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How To Maximize Traffic From Your Press Releases

Maximizing Traffic From Your Press Releases
So you've written and distributed an online press release. Woohoo! Now what? Ideally, your customers will read it and take some action like clicking the links and visiting your website. But is your site ready for them? 
While we have always recommended a mix of
anchor text links in press releases that go to your homepage, relevant product/service pages, and supporting content, we haven't really talked strategy for converting the people coming from those links. "Converting" as in, buying something, downloading something, signing up for something, or otherwise taking some desired action. 

After all, isn't that the purpose of your website? To provide something valuable or helpful to visitors so that they will reward you with business? Even if that business isn't cash-money just yet, by signing up for your newsletters, reading your content, or downloading your handy guides, they are getting to know your company, building trust, and keeping you in mind for when they need your product or service.
So now let's get serious about those visitors who are coming to your site from your press releases. They just read something that interested them and they want to learn more - that's great! Instead of just dumping them on your homepage, use this opportunity to send them to a dedicated landing page or show them a specific pop-up offer that relates to your press release topic or call to action. 

Landing Pages

There's a misconception that a landing page is just any page on your website. A landing page is generally not part of your website navigation; a visitor can't come to your website and find a landing page. Instead, they land on these pages from other locations around the internet (i.e. ads, social media posts, press release links, etc.)
Landing pages are very specific. They expand on a single topic - for example, an SaaS company that is promoting discounted renewal pricing for the holidays might create a dedicated landing page that shows the discounts, highlights the benefits, and has an easy form for people to convert (sign up for the offer!). This promotion might not be on their website, but they may promote it as an exclusive offer from a press release or social media ad. Only people coming from those sources will land on the landing page and see this offer. 

Using Landing Pages From Your Press Release Links

Consider these best practices when creating landing pages for your PR links:

  • Use your landing page to go into more depth about the press release topic and/or call to action.
  • Include a form to collect leads and signups. Just be sure to only ask for what you need to make it easy for customers. 
  • Be sure the topic of the landing page actually relates to the press release topic and/or call to action. If a person clicks a link for "exclusive holiday renewal pricing" don't send them to a landing page to schedule a demo. 

UTMs And CRO, Oh My!

In our last post, we shared tips for using UTM tracking codes in your press release links to track engagement with those links. It's particularly helpful for creating targeted pop-ups on your website based on where the traffic is coming from (often called the "referring source"). 
To create pop-ups on your website, you'll need a conversion rate optimization platform. Don't let that sound intimidating. Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is simply any strategy that increases the number of people, that do what you want them to do, on your website. Want more people to sign up for your newsletter? That's considered a conversion. So is renewing a software subscription under a holiday pricing plan. It's some action you want visitors to take that you can measure and track -- and that you can ultimately increase using CRO strategies, such as pop-ups. 

Targeted Pop-Ups

Once you've mastered using UTM codes in the links in your press releases, it's time to focus on what to do with that specific traffic once it hits your website. Enter: pop-ups, a pretty powerful CRO strategy!
Great pop-ups work not necessarily because they disrupt the visitor on your website, but because they are timely, relevant and valuable. A great pop-up shows the right offer, to the right, visitor, at the right time. This is why using a pop-up to capture traffic from your press release links with UTM codes is so effective. 


As a quick refresher, to create a UTM code in Google Analytics, go to the Campaign URL Builder. For our holiday software renewal, the UTM parameters could look something like this:
Website URL: https://example.com/holiday-software-renewal/

Campaign: "holiday-pricing"

Source: "news"

Medium: "press-release"

Content: "nov-19"

You'll get a custom URL that includes the tracking code. Use this URL in the keyword section when you upload your press release on Online PR Media:

Next, go to your pop-up software and create a new campaign to capture traffic from your press release link. When you get to targeting, you will see an option for "referring source" or "where visitor came from." Click through these options until you are able to paste in the UTM link to indicate that visitors coming from that source or domain should see your pop-up.
What should the actual pop-up contain? 

  • A relevant offer. If you're capturing traffic from the "exclusive holiday renewal pricing" link, your offer should give them a way to secure the pricing.
  • Clear and actionable language.  
  • Attractive design that catches the eye while complementing your website's branding. 
  • A follow-up. Whether you're downloading your leads manually or they are automatically being sent to your email platform, be sure to have an email ready to go to confirm whatever the customer signed up for. 

