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10 tricks for producing a search engine friendly press release


business marketing strategiesThese tips are all about making sure a news release has the most impact on the search engines. The general PR principles of having a strong, original and appealing story still apply and should never be discarded, but there are some tricks you can use to get great SERPs for your news stories.

1. Research the keywords that you want the press release to rank for and use those repeatedly (not repeating yourself too much though!) throughout the press release. A starting point here is using either the plural or the singular of your key search terms and using the company name in full whenever appropriate. You can do it by yourself or use some of the tools like WP SEO Plugin from SEOGuarding.

For example “Spain holidays” v “Spain holiday”. An online press release is typically around 400 words long, so there are lots of options! Realistically, you will probably have the opportunity to place approximately 5 key search terms prominently in your release.

2. Write your press release in the format that most online wire services use and prepare all the information you will need – this will save you a lot of time when publishing. This format is: Headline, introduction/summary, main body content, About the company, company contact details (including postal address), keywords / tags. Don’t forget to include the full url for the site you are publicising…

3. We find it helps to produce text and html versions of the press releases we distribute in advance. Having the code already prepared saves a great deal of time when publishing. A neatly presented word document with hi-res images is the format we use when sending to individual editors.

4. Bear in mind that your headline is the most important part of the press release, as sometimes it will be picked up on newsfeeds and can be the only part of your release that is indexed by search engines. It will also appear in the all-important h1 and h2 tags…

Therefore try to get your most important information in the headline – including the name of the company you are promoting.

5. Where to publish your press release? There are 100s of excellent press wires around the world allowing publishing for free, quite cheaply, or very expensively. We constantly review our resources and their value to us goes up and down all the time.

The ideal press wire

  • Gets indexed in Google News
  • Allows hyperlinks
  • Has a good reputation
  • Has press contacts / high visitor volume / good RSS feed set-up

6. We recommend producing different versions of the release (or at least, the important early sections of the story) as this allows more prominence for results when mass-distributing.

7. It is recommended that you make your usual approaches to journalists well before commencing on your online PR campaign. Approaching a journalist with a story that has already been published will not go down very well.

8. Include images, research shows that our eyes are drawn to images that appear in search listings. Don’t forget to put links on your images where you can and include optimised alt-tags.

9. If you regularly distribute press releases for the same company, try using different images each time you publish a release. Instead of always using the company logo, use a stock image that reflects what you are talking about. For example, people using computers.

10. Use social networking sites to spread your story further, especially if your content is strong enough to have a viral appeal.