Traditionally, press releases were intended to facilitate communication between public relations and the media. By informing journalists about key events, such as new product launches, winning a prestigious award, or announcing noteworthy company news. Now, it’s become an industry staple that no public relations rep should be without, albeit in a different way than it was decades ago when print was still king. So, do press releases help with SEO?
If a business wants to ensure its releases are picked by the press or read by the public, it needs to be SEO-optimized for major search engines.
You will learn how press releases help with SEO
- How a press release should be structured
- How to Write an SEO Press Release
- Best Tools to Use SEO Friendly RP
- LexisNexis Newsdesk
With nearly 30 million companies in the United States alone, there are an invaluable number of press releases circulating each day, considering there are only 50,000 journalists who can read them. Therefore, capturing your target audience’s attention will not be a walk in the park.
In this article, we’ll detail what “SEO press release” is, why you should take it seriously, best practices, and top SEO tools organizations are using to drive measurable results.
But first, let’s go over some of the basics.
Anatomy of a Good Press Release
Regardless of the industry or type of business, every good press release should include these four elements:
When crafting a press release, you want to ensure that you are getting the right message to readers right from the start of the copy. Remember that press releases should be easy to read and concise, not exceeding 400 words.
That’s why a well-thought-out and engaging headline is perhaps the most important aspect of your press release. A good rule of thumb is to incorporate active verbs.
This is one of the easiest parts of the press release writing process. It should provide readers with a brief description of what they are about to read, without revealing the whole story.
You just need enough information to pique their interest, so make sure they don’t have more than a paragraph.
The official first paragraph of your press release needs to cover the 5W1H rule – Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How.
It should show the main highlights of the story so that your audience can have a clear understanding of the message of your releases in the first few sentences.
This short paragraph usually comes at the end of the press release. Here, you’ll add some important details about your company’s history, as well as contact information to make it easier for potential customers to get in touch with you.
How do you write an SEO-friendly press release?
To help lift the veil on SEO, here are some SEO best practices for press releases that you can use to help boost your press release’s search engine performance:
Keep content relevant and readable
While SEO is great for increasing the visibility of material online, the reality is that even the best SEO won’t make readers interact with content that isn’t interesting or interesting. That’s why it’s vital that you create content that will resonate with your readers right from the start.
Before starting to write, ask yourself: what is the “secret sauce” that my readers need to find this ad attractive? What pain points is this press release addressing? What question are you answering?
This is especially important because Google, along with other search engines, have built algorithms specifically to rank the content that best answers users’ questions. In addition, content that generates more engagement measured in click-through rates, shares, tweets, and more also gets a considerable boost on search engine results pages.
Choose your keywords wisely
The best SEO-friendly press releases require careful keyword selection. This involves a fair amount of research on your part.
To get started, discover some of the main topics your release focuses on. And again, you want to put yourself in the researcher’s shoes. What terms or phrases will they use to find your release online? Think about a niche and avoid searching for keywords for which your competitors are already well ranked.
Your main key phrase might be very competitive, like “dealership management software” or something a little less competitive, like “truck dealership management software solution.” The second keyword phrase is considered a long-tail keyword, which is less competitive as it is more specific.
While long-tail key phrases are not as competitive as primary key phrases, they shouldn’t be overlooked. In fact, when used together, they can lead to more total searches than their highly competitive terms.
Include an appealing call to action
One of the most common mistakes users make when writing their press releases is not adding a call to action. By leaving out this key piece of the press release puzzle, your readers won’t be able to keep up with the content they’ve just read.
Once they’ve finished reading your release, they’ll become more familiar with your news, which is exactly when you need to seize that moment with a call to action.
To ensure good SEO for press releases, we recommend adding a hyperlink to good anchor text that contains a relevant keyword.
The more sensible you place this call to action, the more SEO success you will have. For example, you can place a link to a blog at the end of a paragraph that details the site’s new features in your press release.
Add social media and multimedia links
To really get your press release to more readers, you will need to use multimedia. Including images and videos in your release is a surefire way to increase visibility as it will inevitably be indexed by multimedia search engines like Google Images.
Another reason why multimedia is essential is that press releases (or any piece of content) with videos or images increase the likelihood that your part will be shared on social media. With an increasing number of users getting their news from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, this is an element you shouldn’t ignore.
In the example below, you can see McDonald’s great work, including keywords, attention-grabbing catchphrases, and social media links.
Top tools for creating SEO friendly press releases
Making sure your press release gets out is not for the faint of heart. To make life a little easier for you, we’ve chosen some of the key tools you can use to make the process easier:
If you are looking for media coverage opportunities, HARO is the tool for you.
Short for “Help a Reporter Out,” HARO connects journalists to knowledgeable sources. This not only helps journalists meet demanding deadlines, it also allows brands to tell their stories effectively.
Journalists seeking assistance list their needs and then approximately 80,000 identified experts are quickly notified of impending media opportunities.
A world-class media monitoring solution, LexisNexis Newsdesk offers companies spanning corporate communications, marketing and legal professionals a 360-degree view of relevant news and business insights.
Experts can track key events that can impact their businesses, create dynamic data visualization reports using SOV, sentiment, geolocation, and even share critical market intelligence data across the organization.
SEMrush is one of the first and best keyword research tools on the market today. Loved by public relations professionals everywhere, this feature allows you to analyze rankings, advertising content, backlink profiles and even keep an eye on competitors.
You can even see how your site ranks for keywords and how they stack up against your competitors’ terms. SEMRush goes as far as evaluating your entire SEO strategy and then providing tips on how to drive more traffic to your site.
Use this tool and you will be able to set up projects where you can watch specific domains for changes in metrics. These metrics include accessibility, traceability, metadata violations, URL rank, as well as the number of keywords your domain is ranked for.
You also have the option of being alerted daily, weekly, or monthly via email notifications about backlink status and overall domain health.
Founded in 2004, Moz Control Panel can help you track, measure and improve your website and offsite SEO for greater online visibility. There’s even a comprehensive collection of free and paid SEO tools to choose from, including:
- Moz Keyword Explorer: Keyword research tool that offers suggestions, SERP features and up-to-date search volume data.
- MozPro: Performs SEO site tracking checks, page ranking and competitor tracking, and SERP resource tracking.
- MozBar – free Google Chrome extension that provides instant metrics for SEO purposes.
Do press releases work for SEO?
As you can see, when implemented correctly, the short answer is YES!
Despite an onslaught of opponents saying the press release is out of date, the truth is that it remains a valuable tool for public relations professionals today. In fact, it is considered to be one of the most cost-effective options that companies can use instead of paid advertising.
But when trying to build your company’s reputation by ensuring media coverage, simply writing a press release will not get you the results you want.
Perfecting an SEO strategy requires a lot of skill, patience and creativity. By following the SEO best practices for press releases above, we can ensure you get off to a great start in improving your content’s online performance.
Remember to keep the reader in mind with everything you post and you’re ready to go!
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