Are you searching for the best way to optimize your press release for SEO? Whenever we’re crafting a blog post, landing page, or even a meta description, we’re thinking about SEO. “What keywords should I be using?” and “how do I sprinkle them into the prose?” we ask. Search engine optimization (SEO), however, applies to any media we produce for the internet – be it social media posts, video content, or press releases.
Press release SEO is under-appreciated than other forms of SEO – yet just as effective. When sprinkled with a dose of keywords and sent out to all the relevant journalists and publications, press releases can earn an impressive array of backlinks, skyrocketing the page up the search rankings.
Press Release SEO
In this article, we’ll explore what a press release is, why SEO for a press releases matter, and we’ll explain some press release SEO best practices to get us started.
What is a press release?
A press release is an official announcement conveyed to news organizations to promote a story relevant to an individual, company, or nonprofit. Press releases are typically short, compelling articles detailing the salient points to pique the interest of a journalist or publication to cover the story.
In fact, a press release functions much like any other piece of copy. Except, it’s not converting passersby into customers but journalists into promoters. We want to spark journalists to write to their readers to drive additional traffic to our site – and, from an SEO PR perspective, include a backlink to the story.
How to structure a press release
Press releases aren’t like other forms of content; you need to follow a rigid set of guidelines. You want to appear as a credible and professional brand worth covering. Using the correct structuring guidelines means journalists are more likely to take notice, earning you precious backlinks.
Here’s what you need to include:
- Logo. No press release is complete without your logo to focus the readers’ attention.
- Contact information. You should include a name, phone number, and email – it means the publications can contact you, but also the public.
- Headline. Short and snappy, a good headline should capture the essence of the story in 10 words or less.
- Subheading. A brief summary (one or two sentences) summarizing the core points of the article.
- Dateline. Press releases report recent, newsworthy stories; including the date ensures the press knows it’s receiving up-to-date information.
- Introduction. Explain the essence of the release: what happened, why, and to whom? It should be brief and concise.
- Body. Explain the event’s details – for press release SEO best practices, add in quotes and stats to enhance engagement.
- Boilerplate. Write a short paragraph about your business, giving a high-level explanation of what you do: essentially, an “about us” section.
- Close. End with the necessary contact information relevant to the press release. Sometimes three-pound signs (###) are included to indicate further copy to come.
Press release SEO best practices
Around 300 press releases are issued daily in the US – standing out from the crowd is tricky. It is easy to sink in the swamp of press releases past. However, you can turn your newsworthy story into a winner with a few key SEO press release tips. Here’s how:
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1. Use long-tail keywords
Keywords are the bedrock of SEO: press releases are no different. Do your research and find the keywords relevant to your field. Try to incorporate these keywords into the title or the first couple of paragraphs as a priority. But don’t overstuff. Too often, keywords can render prose bloated and odd.
You can also optimize for long-tail keywords – for example, “the best Italian restaurant in Queens, NY”. Such keywords have less competition yet more specificity for their target market – meaning they’re both easier to rank for and generate greater sales.
2. Add in hyperlinks
When appropriate, adding natural hyperlinks into your text can further increase the potential for backlinks. Most commonly, companies include hyperlinks for their brand name, as well as other site content relevant to the release.
Be careful not to overstuff with hyperlinks, however. You should only add them for appropriate anchor text to direct the reader to pertinent information.
3. Bold words for emphasis
While we talk about using hyperlinks and sprinkling in keywords, there’s a basic tactic to emphasize your point: go bold. The written word is a visual medium; how it is formatted and displayed influences how we interpret the content.
When we bold significant words, we attract the reader’s attention and clarify the text’s overall message. Just refrain from turning every other word bold – it works best when used sparingly.
4. Write engaging copy
There’s no substitute for high-quality copy. From a descriptive title that captures your story to the final company boilerplate, you need to condense your writing into engaging, creative prose. Think about how to convey your news in an interesting and captivating manner.
For the title: remember to write for humans first and search engines second. While keywords are important, sometimes they sound awkward and clunky. If in doubt, go for readability over rank-ability.
5. Ask if it’s shareable
If your story isn’t attention-grabbing, captivating, and irresistible, what’s the point? You need to ensure your story is newsworthy and shareable to build backlinks at scale. Press releases serve primarily as a method to increase brand visibility and increase your rankings.
Write about major happenings and shareable news – and write about it in a way people want to read.
Press release SEO is about getting noticed
All your work creating a press release is about one thing: building your brand reputation. Your story gets the word out, and your press release SEO work helps your website rise through the rankings. Together, you’ll see more site visits, more customers, and more profits.
Using our press release SEO tips, you’re guaranteed to see a boost in your website traffic and overall brand visibility. It’s the best way to do press release SEO! Want to elevate your SEO strategy? Contact us today for a free consultation!