It should not be any surprise that a well crafted, SEO-friendly press release can make an impact to your business. Statistics indicate that almost 3 billion people, or half of everyone using the Internet, visits a news site every day. What you have to contend with is that your news is competing against every other company announcement, topical story and article on the web as well. In fact, in the US alone, the leading wire services distribute over 2,000 press releases each day. To compete for that limited mindshare, you have to make your announcements stand out with more than just the facts.
A few basics on writing press releases
When drafting your press release, don’t just talk about your product or company, but be sure to mention anything that is newsworthy, anything that interests readers, is topical or relevant or anything that is likely to be blogged about or discussed in the media. Try to give readers valuable and interesting news, ideally something that they really need to know or something that could benefit them in some way.
In addition to keeping your press release interesting for readers and the media, try to target it to your audience. Don’t make it too wordy, never make it boring, and of course don’t forget the SEO techniques. Most readers will not bother to read something which looks to be of no interest or no relevance to them.
Make sure that your press release is sufficiently interesting and informative so that your readers want to read to the end. Use tools such as a free trial, email newsletter, webinar or white paper download to persuade your readers to click on the link to visit your website.
What to write about
Try to write about anything that is current, as well as newsworthy, such as any mergers, events or happenings. Keep the tone somewhat casual, so that the average reader can appreciate it, as well as the media. Rather than using the word ‘you’, use the third person to avoid sounding like an advertisement. You can promote your work by using quotes from the CEO, or someone similar.
How Does SEO Help?
Aside from building relationships with editors and bloggers or paying for advertorials, an SEO optimized press release will rank much higher in search engine rankings, making it easier for people looking for your services or products to find you. And, it is not jut Yahoo News and Google News to think about. An SEO focus will make a strong impression on blogs, social media sites and RSS feeds. Below are a few simple tips to think about.
Optimizing the basic components of press release
Before writing your release, it is advised to run a quick keyword / phrase search to understand for what terms people are looking. Choose 5 (2 primary and 3 secondary) and stick with those. Below are the other elements and how to use them in a press release:
- Title – Include the keyword phrase in your title and make it less than 100 characters. The title is the most important element to focus on as it is the first thing readers see.
- Summary – Try to give a brief overview in one to two sentences, but not more than 40 words, and use the secondary keywords mentioned above to give the reader the gist of the announcement. Use different keywords in your summary and use hyperlinks wisely. This ensures more traffic as the search engines will then pick out the summary as well as the main article.
- Body – Write in the third person and make this part between 300 and 500 words, including keywords, quotes and full details. Use keywords where applicable, if possible using two if them consecutively. Link these keywords to the relevant pages on your website which need not necessarily be the home page. It is also essential to have a well designed landing page.
- About The Company – List your company’s achievements in about 40 to 50 words. Include an anchor text link to your company’s home page. Anchor links allow a portion of your text to be clicked on, taking the reader to a landing page for more information. These are extremely effective in attracting more traffic to your site.
- Contact Details – Website, name, address, telephone and email, as well as press contact.
A couple final tips
- The first 250 words – Many readers won’t go past the first 250 words of your press release if they don’t like what they are reading, so these must be well written. Try to include at least one or two quotes, but don’t put a date in your press release.
- Multimedia – Using different multimedia techniques can make your press release exciting and innovative, including graphics, photographs and video links. Consider adding in a podcast announcement or an audio link as well.