Over the past several months, we've tested out various free online press release distribution sites on behalf of some of our clients. Here's what we've found:
We've had a good experience with this site; our releases have been approved and indexed on Google. Be sure to set up one account for each of your clients.
We've also had success with this site; the releases post immediately and are indexed on Google. In addition, the site allows for certain formatting tags such as bold and italics (most sites don't offer this).
This site has a strict policy about what it will distribute, which is actually great if your release is accepted - it means more attention for your client. We sent a release for one client who won an industry award which was accepted, but another client who was announcing a new product line had their release rejected as too promotional. You can also include three pictures with your release at no charge.
The site requires up to two days for approval and we had no trouble getting releases approved initially, but were told after submitting a recent release that they were "too busy" to review and approve it for free, but that they could make time if we paid $49. Another thing to note is that they require a physical mailing address which is publicly displayed; this can be awkward if you are an e-commerce entrepreneur working out of your home. Although they offer regional targeting, this is available for the U.S. only - they did not have any UK targeting.
General notes on free press release sites
The free sites generally don't let you include a live link to your site unless you pay an added fee. You are also limited in terms of formatting (even simple bolding etc.).My clients have reported an increase in traffic, they've had stories picked up by other sites/blogs and they've had sales as a direct result. However, if you have the budget to pay for a premium service such as PRWeb, I would recommend it over the free sites. (It's currently $140 per release at the "social media visibility" level.)
You can find a list of additional free online press release sites on Mashable. I have a few notes on some of the sites they've listed which may save you time:
- PRBuzz.com is no longer free (they charge $99).
- PRUrgent.com doesn't guarantee free distribution due to a large volume of submissions.
- PressMethod.com had terrible spelling and grammar on their site confirmation page.(In case that's important to you.)
- PRLeap.com is no longer free.
- PRLog.org - this site was full of bad links, including the "submit" link!