If you don’t optimize your pressrelease for search engines when you send it out, you’re wasting your time.
First off, the odds of the media (outside of trade press) picking up a corporate release that’s not investor related are not in your favor.
And if the media do pick it up, they usually shorten it or use it as part of a bigger story. It’s not in their nature to take a release as gospel and print most or all of it the way you wrote it.
In fact, in today’s world, you should be reversing the reason you write a press release. Your primary reason should be to have it be picked up by the search engines, and if you do get media coverage as well, then that’s an added bonus.
When it gets picked up and proliferated – and you’ve formatted you release correctly – you will generate a number of powerful backlinks to your website. Furthermore, you expand the possibilities of customers finding you, since they might land on your press release, which is not on your website.
There’s plenty of information out there to get your press release optimized. Here’s what we recommend.
1. Keywords. If you want your press release to be noticed by the search engines in the right way, pick those keywords that best fit your press release. You don’t want to overdo the keywords, so do your research and pick 2-3 keyword phrases.
2. Headlines. Search engines like headlines, and they are particular about their headlines. The general rule of thumb is to write one with no more than 80 characters (with spaces), but 65 is better. Make sure one of your keyword phrases is in that main headline.
3. The 1st paragraph. Follow good PR writing rules. That includes the inverse pyramid (most important to least important) and cover as much of the who, what, where, and why at the top. Put in your main keyword phrase in the first paragraph and try to end your first paragraph with a keyword that’s used as an anchor text for a link that goes to your website.
4. The body of the release. Weave in keywords where appropriate and anchor text 2-3, but no more. Remember, the search engines pay greater attention to keywords that are linked. Try to make sure your links go to relevant pages and avoid phrases like ‘click here’.
5. Insurance URL. Not all sites that pick up your release use anchor texts. Be sure to put the full URL at the end of your release, and at the end of the first paragraph.
6. Distribution. Once you’ve prepared your press release, the next step is distribution. There are numerous free and paying distribution services. The big ones like BusinessWire and PRNewswire were initially set up to get your release to media outlets. They still do that, but also offer robust SEO services. So if media coverage is more important to you, then you might want to pay extra. But there are number of other services that do well with search engines.
Before choosing one (and they range in price from free to $500 per press release), be sure that they can get your release to Google News and Yahoo! News. You also may want to find out if they do anchor text linkage or not. Many of the free ones also have a paid service, and read the fine print before you go for a free distribution. Some of what they promise only comes with a fee.
Here is a list of news release sources.
7. Tracking. The beauty of an optimized press release that lands in Google News or Yahoo News! is that it’s trackable and, with the right wire service, can offer you numerous stats. Furthermore, it lasts forever on the web, which is more than you can say for a traditional printed version.
If you’d like to know more about how you can optimize your press releases, ask about our search optimized press release services.