Creating Effective Press Releases for SEO Benefit

You may not think of a press release as a way to increase website exposure, inbound links and search engine rankings. However, press releases are no longer solely used to attract the attention of traditional media. Times are changing, and press releases written with proper SEO strategy are a powerful inbound marketing tool used to drive traffic to your website and gain exposure for your business.

When you publish a press release on the Internet via a reputable distribution service, it’s posted across online news networks. Not only do search engines index this news, but some social media networks and RSS feeds are set to automatically share news headlines and will repost your press release. This creates the ability to be found based upon the freshness of the information both by search engines and journalists who may be interested in your news. In addition, press releases create the opportunity to obtain natural inbound links to your website, which heightens your overall exposure and increases your website’s rankings.

Parts of an SEO Optimized Press Release

A press release is made up many smaller sections. Approach writing each part separately, and focus on using keywords to increase SEO benefit. The parts of a press release include:

  • Headline
  • Summary
  • Body
  • Company or individual boilerplate
  • Contact information

The content of your press release should be factual and to the point, without fluff or personal opinions. The tone should be informational — not a sales pitch — and written in the third-person. Overall, the press release should be between 200 and 500 words in length.

Choose Effective Keywords

Choosing effective keywords is one of the most important steps in writing a press release with SEO benefit. Keywords are the terms your target audience types into a search engine to locate your website, product or service. Therefore, choosing the most effective keywords is central to getting your press release in front of people. It’s a good idea to research the keywords you are targeting to help pin-point the most effective keywords for your topic.

Because you are writing news vs. a blog post, your keyword selection should be natural and work easily within your news piece. So, for example if you are a business that manufactures plumbing fixtures and you want to issue a press release covering a new partnership, you might title it something like: ABC Plumbing partners with XYZ Company to produce remarkable brass plumbing fixtures. In that example, you are actually infusing your product keywords into the title.

Headline

The headline is the title text that search engines display when someone searches for your keywords. The goal of writing a headline is to create a title, under 100 characters long, that includes the most important SEO keywords. However, the headline must also interest the reader and prompt him to click on your link.

Summary

The summary is a short introduction to the main content of your press release. This should be about 1-2 sentences long and should not exceed 240 characters. Use some secondary keywords in this section to help expand on the SEO established by your headline.

Body

The body should contain only factual information, and should be at least 300 words long. Answer the most important questions in the first paragraph, focusing on the “who, what, when, where, why and how” of your news. In following paragraphs, include additional content, such as quotes from relevant individuals, to expand on the basic information. Use important keywords throughout the text, but don’t oversaturate your content with keywords or force the writing to fit around keywords.

Boilerplate

This is 2-3 sentences that concisely describes the company or individual. Include a link to the company or individual’s website in this section. Following the boilerplate, add a line with three centered pound marks (###), which indicates the end of the press release.

Contact Information

This is the contact information of the person delegated to respond to outside media requests. Include the name, email and phone number of the media contact at the end of your press release.

Links and Images

Use your press release as an opportunity to build back links to your website. Some press release distributors allow you to include two or three links in your content. Always use the most important keywords as the anchor text for your links. Also include relevant images or the company logo to accompany your press release text.

Don’t forget the news!

Remember how I said earlier that keyword selection is one of the most important pieces involved in writing a press release? Well, your number one, top priority should be your news! Remember, this isn’t a sales pitch, blog post or e-zine article – your press release must be centered around actual news.

Now before you think “I don’t have any important news”, hold your horses! Get creative – I bet you can think of something newsworthy on the horizon. Here are a list of inspirational ideas borrowed by the nice folks at PRWeb to get you started:

Company Growth, Milestones and Strategy Shifts

  • New website or significant upgrade to existing website
  • Creation of a new company or spin-off
  • Milestone accomplishments
  • Company anniversary (eg. 50 years in business)
  • New office opening or relocation
  • Company Name Change
  • Strategic partnerships and alliances
  • New executives and other personnel changes
  • Transfer in ownership
  • Company reorganization
  • Holiday-related sales
  • Major steps towards “going green”
  • Stock offerings
  • Financial and earnings updates
  • Securing business funding or credit – including venture capital or angel investments

Products and Pricing Promotions

  • New website or significant upgrade to existing website
  • Free shipping offer/changes in shipping rates
  • New products and services
  • Product name change
  • New product production process
  • New products, services, pricing and promotions
  • New contests and sweepstakes
  • Holiday-related sales and promotions
  • Unique and new uses for existing products
  • New promotional programs like referral rewards
  • Free consultations, trial offers and samples

Market Trends and Thought Leadership

  • New market studies, research, surveys and polls
  • Helpful tips for customers, related to your business
  • Market trends affecting your business
  • A new award win
  • Milestone accomplishments
  • Free educational information, ebooks, newsletters and white papers
  • Media and speaker appearances by executives
  • Inspirational stories related to your business
  • Predictions for your industry and supporting market analyst information
  • Educational online and in-person events
  • New technology trends affecting your industry
  • Informative industry scam information
  • Expert opinion on an important subject within your industry
  • Debunking of common “myths” related to your industry
  • Tips sheets or feature stories like “Top 10 Valentine Gifts,”  “Top 10 Common Mistakes of Social Media Marketing” or “How to Land a Job in 30 days.”
  • Commentary and product or business tie-ins to current events
  • News of the Weird: an outrageous claim or outlandish event like “Coffee Shop offers gourmet $200 latte!”

Customer Wins and Endorsements

  • Significant customer win and case studies
  • Customer acquisition milestones (100th customer, 500th customer, 1 million customers, etc)
  • Celebrity and public figure endorsements or product purchase (be sure to get approval).

Branding

  • Business rebranding
  • New website or significant upgrade to existing website
  • Company name change
  • Product name change

Community and Charity

  • Involvement with a charity
  • Local event or team sponsorships
  • Recent charitable contributions
  • Inspirational stories
  • Internship Programs
  • Pro bono work

Events

  • Scheduling of in-person seminars
  • Success of events
  • Appearance at a trade show
  • Scheduling and success of Web events
  • Event sponsorship
  • Holiday-related events

Legal and Crisis Communications

  • Transfer in ownership, if public
  • Company reorganization, if public
  • Filing a lawsuit
  • Response to being named in a lawsuit
  • Response to accusations against your company or industry
  • Initial Public Offering or plans and timelines to go public
  • Stock offerings
  • Financial and earnings updates
  • Securing business funding or credit – including venture capital or angel investments

With this, you have a good start on your way to writing effective, optimized press releases. Still have questions? Leave a comment and let us help you out 😉

  • I found this information to be too worthy. I am really going to take care from now while writing the press releases and would keep in mind the points described right here. Thank you!

  • Press Releases is an important as far as SEO is concerned. You had shared an effective information for writing press releases from an SEO point of view. Thanks for sharing.

  • larry blossom

    Twitter should have an benefit as traffic moves toward mobile. Many users are used to clicking links, which easily could be tied to advertising. Facebook tends to keep users on its site. it can be hard to get a sense of whether ads are really working mainly when user are looking at the ads or just ignoring them.

  • Great tips! I follow all of these point you mentioned and surely I
    recommend it to any newbie that want to increase seo.

  • Julia McCoy

    Excellent points. Press releases ARE still beneficial for today’s SEO, and this is a very good guide of how to create a PR that works.

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