Press releases are one of the effective means of generating instant buzz. Although they are typically viewed as short-term traffic generators, they can also be a source of long term traffic when properly optimized.
A well-written press release will send traffic to your site via links from dozens of high traffic news and content sites. Here's what happens – you submit your press release to a press release distribution network or news wire. The news wire distributes submitted press releases across a network of subscribers.
These subscribing sites pull in the headlines from that days news feed and will display them wherever they want it to be shown.
They may also have filters in place to sort through the news feed, allowing them to choose news content based on relevance.
Lets look at a real world example:
You've just completed a press release announcing the launch of your new site that sells blue widgets. You go online to http://www.prweb.com, one of the oldest and most trusted sources for news distribution on the web. This is where you will submit your press releases.
You have a couple of distribution options. The free distribution service will get your press release onto a network of independent web sites which subscribe to the news feed service.
On the other side, the advanced distribution options allow you to submit your press release to an even larger number of sites, including very high-traffic portals like Google News, Yahoo! News as well as major newspapers and magazines.
You pick the option best suited to your needs and within about twenty four hours your release gets picked up, people read it and, if they're curious enough, they follow the links you included in the press release. Instant traffic boost!
Press releases, in general, get indexed more frequently and more quickly by the search engines. However, their ranking depends on keyword optimization. You can through careful optimization, achieve a top ten ranking in the major search engines on targeted keywords within your press release.
This is great because your site effectively gets improved positioning by proxy. You must have targeted keywords. The trick is to optimize the press release with relevant keywords that draw searches, but are not saturated or overly competitive.
One very common error is submitting a press release without first doing a research on the publication. It is literally impossible to provide timely, news-oriented information to a site or magazine if you have no idea what interests their readers have.
Do a little homework before submitting your press release. You can look around the web for some stories each site offers. Buy a copy of magazine or newspaper and see the common interests of readers. By understanding what the publication is looking for, you will be able to fulfill the need and receive much better response from your press release.