Press releases have long been used to distribute news to media outlets. As technology and businesses have evolved, so has the role of the press release. With the increased popularity of online media, it is important to understand that Search Engines use press releases differently than traditional media outlets do. How do you go about creating a press release that is worth your time and money?
- Research your keywords and include them in all aspects of your press release, from headlines and body to links and beyond.
- Write short, descriptive headlines with your keywords included. Keep headlines to 80 characters or less.
- Keep your press release manageable; make sure the body content length is under control. Writing to the 300-500 words range is a good boundary. Writing press releases that are too long may discourage Web sites from picking it up.
- Think like a journalist; write newsworthy press releases that are clear and concise. Don’t muddy up your release with fancy writing or unnecessary information. When you have important information to distribute, do so in an organized, straight to the point manner.
- Don’t use fancy formatting. Focus on your message points rather than bullet points. Some of the Web pages that will be picking your press releases up won’t bother with your formatting. Keep it simple, and focus on your news rather than the release’s appearance.
- Use anchor text links. Linking with anchor text tells search engines what your link is about. If you can write a Web page’s page title into your anchor text, all the better.
- Include your company logo in your press release, but don’t use other multimedia. Many Web sites that will be picking your press release up won’t support the multimedia you include. Instead, link to the Web pages within your Web
site where the multimedia is available.
- Don’t repeat links to the same Web page. The thought that one is good, more is better doesn’t apply here. In fact, adding multiple links to the same Web page within a single press release can actually dilute the importance search engine’s place on each link.
- Add links to interior pages of your Web site when possible. Most of the links on the Internet point to your Home page, why not link to another page on your Web site and share the link building wealth?
- Use your Web site. Add your press releases to your own Web site. Create a press Room or News Area with an RSS feed so both customers and media can stay on top of your company news. Write a blog article summarizing and linking to the press release.
- Focus on quality news stories. The Internet is saturated with press releases, many of which aren’t truly that newsworthy. Why spend money distributing a press
release that isn’t truly newsworthy?
- Utilize Social Media Marketing as an alternative to press releases. The relationships you build online through Social Media Networks can be as valuable as press release distribution.
- Create more content. Not all the information is important enough to be turned into a press release. Consider the newsworthiness of your information, and consider turning it into a blog post or informational Web page instead. Press releases are amazing tools, but with the oversaturation of the press release market, the same content can be used elsewhere on your own Web site just as easily, and more effectively.
- Understand what press releases can do for your company. They may drive traffic, but more than likely they are being distributed for links. Press releases don’t always create long term links either. In a study done by Hubspot, press release links decreased by 43% in 3 months, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worthwhile. Links don’t necessarily mean traffic for your Web site, but they can go far in increasing your page’s ranking and in turn, increase your search engine visibility.
The media, both online and offline are overwhelmed with press releases. When you are paying to have them prepared and distributed, it is important to make sure they are worth your money and time. Marrying Public Relations and Search Engine Marketing may seem like a daunting task, but when handled correctly, it can produce great results for companies. Keeping these tips in mind is a good way to begin the transition into creating press releases that work for your company online.