I've always been a big time press release aficionado.
And up until recently I've steadfastly taken the low tech route by sending them out via snail-mail. Yeah, I'm a little old-fashioned when it comes to certain things. But long-time habits are hard to break when they produce great results.
Anyway, I was in the midst of launching a new piece of software August 2005. As I prepared to begin my press release prepatory ritual of labeling and stamping envelopes, it occurred to me that since it's the summertime, and people are always in and out on vacation, perhaps I should give online press releases a spin.
(Okay the REAL reason I wanted to try it is because I was feeling particularly lazy, and I didn't feel like labeling and stamping hundreds of envelopes. A girl has to get her mandatory poolside hours in before the leaves start falling. )
In the back of mind I kept thinking what a waste of time this online press release thing was going to be. But I decided that it couldn't hurt. . . I hoped.
I went through the web sites of around half a dozen press release distributors.
Major fixtures like PRNewswire didn't give me any toe curling experiences. The price was high and they tend to deal with a lot of corporate press material. My software is geared towards Joe and Jane Q. Public, so I didn't feel that it was going to be a compatible match.
There were a few press release distributors that specialized in software. And their prices were well within my targeted range.
However I decided against them because most of the outlets they'd be mailing to weren't within my target audience. I could've compiled my own little media list for a lot cheaper.
But that wouldn't work either. I had a chaise lounge with a slowly fading butt imprint. I needed to fill it up again - STAT. Compiling a list just wasn't in the cards.
That's when I arrived at PRWeb.com. I've known about this site for several years now. But I've never given it much thought, as I really hadn't heard any super stellar reviews about it.
Now in case you're wondering, PRWeb distributes press releases in a variety of topical categories. You can submit your release for free. You can contribute up to $80 and get some extra perks. Or you can use their $119 PRWeb Direct service, which gets your release in prestigious positions like Yahoo News and Google News.
I opted for the PRWeb Direct service figuring that's where I would get the best results.
I wrote my own release, submitted my order to PRWeb, then took out my Troll doll and rubbed him on the computer for good luck.
The next morning I got up and logged into my PRWeb account. They have a stat's program that tells you how many pageviews your press released has received, and I was curious to see whether I'd gotten 5 or heaven forbid 20 clicks. (I'm such a pessimist at times!)
Well you could have pushed me over with a calm summer breeze after I saw those numbers. At 7:30 am EST my press release already had 40,000+ pageviews. By the end of day, that number had surpassed 96,000.
Did that translate into thousands of dollars worth of software sales? Well actually, it didn't. But that press release wasn't my best work. It was good, but not great. Silly me.
However, I did get a nice little surprise.
Two days after the release I happened to be doing some searching on Google using one of the major keyphrases mentioned in my press release. Low and behold, there on page 1 was my press release holding it down in the #5 position.
A similar search at Yahoo showed the release in the #8 position.
The number of keyword optimized sites for my targeted phrase (which is “ebay seller software") is 24,100 at Yahoo, and 531 at Google. But that's irrelevant news to me.
The point here is. . .
#1 - My marketing message made it onto the coveted first page of Google for a nicely targeted phrase. No sandbox. No waiting for my brand, new site to get spidered.
#2 - My marketing message made it onto the coveted first page of Yahoo for a nicely targeted phrase. No trying to figure out Yahoo's algorithm, rhyme or reason.
#3 - The press release was delivering traffic to my web site BEFORE it even got listed in the top 10 at Google and Yahoo. In fact, the release was featured on many different auction resource and news sites.
PRWeb is what I like to call a Back Road tactic. It get's you a top 10 rank, without having to go through the usual SEO channels. And it's probably some of the best traffic you can get, short of somebody clicking directly on your site.
There aren't many reliable and consistent Back Road's. This is only the second one I've come across that fancies both Google and Yahoo. So it's definitely worth taking advantage of.
So now back to my original question. . . Press Release + PRWeb = Top Google Rank. . . True or False?
Now excuse me while I soak in the slowly diminishing rays of summer. PRWeb has got my back.
Alexis Dawes is the author of “Taking The Back Road To Get On Google's First Page" an electronic report that shows webmasters how to use intermediary web sites like PRWeb to get their marketing message top Google rank. She has been successfully using these tactics since November 2004. You can get more information at (http://www.Get-In-Google-Now.com ).