Is your news getting lost online? Optimize your press release to boost your business to the top of the search engines.
Believe it or not, not too long ago, a press release was actually a release sent directly to the press. The sole reason a press release was issued was to convince the media to write about you. Nobody saw the information in a press release except a handful of reporters and editors. The media was the ultimate filter between your company and the public, they were the deciding factor if your news was publicized or swept under the rug.
David Meerman Scott, author of the bestseller The New Rules of Marketing & PR, speaks frequently on the subject. He believes Web 2.0 has changed the way everyone should think of marketing and that marketers who fail to grasp that are doomed to be left in the dust of 20th century ideas. Thanks to the emergence of Internet marketing and Web 2.0 our audience today is millions of people with an Internet connection and access to a search engines and RSS feeds. Today, press releases are search engine optimized (SEO), publicized and socialized. With 65% of journalists using social media sites for story sources and 100% using Google for story research, your press release needs to be optimized in order to gain the strongest visibility by search engines, target audiences and the media.
“Something like 25,000 press releases have been sent to me, resulting in no stories. Instead, I think about a subject that I want to cover in a column or an article, and I check out what I can find on blogs and through search engines.” – David Meerman Scott
While all PR and marketing professionals understand that press releases sent over the wires appear in near real-time on services like Google and Yahoo News, very few understand the implications for how they should dramatically alter their press release strategy as a result. When done well, optimized press releases can be powerful marketing tools with HUGE SEO benefits.
What makes some press releases more effective than others? The most important factor for a successful press release remains the content itself, but there are certain techniques and tactics that can help optimize the visibility of your release to readers and search engines.
The following are some useful tips or your well-written press release to gain the strongest visibility by search engines, your target audience and the media:
• Use the most popular keyword phrase in the headline – carries the most weight with search engines.
• Repeat the phrase at least three times in a 300-word release (the longest you should make a release that’s search-engine optimized)
• Send your release out via news services, such as PRWEB
• Include a link to your site, but make sure to include the http:// part
• If your release is more than a few paragraphs long, include a subhead with a keyword phrase. It makes the release easier to read and search engines give more weight to bolded text.
• Resist the tendency to shorten familiar terms. (example: St. Louis or the city)
• Post your release on your site, on its own page, in addition to sending it out over wire services and other distribution methods.
• Include 3 Anchor text links
-One to homepage – direct visitors directly to your company website.
-One to product/event page – send media and consumers directly to the product they are reading about.
-One to blog post – this presents an opportunity to speak to readers in a less formal fashion. With social web users and digital influencers continually expecting social content, a press release presents a great opportunity to spark interest in your social content.
• As more of the web moves to video and imagery, including a photo or other multimedia in your press releases can increase your click-through rates by 2.5 times
– Images can increase the click through rate on releases in both regular and news search by 15 – 25%. It’s a simple step, but can’t be stressed enough. Additionally, using images creates more traction in media – journalists and bloggers both love images as it helps them tell their story.
– As the web shifts to a rich media experience, bloggers, media and end users are becoming more accustomed to video. In the future, it may be common that video is included with releases. But since today it is not as frequently used, it’s a chance to make your news stand out. *PRWeb has seen up to a 500% increase in time on pages when video is included in a news release.
If you want to best ensure your release gets into Google News, be sure to pay attention to the following:
Headline. If the headline of your press release looks and sounds like ad copy, then it will stop it from getting included in news search engines. Conventional wisdom suggests that 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only two will jump to the rest of the story. Craft a compelling headline and multiply your chances of engagement.
Release Date. Press releases that include a date in the lead paragraph (first paragraph) earlier than the actual release date, typically do not get included into Google News. If you prefer to include a date, make sure that it syncs with the actual release date.
Length Matters. If your press release is too short (less than 150 words or so), or too long (more than two pages or 500 words) it will be less likely to get included into Google News. News releases that are too short tend to read like an advertisement and are not considered newsworthy.
Links. Too many links in the body of your news release is bad. They could potentially be considered spam and make it difficult to read. Good rule of thumb: one link for every one hundred words.
Duplicate Content. Duplicates are not accepted. If a press release has been previously released via a newswire service, and was already included into Google News, then it is most likely not going to be included again.
In conclusion, digital media is revolutionizing the way in which we communicate. There has been a lot of change in the field of writing press release in the past few years. New platforms, such as PRWEB, allow public relations professionals to communicate directly with their target audience, generate their own news and boost search engine ranking – all with bypassing the media and assuming the role of news provider for the company in which they represent.
One aspect of press releases has not changed, the best public relations strategy remains to find a worthwhile angle to a story and create quality content that is visible to your target audience. Covering all aspects of the writing and online press release distribution process, from attention-grabbing headlines to helpful social media sharing links – will provide you with a rewarding public relations effort for your company.
If your company is looking to integrate online press releases into your online marketing strategy, but does not have the time or resources to craft a new worthy press release Contact The Net Impact to help you begin your online public relations effort in an organized manner. Our clients see their press releases on top placements on the most popular search engines, industry-related blogs and websites, commented on by experts and included in newspapers and magazine articles. Let us help your news make an impact online.