Thursday, July 21, 2011

22 Tips For Writing a SEO Press Release – for Real People and Robots

The Press Release as part of the communication marketing mix is a powerful tool that carries your branding messages across multi-media channels. It provides useful information for the media to create stories and disseminate in-depth information about your business, product or service.

Today's technology driven, fast passed news media requires implementation of vertical marketing that utilizes the new media tactics within press releases, which include key words, tagging, hyperlinks, SEO, EON, etc. This effectively bridges the traditional i.e., print with new media/ online, web and interactive 2.0 technology. These new communications tactics, when applied correctly extend the reach of the initial message and marketing communication content beyond the original life cycle and promotes a digital foot-print in the Internet viral biosphere­– with Business Wire’s inclusion in Google News Archives–press releases live forever.

When it comes to getting your press release seen online, the rules for writing may be different from what you've been taught (The Inverted Pyramid*). These tips will help you write a release that people will read and create more Search Engine Result Pages (SERPS) will find.

"Read More" for 22 Tips on How To Write An SEO Results-Driven Press Release - 

  1. Ideally create a 400-word press release. Choose and use keywords–identify 5 keys words or a keyword phrases that you wish to emphasize – SEO or "optimize for" in the press release;
  2. Think like your reader: What words are most likely to be searched for by people looking for what you want them to find in your release? Choose/use those words multiple times. Pretend you're creating a Yellow Pages listing;
  3. Write a headline that is keyword rich and clearly states the theme of your press release. Use keyword research tools. Free options include Kwmap and Word Tracker;
  4. Keep your headlines short. Google recommends headlines between 2 and 22 words for optimum visibility and search results. And Google, and other portal results display only the first 63 characters of each headlinethe first 7 words of the headline are seen by ROBOTS & SPIDERS– they are critical to your message;
  5. Keep the headline under 140 characters so it appears in re-tweets (RT) and makes sense;
  6. The headline becomes the press release's page title in the HTML source code. This is one of the pieces of content that search engines use to index your press release. (In emails it’s the subject line that is as important;)
  7. ALWAYS have the company name as the first words of every headline;
  8. Add a sub-headline. If you're looking to amplify your headline, the sub is the perfect place. Write a succinct headline and add additional details in the sub-headline field, but remember — these generally serve social media sites and search engines may not index them;
  9. Create a first paragraph that is keyword-rich and accurately reflects the content of your press release.  The first 100 words will frequently show up on sites as teaser to ‘read more;’
  10. Use keywords and keyword phrases multiple times throughout the release- check with the web team for the company’s website Google analytics entry and exit terms;
  11. Your first paragraph should state the primary message of the press release. What are you trying to communicate? Be clear;
  12. Use bold & italics for emphasis only, use underlined text for hyperlinks or URL’s. To make key phrases and keywords more visible to search engines and people, use the formatting features provided in your word processing program to emphasize the most important language in your press release;
  13. Keep it readable. While your goal is to appear high in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPS), don't miss the mark by writing copy that's overly repetitive, keyword or link stuffed or unreadable. You want search engines to find your press release and for readers to click through to it. Strike a balance;
  14. Be careful with puns, innuendo and double meanings. Search engines and robots have no sense of humor! Keep this in mind when trying to attract their attention;
  15. Write timely content that also provides useful company branding information to readers. Provide tips, advice, or objective analysis in your press release that is relevant to your industry or your customers' interests. Search engines reward press releases that provide useful, relevant content;
  16. Utilize hyperlinks and anchor text, but don't overdo it. Too many links can flag your release as spam and get you blocked by search engines. One link per 100 words is recommended. Choose relevant links that direct traffic to the specific pages you are promoting rather than generic links. And avoid links, ®, ™, © symbols in your headline — they won't display correctly on many sites or major search engines;
  17. Hyperlink directly from your keywords and keyword phrases. Use URL’s of the most important hyperlinks, some sites don’t pick-up hyperlinks;
  18. Be consistent. Some words have multiple spellings — such as t-shirt and tee-shirt, or email and e-mail. Stick with one spelling to avoid appearing unorganized, preferably choosing the more frequently searched spelling;
  19. Keep it fresh. As press releases age, they tend to drift lower in the search engine results pages. A campaign of several press releases is more likely to drive results than a single press release;
  20. Include a quote, preferably two quotes, in your release. Quotation marks trigger Search engines that there are Quotables within the release and will rotate them in Enhanced Online News (EON) with wire services like Business Wire;
  21. Link to your website (URL), to social media-specific sites (Facebook, Twitter, Flicker, or YouTube account, for example), or to other relevant web pages;
  22. Publish on the company’s website. Be sure to make your press releases available on (if you have one) your blog, repurpose the press release content as a blog post or an email blast and link it to your social media tweets and posts on Facebook.

Example of an SEO press release

*“Birth of the Inverted Pyramid: A Child of Technology, Commerce and History” – Excerpted from “Reporting and Writing: Basics” for the 21st Century (Oxford University Press). By Chip Scanlan:

To read more on SEO and ‘A New Approach to PR’ go to:


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