If you’re like me, you always just assumed that press releases were expensive and had to be handled by a third party public relations firm. I knew that in order to reach my goal of becoming the #1 firm in the U.S. that focuses exclusively in SAP talent acquisition, I needed to do more than just be the best recruiter in terms of delivery.
Perception can oftentimes be reality, and I wanted to build an image that conveyed to my potential clients and candidates that we’re the “go-to” firm in their niche. What kind of firm would we be if our website was outdated and unprofessional? How good could our firm really be if they couldn’t easily find out about us on the Internet? Here’s a great question for you to ponder about your own market presence: If a target client was using Google to locate a great recruiter that specializes in your niche, would that client easily find you on page 1 of the search results?
I’m from the “old school” and understand that outbound direct marketing phone calls are the #1 key to our success. However, if you’re not looking at how to better utilize technology to land business that you otherwise wouldn’t have had, I think you’re giving a huge advantage to your competitors. Perhaps more importantly, I learned that it is not very expensive to manage your own press release distribution and significantly improve your brand as others may see it. If you land one new client or attract one “A” player candidate that leads to a placement because of this strategy, it can yield a 10,000% ROI.
With some practice, you can write your own press release littered with great keywords and strategically placed quotes for your industry. You can position yourself as the go-to industry expert and you can use market information that people are curious about. Recruiters have lots of great market intelligence to share about what’s hot, skills in demand, compensation trends, etc. Writing great press releases can land you on page 1 Google results in less than two days, and may even lead to future quotes in major television, newspaper, or trade magazines. Read below for a high-level overview on some things to think about as you embark on your journey to take your firm’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy to the next level.
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- Four web sites I recommend you review before you do your first press release are:
- Read two free articles on PR Newswire site: Anatomy of a News Release and How to Write a News Release for Better Search Engine Optimization
- Compare other recruiting firm press releases by reading at least ten press releases written by competitors or other talent acquisition firms.
- Try releasing a free press release using PR Zoom and then Google some of the keywords or phrases you used in the article to see your results!
- Strive to keep your entire press release to 500 words or less – Do not go over 700.
- Make sure to keep your entire release content natural sounding so that the reader is unaware that placement of your keywords throughout the body is planned.
- Your want your audience to click-through the link at the end of the release, and the more natural your release is, the more likely they are to go to the URL you direct them to.
- Spend extra time to get a truly great HEADLINE and a SUBHEAD that draws the reader in.
- Use the Tech Support of any of the sites listed above to learn how to include anchor text (hyperlinking a word to a specific URL – like your website)
- Write the full URL of particularly important websites (i.e., http://thewholeURL.com)
- I recommend that you plan a new press release once every two months; six per year at a minimum.
- Have two or three others that you trust review your press release for suggestions and please do us all a favor and do Spell Check!
After you have finalized your Press Release, you’ll use a company like PRWeb to help you distribute the press release. Believe me when I say that for $250 and a little time and energy on your part, if it’s done properly, you could land several new clients in 2011 that will actually call you. Furthermore, it’ll give you and any recruiters on your team more confidence to know that when people are checking you out on the Internet, they will find great press releases out there that back up your claim that you really are an industry expert.
Building a brand and creating a highly professional image does not happen without a plan. Remember that your website, consistent press release distribution, your LinkedIn page, and quotes that you give to trade publications or media all contribute to your overall Search Engine Optimization strategy. If you used to think it was only some coding that a web developer did behind the scenes, now you know better!