Press releases are an effective means to attract media attention, but it is also one of the most cost
munitions in the search engine optimization and marketing arsenal. With a solid grasp of the English
language and some company and industry know
ledge, the transition to being an effective SEO
PR master is
easier than you might think.
The Many Benefits of an SEO
If you’re not sending press releases through distribution services and directly to those you believe are the
in your industry, you should be.
It’s costly to run display and search advertising campaigns and the amount of time it takes for
traditional SEO can be immense. The expense of a press release, however, is limited to the time it takes to
e it and then distribute it electronically. When the message is picked up by multiple outlets, the cost per
impression simply cannot be beat.
Broader Reach (and Links):
Perhaps the most noteworthy benefit in distributing press releases is that many
ublishers post them on their websites. In many cases, they do so verbatim from the original and, in
some cases, include your original links. The result is that your message is seen by a broad group and
influences search result rankings.
arly every search engine optimization agency I’ve come across in the past few months
leverages press releases for their clients. Why? Fast indexing for one, but the ability to “control the content”
means that you’ll be able to include the keyword rich cont
ent you want to rank for, ultimately influencing your
site’s search ranking. Add a compelling title and your URL (with anchor text, of course) and you’ll see your
release appear in the search engine results pages in short order and many times over
Now that you’re sold on the benefits of SEO
PR, how do you construct an effective press release? Let’s look
at a few best practices that make press releases such a powerful SEO strategy.
Get to the Point Quickly
Attention spans on t
he Web are decreasing. Unlike an article when you have an opportunity to “set
story, in a press release it is essential to include the most important information right away
at the very
beginning of the text.
The intent of a press release is to s
upply information to the media in hopes that traditional editorial
gatekeepers will find it relevant enough to share with their audience. This is true for consumer
outlets and service providers, as well as for companies that follow a B2B model. Sin
ce search engines index
content in a “top
down” fashion, get to the point quickly by including a synopsis (most services provide this
feature for clients).
An effective press release is written clearly and uses concise text to announce news. Ask any edit
or: if they
take the time to look at your material, it had better get to the point right away. Drawn
out leads written to
“suggest” editorial featuring a certain company only irritate busy gatekeepers. With literally thousands of
press releases received ea
ch week, there's no time to read 150 words before the main idea becomes clear.
All that does is increase the chances of your e
mails being filtered into the abyss. Once that happens, it’s not
likely you will be able to gain audience with that editor again
More Elements of a Good SEO
Friendly Press Release
There is no shortage of advice on how to create a press release, but little in the way of information on
creating search engine friendly press releases.
Develop Compelling, Keyword
release headlines grab the attention of the user and include the most important facts to
summarize the body content. Titles also influence how search engines determine relevance for user queries
so include descriptive keywords
(the ones you want to rank for), repeat them periodically throughout the
body of the release and you’ll see you release indexed quickly.
Lead Readers With a Strong Lead
A concise lead paragraph should support the headline and incorporate as many of the k
ey facts as possible.
The lead should entice the editor to continue reading. Oftentimes, a good lead paragraph that conveys
pertinent points will be picked up verbatim for publication placement.
Perhaps the most vital part of a pre
ss release is fact
based body copy. The body copy should include
market positioning, key features and benefits to the end user. By including information that supports the
release, editors and bloggers are more likely to use that data and the information yo
u present in tandem.
That means your company will be positioned with information that matters to people reading it.
Provide Contact Information
Another component critical to an effective press release is providing names, titles and contact information to
identify the sender and another person who can intelligently discuss the content in detail. If possible, a direct
quote from a company official that encapsulates the release should be included. For example, a release
announcing a new executive vice presid
ent should identify the president to offer supporting statements.
When introducing a new product, the director of engineering would be more appropriate.
Provide Background Information
The last element in an effective press release is a boilerplate paragr
aph about the company that describes
its products and services, markets served and when it was founded. This should identify the full, proper
name and location of its headquarters. If the company is publicly held, list the exchange, ticker symbol and
ost recent annual revenue.
By supplying all of this information in a simple press release, editors will have ample resources to further
research the company if they deem it editorially necessary.
Consider the content within the press release
you create to
be a search
optimized page on someone else’s site and you’ll master the art of SEO