I espoused the virtues of the humble news release as a link-building tool to Mashable some time ago and continue to believe in this tactic.
We apply this thinking in cultivating our own brand.
For example, we distributed a news release on our new U.S. general manager last week that generated syndicated pickup in a number of media properties including Reuters.
The three backlinks that appeared in the Reuters piece – one going to www.hoffman.com and two earmarked for this storytelling forum – are extremely valuable.
Search engine algorithms don’t distinguish between syndicated content like our news release and actual stories crafted by journalists. The algorithm simply sees content hanging off of www.reuters.com.
This is significant because not all backlinks are created equal. A backlink from Reuters, a global media property with mass readership and a zillion backlinks itself, carries considerable clout. For the cost of news release distribution (cheap), we generated three golden links.
Also by using keywords in our anchor text, “storytelling techniques” and “storytelling workshops,” we accentuate these terms.
In retrospect, we should have handled the hyperlink to www.hoffman.com like this:
“The Hoffman Agency, a PR agency focused on technology, has appointed …”
Not like this:
“The Hoffman Agency has appointed …
We want that “link juice” going to terms that will help bring more qualified traffic to our website. Anyone looking for The Hoffman Agency and plugging these words into Google is going to find us – no problem. Instead, it’s the people searching on the category where there’s upside that increases our organic search traffic.
Now, you might be asking why didn’t we generate more “gold” and add more hyperlinks to the news release. If you add too many hyperlinks, this can trigger a “bad reaction” similar to keyword stuffing.
Note: If you enjoyed this post, you might check out There’s Enough Room in this Town For Both Storytelling and Keywords and Insights From BusinessWire’s Top 20 News Releases of 2011.