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Get Noticed-Optimize Your Press Releases

October 18th, 2010 | | Basic SEO Tips, Blogging for SEO, Crawlability, Link Building, SEO Boy

This is the theme of basically all SEO strategies, and I realize how frustratingly generic this title may sound. But, this blog has to do with good strategies and tools to properly optimize your press releases and news updates so that you can get noticed. Also, it will help you to avoid wasting your time, and probably up your exposure and ranking on SERPs.

How will press releases do this, you ask? Well, good press releases on your site are also crawled by search engines, ultimately affecting your page rank. Also, these articles that you release can (and will) be noticed by your consumers and other journalists. It’s important to have good releases for your potential customers, but it’s more important to be noticed by other media outlets, as they may mention you and/or link to your press release. This will help your page rank, as to be discussed in the strategies below.

To start, here are a few strategies to both write great press releases, and also get noticed by search engines, customers, and other media outlets.

  • Writ somethin well Write something worth reading.

This goes without saying—write something worth reading. An interesting article is the first step to getting your press releases noticed. More people will mention your article, it will have more people linking to it (which is discussed some in point three), and basically it will help to get more traffic to your site. And please, make sure that your writing is error free, as grammatical errors will make you look unprofessional—like this.

  • Don’t trash old content!

Always be sure to keep an archive of all your previous press releases, unless of course you have some embarrassing misprint. All joking aside, this archive can serve as a valuable resource to both you and anyone else looking to cover/interview your company. It gives a substantial background of your company, it establishes a brand history, it keeps you from reprinting old stories as you know what you have discussed already, and also it serves as a way to monitor responses to your news as people comment on your site about the releases. Also, if your company has any substantial accomplishments or awards, this is a great way to share them with the world, even if they happened years ago. Make these milestone archives much easier to access.

  • Link to the good stuff

Not to imply that your site isn’t the “good stuff,” but let’s face it—if you are reading this blog you need advice on how to get noticed, so like the cool kid at prom we’ll let you in on a secret or two. If your article is talking about a trending topic, link back to where you heard it first. A lot of news sites or bloggers check to see where their clicks are coming from, and if they notice that you are driving a lot of traffic their way, you might be able to gain a link out of it. This will help your “authority” in the eyes of the search engines, and up your page rank. More people will read your release, and if all goes well, this will drive more traffic and potential customers to your site. So remember—its all in the links.

  • If you get noticed, let everyone know!

No, this doesn’t involve being a braggart in the conventional way, but if a large media outlet links to your article or website, make note of it. This can be as simple as a headline or banner on your website, to as substantial as a “Featured on” section with its own distinct web page. This garners considerably more legitimacy in the eyes of a consumer or journalist, and could either get you more conversions/clicks, or could influence some other sites to link to you or mention your site as well. And as mentioned earlier, the more links coming in to your site, the higher you will rank in the search engines.

  • This is one more page to optimize

Press releases aren’t granted a free pass in the eyes of the search engines—they are ranked like all others. That being said, you can optimize this page to rank highly like any other page.  But, there are a few things to consider that are unique to the press page. First, your article headlines are not like ordinary newspaper headlines. Yes, they must be descriptive, but you must keep in mind that this headline is mainly for the search engines, so write as such. For instance, keep your headlines eighty characters or less, and try to put some of your important keywords in the headline as well as the corresponding body text, so as to rank better in the SERPs.  And keep in mind the short attention span of a human being—the first paragraph should be the most important, with the most keywords, your brand name, your topic, and your product all discussed.  Otherwise, you may lose that potential journalist/customer.

A Good Tool to Gauge your Press Release’s SEO Grade

At www.pressreleasegrader.com, you can enter in your press release into a copy and paste box, give the URL of your company website, supply them with an email, and the site will grade how effective your press release is in terms of SEO.  It goes without saying that the better the grade, the higher the chance of your press release being ranked in the top of the SERPs.  It’s worth a look, and can be a helpful tool in evaluating how effective your press release really is.

So, to conclude, a solid press release can help your ranking on the SERPs in a number of ways, but you must do it right. All of these strategies can and will help to boost sales, brand awareness, and also can help you get noticed (and linked to) by major media players, driving up your “authority” and your rankings on SERPs.  So utilize these strategies, and the tool provided you in www.pressreleasegrader.com/, and you can see great results in the way of clicks and conversions!

Bryan is an Assistant Account Executive at Hanapin Marketing, a search engine marketing firm focused on generating results through PPC and SEO.

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  • http://www.radusa.com Lisa

    I noticed that you didn’t mention anything about including video and images with press releases. Don’t these tend to be easier to rank for?