If done right, press releases can be great for obtaining naturally incorporated backlinks. But if they’re NOT done right, they can do more harm than good and can be a source of penalties.
The reason why there aren’t more people using press releases for link building is that they were generally misused in the past.
People overlooked the purpose of a press release and distributed it to as many platforms as possible. The quality of such press release backlinks wasn’t the best, which still makes many SEO specialists skeptical about press release link building.
At the same time, however, Linkdoctor has conducted a survey where hundreds of SEO professionals were asked what is their preferred link building method, and these were their answers:
As you can see, digital PR is far from being the most common method! So let’s explore a few best practices for PR link building through press releases, doing it the right way.
- How to use press releases for link building
How to use press releases for link building
1. Quality, not quantity
The purpose of a well-written press release is to offer interesting and up-to-date information. It’s tempting to pack it up with links. But remember your purpose for writing is to update your audience with relevant and current news. Link building must be a secondary benefit.
You should never put link building—or anything from your SEO strategy—in front of writing quality content that’s in line with your PR activities. If you put forward your best effort and produce an amazing piece, the benefits will flow naturally. Use SEO techniques as a way to improve your writing; not as a purpose for your writing.
Remember that you’re writing for actual people, not for search engines.
2. Different anchor texts
Try not to overuse the same keywords for your anchor text. Find alternatives. How about using your company’s name, or something inviting that will encourage people to click on the link. There are a few types of anchor text you should know about:
Branded text, for example, is precious. You just have to be careful how you use it or it will appear to be too promotional. Keywords and phrases are also a superb choice but you’ll need to use a broad selection of both so as to avoid becoming repetitive and spammy.
The whole process of obtaining links can be a little daunting if you’re doing it on your own. It’s important to have a PR outreach strategy when starting the process of link building. You need to get in contact with a lot of people and convince them that your link will add value to the content you’re writing.
Here’s how to use Prowly PR software for link building outreach →
3. Killer press release headlines
This one is a straightforward decision. The purpose of your press release headline is to get the user to read the next couple of lines. You need to make your headlines as attractive as possible. But don’t be misleading or use click-bait methods—they can do more harm than good.
Next on the list—have amazing content. You can have the best attention-grabbing headline but if your content is not worth reading, you’ll lose your reader. Simple as that. Your goal in writing a press release always needs to be to convey new, relevant, and interesting information to your audience.
You should also try to add quotes and multimedia to your content. Not only is it easier to explain complicated ideas or concepts with images; they’re also more engaging. Your readers are more likely to remember a neat infographic than the 10 paragraphs of text it took to explain the same thing.
4. No spam
When is the last time you read the emails in your spam directory? That’s right, never. Because nobody likes spam. With that in mind, try not to send your press release to everyone. Or publish it in every place you can find.
This is precisely the reason why press releases are so underrated at the moment.
Instead, do a little research. Find which platforms are more suitable for your business and start there. You can also look for some influencers in your domain and reach out to them.
Instead of spamming people, try to make your content so good that they want to share it. Make bloggers want to be a part of your news instead of trying to force them into it.
5. No-follow links
According to Google, one shouldn’t be actively building or buying backlinks. So, to be safe from any penalties, the link you use should be no-follow.
There is some proof that no-follow links can help you rank better. Long story short, Google will endorse websites that advertise as it shows that they’re willing to invest in their business.
No-follow links have one grand purpose—they get users to your website. Place your link in the right place and watch how your reach grows. Your audience won’t care if your link is a do-follow or no-follow.
Best practices for link building with press releases
You should always keep in mind that spam is what brought press releases down in the past. So try to avoid that at all costs. Focus on the most relevant platforms and reporters in your field. If your content is amazing, the others will jump on for the ride.
Also, your press releases are not the place to dump all of your links. You write for people, not Google. Try to do link building in a way that also enriches your content. Make sure those external links bring value to your readers.
Press releases will always be relevant. You just have to be careful with them and do them well. Respect the relationship you have with reporters and clients alike and make sure that is reflected in the content that you write.
Cover photo by KOBU Agency