In my Internet marketing as a retirement strategy post I told you that I was going on a ‘make-money-so-I-could-retire-rich’ rampage. My strategy was to be three-pronged: ghostwriting, infoproduct creation and building/flipping niche sites. Well true to my word I’m moving and grooving on the ghostwriting front – but not with the typical SEO articles.
My first order of business was to learn how to write press releases. Then I figured out how to write them so they got ranked somewhere between the #1-#3 spot on Google News.
Then I moved on to seeing how to generate sales from my press releases. The first time I cracked that egg, I made a little under $80 in sales due to a single press release.
As the old folks say, my nose was wide open from that point on. My final move involved getting my releases ranked on the first page of Google Search. I figured that would be the hardest part, and to a certain degree it is.
The truth is, writing press releases to get ranked in the search engines is both an art and a science
The problem with a lot of SEO press release writers is that they’re writing press releases strictly for the backlink juice. They want the press release to have specific anchor text so that their actual website hopefully moves up the Google rank.
Let me give you an example… a couple of weeks ago I wrote this post about my ebook sales figures for August. When I originally wrote that post it was on page 2-3 in Google search for the term ebook sales figures.
Four days after I did that post, I wrote a press release to promote it. I used ebook sales figures as the anchor text within the press release.
In less than 24 hours the blog post moved up to the #3 spot in Google search for ebook sales figures. Meanwhile the press release is currently in the #10 position. (It fluctuates between 7-10.)
When I first started writing press releases I didn’t do it for the anchor text backlink. The backlink became an appreciated byproduct of the release, but not the sole reason for their existence.
I’m like a hippie when it comes to this stuff. I believe in going after the most ideal point of happiness. So I started writing press releases because I wanted people to read them and visit my website. My goal was to use them as a traffic source for my website.
And that’s where it becomes a meld between art and SEO science.
Writing buyer friendly press releases isn’t all about keyword overload – it’s about telling a good story
Over the last two weeks my traffic has almost doubled thanks to the press release I’ve written. Last week I didn’t do any releases for this site and every single day I got traffic from at least one old press release. The funny thing is two months ago I barely knew anything about writing press releases!
It was probably best that I wasn’t smart enough to focus on the anchor text backlink aspect when I first started writing them. Yes, I do use anchor text in my press releases, but I don’t do it to the point of virtual insanity.
That’s the takeaway point I want to leave you with today.
Writing press releases effectively for the search engines requires a story because real people read Google News. If your press releases are crafted to sound like SEO drivel, you get no click thru’s to your website and you only walk away with an anchor text trophy.
Why go for half the pie when you can write a good release that speaks to prospective customers… insert your keywords and get both rank AND human traffic. That’s true epic/rockstar/ninja SEO press release power.
What makes a press release buyer friendly?
The thing about writing press releases for search engines is that you’re basically taking the place of a professional journalist. You’re bypassing the old guard and making it onto the first page of the newspaper (Google News).
Google doesn’t want robotic text. The News portion of their site is for journalistic writing. Remember that and you’ll #win.
With that said, here are three components I almost always use in my releases:
I like to include statistics and survey results, even if they’re not my own. On the WordPress.org website, they recently announced that over 14% of the world’s top million websites are powered by WordPress. If your press release is WordPress related, that’s something you can add in. In fact that is something I added in to a release.
If I were writing a press release for a relationship book, I might mention a Loyola University survey that showed 1 in 5 breakups is caused by Facebook. This is also a good angle for those website spy software programs.
Stats make the press release more interesting to read and it add’s a nice dimension of relevance.
Quotes in a press release are also a must. But this time they must be your own (or whomever the press release is written for). And they should give the reader some insight as to why you’re promoting whatever you’re talking about in the press release.
Here’s a quote I added to one of my releases:
“Granted, no affiliate wants to be on the receiving end of the big cut. But the fact still remains that each time Amazon gets rid of affiliates in one state, it increases sales for affiliates in other states,” said Valentine. “If you’re looking to become an Amazon affiliate, this is actually a good time to do so.”
Call to Action
When people finish reading your release, what do you want them to do next? Do you want them to visit your website? Download your free report? Subscribe to your newsletter? Send you $20? Whatever it is, tell them at the end of the press release.
(I’ve already started accepting clients privately for my press release writing service. Either this week or next week I’ll roll out a full launch for those of you who’d like me to write press releases for you.)