Press Releases and Search Engine Optimisation

I’m still constantly surprised that many companies still don’t take advantage of SEO. There are many, however, that issue press releases on a regular basis. As part of our SEO packages, we cover press release optimisation. What they don’t understand is that press releases can be part of your SEO efforts, and can be used to gain presence in the editorial results of the search engines, even if it’s not a direct presence for your actual domain.

Press releases, in the traditional sense, were meant to reach out to journalists with the hope that a publication would pick it up, call someone within your company for comment, and gain a presence within the traditional media community (television, radio and/or print) to enhance your image and further your business.

Any SEM that offers SEO outsourcing, listen up… Press releases in the digital media environment can do all of that, plus a bunch of other cool stuff. Even though many continue to issue press releases, few have made adjustments to their efforts to include press release optimisation for the digital community and to further their interactive marketing — and specifically SEO — efforts.

By paying attention to a few important details, it’s possible to craft an interactive press release and create synergies within your other marketing efforts:

Step 1: Creation of the Press Release

Write for the editors you’re trying to reach traditionally, as well as the search engines.

Headline: You must have a catchy headline or else no one — aside from the search engines — will read it. If you want the most from your efforts, include at least one relevant keyword phrase that people search for.

Copy: Mention the keywords of focus for the release within the first paragraph.

Linking: Many press release distribution companies allow you to include keyword-rich anchor text in links. These links should be directed to specific URLs within your Web site that, ideally, have a title tag, header tag, and content that supports this same keyword phrase. There’s great SEO value in having links on other Web sites linking to you, using keywords that you’d like to rank for within the anchor text of the link.

Tags: Many distribution partners allow you to tag your press release with keywords that you’d like to have this release associated with.

You’ll have to wait for Part 2 of this post for distribution and more press release benefits.

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