Blog - Online PR Media

Anchor Text Links What Are Anchor Text Links, And How To Use Them In Your Press Release

If you're new to writing press releases, you may be wondering about using anchor text links. Or maybe even what they are to begin with! An anchor text link is just online marketing speak for words that go somewhere when clicked. You see them all the time in your daily ramblings around the web. They're usually underlined and colored, often blue, although modern website templates offer more choices for matching the look of links to a site's branding.

 

Looks aside, the function of anchor text links is the topic today, and more specifically how to effectively use them in your press releases. Some quick research on the topic reveals some controversy around anchor text links. To quickly clarify before going on, there absolutely IS a right way and a wrong way to use anchor text links. Knowing the right way to use them, and having the right expectations when creating content, is key to success.

 

First, let's take a closer look at the history of anchor text links and why we're sharing information about this topic to begin with.

 

The Rise Of Anchor Text Links In SEO

 

Once upon a time, it was a common SEO practice to use a ton of keyword stuffed links all going to a site's homepage in online content - including press releases. The idea was that with content published offsite (not on a company's own website), such as with guest blogs and press releases, the more links from third party sources a site had pointing to it, the more credible the site appeared. When combined with the technique of using high-ranking keywords in third party links, websites that practiced this SEO strategy saw an instant and lasting boost in their rankings.

 

It was such a popular and effective strategy, that agencies sold "link building" packages, promising website owners a certain number of "backlinks" (links from third party sources linking back to a website) each month. It worked. Search results were riddled with crappy, keyword-stuffed, over-linked content that was effectively clickbait for users conducting legitimate searches for legitimate answers. The result? A website may rank #1, but visitors weren't staying on the site, much less converting on anything.

 

Users were annoyed. And Google caught on.

 

In 2012, Google launched Penguin, an algorithm update that stopped giving juice to low-quality content with spammy links. It buried that content in the furthest reaches of the SERPs where no one goes, and in some cases even penalized sites that continued trying to game the system.

 

SEO experts agreed that anchor text links were dead. But then something incredible came of the change that tanked the rankings for so many sites. The top results in the SERPs were suddenly filled with USEFUL information. RELEVANT content that actually made sense, provided value to readers, answered questions, and helped users have a better search experience.

 

That was Google's intention. And really, isn't that the ultimate goal when creating content for your brand? Create great content FIRST… then figure out how you can link to related and relevant materials (maybe it's on your website, maybe it's not!) to support your content and create the best experience for readers.

 

Now let's dig into some specific best practices for using anchor text links in press releases.

 

Tips For Using Links In Press Releases

 

#1 - Write a great press release first

 

The overarching goal of distributing a press release is sharing relevant news about your company to a specific audience (customers, investors, etc.). News that matters to people is more likely to get picked up by prominent publications, catch the attention of journalists, reach a greater audience, and ultimately get read and shared by your target audience.

 

#2 - Less is more when it comes to links

 

Five links in a two-sentence paragraph is too many, and Google will see it as spammy. Resist the urge to link to every applicable page on your website. Less really is more if you take the time to plan out your links and make them count by linking to relevant materials that truly support your news.

 

If you use Online PR Media to distribute your press releases, we allow a maximum of 4 anchor text links. We do this specifically help protect you against accidentally spamming your release with too many links.

 

#3 - Use keywords strategically in links

 

The problem that Google Penguin addressed was not just too many links, but too many anchor text links in a site's link profile that matched their onsite optimization 100%. Meaning, if a website is optimized for the phrase "weight loss supplements" and all, or most, of their backlinks are exactly "weight loss supplements," it is clear they're attempting to build links artificially to rank higher. This is the content Google penalizes.

