Friday, April 21, 2006

I get by with a little help from my friends with a little help from my friends...

If you ever hear Stacy Williams talk about me and use the term "big dead stinky fish" in the same sentence, it's ok. We have a real live -- I mean dead fish story we share so she's not being funny/mean/descriptive!

I just found out Stacy is a finalist for the Georgia Women Entrepreneur of the Year Award; typical of her not to tell anyone about something as great as that. I'm keeping all my stinky fingers crossed she gets it. :)

Below is an article on optimizing press releases Stacy wrote - enjoy!

“Spinning” News for Search Marketing Impact
by Stacy Williams, Managing Partner, Prominent Placement.

What costs less than a penny an impression, drives qualified traffic to your web site, positions your company as an authority, helps boost search engine rankings, generates buzz, and may even result in traditional media coverage?

Three words: optimized press releases. An average optimized release will:

• Be read by well over 100,000 people (journalists, industry analysts and prospective customers).
• Be published on more than 850 other web sites.
• Have an average cost per read of less than 1 cent (or a CPM of about $8 for you media folks).

Want to try it? Here are four basic steps to successfully optimize an existing press release.

• Decide which search terms to target with your press release. Search terms are the words and phrases your target audience might type into a search engine in order to find your web site. There’s a definite art to selecting search terms, but you can get a lot of good information from

• Use the search terms in the headline, subhead, and copy of the press release. Don’t overdo it – it still needs to read well and present your news item accurately and succinctly. Still, it’s usually fairly simple to swap out wording that no one is searching for (such as “enterprise systems”) for more precise, product-oriented language that your target audience is searching for (such as “enterprise resource planning software”). Another example: Instead of writing about “our products,” write about “our fiber-optic transceiver products.”

• Build links into the release that point to related pages on your web site. Search engines consider the number and quality of links pointing to a site when determining rankings. To further impact rankings, include your search terms in the text of the links themselves.

• Distribute the release via
PRWeb, an electronic distribution system built just for the Internet. Pony up for paid distribution – while PRWeb has an option to distribute your release at no charge, you won’t get nearly as many benefits by using that option.

What happens next?

• The release shows up nearly instantly in both
Google News and Yahoo News. These news engines have over 27 million unique visitors a month in total. Often, it'll show up in regular search sults too.

• The release is fed across the Internet and picked up by other sites that publish syndicated content. Your release shows up on numerous other sites -- again, building awareness and site visitors.

• It’s emailed to appropriate segments of an opt-in email database of over 100,000 journalists. So, in addition to the online marketing benefits, you may get traditional media coverage out of this!

• A web page is created for your release on PRWeb’s site. If you’ve built links pointing to your site into the release, every time your release is posted somewhere on the web, it creates more links pointing to your site.

Consider extending your traditional PR efforts to the online world. Optimizing press releases is a cost-effective, measurable tactic for increasing your position in search engine rankings and building traffic to your site.

In 2001, Stacy Williams and her husband Matt started
Prominent Placement, a search engine ranking company in Atlanta. Her extensive marketing background includes 18 years' experience at advertising and direct marketing agencies in Atlanta and Los Angeles, primarily working for B2B clients. She's also a fellow speaker at SES and publishes frequently in various industry journals. In her spare time she can be found selling Girl Scout cookies.

Keywords: optimized press releases, Stacy Williams, publish syndicated content, generates buzz

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