Welcome back to the seventh installment of how to run a successful link building campaign. Last week I talked a little bit about reciprocal linking and one-way linking. This week I am going to try and tackle Press Releases (PR) and Article Distribution.

Press Releases

There is a common misconception when it comes to PR’s as part of your linking campaign. Many companies and people think that you can only do a PR if you have something news worthy to talk about. While this is true I think many people overlook items that may not appear to be news worthy but are, in fact, news worthy enough to justify a press release.

So how do you know what you can consider a press release and what doesn’t justify it, well let’s look at some examples:

  • If you have just recently hired or you are currently hiring
  • If you recently moved locations.
  • If you just recently re-designed your site.
  • Anything related to your business’ industry that might affect the way you do business.
  • Even for reputation management

PR’s don’t always have to be a big deal, and they don’t even always have to involve your company directly.
Press releases are great at generating some backlinks for you. Don’t be fooled though by the amount of backlinks you receive with in the first one to two weeks of your PR distribution. There are many sites out there that scrape PR sites and will pull your PR and post it up. This will generate a backlink for you, but it won’t pass very much value. After about the third or fourth week you will see some decline in your number of backlinks don’t fret this is normal, as the Search Engines are cleaning out all the “spam” sites. The backlinks you lose in this were not providing you with very much value anyways, so don’t worry about them.

Be sure when writing your press release you include links back to your site. Most PR distribution services will allow you to have 2-3 external links inside the press release. Be sure to utilize this, all while ensuring that you are using your optimized keyword link text for each one so you can get the most out of that link.

Article Distribution

Article distribution is similar to press releases in the fact that they generate back links in the same way, the major difference is that they are not written for your company but more for your industry or niche market. Article distribution can also be a lot cheaper in price than a press release and while that may seem great, you should also remember that your article distribution may not reach as many people as the more expensive press release. There are many directory sites out there that you can submit your article to for free.
Article distribution, like press releases, are great for getting a fast number of backlinks. Again the first two to three weeks of your release you will see a pretty great jump up in your backlinks but remember they will slowly trail off as the Search Engines weed out the links from spam sites while keeping the links from quality sites.

Articles differ from press releases in the way you can place your external links. Press releases you can place them inside the body content while with an article distribution you can only place your link inside an “About the Author” section. The author section is a great opportunity to gain 2-3 keyword rich links, just be sure you are not being spammy with your author section and be truthful in what you write.

Article distribution and PRs are a great way to get backlinks, they also drive traffic at times and increase your brand/company awareness. If you can write an interesting article or PR you will see traffic coming into your site from the various distribution centers. It is very important that you keep track of EVERYTHING so you can estimate the ROI that each piece has brought in. The easiest way we have found to do this is to keep a spread sheet that has all your submissions in them so you can easily go back and see which ones worked and which ones didn’t yield as big a return as you had hoped. This helps when you go back and write more PRs and or article distributions. Utilize Google analytics as well as it will tell you where visitors came from.

Another tactic I have seen and used in the past is to place the PR you distributed on your actual website in a “PR Folder” or something similar. I have heard from PRWeb themselves that this will not cause a duplicate content issue and I have yet to actually have a problem with it. This is completely up to you, but if you have a keyword optimized PR that has generated you some decent traffic, this might be a route you want to take. This also creates great content for you site.

Well that is it for this week; stay tuned next week for the final discussion on link building campaigns. We are ending the series with blogs, which, as we all know, could be their own series themselves. See you all next week!