The online lead generation strategy we’re going to talk about today is a little used strategy that can get you lots of free online traffic and just as important, recognition. I have used this strategy several times with excellent results. The strategy is online press releases.

You can use a press release as a way to create a celebrity status and to create the image and reality that you are knowledgeable in your field. A press release gives you authority status and positions you as an expert.

Press releases are not just for big corporations, yet most small businesses don’t even think about using press releases. That’s just fine because there is more opportunity for me and you.

It used to be that press releases were submitted in the hopes that somebody in the press would actually publish the release or interview the author. The fact is, there are so many press releases online now, that few reporters spend time wading through them.

There is still significant benefit to press releases. The real benefit of a press release is the direct traffic you can get from the press release directories, and the high quality links back to your site. And if you get picked up by a journalist or score an interview, that’s icing on the cake.

A press release is a way of announcing news. It is a combination of news and marketing. Contrary to popular belief, it is not that difficult to get an online press release published.

Press release sites don’t care so much about quality, they care about quantity, so you can do a press release about small mundane things – something your company is doing, something going on in the news, something about your product, a compensation change, your blog, a joint venture you are doing, a product you are promoting, etc. The possibilities are endless.

For example, when I hit my 100th blog post on Autopilot Online Success, I will write an online press release about celebrating my 100th blog post.

A press release has 3 main components – headline, announcement, and contact information. In spite of the fact that most people don’t do this, the best press releases are content rich, not marketing oriented.

When writing your headline, make it catchy so your press release gets read, and include your keyword for the search engines.

Write it as if someone else is writing it. You can give a quote from yourself, establishing you as a leader. Include a couple of testimonials in the announcement, if appropriate. Use your keywords 2-4 times in a 500 word press release.

In your contact information, be sure to include a link back to your site, or an affiliate site, etc.

A few words about keyterms, since many people overlook the different ways you should use them for optimum search engine rankings. Use your keyterms in

  • title tags
  • page titles
  • categories
  • body copy
  • anchor text links
  • tags
  • images, video alt text
  • URLs

Need some ideas on topics and what to write about in your press releases? Here’s a list of 15 ideas to get you going

  1. Announcing a joint venture or partnership
  2. Announcing an achievement or milestone
  3. Receiving an award
  4. Celebrating an anniversary
  5. A new product or a product upgrade
  6. Participating in a philanthropic event
  7. Introducing a unique strategy or approach
  8. Announcing an event such as a talk, teleseminar, or webinar
  9. Launching a website or blog
  10. Announcing a significant customer
  11. Business expansion
  12. Survey results
  13. Research results
  14. Sponsoring a workshop or seminar
  15. Announcing an affiliate relationship

There are both free and paid online press release services. The most popular is PR-Web.com which has a minimum charge is $80, higher with pictures, etc. The $80 level provides excellent exposure and is fine for most press releases.

WebWire has a $20 press release. I used this service and 1 hour after my press release getting published my main keyterm “targeted web traffic” was #41 out of 171,000 results. Within 3 days it was #12 of Google. One of my other keywords, “free targeted web traffic” was #6 out of 8,440 results in 1 hour and was #3 shortly thereafter.

Some of the top press release services are PRLog.com, PRLeap.com, PressAbout.com, URLWire.com, 1888PressReleases.com, and Ereleases.com. You should submit to free press release sites frequently, weekly if possible. You will get free traffic and free online leads immediately from some of them.

Here’s a special tip for my readers. Star with a free online press release submission just to makesure your press release is ok and will get picked up. Setup a google alert on your press release keyword(s). The alert will tell you when your press release gets published. If your press release is getting picked up, then go to the paid services.

Start with an inexpensive paid service, linke WebWire at $20. They distribute it to thousands of sites around the internet. You’ll should start getting traffic to your website from the press release. You’ll be able to see some basic stats from WebWire. If the PR is getting picked up then go to a more expensive submission service.

Now submit it to PRWeb at the $80 level. They give you good tracking, how many times the press release was read, how many times picked up and distributed, how many times put into another website or blog, lots and lots of tracking info so you can see where it goes.

I hope you see the beauty and potential of this strategy. Here are a few things I love about online press releases

  • they are easy to write
  • they can be free or inexpensive
  • they work quickly
  • they give you credibility and exposure
  • they are evergreen, staying out there a long time
  • they provide links back to your site
  • they can quickly drive hundreds of visitors to your website
  • they can get you on the front page of google quickly

If you are not currently using this strategy, I highly recommend it as a way to drive traffic and generate leads quickly and easily.

Massive Online Success My Friend,
Karen Sielski
Autopilot Online Success