Search engine optimized press releases are a fantastic way of generating new traffic to your Web site. They offer many benefits over “regular” search engine optimization, such as:
- They get on the search engines within hours
- They provide excellent quality links back to your site
- They get syndicated and duplicated hundreds if not thousands of times
- You’re not penalized for duplicate content
- You can apply the very same SEO tools to get good positioning
- They provide another optimized page of content once you add it to your Web site
With all these benefits, why wouldn’t you want to create online press (news) releases? I think most people just don’t know to do it, or don’t know what to say.
I Don’t Know What To Say!
Writing a press release is actually fairly easy to do. They don’t need to be long, maybe 200 or 300 words. Certainly no more than 2000 words absolute max. Just think about any type of thing that’s going on in your business or industry that’s newsworthy. It doesn’t have to be “huge” news – like solving world hunger. It can just be something that is important to you that others will want to read about. Some examples might be:
- You’re having an “event” of some sort (seminar, workshop, open house, mixer, whatever)
- Your company won an award for something
- You have a new product or service that can benefit your clients
- You’ve opened a new office, moved to a new location or some other significant event has happened
- You supported a non-profit in some way or helped the community
I could go on. None of these things is mind-blowing, but they are events that have had an impact on your business, clients or the local community. These are all opportunities for you to get your name out there.
Search Engine Optimized Press Release?
One of the cool things about online news releases is that you can apply all the SEO rules you know to get it to the top of the search engines. How do you apply SEO to a press release? It’s actually very easy. When you submit it to the online tool, like PRWeb.com, PR.com or PRLog.org, they’ll ask you for a headline. The headline is up to about 7 words long, and should be compelling, to the point, and include some of your keywords. The headline turns into your “Title” tag for your press release.
Next, you need to create a summary of the article. It should be 1-3 sentences long, and guess what that becomes? Your “Description” tag!
Make sure the body of your press release is rich with lots of key words, antonyms, synonyms and so on so that it is great quality and compelling content. The article should start with a broad topic at the top, and narrow the focus the more you read into greater details. Your first paragraph should be very broad and “hook” the reader into why they should spend more time reading the rest of the article.
Your articles should be newsworthy, and NEVER a sales pitch. It should always include something new that people want to read, and never try to sell your stuff.
Most importantly, you must always have a link back to your Web site in the body text, preferably near the top. People reading your article may want to get in touch with you. It also provides an excellent quality link for the search engines with lots of rich content around it.
If you’re really struggling for how to write it or what to say, I recommend that you contact a friend of mine, Evan Denbaum, who is a copy writer and editor who is a real pro. He will write a punchy, interesting press release for you that you can feel proud of. He used to work in the paper industry, so he knows just how it works and how it should be structured.
Once you’ve submitted your press release, it may or may not be reviewed by an editor before being accepted. Make sure you follow any guidelines that the editor gives you in the feedback note.
After it gets accepted, you should notice that it shows up in the search engines within a few hours typically. Your press release will also get syndicated, or copied, all over the place. This is a good thing! News is meant to be duplicated and copied from place to place, so you do NOT get penalized for duplicate content! Excellent news, right?
Finally, make sure you set up a new page on your Web site with the exact news release and links to the online version(s). Your news release will fade from the search engines as the news becomes “stale”. But it now becomes a permanent, optimized page on your Web site that will continue to live.
For some examples look at my press release page to see what they look like online and at the news service pages.