 

This doesn't mean you can't use keywords in your links. It just means the words and your strategy need to be varied. Here are some considerations:

 
  • Use longtail keywords - In addition to your core keywords, longtail keywords are more specific, have less competition, but more total searches. For example, if your core keyword is "weight loss supplement," some related longtail keywords might be "safe weight loss pills," "medically proven weight loss supplements," "natural weight loss pills," and so on, depending on your niche. Not only does using different keywords in your anchor text links keep you on the right side of Google, but it helps to create context, which search engines love because they can more accurately index and display your content in searches.
  • Use branded links - Even if you're not a well-known national brand, using your company name in your anchor text links is a great way to build recognition and visibility, and create a varied link profile.
  • Use generic links - How often do you see links that say, "For more information, click here."? More, click, here, this site, this blog, etc. are safe anchor text links. As an added benefit, if you do a good job writing the content around the link to be a teaser, people won't be able to help themselves. They'll have to click out of sheer curiosity. And every click is SEO currency that signals to Google that your content is useful, relevant and helpful. (See where we're going here?)
  • Use full URLs - While we often talk about anchor text links as being words or phrases, using a full URL also counts as a "link" to Google. The caveat? Short, recognizable links are best. Think about the difference between seeing a link such as www.example.com in a page of content, versus www.example.com/resources/blog/how-to-write-a-blog-post . In the latter, you might as well just say "Learn how to write a blog post here."
 

#4 - Understand the difference between do-follow and no-follow links

 

Getting links back to your website is a normal part of any comprehensive online marketing strategy. Google knows this. Google also knows there are going to be places where you publish regularly - and get backlinks from regularly - that, while not necessarily artificial and spammy, are not organically earned links you want accumulating in your link profile. On the other hand, there will be some mentions and one-off publications and subsequent links back to your site that you definitely DO want in your link profile!

 

When you create a link, you are allowed to tell search engines whether you want it recognized and indexed, or not.

 

A "no-follow" link tells search engines to ignore it. It won't be indexed and it won't be counted for or against your link profile. A "do-follow" link is the opposite; it's added to your link profile and the content is appropriately indexed.

 

Why would you want a no-follow link? Let's talk specifically about press releases. If PRs are a part of your regular marketing plan and you send several (think 2 or more per week), you're going to quickly accumulate lots of backlinks in your link profile. Even if you're varying your keyword and linking strategy, you're going to have some overlap with that frequency. In this case, you may decide to only make the most important and newsworthy releases do-follow links, and set the others to no-follow.

 

The opposite is true if you seldom send press releases, and you have a really stellar topic. Do-follow links will help your content get found, and ensure the credible third-party links are added to your link profile.

 

When you upload a press release to Online PR Media, your anchor text links are "no-follow" by default. Again, this is to protect users against accidentally adding unwanted links to their link profile. If you want to make your links "do-follow," simply check the box at upload.

 

#5 - Optimize your anchor text links

 

Your linking strategy will be specific to your business, your news, and the resources you're linking to. However, this is a general guide for optimizing the 4 links and full URL in your OPM press releases.

 
  • Link your ​company name​ to your ​homepage​, ideally in the first paragraph.
  • Link one ​keyword phrase​ to a ​relevant internal page​ or blog on your website, ideally in the first half of the release.
  • Link a different ​keyword phrase​ to a piece of your ​content published offsite​ (Guest posts, Medium, LinkedIn, Slideshare, etc.)
  • Link the ​name of the person​ you quote to their ​LinkedIn profile​.
  • Use a​ full URL linking to your ​homepage or relevant landing page ​toward the end of your release. For example, “Learn more at ​https://onlineprnews.com/​.”
 

Online PR Media Is Here To Help

 

We hope this resource has been helpful in understanding anchor text links and how to use them in your press releases. The best part is that we have expert SEO press release editors on staff who can provide recommendations and editorial tips to help you get the most from your PRs.

 
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press release strategy Online PR Media’s 6-Step Press Release Strategy Something exciting has happened at your company - a new product launch? a sale or promotion? an award? a new website feature? - you want to share the news!  But, how do you get the word out? Using a press release for a newsworthy event is a great way to showcase these developments. Before digging in though, you need to have a plan.   Not sure where to start? We've put together a six-step plan to help you integrate ongoing press releases into your marketing plan. Once you master the process, you'll be able to grind out exceptional press releases in no time - dare we say monthly? - to leverage this valuable strategy.  

