Press Releases 101: Does Using a Wire Service Increase Reach or Improve SEO?

May 21, 2024

Wire Service Increase Reach or Improve SEO

With the landscape of digital marketing changing every day, the connection between public relations (PR) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has never been clearer. 

We get asked all the time: “Can using a wire service boost my SEO?” (Wire services, AKA newswires, AKA organizations that supply news to newspapers, radio and TV stations using an electrical communication system). Today, we’re breaking down our answer to this question and exploring how these wire services can jazz up your online presence and SEO game, while also talking about situations where it might be better to give them a pass. 

But wait, there’s more! Before we dive in, let’s take a look at the top five questions about SEO and newswires on Google, just to make sure we’re covering all the bases. What can we say— we love giving the people what they want!

Do Press Releases Help with SEO?

Get in loser, we’re going to learn about press releases! These bad boys shouldn’t only be viewed as vehicles to share news; when you craft them with SEO in mind, press releases transform into strategic assets that not only enhance your business’ SEO efforts, but also become a channel for targeted keyword optimization. This skyrockets your content’s chance to appear in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) when picked up by authoritative outlets, or even shared on your own website!

Extra fun fact: press releases distributed through a wire service (think PR Newswire, Cision, etc.) generate backlinks to your website from authoritative sources, further boosting your website’s credibility and search rankings. Which leads us to our next point…

Why Use a Newswire?

Okay, imagine you have an announcement to share, but know in your heart and soul that it isn’t newsworthy enough for journalists to write a feature or mention in an article. A lot of things can fall into this category— product updates, new hires, award wins tied to a specific media outlet and other company announcements, just to name a few. This is the perfect time to break out the newswire on your handy dandy belt of PR tricks and tools!

When you send out a press release on the wire, they get a boost from the newswire’s own domain authority. Take PR Newswire, for example. They’ve got a domain authority of 92— if you know your web analytics, you’ll recognize that this is higher than many of the top media outlets! This means your release will have a better chance of showing up higher in search.

When potential clients are out there Googling news about your business, guess which press releases are sitting pretty at the top of the SERP? Yours, baby! This is a great way to take control of your own narrative, making sure all the good stuff about your business is front and center when people are searching for it.

Are Newswires Still Relevant Today?

So, here’s the deal: newswires are definitely still relevant from a news distribution perspective. Getting the word out is important! That being said, not all wires are created equal. Many wire services vary in the networks of journalists, bloggers, media outlets and online platforms they target, and even how the wires are sent. Make sure your PR or communications team does their research on which newswire is best for your specific announcement. There are tons of options out there, and keep in mind that costs can vary wildly!

If you ask us, newswires are great for big announcements that you want the whole world to know, beyond the selected media you send individualized pitches to (hot tip: we always recommend sending personalized pitches to media!). However! What we don’t ever recommend is putting something solely on a wire service, unless there is truly little to no media value. 

Sure, wire services can lead to some direct placements, but they often end up buried deep, deep in the recesses of Google or on a random website, where no general consumer will see them. The real value comes when you showcase a placement from one of the publications on social media or other owned channels— this is where the real magic happens, and where you gain the authority of that publication when you share it with your audience.

We typically recommend waiting to release news on the wire until after the journalists you’re pitching have had a chance to write their own story and lead with their own coverage. Depending on the type of news, waiting a solid one to three days once the first story goes live is usually a good rule of thumb. 

When it comes to traffic, we’ve noticed something interesting: when a story goes live, traffic spikes, then dips, then picks back up again a few days later when the wire announcement goes out. This is neat, since it allows you to more closely track which tactic drove traffic and conversions!

Are Press Releases Good for Backlinks?

When those reputable media outlets pick up your press release and link back to your website, it not only drives referral traffic, but also tells search engines that your website is credible. In turn, your site’s search rankings receive a nice little boost. We’d venture to say that this makes press releases a certified good tool for SEO backlink acquisition!

Does this mean that press releases are the only option for scoring backlinks? Not at all. Contributing content on a third party website, an interview with a reporter that turns into a feature story— all great ways to get those backlinks.

The thing is, backlinks are the lifeblood of brand awareness. The more you maximize backlinks in media coverage, the more potential customers will discover your brand. It also keeps your brand on the radar for the people who are already familiar with it.

What Is the Importance of SEO in Public Relations?

We’re gonna say it— PR and SEO are the ultimate acronym power couple. When it comes to gaining web traffic, they just belong together! Keep in mind that web traffic is how most businesses are found these days. SEO not only boosts the discoverability and visibility of your PR content— think an op-ed or byline— and makes sure it’s being seen by the right people, at the right time, but it also increases web traffic and brand awareness. 

Let’s talk about the Marketing Flywheel for a second. It’s a great example of the relationship between PR and SEO; within the three phases of the wheel (Attract, Engage, Delight), PR is most used in the Attract phase, in which organizations entice visitors with useful content, while also eliminating barriers as they try to learn more about the company or brand. The golden rule? Earn people’s attention, don’t force it.

When you optimize your media materials— like press releases— for relevant keywords, and leverage contributed or expert content on your website, press releases and more, you as a PR professional can amplify the reach and impact of your message. Driving organic traffic, building brand awareness and fostering meaningful relationships with stakeholders— that’s what the symbiotic relationship between PR and SEO is all about.

It’s time to wrap everything up! In short, companies should use wire services to send out press releases only when it makes sense. There’s so much more to today’s Public Relations than just press releases, and every business has the power to elevate their online visibility, acquire quality backlinks and bolster their SEO performance.

Need help tightening up your SEO-driven PR strategy? Get in touch with our team!