, others are less selective in what they choose to publish and, ultimately, are not very effective.

Offer Substance

The first rule of thumb is to submit press releases that have substance. A quality online press release is a way to showcase the product or service that a business offers.

For example, a company that has added a new product to its catalogue or is offering a sale or discount on a particular service can draw more customers by submitting an online press release. Another great way to create an online buzz about a company is to make an announcement of a new staff member or store location. With a little creativity, the possibilities are endless.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of businesses that may remain stagnant or devoid of any “special announcements” for a long period of time. This is particularly true in many service industries, such as law firms, medical practices, or even web design companies.

While a law firm can use an online press release to announce a major court victory or a web design firm can announce a new and important client, these companies can also use their professional know-how to increase their online presence and give their business a higher level of authority.

Medical professionals can offer health tips and articles to the public that can ultimately drive traffic to their website, while interior design firms can offer renovations tips.

Keep It Short, Engaging, and Pay Attention to Formatting Rules

While each distribution site may have its own rules and formatting standards, there are some universal rules that should be followed.

The headline should be short and sum up the article in just one sentence.

Example: “New York PR Firm Hired to Increase Web Traffic for Long Island Retailer”

A good press release should have a longer, more informative sub-headline that expands on the announcement and offers the first attribution.

Example: “Long Island-based media consultant has announced that his firm has been hired to help increase web traffic for contemporary arts and crafts dealer, Gallery M.”

The most important part of the press release is the first paragraph, also called the lead, which should answer the standard, “who,” “what,” “when,” “where,” “why,” and “how.” All press releases should also include a dateline.

Example: “Greenport, New York, December 1, 2010 – Damon Peter Rallis, President and Founder of 9TWENTY9 Media (www.damonrallis.com), a public relations and media consultation firm based in Long Island New York, has announced that his company has been hired to help boost business at Gallery M (www.gallerym.biz), a popular retailer located in downtown Greenport, New York, through a targeted press release campaign and a plan to update the store’s current website, making its content more search engine friendly.”

Notice that both company’s websites have been inserted into the release. This is an important component of an online press release meant to drive more traffic to the company, as well as to its new client.

The rest of the release should include an expanded description of what the company is going to do for the new client, at least one paragraph about the client and what that client hopes to achieve by hiring the company, and at least two solid quotes from the company representative and at least one from the client.

The bottom of each press release, following the announcement itself, should offer standard information about the company.

Example: “9TWENTY9 Media, based in Greenport, Long Island, New York, offers feature writing, news writing, biography writing, business writing, content editing, a website content, seo content, website content editing, content managing, press release services, company profiles, advertising copy, marketing and promotional content, a blog writing, and other related services to clients around the globe. For more information call 516-633-4852 or visit them online at www.damonrallis.com.”

The key to the above company bio is to promote the business and its website’s search engine ranking through relevant keywords and terms.

Proper Use of Keywords

My philosophy has always been, pay attention to content first and add keywords second.

Keywords are an important component to a successful online press release, but they are useless unless they are used sparingly throughout a quality piece. Pay attention to your content first and add keywords in your second draft. Go back a third time to be sure that you’ve added the keywords and terms in such a way that the press release still reads smoothly.

In this case, “Long Island PR firm” would be an important key term, but it takes some finesse to make it fit.

Example: “According to Gallery M owner, Myra Eisenberg, she chose 9TWENTY9 media for the job because the company has gained a reputation as a Long Island PR firm that offers quality services at affordable prices.”

For myself and other writers for hire, there is big money to be made as an online press release writer. Whether you are a writer looking for a niche market, or a business owner who has the time to write press releases on your own, these tips should get you started.

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