Step 1: Understanding The Value Of A Press Release In Your Marketing Plan

  Press releases are more than just a simple means of sharing your news; when used as a strategic part of your online marketing plan, press releases help to increase your online visibility, market your brand, and reach a greater audience.   In addition to increasing brand exposure, press releases also have significant SEO value. Building links, increasing web traffic through organic search (i.e. when potential customers search for keywords used in your release), and adding social currency, all work together to improve your site's overall rankings.  

Step 2: Identifying Your Goal In Using A Press Release

  When thinking about sharing your organization's news, one of the first questions you should ask yourself is "what is the goal of using a press release?" What kind of attention do you want for your news? Do you want to increase traffic to your website, get traction on social media, or both?   For example, a press release can be used to highlight a brand new product that you’ve developed, or a sale that only lasts for a couple of days. In the first case, your goal might be to drive traffic to your website to the new product landing page. In the latter, your goal might be to drum up a ton of interest on social and get people sharing the news of the sale to ensure its success.   Knowing your goal ahead of time makes writing your press release and defining your audiences much simpler.  

Step 3: Defining Your Audience

  Defining your target audience helps your release get traction in the proper media channels (i.e. reaching potential customers on mainstream media sites, versus reaching investors on financial news sites).   Creating a list of key audiences, deciding if you need to segment your lists and write multiple releases for different audiences, and understanding the scope of the publications where your release will go are key considerations in the PR planning process.   For example, if you announce a sale, the audience should clearly be your end customers. Announcing this same sale to your vendors and investors doesn’t make sense and can lead to lower engagement with the news. In the same light, announcing a new vendor partnership isn’t a detail that customers need to know, but rather your board and investors should know so that they are aware of the new trajectory of the company.  

Step 4: Choosing Appropriate Channels

  After defining the target audience for your release, the next step is deciding how you will communicate with them. WIll you use an online PR distribution partner? Or, do you have an up to date list of media partners and plan to personally reach out to pitch your news?   When choosing channels, it's important to understand how syndication works. At Online PR Media, we have hundreds of partnerships with reputable media and news sites. Through our strategic partnerships, we’ve already done the work of sourcing the best industry-specific channels for your news, which can save countless hours on your end. When using Online PR Media to syndicate your news, you will have the option to select up to seven categories during the upload process -- this is where you'll fine tune the channels to ensure your news goes to sites that are relevant to the topic and industry.  

Step 5:  Writing Your Press Release

  Writing the release itself is obviously one of the most important steps in the development of a PR plan! However, writing the release should be calculated, and should include relevant keywords, links and content that will increase your SEO footprint as well as human engagement.   Make sure to include current media contact information, lead with a strong title and summary, as this is often the information that is pulled and displayed in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages), include impactful quotes from people close to the news (i.e. a quote from a customer about how a new product made their job easier is more impactful than a generic quote from an organization's CEO), and always include links to sources you cite.   The best releases also include content that would be relevant to use in other media channels at later times. For example, writing about topics that you could share to your Facebook or LinkedIn pages will save time down the road when you’re looking for media and marketing content for your social media strategy.   We've created an in-depth source for writing SEO press releases so that they're optimized for both search engines and human readers. Check it out here.  

Step 6: Optimizing The Timing Of Your Release

  Understanding the right time to deploy the release can have a significant impact on your results. We recommend sending Tuesday through Thursday in the morning, and avoiding Monday and Friday unless the news is time-sensitive.   Of course, once you hit 'publish' you will be eager to know where your press release went! Here at Online PR Media, we offer robust reporting features with interactive components to help you understand the impact of your release and specifically what sites published your news. Reviewing and understanding this reporting can help you develop even better strategies for future releases.  

