Optimising Press Releases for Optimum Exposure

Using SEO in your press release is essential in this digital age – Jason Woodford, SiteVisibility CEO, shows you how…

Long gone are the days when a press release would simply get faxed to an editor’s desk and be left to do its thing. With the Internet now such a prevalent source of news and information, you need to think digitally – and this means understanding the basics of SEO. Jason Woodford, CEO of leading search and social media agency, SiteVisibility, shares some of his top tips on integrating SEO into a press release, allowing you to optimise your story and make yourself more visible to your target audience.

“By optimising your press release, you’re going to have a much better chance of making it stand out from the many others that you’ll be vying for attention against, helping to raise your media profile while simultaneously driving traffic to your website. The rules of SEO are always changing, but with a few little tricks, you can increase the chances of your story being found and people visiting your website as a result.

The top to toe of PR SEO
“So let’s start from the top; your title is a great place to insert some relevant keywords, but never at the expense of style. Grabbing your audience’s attention is always the most important thing, but if you can weave a keyword or phrase into your title too, then that’s definitely a bonus. In fact, keywords can be adopted throughout your press release, but always make sure that they’re relevant.

“If you’ve had your website optimised, you should already have a list of your keyword targets – pick a couple that apply to the subject matter and include them in your story. But be cautious not to cram loads of keywords in or make it too repetitive, as this could flag up your press release as spam. Vary your phrasing or look for alternatives to avoid over-saturating the content – keyword stuffing is not good SEO and could turn a decent press release in the wrong direction.
“Links are another ‘weapon’ in the optimised press release arena that should always be called on. Include a link to your website, using keywords as anchor text where possible, and branded links that direct the reader to your homepage. Again, make sure they fit with the story and aren’t just stuffed in for the sake of visibility – or you could actually end up with the opposite result.

“When it comes to deciding on your content, I recommend utilising the Internet to check for stories that you could ‘piggy back’ off. Google News is a great source for recent and relevant topics and you can even set up alerts for certain keywords, giving you instant access to related stories.

“Of course, once you’ve decided on your press release story, you also need to work out a distribution plan; research sites and online publications and keep a comprehensive and up-to-date list of submissions and responses, so that you can monitor their value. Obviously the bigger and better known newspapers and magazines offer the most benefits when it comes to links, but you need to check whether or not they’ll allow imbedded links in your press release, or if they’d be happier offering a single, branded link.

“Images can also be a great tool when it comes to drawing attention to your press release; not only to images help to engage the reader, but you can also give each image a title or a caption, including keywords, thus providing an alternative way for searchers to find your story.

“Ultimately, the ways in which people find and engage with media and the news is changing – and to keep in touch with your audience, you need to change your approach too.”

SiteVisibility can help you to create a press release for the digital world if you feel that you need some help, so contact them on http://www.sitevisibility.com for further advice if required.