If you’ve found your way here, you are most likely aware of the importance of SEO as it relates to your website’s SERPs rankings. But did you know that good SEO is just as pertinent to your press releases? Practicing good SEO is virtually free, and you are planning on publishing your release anyway. Why not take a few extra steps to make sure you get the attention you’re working for? We’ve compiled twelve tips for SEO that will help you get the most out of your press releases.
Pick Your Keywords
Just like when you’re working out good SEO for your site, your keywords are one of the most important aspects of SEO for your press releases. You can have the most exciting and relevant story to share, but it will mean nothing if users can’t find it.
When including keywords, it’s important to add the most relevant words at the right frequency. However, keyword stuffing will get you penalized by Google’s web crawlers and removed from the top of their SERPS. Don’t overuse keywords, but use them at a frequency appropriate for the length of your release.
Choosing the right keywords can be tricky. Google’s Keyword Planner is an excellent (and free) tool to help you build your keyword list. The planner lets you create a list of keywords based on multiple searches and save results. The very user-friendly resource makes choosing and adding keywords a breeze.
Write Engaging Copy
Now that you know what keywords you are trying to incorporate, write your press release. In order for you to rank high, your SEO strategy should include well-written, original copy. When writing, use clear language that gets your point across and covers all the need-to-know information: who, what, when, where, how, and why.
If you’ve gotten your audience to read your press release, capitalize on it. You can’t afford to put out a boring, cliché’ release. Think about your copy from their perspective. What will both engage and inform them from beginning to end?
And a must-avoid-at-all-costs tip: do not use jargon. If you absolutely must use technical terms, define them for your readers.
Your headline should be short, keyword-driven, and interesting without the air of clickbait. Your headline says a lot about your brand. You can be funny, quirky, professional, or even all three if you are creative. When journalists and readers alike are looking at your headline, they want to know what the article or release is about without having to do any work. Make it easy on them by writing clear and informative headlines.
Another rule to follow: keep it short. A general rule of thumb is to keep your headline under 80 characters.
Include an Elevator Pitch
Your company’s elevator pitch serves as your “About Me” section. We recommend including your elevator pitch at the bottom of your press release. It will give readers important information about your brand or business that you wouldn’t necessarily choose to communicate in your release. It’s also a great place to include pertinent keywords and to add a few details referencing the press release.
Write a Summary
A well-written summary in your press release can be a great way to utilize good SEO strategies. This is a perfect place to include more of your keywords.
Even though your summary is just that—a summary of your release—you want to work hard to make it engaging and reputable. Don’t make it a repeat of your press release’s opening paragraph. Once readers see you’re repeating material, they’ll lose interest, and you’ll lose credibility.
Make It Easy to Read
Great content is essential to good SEO for your press release. But, if your release is hard to read, readers won’t make it to the end. Good formatting is an essential SEO tool that you can utilize to make your release better organized and more beautifully laid out on the webpage.
By organizing your release with a heading and subheadings or short paragraphs, you keep your readers interested. When there’s white space between text and main ideas, your audience’s eyes (and brains) get a break. Then they anticipate what is in the next paragraph, which keeps them reading.
But the breaks don’t only keep your readers engaged. The headings and subheadings are great places to incorporate your keywords so they’ll be picked up by Google, putting you at the top of their SERPs.
Include a Call to Action
Don’t make the mistake of creating a great press release and stopping there. Include a call to action to give your readers a way to follow up on what they’ve just read. You have a captive audience; capitalize on it. This can be done by including a hyperlink on a relevant keyword. Not only does this tell your audience what they’re getting into; it will provide search engines with an idea of what the linked page will be about.
In addition to your call-to-action links, including links to other parts of your site or to other relevant sites is a great SEO practice for your press release. Google takes notice when you are linked by reputable sites, and they also notice what you are linking to relevant articles on your own site.
Including links to quality content from reputable sites builds your network, allowing for you to be linked in the future, but it is also a free and easy way to practice good SEO for your press release.
Submit Your Press Release to a Wire Service
Wire services provide news reports to media outlets and news agencies. Submitting your story to a wire service is a great way to get it indexed by search engines. Wire services also allow you to check out other press releases, so you can get an idea of how to organize your content and format your press release if you need more guidance.
An enthralling story with great keywords and an easy-to-read format is great SEO, but to push your rankings over the top, you need to include multimedia in your press release. Including images and videos in your release increases visibility and engagement, but it also allows you to be indexed by media search services like Google Images or Youtube.
Having multimedia in your release is also beneficial for your social media shares. By simply adding relevant pictures or videos, you open up a world of sharing possibilities that simply don’t exist if you’re working with a text-only press release.
Speaking of social media, include links to your social profiles in your press release. You are already creating something that will hopefully reach a huge audience. Make the release work for you by adding buttons that take readers directly to your social profiles. This way they can have direct access to more of the content you’re creating.
Send to Relevant Media Sources
Wire services are excellent ways to get your story in front of a ton of eyes, as we mentioned above. However, you shouldn’t neglect sending your press release to specific journalists or media outlets. Think about local media, like newspapers and TV stations, as well as outlets specific to your field, like niche newsletters, magazines, and blogs.
Reaching out personally is a fantastic way to not only network and build relationships (an important part of marketing), but you have a higher chance of getting your press release published if you directly ask your source.
We could write on and on about perfecting your SEO strategy for your press release. The limits of your SEO are bound only by your imagination. But this compilation is a great checklist to make sure you are doing the basics to boost your SEO. The great thing about SEO for press releases is that most of it can be done for absolutely free. Taking the time to make sure you’re following these practices will pay off for you in the long run when your release is in front of the eyes of your new audience.