Generate Publicity, Backlinks, High PageRank, and Social Media Buzz...
I will help you find the best free press release services that will generate ongoing publicity for your business, new product or service...or whatever it is you need to promote to a global audience. Having worked in public relations and SEO marketing for more than a decade, I have handpicked the following free PR services that I use frequently—and repeatedly—for my business and clients. Why pay a service to distribute your press release when you can find free alternatives? The most successful companies, entrepreneurs and individuals all use press releases to grow their businesses, make more money, increase customers, boost website traffic, and/or brand themselves as a guru. Don't you want to achieve the same amazing results? I am sure you do! That's why this special Hub is for YOU!
Why Free Press Release Services Work
Most SEO marketers use free PR distribution services for themselves or for their clients to produce many positive, ongoing results. With a well-written, newsworthy press release, you can can:
1) Distribute your press release globally, and almost immediately (pending the editor's review and approval process).
2) Build backlinks for your website. You can include links and/or contextual links within your press release that link directly back to your website.
3) Increase traffic to your website. Not only does your press release link back to your website, but your press release also persuades and engages the reader to visit your website.
4) Boost social buzz with tweets, Facebook "likes," Google+ fans, and LinkedIn business connections. Many press release services allow readers to share your press release with people whom they know via social media.
5) Create viral marketing. Although this is much harder to achieve, a well-written press release that appeals greatly to readers can create a "snowball effect," in which readers keep sharing your press release with more readers with no stop in sight.
6) Improve your website's Page Rank. A press release that keeps building diverse backlinks will improve your PageRank. The higher your website's page rank, the more frequent it will appear in search engine results.
7) Rank higher in Google, Bing and Yahoo! search results. Quality (diverse) backlinks plus high PageRank equals ranking higher in search engine results, above your competitors.
8) Complement your existing marketing campaigns. A press release or a series of press releases that span many months can work jointly with other types of marketing, such as article distribution, social networking, and pay-per-click ads.
My Criteria for the Best Free PR Service
Other so called "Top 10" lists or "Best of the Best" lists that you may encounter on other websites only consider two factors: 1) is the service free?; and 2) how much publicity does it generate for me? They don't consider other important factors to determine the effectiveness of using such services. In choosing the most effective free PR services, I made sure each one is not only free and generates publicity for you, but each service ALSO: 1) attracts moderate to high traffic EACH DAY to its site; 2) has a good PageRank with Google; 3) has a high number of websites linking to it; 4) allows DO FOLLOW links in your press release; 5) distributes your press release via RSS feeds and social media tools; 6) builds backlinks to your website; 7) improves your RANKING in search engine results.
These days you want a press release to generate more than a sudden spurt of publicity. After your press release has been distributed, you want your press release to keep working for you by building quality backlinks to your website. The more backlinks generated from a PageRank 4-7 website, the more frequent you will see your website's position rise in search engine results. A higher position in Google or Bing! search engine results will increase traffic to your website every day. This translates to long-term publicity and success!
First, let me reveal the top free press release services, and then I will explain how it works.
The TOP Free Press Release Sites
|Free Press Release Site||PageRank||Alexa Traffic Rank||Sites Linking In||My Rating|
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** You can sort the above table according to your preference. Just click on the appropriate cell header. By default I have listed the sites by page rank. You can sort by Rating, Traffic, Sites Linking In, or by Name.
Understanding the Table
I have partitioned the table into five columns. Here are a few things you need to know...
PageRank: Google uses a "secret" metric formula to analyze the credibility, popularity and "trust" of a website. This is called a PageRank. It can rank from 0 to 10 (with 10 being the highest). The most important component that adds to the strength of a PageRank is the number of quality backlinks from other websites.
Alexa Traffic: A subsidiary of Amazon.com, Alexa.com tracks website traffic from across the Internet. The number represents an estimate of traffic plus pageviews over a 3 month period. The LOWER the Alexa number, the MORE popular the website and the more traffic it generates.
Sites Linking In: This number represents the number of websites linking to the press release site. A higher number means the website has a higher reputation and popularity.
My Rating: I compute the above statistics and rate each site based on its credibility, traffic, popularity and the quality of results that it yields in the end (after the website distributes your press release).
The Main Purpose of Free PR Distribution Services
In case you don't have a background in public relations and SEO marketing, I need to inform you about the difference between these free non-branded PR distribution sites and the well-known distribution "wire" services such as BusinessWire.com, PRNewswire.com, PRWeb.com, MarketWire.com, and others in this league.
