With millions of people visiting either Yahoo News or Google News daily, optimizing your press release for search engines has become extremely important.
Reasons to optimize:
- Achieve top ranking in Search Engines
- Receive quality one-way backlinks from places like blogs and industry publications
- Attract targeted traffic
- Cost effective way to reach thousands of prospects
- Online press release never goes away
Formatting press releases for SEO
- Length - keep it between 400-500 words.
- Writing Style - keep it in 3rd person (he, she, they, them).
- Title - don't exceed 80 characters. A long title dilutes the keyword's impact.
- Subheading - include a subheading with details to complement the title.
- Lead paragraph - needs to include the 5 W's plus the lonely H (Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How).
- Main body -including quotes and further info.
- Boilerplate -information regarding your company, product, website, and what it offers to the reader.
- Contact info - End your press release with the word End or by including "###" at the footer of your release. Underneith it, provide contact information.
IMPORTANT: Make sure your press release is meaningful and newsworthy content.
Optimizing press release for Search Engines
It's important to keep in mind that, unlike in the past, you're writing two press releases in one — one for your target audience and one for the search engines.
- Choose Keyword - optimize your press release with 2-3 keyword phrases. They should be uniquely targeted to your niche audience. You can use tools such as Google Insight, Good Keywords, WordTracker or SEOBOOK tool to help you find the best phrases.
- Keyword Placement - take your chosen keyword phrases and include them in your press release's headline, the subheading and body copy. Repeat your keywords 1-2 times per 100 words (about 4-15 times in a 400-500 article).
- Internal Linking -Take the 2 of the most important keyword phrases in your press release and link them to relevant pages on your site. Make sure these deep links lead to optimized landing pages.
- Spam warning - Any more than 2 keyword links in your article can trigger some spam alerts. Plus, the more links you have on the page, the less each link is worth.
- Format Text -use bold, italics, underlining, subheadings, and bullet points when formatting your press release. This will help the press release to be more SEO enhanced than other similar press releases.
- Insert Images- insert a logo or embed photos directly in your release for SEO enhancement and branding.
- RSS Feeds - it's a great way to secure quality backlinks from site subscriptions to your feed. It's also a great way to keep journalist informed about future releases. RSS feeds are supported by most of the major newswires and can easily be bundled into the average release.
- SMO Tags -at the end of your press release you can incorporate social media optimization (SMO) bookmarking tags. These words should revolve around keywords that readers can classify your release. These tags can be used by users on Digg, Del.icio.us, Reddit, Newsvine, Technorati and other major bookmarking sites to save your release for sharing and future reference. A lot of online press release distributors have built-in functionality to do this.
Websites to submit press releases
Business Wire - they are the largest newswire distributor in the United States. They have incorporated the latest SMO techniques. Although pricier than most, it often gets you access to bigger media outlets.
- Targeting: industry, geographic locale, or key demographic
- Membership: $200/year
- Cost: $500-$600 per release
Market Wire - on a daily basis they distribute releases to over 60,000 journalists. They are also the exclusive provider for press releases to the NASDAQ and NASDQ-listed companies. It's a good site to use if you're in the finance arena. It doesn't have the SMO features that the other providers have.
- Cost: starts at $500 per release
Prime Newswire- they have a large distribution network and excellent service for a low price. they have the features you need to do a full SEO/SMO optimized release.
- Membership: Free
- Cost: starts at $250 per release
PR Newswire - they distribute between 700-800 press releases per day. It has a great SEO/SMO tools such as keyword density analyzer. Each press release distribution includes 30-day tracking, a clipping service and a full suite of multimedia customization features.
- Membership: $195
- Cost: $400 per release
PR Web- offers the best value and is used by over 40,000 organizations internationally. They have virtually every SEO/SMO optimization tool possible.
- Targeting: industry and geographic locale
- Membership: Free
- Cost: $80 - $200 per release
- SearchEngineNews.com - "Everything You Need To Know About Optimizing Press Releases for Today's Online Markets"