Press releases date back to beyond our time.
In fact, as junior copy desk editors, we had plenty of experience with press releases.
Like most newspapers, we were flooded with them. And now, with the advent of websites, Social Media and search engine optimization, press releases have the potential to flood everyone’s senses with useless information.
That’s too bad.
It’s too bad because press releases could make good content.
Press releases can make good content for search engine optimization, but more importantly, they can make good content for your customers.
But let’s look at the top two mistakes that turn a useful Internet press release into an annoying piece of spam
Yes, there are ways that an SEO could take a press release and make the content more search engine friendly. But when this is done at the expense of readability, it produces irritability.
For example, if you’re not familiar with a passive sentence, a passive sentence is one where the object comes before the subject in a sentence.
So, that probably wasn’t clear.
A man, suspected of robbing Cody’s Bakery on 5th Street, was shot and killed by police officers Wednesday.
What’s the action of that sentence? What are we saying happened?
We’re talking about a shooting. Shot is the verb or action in this sentence.
So who did the shooting? The police.
Who was shot? The suspected robber.
But this sentence mentions the robber (the receiver of the action) before the police offers (the doer of the action).
A much better sentence would look like this.
Policer officers shot a man, suspected of robbing Cody’s Bakery on 5th Street, Wednesday.
This, actually, could be true – although no one can prove it, and any benefit from it is minuscule. And certainly not worth reading sentence like this.
Affordable Plastic Surgery is a new service that we are pleased to announce for our customers.
Links provide critical juice for any SEO strategy. But out of place back links just annoy people for very little juice.
For example, if I’m writing an press release for our new plastic surgery services, I would be an idiot to post this to Reddit.
Sure, it will get you a link, but people will see you invading their social network and will backlash against you.
Find niche networks for plastic surgery.
I’m sure there are non-commercial blogs and forums dedicated to plastic surgery.
However, don’t perform “parachute backlinking.” That’s a play on “parachute journalism” by the way.
Parachute backlinking is the process of showing up on a blog or forum, posting a promotional message such as:
Check out our new plastic surgery services! http://stupid.com/link
And leaving the community – never to be heard from again.
Instead, lurk for a while in the community. Get a feel for what the members like and what they don’t.
Contribute without linking, and then, when you do have a link, you can look for a discussion on “What to look for when deciding to have plastic surgery” and post something like this:
There are a lot of important factors you should consider. Some of these include whatever, whatever, whatever and whatever. If you want to read more, please check out this blog post http://smart.com/link
Press releases can build good SEO, especially for content-starved businesses, but don’t be spammy with them.