Here's an example: 

And remember, only the people who clicked on your UTM links from your press release will see this offer. Because they read the release and clicked the link, this pop-up will not only make perfect sense to them, but it will be exactly what they were looking for. It couldn't be more timely or relevant than that!

Want To Maximize Traffic From Your Press Releases?

When it comes to CRO platforms that perform, we recommend our partners over at Picreel. They offer a free 30-day trial - no credit card required. And for a limited time, they're even offering free setup services. Meaning, they will install Picreel on your website, create your first campaign, and launch it on your website. It really doesn't get any easier than that!

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Using UTM Codes To Track Press Release Traffic

Do You Know How To Track Who Clicks On Your Press Release Links? 

Online press releases are an excellent addition to your marketing strategy. They are widely distributed on a variety of news and media sites, they help lend credibility to your company, and they result in numerous backlinks (links on other sites that go back to your website). Of course, the ultimate hope is that your customers will read your press releases, click the links within the release, and visit your website.

But how can you tell if your press releases are directing traffic to your site? And within your press release, how can you tell which links are performing the best? Enter: UTM codes.

What Are UTM Codes?

UTM stands for Urchin Tracking Module. In 2005, Google acquired a company called Urchin Software Corporation. This laid the framework for today's Google Analytics - widely known as the authority on website traffic and engagement analytics (i.e. how well your website is performing, who's visiting it, and what they're doing on your site). 

Essentially, UTM codes are unique website addresses created for websites to tag information about the user who clicked on the link. More specifically, UTMs can help you to understand where your traffic is coming from, as well as how and why it is coming to you. We’ll discuss this in more depth later.

How To Include Tracking Links In Your Press Releases

Online PR Media offers customers an opportunity to insert anchor text links within your press release. These are underlined clickable words that link to a specific webpage. Online PR Media refers to this anchor text as “keywords,” and this is where you will enter your keyword text and associated web address (URL). 

When choosing which words will become your anchor text, it’s important to note that only UTMs linked to a page within your website will be trackable. For example, if one of your keywords links out to the website of a company that you are partnering with, you will not be able to track clicks on this link since the primary URL links to their website - not yours. 

Parts Of A UTM

Before we get into how to create a UTM code, it’s helpful to first understand the different parts of it. The four key components, or “parameters” of a UTM are:

  • Campaign - there are several philosophies to naming campaigns, but most commonly, this should be the name of the piece of content you’re linking to. For example, if you’re linking to a blog about pollution, your campaign name could be something as simple as: pollution-blog. 
  • Source - this shows where the traffic is coming from. This should be a fairly broad category. For example, for a UTM in a press release, you could choose “news” as a source. Other common options are paid, unpaid, organic, CPC, etc.
  • Medium - this describes how the traffic got to you. This would be the subcategory of the Source. For a press release, the medium could be “press-release” or simply “pr”
  • Content - this is not mandatory, but useful to differentiate between sources that are otherwise the same. For example, if your company publishes press releases frequently, you would want to choose a name for “Content” that differentiates it from other press releases. For example, if you publish one press release per quarter, Content may be named 2019-q4-pr

One important consideration before moving forward is that UTMs are an extraordinarily helpful tool - and once you see the value they bring, it’s hard to stop creating them! If you’re generating a decent amount of content, you should consult this article on UTM naming strategies that can help you develop a system that is organized, consistent, and works for you.

How To Generate A UTM

Google makes generating UTMs easy with their Campaign URL Builder. Using the naming strategy described above, we can fill in the parameters to create a UTM for this blog to be used in a November 2019 press release. It could look something like this:

This tool will then generate a UTM in the box below, which looks like this:

Congratulations! You’ve made your first UTM code.

Inserting A UTM Into Your Press Release

This is the easy part! Once you have identified the anchor text or keywords for your press release, you’ll scroll to the Keywords and Anchors section when uploading your release on Online PR Media. In the field labeled Keyword #1, you’ll type the word(s) being used as anchor text. In the corresponding cell to the right, Link #1, you’ll paste the UTM link in its entirety. Because UTMs are long, it may appear to be truncated even though a quick scroll to the right reveals that all the text is present. 

