Optimize Press Releases for SEO: How To & PR Optimization Tips
If you’re planning to launch a press release, it’s important to know how to optimize a press release for SEO to assist in your search marketing efforts. Everyone knows press releases are a good way for businesses to get the word out about a new product or service, but often forget it can be a useful tool for generating backlinks and buzz that leads to other websites linking to yours, helping your website to rank higher in Google and other search engines.
Press releases remain a powerful tool to spread the word about your company and any new products or services you may be offering. But, an optimized press release for SEO is changing the way companies deliver newsworthy information to the public.
In the past, the embedded links that directed readers back to the targeted URL, such as your company homepage, were an important part of what made an optimized press release valuable for SEO. It was an easy way to create authoritative links and drive up their rankings. But Google’s algorithm has been adjusted over the years to neutralize the impact of those phony links.
That doesn’t mean that there is no SEO value in press releases. It just means you have to use them differently. The experts at OuterBox have put together some essential tips to teach you how to optimize press releases for SEO in a way that builds value for your company.
8 Steps to Optimize a Press Release for SEO
- Research what your competitors are doing, and do it better.
- Create a well-written and engaging press release.
- Take advantage of keywords within your PR.
- Write a press release headline that stands out.
- Think like a journalist: Answer the 5 W’s.
- Include natural links to relevant content.
- Include visuals and videos.
- Close with a call to action.
Below, we’ll take a closer look at each one of these to help you optimize your press release for SEO. And if you need more help with this or would like to improve your site’s overall performance, reach out to OuterBox and let us show you what our full range of SEO services can provide.
Do Your Research Before Writing a PR
Before you write your next press release, research what your competitors are doing. Are they getting results with their press releases? See what keywords your competitors are using and then write better press releases using those same keywords.
Take a look at their backlink sources to get an idea of where you should publish your press releases so they are found and read by your target audience.
Create Engaging, Shareable Content Press Release Content
It may seem obvious, but if you create content that people love and want to share, the backlinks you are looking for will come naturally. An engaging and well-written press release encourages other credible sources to create content based on your release.
If you want users to read your content, you need to make sure it grabs their attention and pulls them in. How do you do that? Think like a journalist and use some of the same tools they use to craft longer pieces of content that people want to read.
- Tell a story. Don’t just stuff your press release full of facts.
- Include quotes. They add a personal touch and a measure of authoritativeness.
- Use data or examples. These bolster your point and give readers something further to help them understand.
Take Advantage of Keywords Within Your PR Copy
As with any online content, using the proper keywords in the right way is key to optimizing your press releases for SEO. Search for any keywords relevant to your business and then include those keywords in the title and introduction of your press releases, as well as in the body of your press release. Using the right keywords can play a big role in getting your press release to show up in search results and be discovered by users who are searching for a similar product or service.
Write a PR Headline That Stands Out
Without a well-written, attention-grabbing headline, you have no chance of attracting the readers you’re looking for. If you’re like most people, a lot of times the headline may be the only thing you read from a press release or any piece of content. Or if the headline is really doing its job, it may get you to actually read the content.
What makes a good press release headline? Here are some tips to consider:
- Use essential keywords
- Add words that elicit emotions
- Offer a solution to a problem
- Include data: numbers get more clicks
- Create an informative headline that offers value to the readers
Start Your PR With the 5Ws
For decades, journalists have been trained to begin their news stories with the 5 Ws and that advice carries over to writing press releases, too. The five questions you want to answer at the start of your press release are:
Answering these questions engages the reader and makes them want to keep reading your press release. Also, it’s a good idea to insert your target keyword in the first paragraph, but only if you can do it naturally so Google doesn’t flag your content for keyword stuffing.
Use Natural Links Within Your Press Release
In the past, many marketers attempting to boost their SEO overstuffed their press releases with hyperlinks back to their website attached to a whole list of keywords. Google caught on to that and negated any possible benefit. If you choose to add a hyperlink to your press release, it needs to flow naturally. It should be integrated into anchor text that makes sense and will direct the readers to content that is relevant to the keywords and the anchor text. When done correctly, it can be an integral part of your link building campaign.
Here are a few best practices to bear in mind for using natural anchor text links:
- Don’t use too many links. Excessive linking reduces the importance of all your links and click-through rates.
- Add useful, high-quality links. Your press release links will not help your SEO unless readers find them useful and actually click them.
- Do not use overly promotional links that don’t add value for the reader.
- Only use phrases and links that point to relevant content.
Include Visuals and Multimedia in Your PR
Visuals can help you increase the effectiveness of your press release. A study sponsored by 3M and conducted at the University of Minnesota found that humans process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Adding visuals can help you keep users from getting bored and engage them in a better way. It also can help people remember your content better and longer.
Some tips to keep in mind for using visuals in your press release:
- Think quality over quantity.
- Use images that are not copyrighted, or get permission to use.
- Do not attach image files to your press release pitch email.
End Your Press Release With a Call To Action
The final piece of the puzzle when you optimize a press release is a strong call to action that directs the reader to what you want them to do next.
Is the purpose of your press release to:
- Get new subscribers to your email list?
- Sell a product or service?
- Spread the word about a new product launch?
- Increase attendance at an upcoming special event?
A good call-to-action will let you successfully engage with your audience, increase your online exposure and provide measurable marketing data.
Let OuterBox Help You Build Your Press Release SEO Value
At OuterBox, we understand how to unlock the SEO potential of your company’s press releases and other content. We have built an experienced SEO consulting team of strategists, account managers and content writers that provides data-driven SEO results encompassing the most up-to-date best practices in the industry. Our content marketing team will create SEO content that will drive users to your site. Let us show you how we can help you build your business. Speak with one of our SEO experts today.