Any "free" PR distribution service will NEVER yield the kind of quality publicity that paid distribution services can get you because they lack real credibility with major media news outlets. SEO marketers use these so called "free" non-branded PR distribution sites mainly for SEO purposes: to build backlinks, generate social media buzz, improve PageRank, attract traffic and readers, etc.
Professional public relations writers who represent prominent clients (Apple, Inc., IBM, Ford., etc.) use the popular "wire" services (like BusinessWire) strictly to generate (credible) publicity and not necessarily for SEO purposes. They use these costly services to distribute their press releases to well-know media outlets (USA Today, Reuters, Associated Press, Wired magazine, etc.).
Use "free" non-branded PR services (such as the sites in my table) for SEO purposes; use the paid "wire" distribution services if you are trying to land publicity in national magazines, newspapers, and top 10 news websites.
The Press Release Submission Process
My Hub concentrates on providing free PR distribution sites, and NOT on how to write a newsworthy press release. I assume you know how to write a quality press release; if not, go to Google and type in "how to write a press release" and "how to format a press release." Two important factors that create a successful press release is its content quality and proper formatting. If your press release lacks both—or one of the other—then expect the editor to reject it.
Submitting a press release is self-explanatory and somewhat repetitious. Once you submit a press release at one of my recommended sites, you will realize that the other sites have a similar submission process. Depending on how many press releases that you intend to submit (and how different they are in content from one another), you may want to narrow down your selection.
When I am launching a new product or service, I select the top 6 sites based on "PageRank" and "Sites Linking In." My purpose is not only to generate publicity over time, but also to build quality backlinks to my website where readers can purchase my product or get more information. I distribute one new press release every two weeks until I have submitted six. During and after this time, I track my results to determine how effective I was.
Additional PR Distribution Sites
Here are a handful of other free distribution sites that you can use for SEO purposes. My preference is to use sites with a Page Rank of 4 and above, and I don't usually bother with PageRank 3 and below sites due to time constraints. Your situation may be different.
Misc. Free PR Sites
|Free Press Release Site||Page Rank||Alexa Traffic||Sites Linking In|
Top 10 Tips to Optimize a Press Release
Before you submit a press release, make sure you optimize it for maximum results. Follow these 10 tips.
1) Write quality, newsworthy, original content. There is no exception to this rule. Write for the reader, not the search engine.
2) Write an engaging (non-spammy) headline. If the PR service allows you to add a sub-heading, then also craft an engaging sub-heading.
3) Add hyperlinks or contextual links within your press release that link back to your website or specific webpage.
4) As part of your contact info., include a URL to your profile on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or other popular social media site.
5) Use keywords (very sparingly) in your press release to achieve better positioning in search engine results.
6) Add an image or images to enhance your press release and to grab attention.
7) Write in plain English. Use simple, everyday words. Use short sentences and brief paragraphs.
8) Add your own YouTube video (if the service allows you) to engage readers. Encourage viewers to share your video.
9) Add your own personality to your press release so it is unique, inviting and friendly.
10) Add your own snippet of dialogue or 1-2 quotation(s) from an industry expert to add credibility to your press release.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2012 Brian Scott
jiminalaska on April 19, 2013:
Nice work - very helpful -THANKS!
liamodowd from Leeds on March 20, 2013:
Thanks, interesting article. I'm still not convinced about the power of PR sites BUT we're going to run a little test soon and see just how good, or bad, they are.
Clark Heintz Tools & Equipment LLC on February 26, 2013:
The list of free pr sites is GREAT - I thought I'd done most of the ones that are out there that get ranked in Google, but you had some additional ones that I used after reading this - and they were easy. OpenPR.com and Newsvine. Both seem to be solid and reputable, I'll be curious to see if we show up in Google after using them!
Maya Pillai from Pune on February 07, 2013:
Thanks for the info. Currently I am pursuing a SEO course. YOur hub was really interesting and informative article. I have bookmarked it for future reference
CH on February 05, 2013:
great post - pitchengine.com isn't free anymore though....
Dale Nelson from South Africa on January 28, 2013:
Thanks for a very detailed and informative hub Brian.Bookmarked.
Suzy sparks on October 18, 2012:
Thanks for sharing this, Brian. This piece is a great overview and I found it very informative. I also checked out the link you provided and will read some of the ebooks with press release writing tips.