I just love the art of the press release and could talk about them all day — and I do! If I’m not talking about them, I’m writing about them, or coaching people on writing them, or writing them myself. With so much info out there about press releases, I’m sure it would be hard to know where exactly to begin to learn the art of SEO press release writing. But if there were just 5 posts that I could share with someone who was getting started in press release writing, this would be one of them (and this would be another).
We’ve put together a “Press Release Writing Checklist” that covers the absolute bare bones basics of press release writing. I think its so important that I’ve even created a downloadable PDF version of the SEO press release writing checklist that you can send to your writer or that you can use to compare your press release drafts to before submitting that will ensure that they are both editorially optimized and search engine optimized.
Press Release Writing Checklist:
- Does the press release clearly state the news angle in the title?
- Does the summary elaborate on the news angle stated in the title?
- Is the title written in title case?
- Is the title 100 characters or less?
- Is the summary 300 characters or less?
- Does the body of the press release go right into the news announcement, without any hype or build up?
- Have you double-checked the press release to ensure that the reader is not addressed as “you” or that the company is not addressed as “we”? This type of language is too informal for a press release unless it is in a quote.
- Are claims that could be viewed as subjective attributed to a person, such as in a quote?
Search Engine Optimization
- Does the press release title contain your primary 1 keyword?
- Does the summary contain your secondary keywords?
- Does the press release body contain the three target keywords?
- Have you included at least 1 full URL in your press release (in case it is republished without anchor text?)
Why A Checklist?
Tara and I truly have a passion for helping people develop great quality press releases. And we see so many people every single day taking the time and effort to create and submit press releases — only to have to go back and edit them before they can be published. The points above are a compilation of the most common things that we coach people to fix on a daily basis.
Look, there are a lot of press releases sites out there that will take just about anything. For a while, even press release sites that published ‘obviously not news’ announcements were getting picked up by Google News — but not any more. As you may have noticed, Google made some major changes a few weeks ago and many PR sites were wiped out of Google News altogether. We made the cut — and we believe that is because we are sticklers for ensuring that we help people to craft real honest to goodness news releases, not ads and articles masquerading as PRs.
So when our editorial team writes with suggestion on how to optimize your PR for SEO and editorial, don’t be frustrated (though most people are thrilled and grateful!). We’re doing it to keep the good integrity of our site for the good of everyone who uses Online PR Media. And the very best way to prevent making edits later is to write press releases that are properly optimized from the beginning — and this press release checklist is designed to get you on the right track!
While there is certainly a full-size guide that can written about press release writing, do you have any absolute “must-do’s” to add to the list? What are your biggest challenges when writing press releases?