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!
- 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:
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.
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!