And that’s it! You can generate a separate UTM for up to three other pages you’d like to link to. 
Bear in mind that if you will be linking to the same Campaigns in other media (i.e. sharing the same pollution blog on your Twitter account, or as a guest post on a local conservation group's site), you will need to generate separate UTMs, where Source and Medium should change accordingly. In this way you’ll be able to not only identify which links perform best within your content, but also which form of media receives the most clicks to each of your campaigns.

Interpreting Results From Your UTM Codes
Here’s the fun part: using Google Analytics, you can watch the results come in.

In your Google Analytics Account in the left-hand side bar, click AcquisitionCampaignsAll Campaigns. 

Each of these rows represents a single campaign. This page shows a summary of how many “clicks” each campaign received (regardless of source or medium), as well as some other pertinent stats about user behavior while on your site. 

More information can be gathered about source and medium when an individual campaign is clicked on:

Here we can see that one campaign received 21 users, 19 of whom came from the signature line from company emails, and 21 of whom came from organic posts on Twitter. While further analysis would be required to draw conclusions (knowing how many times the link was posted on Twitter, how long the link appeared in email signature lines, etc.) you can see how these insights can really help shape your future marketing efforts! 
Now that you know how to track traffic from your press releases, we know you're anxious to get started! Stay tuned for our next post where we’ll discuss how to prep your website to maximize traffic from press releases. Think: collecting leads, growing your email lists, and ultimately boosting sales!

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Press Release Template Press Release Template: Announcing A Sale Or Promotion It's Q4 and the holiday shopping season is upon us! While consumers may need to get through trick or treating before getting serious about shopping, for retailers the time to start planning for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the entire month of December is now.   Once you have your holiday sales strategy in place, a press release is a great way to help get the word out. And we've made it simple for you to quickly whip up something with a Press Release Template specifically for announcing a sale or promotion. Use this any time of the year when you have an upcoming special.   

Is Your Sale Newsworthy?

  In short, YES! Many retailers don't think press releases fit into their marketing strategy because their sales or promotions don't seem newsworthy enough. This is where it's important to keep your target audience in mind: shoppers. You're not writing this particular press release for journalists or your board; you're hoping potential shoppers read it. And the types of media sites and publications that are going to pick it up also cater to consumers, not business execs and investors.   So yes, announcing your sale or promotion via a press release is absolutely appropriate!   Also keep in mind that a press release makes your announcement feel more important. If a consumer reads your news as a press releases versus seeing it on social media, they may think it's a big deal. A can't miss sale. Especially if you use the release to announce exclusive offers (in store, online, members only, etc.).   

Don't Stop With A Press Release

  A news release should be a part of a comprehensive marketing strategy. We always recommend
promoting your press release on social media and your own website, but you should also use additional channels to promote the sale, including:  
  • Your website
  • Popup offers on your website
  • Retargeting and display ads
  • Social media
  • Email marketing
  • Direct mail and newspaper circulars
  • In-store signage and fliers 
 

Find This Template And More On OnlinePRMedia.com

  We've created a dozen Press Release Templates to make writing press releases a snap. Simply log into your Online PR Media account - or create a new account for free - and click the Resources link from your dashboard.   This is also a great place to start if you want to drum up some news but are stumped on a topic. Whether you've recently released a new product, hired a new manager, or added a user-friendly feature to your website, you can find a press release template for your news on Online PR Media.    Now let's dig into the template for announcing a sale or promotion.   __________________________________________________________________  