Online PR Media Is Always Here to Help

  We’ve put this resource together to help you understand the best approaches to creating a comprehensive press release strategy that supports your overall marketing plan. Have a question? We're here to help! Our expert SEO press release editors can assist with preparing your release for distribution, editorial suggestions, timing recommendations, and how to select categories to best distribute your news to relevant channels.
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You’ve Written And Published A Press Release – Now What? Press releases are one of the most effective ways to gain visibility for your brand, but they require a bit of finesse in their post-distribution promotion. After writing an SEO press release, there are a few steps you can take to promote the release to ensure it reaches the most people, on the most channels, in the most effective manner possible.   Press releases are one of the most effective ways to gain visibility for your brand, but they require a bit of finesse in their post-distribution promotion. After writing an SEO press release, there are a few steps you can take to promote the release to ensure it reaches the most people, on the most channels, in the most effective manner possible.

First, Choose A QUALITY Distribution Channel

  There are many ways to send out your press release - but ensuring that you use the highest-quality distribution channels will help the release get the most traction.   In addition to Online PR Media, many platforms exist that can be utilized for online press release distribution, and there is an ongoing discussion as to which one is the best. A good rule of thumb is that quality releases are not cheap, and cheap ones are not quality. When selecting a distribution service, ensure that it is reputable and targets the proper sources. Sending a great release to the wrong sources is just as bad as writing a poor release that ends up not getting traction.   Online PR Media boasts a balanced mix of affordability and service. We've partnered with hundreds of reputable media sites to get your release published where it really counts.

Syndicate On Social Media Channels

  Syndication is the distribution of press release content through a network of strategic partnerships - spreading your message far and wide across a variety of channels. While Online PR Media is your syndication partner for news and media sites, social syndication should be an equally important part of your PR strategy.   Key social channels to consider include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Reddit, Pinterest, and Instagram, among others. Sharing your press release on social media ensures that your news gets the recognition it deserves, reaches a greater audience, and helps to build your online presence.   However, you should always wait until the release publishes before sharing. Then, grab a link to the published release from unique and relevant media sites to share. For example, a national company may want to share a link of their release published on the New York Times, whereas a local business that only serves residents in a specific area may choose to share their release published locally, such as on the Miami Herald.   For example, your social post might say…   "Check it out! Yellowstone's settlement agreement release was covered by the Yahoo Finance and Markets Insider. While we're pretty proud of the progress we've made this year, it wouldn't be possible without the customers that depend on our five-start service from coast to coast. Thank you!"  https://finance.yahoo.com/news/yellowstone-capital-gets-protection-legal-164300022.html http://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/yellowstone-capital-gets-protection-legal-group-others-to-pay-500k-stop-soliciting-their-clients-1027121889   "Check it out! Sycor Rental's latest announcement about expanding to Microsoft AppSource made it into the Boston Herald. Be sure to share with your friends so they can check and see if they can take advantage of our five-star service, too!" http://markets.financialcontent.com/bostonherald/news/read/34325898  

Share The Release On Your Website

  Your own website is an obvious choice for sharing your news! However, simply copying the press release content to your website could land you in hot water with Google. According to Kissmetrics, the duplication of content is a marketer’s most feared nemeses. When your press release is already published on multiple news and media sites, adding it to your site could be seen as duplicate copy.   One of the ways to eliminate this is to write a brief introduction to the release for your website. Then, link to a version of the release on an external news site that you have been published to already. This will increase traffic to your website, but avoid the duplicate copy issue on Google.     

Send Directly to Journalists/Editors

  A factor that is critical for all organizations is direct connections to professionals in their specific industry - and individuals who will publish news in the right channels for you. Building long-lasting, impactful relationships with journalists is key to getting your release published in relevant, industry-specific publications. Here are some tips to keep in mind when communicating with members of the media:    
  • Never use “to whom it may concern” in your salutation. Make each of your sends purposeful and direct. Do your research - once you have created a media list, read previous publications from each member. Show the journalist how your press release is relevant to their previous work, and to their readers as well - they might be more likely to cover you that way.
  • Twitter, though great for leverage with journalists, is not mainstream. Ensure you have a solid list of contacts for your industry that will assist in getting the word out about your release.
  • Think small for large-scale results. While everyone wants to be in the large newspapers and large website publications, sending to your local and regional news can be just as effective - and they’re more likely to pick up your piece.

