Top Ten Tips for Optimizing Your Press Release for SEO
Press releases are a great way to share company and product news with your target stakeholders—from customers, partners, prospects and potential employees. As with any communication push you are making online, ensure that the press releases you send out are optimized to give your SEO a boost, drive targeted traffic to specific parts of your website, and up your placement on search engine results pages. Newswires and other well-established press release distribution channels allow a properly formatted press release to go viral and continue building buzz and momentum for your announcement. A press release also serves as great content to be placed on a site with blog posts, comments and tweets linking to it.
The following ten tips will help you to optimize your upcoming press releases.
1. Make the press release topic and content newsworthy
The top questions to ask yourself when composing your next press release should be “Why should anyone care?” and “What’s in it for them, anyway?” If you are launching a new business, product or service, describe how it will help your target audience. Give some proof about the advantages your new product offering will bring. And be as specific as you can. Touting a new hire? Then highlight their accomplishments and background. Releases citing industry research and trends and customer case studies are also newsworthy subjects for press releases.
2. Select the right keyword or phrase
As you craft your release, lay out the focus keywords that will aid your SEO efforts. If you have a long list of keywords, choose the few that are the most relevant and related to the release at hand. Any keywords you’ll be broadcasting in the release should be aligned with its core content.
3. Place the keyword or phrase in critical areas
Once you have the keywords determined, include them in the headline, sub-headline, and early in the body of the text. Also you should link back to the relevant page of your site using the keyword in the anchor text in the body of the release and in the “About us” section.
4. Limit acronyms, industry language, abbreviations, and pronouns
Instead of jumping into your press release with the many acronyms your company uses, spell them out upon first reference. The same goes with industry jargon: Just because you know what “B2B” is, don’t assume your audience does. If you include both acronyms and full words in your release, you will have a broader set of keywords to work with. Also, use the complete spelling of brands and product names. Be sure to include your brand names whenever you can.
5. Think beyond text—go multimedia
Press releases have evolved beyond being static documents– they’re a valuable, interactive way to communicate with your target audiences. As such, be sure to insert your brand logo and product shots into the release and use alt-text on the host page. Consider embedding video, audio or flash into the press release also. Video is key because YouTube is the world’s third largest search engine. Even if you can’t include full multimedia on a broadcast press release, do so on the page it resides on within your site. Use formatting like bold, h1 tag, sub-heads and bullets to increase readability and information hierarchy.
6. Select the right distribution channels
On the push side of things you can potentially reach an audience in the tens of thousands via channels like opt-in email and subscriber-based RSS. Go further and aim to cultivate your own distribution network of blog readers, Twitter followers, and Facebook fans. Don’t neglect the traditional avenues and build relationships with industry editors and analysts.
On the pull distribution side, assuming you choose the right keywords and get highly ranked, your potential audience is in the tens of millions thanks to SEO. If you create press releases that are compelling enough to get people to use social media and networking websites, you’ll see the network effect work in your favor. Definitely pay $200 to submit to PRWire.com with its SEO package, but avoid submitting to multiple services as the news search engines weed out duplicates.
7. Create an online media kit
Create a central web page for all relevant information and links to assets such as videos, product sheets, competitor comparisons, related resources, and blog posts. Make it easy for journalists or bloggers to get a lot of information quickly about your product, service, or company when they are interested. Link to this media kit from the footer of each page of the release.
8. Build in RSS feeds into the program
You should already be using RSS feeds for blog posts, press releases, and news feeds. Make press releases distinct feeds and add them to iTunes, Google Reader, and Feedburner. If you have a podcast as part of the release, feed it into Podcast.com and relevant online radio channels.
9. Optimize the press release host page
Internal links to your release are important elements of SEO. As such, create a blog post and link to the release using keyword rich text. Have a central directory of press releases that links to your full releases using title and dates. Make sure the page where the full release list resides is optimized and use the title of the release in the url and title tag. Also, create a unique meta description. Use h1 and h2 tags. Follow our SEO Checklist: 10 Tactics to Rank Higher to apply the basic SEO rules.
10. Publish press releases frequently and track Performance
One way to measure the success of your press release is by the number of news stories and blog posts written, but how well the news release ranks in search engines and as a driver of traffic to your site is also critical. Embed tracking codes in the links from the release to the landing page. Monitor the web analytics of the site that the release links to for referral traffic sources. Setup Google alerts to monitor when the release gets picked up. Monitor blog search engines like Google’s blog search and Technorati for mentions and links. Finally, track conversions from press release landing and hosts pages.
You can use Optify to monitor, track, and measure the impact of your PR releases on your business. Learn more about Optify real time marketing suite, and request a live demonstration.