LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The inaugural U.S. Search Awards were announced during PubCon Las Vegas 2013 last night and Get City Dealz, SEO-PR, and Business Wire won the award for the Best Use of PR in a Search Campaign for their test of multimedia press releases. Holly Firfer, an Emmy nominated correspondent and anchor for CNN, who was the MC for the U.S. Search Awards, said, "This entry was very highly rated by judges who felt that it was a very worthy winner of this category and wanted to reward this solid campaign with impressive metrics and accurate attribution."
Relatively few optimized press releases also include multimedia. The reason is obvious: The costs of creating, optimizing, and distributing multimedia press releases are relatively higher than regular press releases, but the benefits are unknown.
So, in February 2013, Get City Dealz, a technology company in New Orleans that specializes in assisting merchants in promoting their businesses on its deal platform, SEO-PR, the content marketing agency that pioneered press release SEO, and Business Wire, the global leader in press release distribution, conducted a test to find out if including a video or photo in a press release generated better results than a press release which didn't include multimedia.
Get City Dealz created three similar press releases. Each one featured a different local merchant that offered a daily deal or local bargain in New Orleans on the recently launched Get City Dealz platform. Each of the press releases was distributed via Business Wire at 6:30 a.m. on successive Saturday mornings in February.
The first release for Jazzy Nola went out on Feb. 2 and included a video. The second release for Orleans Grapevine went out on Feb. 9 and included a photo. The third release for Glam 504 went out on Feb. 23 and didn't include multimedia. The target audiences for all three press releases were more than 1 million tourists and 5,000 media members who were converging on New Orleans for two major events -- the "Big Game" and Mardi Gras.
By April 1, the first press release with a video had 5,059 release views and 230 link clicks, according to Business Wire's NewsTrak Reports. The video, which was uploaded to YouTube, also had 69 views. The second release with a photo had 3,406 release views and 181 link clicks. The third release with no multimedia had 3,255 release views and 169 link clicks. So, the release with a video had 55.4% more release views and 36.1% more link clicks and the release with a photo had 4.6% more release views and 7.1% more link clicks than the release with no multimedia. Together, the three releases had 11,720 release views and 580 link clicks.
SEO-PR used the Google Analytics URL Builder to tag the links in the three releases. This here are the findings enabled the team to see that visitors from press releases visited an average of 3.12 pages per visit and spent an average of 2 minutes and 16 seconds for the duration of a visit. It also enabled the team to see that 72% of the visits from the releases were new, compared the site average of 42%.
GetCityDealz.com also saw an 85% increase in referral traffic in February over January. This came from websites like Yahoo! Finance and Reuters, which carried the releases, as well as social media like Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest. GetCityDealz.com also saw a 407% increase in organic search traffic in February over January. It's also worth noting that the number of unique visitors to GetCityDealz.com on weekends doubled in February over January.
Pat Hall, CEO of Get City Dealz, said, "Get City Dealz is honored to receive this recognition from the US Search Awards. We are passionate about enabling small businesses to grow and what better place to start than in New Orleans, where the community rallied together after Katrina to rebuild a vibrant business community."
Greg Jarboe, President and co-founder of SEO-PR, added, "We traditionally distribute press releases on weekdays because we are trying to reach the press. But the target audiences for all three of these press releases were the more than 1 million tourists and 5,000 media members who were converging on New Orleans for two major events. These audiences were looking for places to go and story ideas on weekends."
Laura Sturaitis, Executive Vice President of Media Services & Product Strategy at Business Wire, concluded, "We don't just talk about the power of a well optimized press release sent on Business Wire's global network, we feel it is important to partner with thought leaders such as SEO-PR to really test these concepts. This way we can advise our clients on the best way to leverage our network to reach audiences with their content and accomplish their communication campaign goals."