Email To Your Prospect/Customer Database

  Sending your release to your database can be a great way to distribute information. However, this should be a methodical effort, and shouldn’t simply send the entirety of the release. Rather, write a teaser of your release and why your recipients should care, then link to the published release on a prominent website of your choice (national or local depending on your business). Some other tips for sharing your press release via email include:  
  • Never send your release as an attachment. Many email spam filters trap attachments and some people may not have the app needed to open it anyways. Play it safe and link to a published version of the PR.
  • Take a look at your distribution list and ensure that it is properly segmented. If an organization you work with has multiple lines of business, you want to be positive that the right people are getting the right information.
  • Just like when sending with journalists, be sure to personalize your emails to prospects and customers. At the least, include their name in the salutation. If you can take it a step further and personalize the message based on their interests or level of engagement with your company (i.e. why they should care about the news), even better!

Online PR Media Is Here To Help

  We’ve put this resource together to help you get even more mileage from your press release distribution. While our press release distribution services are the first step to getting the word out about your news, we've found that customers who go the extra mile to promote their published release really get the most bang for their buck.   Have a question? We're here to help with feedback about your releases, editorial suggestions, and a wide variety of means to distribute your release.  
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SEO press release How To Write An SEO Press Release

Press releases are a fantastic addition to your digital marketing strategy. When written and distributed correctly, they not only fulfill their original purpose of sharing your company's news, but also support your SEO strategy by creating backlinks on credible news and media sites. As a bonus, press releases that share truly relevant information can go a step further and catch the attention of journalists and customers to increase your brand's visibility and ultimately help drive sales.

The key is writing a press release that is both interesting to human readers and optimized for search engines.

Here's how to do just that.

Step 1 - Choose A Topic

A lot of companies struggle with press release topics, thinking there's nothing interesting or newsworthy enough going on to share. But the truth is, you probably are sitting on a ​wealth of ideas​!

Ask yourself:

  • Have you made any changes or added features to your website that improve user experience?
  • Do you have stellar sales numbers to share?
  • Have you recently added a new product or service?
  • Has your company been mentioned in the press lately? (newspaper, magazine, blog, local tv spot, etc)
  • Have you recently added a new product or service?
  • Do you have an upcoming contest, sale or special promotion?
  • Have you received any awards or accolades recently?
  • Have you hired any new employees that will allow you to better serve your customers?
  • Do you have any upcoming events or seminars you'll be speaking at or attending?
  • Are you hosting or sponsoring a local community event?
  • Have you recently established a new partnership with another company that will benefit customers?

Step 2 - Determine Keywords

A big part of writing SEO press releases is using keyword phrases that journalists, and your customers, are using to search for the type of products or services you offer.

If you're new to keyword research, check out this ​beginner's guide from HubSpot​.

In general, you want to identify 2-3 keywords for each press release.

Once you determine your base keywords, you can expand to include longtail keywords as well. For example, if one of your keywords is "kitchen remodel," a complementary longtail keyword might be "kitchen remodel on a budget" or "kitchen remodel trends 2018." These more specific phrases have less competition, but more total searches. Why? Because the average person knows that if they search "kitchen remodel" they're going to be bombarded with an overwhelming amount of results on ​all things​ kitchen remodels. But most people are actually searching for something very specific, and they know they can fine-tune the results by clarifying the type of kitchen remodel information they're looking for.

Using longtail keywords in your PR means less competition for those words, which will ultimately help your release rank higher in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

Step 3 - Know The Parts Of A Press Release

There are 5 main elements of a press release:

Title

Summary

Body

About the Company Media Contact

Let's talk about how to optimize each.

Title​: Write a relevant, attention-grabbing title that uses your main keyword as close to the beginning as possible. Title should be 100 characters (with spaces) or less.

Summary​: Write a 1-2 sentence summary of the press release using 1-2 additional keywords. Summary should be 175 characters or less.

