By Jill McCubbin

Here are five tips to get your company’s news story working to funnel visitors to your website and new leads calling your sales department:

1. Include a current, high ranking “key word phrase” in the headline and possibly a few of these phrases in the body of your release or success story.  A current, high ranking “key word phrase” is a phrase most frequently being used online by those people looking for your company or your competitors’ products and services. Free, online tools such as Wordtracker, Keyword discovery, and the Google adWords keyword tool can help you find the top key word phrases for online searches in your industry. By incorporating a few of these phrases in your company’s news release or story, you’ll get more pick up in the search engines and higher ranking on the page.

2. Add the news release or customer success story to your own website first. Create a page at your site for your news announcement. Better yet, create a whole section on your site devoted to these news pages and to media stories about your company. Then, when you release your news to media online, and they begin writing about your story or news, your site is already indexed by Google (and others) as the first source of this news.

3. Take this opportunity to incorporate clear “call to action” content on every page of your site – not just your home page or contact us page. Any page of your company website is potentially the “entry page” for a new visitor. This is especially true of your site’s news page, as the newsworthy content is what drew them to your site in the first place. To capitalize on this situation, you’ll need a side bar or other form of highlighted content on every page of your site to offer key communication about what your company does, how it creates success and how to get in contact with you.

4. Consider using an online commercial newswire or news distribution service. PR newswire, Business wire and Marketwire are services with name recognition within global business communities. Each has a slightly different work-flow and release options. Do some research. Newswires co-operate with content distribution partners - other online media sites or news sites - to expose a news release online

market2world most often works with Marketwire mainly because we are able to target a release to highly relevant industry lists globally or within a specific geography. Marketwire also builds search engine optimization (SEO) short cuts right into its system: a news release is archived on its dedicated, search engine-friendly website, and easy to use options to include keyword-rich hyperlinks and social media links are free add-ons.

5. Finally, kick-start the online “links” to your news story and website. Use services such as Ping-o-matic, Twitter, Facebook or auxiliary sites at your company’s disposal to bring attention to your news release or story and link to the original news (posted at your site). When working with a new company, the market2world team actually goes one step further and recommends a company build their website using a hosted service such as SquareSpace that offers automated ping services in the architecture of the site.

Need more help? market2world has many more ideas and services in our marketing tool box.

(Jill McCubbin is a conversation architect with market2world communications inc., Ottawa, Canada's tech PR and product marketing agency.)