Is the SEO Press Release Important?
In the digital age, press releases share a direct relationship with SEO. Continue reading to discover the importance of an SEO press release.
With digital media gaining dominance in the marketing space, many PR pros are left wondering how their efforts fit into the big picture.
Promotion strategies have certainly changed over the years, but that doesn’t mean that traditional options like press releases need to fall to the wayside. In fact, their role has actually grown thanks to inbound marketing trends.
Whereas press releases used to be pitched directly to journalists for news coverage, SEO press releases now serve a dual purpose of securing coverage and improving a website’s search engine optimization.
What Is an SEO Press Release?
An SEO press release serves the same basic function as a traditional press release; you’re telling the media about a new product or company announcement.
They differ in that the SEO optimized release will include links back to the company’s website within the text, and will be keyword optimized for online search.
Think of it as another addition to your overall content marketing strategy, which should include blogs, eBooks, whitepapers, and other valuable collateral. These are all opportunities to showcase your business services and capabilities while helping people find you online.
Optimizing Your Press Release for SEO
There are a number of ways to improve the “searchability” of your content, including press releases.
For an SEO press release, the first consideration will be keywords.
Choosing the Right Keywords
What keywords do you want your website or other content to rank well for? What are people searching for when they come across your product or service?
You’ll want to choose keywords that are a bit longer and more detailed than others for the best results with less competition. These are referred to as long-tail keywords.
For example, if your business offers car washing services, include your location or surrounding region in the keyword to narrow it down for your audience.
So instead of targeting a keyword like “car wash,” you would target “car wash in Wilmington NC.”
Choose one or two keywords based on your research, and incorporate them naturally into the text of your press release.
Linking to Your Website
SEO press releases are a great opportunity to build quality backlinks for your website.
Backlinks are links that are found on one website, and link back to another website.
So if your press release gets picked up by a major news outlet, you’ll be getting a backlink from that outlet. Backlinks from authoritative sites like news organizations are extremely valuable in SEO because they build credibility, so use this to your advantage when writing your press release.
Incorporating Quotes and Sound Bytes
In a normal press release, you’ll want to include quotes to make journalists’ jobs easier. You’ve basically done the hard part so they don’t have to set up a time to interview the company president or spokesperson.
In an SEO press release, catchy quotes and snappy sound bytes will become social media fodder – which is what you want.
It’s important to include quick snippets of information that will tell your story in a way that’s easy to understand.
People who want to share this news can then post the quotes while linking to the original press release. From there, the hope is that it will continue to get shared with that quote or headline that you’ve created. In this way, you’re in charge of what people are saying about you.
Keep Things Simple
The best press releases aren’t the longest, or even the most detailed. They’re the ones that are easiest to understand.
When writing the press release title, incorporate your keyword in a natural way, but focus mainly on readability.
Titles should be about 10 words or less, since only about the first 50-60 characters will be seen in search engine results. Make sure the message gets across in those first 50-60 characters to avoid people skipping over the news.
You can add a bit more information in your sub-title, which is just as important in SEO. So feel free to be more descriptive and incorporate your keywords there as well.
In the main body of the press release, follow the same procedure, keeping sentences and paragraphs short and to the point for the most impact.
No need for flowery language here. Present the facts in a way that is interesting yet concise.
If the topic itself has some appeal, that’s usually enough to keep people reading. Save the real creativity for a follow-up blog post (that links back to your press release!).
Write for Human Readers
The hardest part about writing an SEO press release is balancing the need to write for search engines and people.
When you incorporate keywords and backlinks, you’re mainly doing that to appease the search engine algorithms.
But remember that your true goal is to get the attention of your target market! First that will be journalists, and then everyday consumers.
Write in a way that appeals to each of these groups.
They are not robots, so don’t fall prey to keyword stuffing, which will only work against you in the end. Seriously, even robots are wising up and won’t fall for those tricks anymore.
Diversifying Your SEO Strategy with Press Releases
Again, press releases are just one component of your overall digital marketing plan.
They are a great way to boost name recognition and get your company’s news to the masses. Press releases are also a great content marketing tool that provides added ammunition for getting shared by everyday people online.
Rather than continue the argument about whether or not press releases are dead or dying, or saying it’s an outdated PR strategy, think of new ways to incorporate this medium into your marketing plan.
By optimizing your press releases for SEO using keywords and backlinks, and keeping content short and to the point, they can get your company found online and in print.
There really aren’t too many other media options that can do that for you.
Want to learn more about press releases and how they can help you reach your marketing goals? Contact us for a consultation.