Body​: Write objectively in third person, and avoid overuse of adjectives and opinionated language. Body should be at least 300 words, contain 1-2 quotes, and 3-4 instances of your keywords, with a keyword anchor text link as close to the beginning of the PR as possible.

About the Company:​ Also called a boilerplate, think of the About section like your company's 'elevator pitch.' Sum up what you do in 2-3 sentences and include a link to your homepage.

Media Contact: ​If your press release catches the attention of a journalist or customer, they need a clear way to contact you. Designate one person from your company as the media contact, make sure they know they are responsible for fielding calls and emails, and ensure the name, email, phone number and website is accurate and accessible at all times.

Step 4 - Write A Great Press Release

No pressure! Seriously though, the thing to keep in mind when writing a press release, even for SEO, is that the information should be timely, relevant, helpful and valuable. Yes, getting your release published on hundreds of media sites is fantastic, but getting real people to READ and TAKE ACTION on your release is the ultimate goal.

Keywords are important for making your press release visible. Content is important for getting your press release read.

In general:

Avoid keyword "stuffing" - using the same keyword phrase 20 times is not going to make your release rank better, and it could even ​have the opposite effect​. Most importantly, keyword stuffed content is devoid of substance, so even if it ranks well, no one wants to read it. Aim for using 3-4 instances of your keywords, and work in related and longtail keywords naturally where you can. For example, in addition to "kitchen remodel," you might also use "upscale kitchen remodel" "high-end kitchen remodeling" and "luxury kitchen design" if your press release is about your kitchen remodeling business expanding into the upscale sector. These might not be your target keywords, but they are all related and together they help search engines better understand the context of the press release so it can be appropriately indexed and ranked.

Think "what's in it for me?"​ - but not actually ​you​. Get in the mindset of your potential customers. Why would this information matter to them? What value can you provide through your press release? Can you be helpful instead of promotional? For example, if you add a new feature to your website, don't simply announce it and dote on how hard your team worked to complete the change on time and on budget... talk about how the new feature improves the user experience for your customers/users/visitors/etc. ​Why​ did you think to implement the feature in the first place? What challenges or opportunities did your website users discover that could be solved by adding the feature?

Create a compelling Call To Action (CTA)​ - you might connect CTAs with sales copy and ads, but you can get creative with CTAs with even the most mundane topic. For example, if your company increased sales by 15% last quarter, instead of just reporting on it, make it engaging. Maybe you introduced a new solution that allowed your customers to grow their business. Or maybe you implemented a new automated system that allowed you to reallocate resources. Put together a downloadable case study that shows other business owners how they can do the same.

Step 5 - Optimize Your Links

When you focus on writing a great press release first, going back and adding optimized links is a snap.

Online PR Media allows you to include up to four (4) anchor text links. An anchor text link is the technical term for clickable words that take you somewhere; meaning, instead of using the full URL in your writing, like ​https://onlineprnews.com/​, you convert it into words, like ​Online PR Media​.

The beauty of Online PR Media's easy uploader is that you simply tell us your keyword phrase and where you want it to link to, and we automatically create the anchor text link within your press release.

You can optimize your links by following these general guidelines:

  • Link your ​company name​ to your ​homepage​, ideally in the first paragraph.
  • Link one ​keyword phrase​ to a ​relevant internal page​ or blog on your website, ideally in the first half of the release.
  • Link another ​keyword phrase​ to a piece of your ​content published offsite​ (Guest posts, Medium, LinkedIn, Slideshare, etc.)
  • Link the ​name of the person​ you quote to their ​LinkedIn profile​.
  • Use a​ full URL linking to your ​homepage ​toward the end of your release. For example, "Learn more at ​https://onlineprnews.com/​."

Online PR Media Is Here To Help

We hope this resource has been helpful as you get started writing SEO press releases. Here's some great news, too. If you get stumped or have question, we have expert SEO press release editors on staff that are happy to help. Every PR you upload automatically undergoes a review process by our editors, where they will make feedback and suggestions for improvements (unless you opt-out of feedback). If you have specific questions or concerns, simply add a comment to the editor when you upload and we'll be in touch!

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