Optimize press releases to yield greater search engine results and traffic.
The Basic Elements of Search Engine Results:
When trying to maximize search engine optimization (SEO) for press releases the writer should focus on getting first page results on a search engine’s unpaid, organic results (see Exhibit 1 above).
• Unpaid or Organic results are free, therefore highly cost effective
• First page organic results have the most exposure
• With a few simple writing disciplines, it’s easy to optimize releases
For press releases, I recommend avoiding paid results.
• Press releases are a quick and fast paced media content that would lose efficiency on paid results.
• Paid results require establishing an account, setting a Google advertising budget and are then charged on a pay per click basis.
• Paid results are great for driving traffic to a company’s primary website but not for time sensitive news.
Make Your Press Release Unique
The best way to optimize search results for press releases is through unique words and items featured inside the title, summary, and body content.
Titles: The title should provide a unique indication of what the release is about using multiple key words.
• Try to use multiple titles and teasers (or summaries), this way different publications can use different titles and teasers. The story will have a better chance of multiple first page postings and will give various publications the illusion of running different stories. Despite the different title and summary appearance, the message content will remain the same.
Body Content: Before writing the release, P.R. Newswire recommends that the writer should address the 5 W’s (who, what, where, when, and why). For example: “Who is the audience? What is the press release about? Where will it have the most effect? When is the best time to distribute it? Why should my audience care?” (Skerik, 2012, para.6)
The body content of the release should be ideally 300-500 words with majority of the keywords and unique items at the beginning. Search engine results place more weight and value on items found at the beginning of an article. The content should also contain the following unique items.
• Active links – Include (but do not over use) active hyperlinks which are specific to your organization and programs
• A related picture with a link at the beginning
• Use a writing style and language that caters to your audience.
• Use social media to promote and upload each of your releases. This way the press release will have search results on social media applications as well.
The best way to increase SEO on press releases is to focus on quick paced unpaid results. When targeting unpaid results, it is essential to make the press release unique and brief. The uniqueness of an article can come from multiple titles and summaries, active hyperlinks and pictures, a personal and targeted writing style and social media promotion. If the writer focuses their efforts on these key items, their press release should eventually yield higher search engine results.
Skerik, S. (2012). Optimizing press releases: SEO is now about natural writing, social sharing & interesting content. PR Newswire. Retrieved from www.prnewswire.com