Template

  Enter your 3 primary keywords below. You may choose to add longtail keywords as well. Use this area to keep track of your keywords as you use them. Use at least one in the title and at 1-2 in the summary. Use each keyword at least once in the body.   Keyword #1         Keyword #2         Keyword #3         Title – 100 Characters or Less (use 1 keyword, as close to the beginning as possible)   Summary – 175 characters or less (use 1-2 additional keywords)   Paragraph 1 – Announce the sale or promotion in the very first sentence. Clearly state what the offer is (i.e. discount on purchase, free shipping, price match, limited time offer, gift with purchase, etc.) This is your chance to grab your reader's attention, so make the offer sound as exciting and valuable as possible. Use an anchor text link to link your company name to your website’s homepage   Paragraph 2 – Tell readers exactly how to take advantage of the promotion or sale. What dates can they take advantage of the sale? Is it online, in-store, or both? Provide links, codes or instructions, if necessary. Use a bulleted list if step-by-step instructions are necessary.    Paragraph 3 – Describe your products or services being promoted. Clarify whether you're having a storewide sale or if only certain items are on sale. If certain items are being promoted, explain how they benefit your target audience (i.e. you're offering the lowest price of the season on the latest 4K televisions and every purchase comes with a price match guarantee through December 24th).    Paragraph 4 – Include a quote that explains why you’re offering this promotion and the value being provided to customers. (Example: "Holiday window shopping is time-consuming and when you wait too long, inventory may be gone. We're so confident that this is the lowest price you'll find on a 4K TV that we're offering a price match guarantee through December 24th. Find it cheaper and we'll pay you the difference!")   Use the following format for the quote:   “     ,” said [Name of person being quoted], [Title of person being quoted] of [company name] (http://website URL). Make the person’s name an anchor text link linking to their LinkedIn profile, if applicable.   Paragraph 5 – Tell what your company does, what products and services you offer, and any relevant background.    Paragraph 6 – Conclude with a quote that talks about how much you appreciate customers. Emphasize that if there is a favorable response to the promotion, your company will have more sales in the future.    “     ,” said [Last name of person being quoted].   About [Name of Your Company]: [Company name] (http://www. website URL)…. This is your About Us section. This should be your best written “elevator pitch.”   Media Contact: Name Email Address Phone number Website   Anchor Text & Links:   Company name – http://www.link.com   Keyword phrase – http://www.link.com   Keyword phrase – http://www.link.com   Name of person quoted – http://www.link.com   Facebook:   link   Twitter:   Link   Video to embed:   Link   Pull Quote:   Select a powerful part of one of your quotes and copy/paste it here. When published it will be “pulled out” into a box and highlighted.  

Your Turn!

  Have you used a press release to announce an upcoming sale or promotion? How effective was it?      
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Holiday Publicity Ideas Holiday Publicity Ideas For Any Business The end of the year is jam-packed with holiday happenings. Is your business leveraging them to gain publicity? You should! From Halloween through Christmas, there are no shortage of ways to get in front of potential customers that are preparing for the holiday shopping season.    Let's take a look at each month in the fourth quarter and give you some ideas for both online and in-store publicity ideas. Take what works for your business and incorporate the ideas into your holiday marketing strategy!   

October 

  The fall season technically runs until almost Christmas, but October is the month that gets all the attention. Here's how to get on board with the autumnal festivities to drum up some publicity for your business:   Host a contest and give away a pair of football tickets. Americans lovvvvve their fall football. If you can snag some tickets and get the word out about the contest, you will get a slew of entries. This works well for local businesses - real estate agents, insurance agents, attorneys, etc. - where there is a strong college football following or an NFL team that plays nearby. This works for online brands, too! As a prize, just change it up to be a football related item, like a season subscription to the NFL Ticket.    What you get: The contact information of everyone that entered. Add them to your email marketing, direct mail, and other strategies for the upcoming holiday shopping season.    Sponsor a fall festival. Whether a community event or a school's fall festival, there is almost always an option to be a sponsor. Most festival committees offer various levels of sponsorship so that you can select one that fits your marketing budget.    What you get: Your name/logo appears on the festival's website, brochure, signage, etc. Go a step further and host a booth at the festival with fun games where you give out branded prizes or coupons for your upcoming holiday promotions.   Host a trunk-or-treat. Today's parents love the convenient new trunk-or-treat concept. Host an event in your business's parking lot. In addition to candy for the kiddos, create a goodie bag for adults with coupons or an invitation to your holiday sale. For online brands, use offer pop-ups to give visitors a special "treat," or even schedule a trick-or-treat weekend where visitors can find surprise offers throughout your site for X% off, free shipping, etc. Hype it up on social and email beforehand for a good turn out!   What you get: Face-to-face relationship building with parents and an opportunity to put marketing materials in their hands.  

