The press release is an invaluable tool in any internet marketing agency’s arsenal, and submitting them regularly can give your search engine optimization (or SEO) campaign a powerful boost.
Though many public relations professionals consider press releases an outdated form of marketing, others argue that press releases are an excellent way to reach both news media and everyday people. Press releases also catch the attention of search engine robots, placing valuable links to your site around the internet and moving your website up Google’s rankings. It’s important, however, to set up you press release as efficiently as possible to gain maximum SEO benefit. Here are five tips to creating a high-quality, SEO-friendly press release.
1. Use your keywords at the beginning. Your keywords, which should come from your existing SEO campaign and show up as anchor text links, will be used by Google to determine how high your website ranks. Google will use the headline, first 160 characters of the body, and possibly the short summary of the press release to help determine these rankings as well. Use the keywords in the first 160 characters of the body for maximum benefit, but definitely within the first few sentences is that isn’t possible. The keywords should also be found within the first 60 characters of the title.
2. Who, What, When, Where, Why. Remember that you’re writing a journalistic article, so it’s important to get to the point as quickly as possible. The first sentence should answer the five “W” questions, and the first paragraph should be a brief summary of all the information that the press release will contain (as many sites will shorten the release and post only the first sentence or two). Be concise and don’t use flowery language like idioms or metaphors.
3. Use anchor text links. Your keywords should come from your existing SEO campaign (or be researched with a tool like Google AdWords if you don’t have an SEO campaign) and show up in the release as anchor text links. Be sure that the links point to all different pages on the site, not just the home page. Include a full URL of the home page as well – many PR sites won’t accept anchor text links but will post full URLs as live links. This still has significant SEO benefit.
4. Be sure that it’s newsworthy information. Don’t write spam press releases just for the sake of building links. By filling press release wires with junk, companies are only further devaluing the press release process and knocking back their SEO campaigns. You can almost always find something newsworthy within the company to do a press release about – such as a new staff member, a new location, a new service, or a new innovation that you could discuss.
5. Use social media to your advantage. Social media has exploded in the past year, and it’s quickly becoming one of the most effective marketing channels in existence. Post your press release to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to give your fans and followers the ability to comment on the material. Social media websites make press releases more interactive, boosting the human readership element of your SEO campaign and keeping your company in the spotlight.