Do you know how to write a press release? Do you understand the strategy that goes with it?
If not, you’re missing out on one of the best ways to leverage your search engine optimization efforts and build traffic for your website or blog.
Press release SEO can help drive traffic to your website, but only if you know how to write it properly.
An effective press release may increase brand awareness and help generate buzz around your service, product, or brand.
However, unless you’re writing the press release yourself, it’s important to know that press releases are relatively short and don’t normally exceed 500 words (including the headline).
So how do you ensure that your PR reaches the right people? How can you identify that it has an impact? Most importantly, how can you write the best press release for SEO?
Let's dive into these questions and more!
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What is a Press Release SEO
First, let us quickly define SEO.
SEO is the process of optimizing your site to increase its visibility in search engines so you show up higher in the list of results.
An optimized site can get more views, which results in an increase in traffic and potential customers or clients.
The key to effective SEO is targeting specific keywords related to your business and industry. When people are looking for a solution to their problem on Google, they find your website!
Keywords also give you valuable insight into what people think about when they look for products and services like yours.
So, it's important to choose a unique keyword phrase that is not very competitive (so it's easier to rank high) but is still relevant and relatively popular.
Now, let us define what a press release is.
A press release is a short summary of newsworthy events related to your company and/or brand.
It’s used to inform readers about your company, what you do, and why it's interesting—as well as show journalists that you're an expert in your field (and they should consider interviewing you).
One of its most useful purposes is helping with search engine optimization by driving traffic to your website.
While Google isn't explicitly looking for press releases when it ranks websites, having high-quality content—like a newsworthy announcement about your business or industry—can push your page up in search results over time. High-quality backlinks from trusted publishers will also boost rankings.
How do Press Releases Help with Your Website’s SEO
How do press releases help SEO strategies? When it comes to SEO, press releases can be an incredibly powerful tool. The reason for this is that getting your business in front of the media will help you build your brand and reputation as an expert in your field.
It also has the potential to get links back to your website and social media channels (which we’ll talk about more later).
If you publish a well-written press release and it gets picked up by multiple outlets, there’s no doubt that search engines will see it as a sign that you are an authoritative resource on the topic at hand.
This will result in higher rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs) because Google considers “reputation signals” when determining how high or low to rank a given page.
With SEO, you want to create and distribute newsworthy information that people want to share. You can use a press release in much the same way.
By focusing on a subject or issue that is highly relevant and newsworthy, you may be able to drive even more traffic to your website by creating buzz around your brand.
When used correctly, press releases can attract new customers and clients—and they could even lead them straight back to your site!
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3 Tips on How to Write Effective Press Releases for SEO
Below are 3 smart ways to write killer press releases for SEO.
#1. Optimize the First 250 Words
When you’re writing a press release, it’s important to keep your audience in mind—and that includes both human readers and search engine algorithms.
The first 250 words of your content are crucial because they will help search engines understand your message, which is essential if your goal is to get picked up by the algorithm and indexed in their database.
It also helps keep the reader’s interest so they continue reading the entire release, rather than clicking away after seeing keywords within those first few sentences.
To optimize the first 250 words of your content, focus on getting the meat of your message out immediately.
This will make it easier for search engine algorithms to understand your message and keep readers engaged with what you have to say.
Here are some quick tips to keep in mind while optimizing those first 250 words:
Make sure there is a clear headline that tells readers what they can expect from reading the rest of the release (e.g., “[company name] Announces New Product Line”).
Include any relevant keywords in these first 250 words (e.g., “[company name] has just announced its new product line featuring [product name], which is expected to be available in stores by [date].”).
Use bold or italics for important information (e.g., "[company name] just released [new product name], their latest innovation)
#2. Hyperlink Relevant Keywords
Hyperlinking keywords and phrases is one way to create a more SEO friendly press release as links are an essential part of SEO.
This process will help provide pertinent links relating to the main keywords in your current SEO campaign.
The logic behind this is that the more a keyword phrase was used on a webpage, the more likely that was what the page was really about.
In the early days of SEO, it was common SEO practice to link to an unrelated site in an effort to boost its ranking.
This SEO practice is no longer recommended by Google or other major search engines. Instead, link your press release to relevant sites that are already ranking well for your target keywords.
Another important part of SEO-friendly linking is including keywords in anchor text when you link out to other pages on your own site or on other sites.
Make sure that you include at least one keyword phrase per link, along with a general description of what you're linking to (e.g., "Read more").
#3. Make Your PR Newsworthy
When writing an SEO-friendly press release, it's important to take your audience into consideration and don’t just write for bots.
For instance, if you're writing a press release for a local business, you should write it with the community in mind. Think about what they want to hear and how you can use your company's achievements to benefit the community
If you have a new product or service, highlight what makes it unique and why people should care about it.
If you're writing a press release for a national audience (or even international), think about what would be most relevant to them.
Let's say your company has been doing great things in their community – maybe they've contributed to local charities or given back in other ways.
These things are important to people who live close by because they know that their neighbors are good people who give back where they can.
However, if someone is reading online from miles away and doesn't have any connection with the company/personality involved, these same accomplishments may not be as interesting or exciting for them.
Here are 8 quick ways to help you determine if your story is newsworthy:
- Timeliness and Relevance
- Human Interest
- A First of its Kind
- Element of Surprise
How Do I Know If My PR Articles are Doing Well?
Here’s how you can measure the success of your press release SEO:
- You can use Google Analytics to see how many people have visited your site from links on other websites, and how many of those visitors converted into leads or sales.
- The number of visits that come from search engines will show up under “Organic Search” in your analytics dashboard.
- The percentage of visitors who convert into leads or sales is measured under “Conversions” in the same dashboard.
When Should You Consider Using PR Instead of Content Marketing
Content marketing can be a very effective way to build your brand, but there are certain situations where PR is a better option. According to Databox, 70% of marketers believe that SEO is more effective than marketing techniques like PPC.
If you want to get your name in the news or gain exposure for a specific event or product, then SEO optimized PR is likely going to be more beneficial for you than content marketing would be. According to HubSpot, 75% of marketers believe their SEO tactics are efficient in helping them achieve their goals.
The main reason why this is true is that media coverage allows you to interact with your audience and give them information that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to.
With content marketing alone, it’s not always possible for people who aren’t familiar with your company or industry to learn about what makes them unique from other businesses out there (which means that they may not become customers).
Press Release SEO Final Thoughts
If you are looking for a way to strengthen your SEO strategy, writing press releases is one of the best ways for doing so—but only if you use them correctly.
Press release SEO can be achieved by following simple guidelines like writing engaging content and sending your releases to credible sources and platforms.
The results speak for themselves, too: PR has the ability to make your website more visible in search engine rankings.
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