November

  November is when shoppers really start thinking about holiday shopping. Black Friday and Cyber Monday ads and announcements start coming out at the beginning of the month, and consumers are on the lookout for them.    Black Friday pre-sale. This works for both in-store and online retailers. The idea is to entice shoppers in early to beat the rush. Of course, there needs to be a hook. You'll need to make sure your pre-sale prices will be the same as your Black Friday prices. Or, offer a price match guarantee. If shoppers know they won't be able to beat the price, they are more willing to start shopping early.   What you get: Sales instead of window shoppers. At a time when consumers are comparing pricing and preparing for the start of the season, you've convinced them to buy from you with a guarantee that they're getting the best price.   Cyber Monday preview all month long. Shoppers have a love affair with Cyber Monday and the ability to avoid the crowds and shop in their PJs. Start promoting your Cyber Monday deals at the beginning of the month. Each day, post a deal to your social sites, update the banner on your website's homepage, and even consider using popups on product pages letting shoppers know the item is going to be on sale.    What you get: Shoppers scheduling time on your website on Cyber Monday.    Show your customers you appreciate them. Thanksgiving is a time to count your blessings, and your paying customers deserve a heartfelt thank you. Take this opportunity for a softer approach - a true gift of gratitude like a free surprise gift (don't promote it!) with every in-store purchase, chocolate or nuts in the mail, a virtual gift card to someplace other than your business (Starbucks, iTunes, etc).    What you get: Recognition as a brand doing right by their customers and increased loyalty. A true gift and note of appreciation will be more memorable than a coupon to spend more money in your store.   

December

  It's crunch time! December is THE busiest shopping season of the month. The National Retail Foundation's annual survey found that consumers planned to
spend more than $1,000 during the 2018 holiday shopping season. How do you get a piece of that action?   Give stuff away. Yes, for free. 'Tis the season! People are already shopping in December, so make the incentives good so that they buy from you and not your competitors. Think free gift card when a customer refers a friend, a free gift with $X purchase, etc.    What you get: The sale. Shoppers are constantly looking for the best deal in December. That's not always the lowest price! Offset their cost with free stuff and they will perceive yours as the best deal.    Host another contest. Make this one fun, festive, and social! Create a branded holiday hashtag and have your social followers go on a themed photo scavenger hunt. The prize should obviously be a fabulous free item, gift card, or some other prize worth working for.    What you get: Social media engagement, contact information of contestants, and a holly jolly good time had by all!   Pictures with Santa. Same idea as your trunk-or-treat event. Get those families back out to your business, hire a (great) Santa, serve hot chocolate and cookies, and maybe even pump in some fake snow! This doesn't need to be a hard sell - it could just be another customer appreciation event to keep your brand in mind. Of course, you could go a step further and hire a photographer with instant print capabilities. The parents' free picture of their adorable kiddos would print with a tearaway coupon at the bottom… just sayin'!   Want to boost holiday sales? Start planning now and you could have more publicity than you know what to do with over the next three months!  

Your Turn!

  What promotions do you do around the holidays to increase sales? Do you start in the fall, or wait until the December shopping season hits?   
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How To Use Images And Photos To Make Your Press Releases POP Most press releases are little more than text. They're published without the important bells and whistles that draw readers' attention. Lacking photos or graphics, they merely convey information, leaving the reader to decide whether the story is engaging enough to actually read.   That's leaving a huge opportunity on the table. Our eyes tend to gravitate toward images in a way that text cannot match. Whether real-life photos or computer-generated graphics, images attract our attention and help us connect with and remember the content.   Ask yourself: have you ever seen an effective marketing brochure that didn't use photos? Have you ever seen a high-converting sales page online that lacked them? Probably not. And neither should you distribute press releases without including some type of image that supports your story.
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Publicity Ideas For Insurance Agents: 6 Creative Ways To Promote Your Services According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are nearly 400,000 insurance agents nationwide. To say the field is competitive is an understatement, and as an agent, you know firsthand that it takes more than hard work and dedication to be successful. You need a way to stand apart from the pack so people in your city will notice you.    That's where generating publicity comes in. It ensures your name is on prospects' minds. When the time comes for them to purchase an insurance product, they'll think of you and pick up the phone.   How do create buzz around your services? Read on for 6 ideas that are simple, cost-effective, and even fun!
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