Press releases used to be simple: a professionally prepared release to the press. It’s just not that simple anymore. Today’s press releases must multi-task like the rest of us, pulling their weight in everything from blog and social media content to increasing search engine optimization (SEO).
Creating this new hard-working press release takes more than just polishing your prose; it takes insight, strategy and even a little trial and error as you create a SEO press release.
Distribution – To maximize your SEO potential, you must consider how your release will be distributed. Wire services used to just help you distribute your release to the media; now they allow you to track exactly what journalists have accessed your release electronically. While greater tracking capabilities are a bonus, the real value of wire service distribution is that it enables your release to be syndicated to hundreds of news websites across the world. This dramatically increases your potential reach, but it also requires your release to work just as well for the journalist receiving it as for the average internet user who may come upon your release via search. It also opens up your SEO opportunities through keywords.
Keywords – A successfully optimized press release should have a headline including a preselected keyword that would provide relevant search results. The keyword should also be included in the opening paragraph hyperlinked to an appropriate page on your website. Keywords are great in helping searchers find your release and ultimately your website, but there is a fine line between too few and too many in your release. The key is to keep the keywords to a minimum and ensure that all link to relevant content on your site. If you are doing any search engine marketing, you should know the keywords that work best for you there; try to incorporate those words in your releases. As you continue using a wire service, you will see through your analytics over time what works best for you.
Backlinks – Another benefit of wire service releases is that syndication of your release to news and other aggregating websites can give you valuable backlinks from reputable sites to help your SEO. For instance, as your release is syndicated on Yahoo or the Wall Street Journal, the reputation of those sites improves the value of the backlink. It’s foreseeable that sometime in the near future algorithms for search engines may change to be able to identify what is a true backlink and what is a backlink from syndicated content. Until then, enjoy the SEO benefits!
Social Media – A successfully optimized press release will also have a headline that is easily understood in a tweet or post. Crafting your press release to be shareable also helps improve your SEO as well as your message’s reach. Give people content they want to share and your message will be passed on to friends and followers through a trusted channel you would have never been able to access through traditional media. This process highlights the shift in the PR industry from pushing your message through mass media to allowing for personalized consumption of your message.
If your organization is only using traditional public relations methods, you owe it to yourself to explore the ways PR has evolved including the optimized wire service release. Our Fresh Creative PR team can help you craft your release with polished and persuasive prose plus the added benefit of SEO.