Lets begin with a few statistics to tell you how writing and distributing SEO friendly press releases, helps your presence online. More than half of internet users visit news sites everyday. That means close to 3 billion people read news online everyday! So, if you have your release online, then imagine the exposure your business can get.

In the US only, there are more than 2,000 press releases distributed by the leading wire services. Imagine the world figure with all the wire services pitched in. So how can you make your press release noticeable and make sure it reaches your audience? Well, let search optimization of press releases take the reins here!

How SEO helps your Press Release

SEO comes in play while both writing your press release and distributing the same. An optimized release will rank well in the search engines for your keywords and provide your website with important backlinks. Not only will it get you media coverage but also bring content to your audience. With optimized press releases, you can get a good ranking in Google News and Yahoo News for your keywords. Also, millions of impressions across blogs, sites and news sites and RSS.

PageTraffic Guide - How To Write PR 1

The Components Of A Press Release

  • Title: The title is the most important part of your release. It is the first thing that the engines and people both see. So it must be not more that 100 characters and must include the keyword phrase.
  • Summary: This part helps the reader to know the crux of the news in the PR. It is short and precise- not more than 40 words. You have to give the crisp synopsis of the press release in 1-2 sentences. Again, keywords (secondary phrases) have to be used here.  
  • Body: This is the meaty part of your press release. It must be between 300-350 words, and must be written in the third person. Provide complete details of the news and include quotes and 3-4 keywords.
  • About the Company: Again, you have to be precise, and using 40-50 words, tell about your company's achievements and position. Include a link in anchor text, to your homepage.
  • Contact Details:  You may give out the -name, address, phone, email, and website of your business. Or of the designated press contact.

The Purpose Of A Press Release – When you are optimizing a press release, you have to keep these basic pointers in mind-

  1. Being Newsworthy– Why must people read about you? What have you done that will spark people's interest? What news value is your company generating that it may be picked up by the journalists and bloggers? These questions must be kept in mind before writing a press release.
  2. Writing For Target Audience– When writing, think of the people you want to read this post. Then write accordingly, so as to generate their interests. They must be pulled to your content.
  3. Adopt An Interesting Manner– Whenever you begin writing, try to remember that you have to stay away from 'boring'. This means that if your news is boring, it will not have the same impact even after optimization. Do not give excess information, that too drenched in keywords.
  4. Give the reader a reason to click through– Your press release must have additional information, so that the visitor is convinced to click through to the site. Examples include: white paper downloads, podcasts, webinars, reports, email newsletters, free trials, special offers, and consultations.

Tips To Optimize A Press Release

  • Using key words -This is especially important in your headline. In fact try to use the two keywords right after one another. For instance- if your company is Green Clean and the keywords are- “Water Damage Portland”, then you may write a title like- “Green Clean Offer  Huge Discounts On Restoring Water Damage In Portland”. Also, it is essential that you link your important keywords to relevant pages on your site, and not always the home page. You must create the right pages, if they don't already exist, and fill them up with the relevant content. Having the right landing page is extremely essential.
  • Optimize the Summary – Put the keywords and hyperlinks strategically. As far as the summary is concerned, you must include additional keywords in the summary- mind you, they must be different from the ones in the title. You will get greater visibility as the search engines will pick out parts of the press release including the keyed in words to use as the summary in the search engine results.
  • Optimize first 250 words – The first 250 words of your release are essential to both your overall search results and it’s also about the time you will lose a reader if your content is not interesting. Do not include a date in your press release, as it affects credibility. Also try to include 1 to 2 quotes. Make sure the most important news points 1-5 are included in the first 250 words.
  • Use anchor links – Include anchor text links with your keywords. You must include the “http://” portion of the URLs in your anchor so that the link will be clickable when published. You have a better chance of driving viewers back to your Web site, when you use anchor links.
  • Use Multimedia-images-videos etc. – This is the era of the new press release, that is not dull or drab, but is alive. That is why, apart from inserting a company logo for branding purposes in a release, there is so much more you can do for visual appeal. You can use photos, graphics and video links in your press release to strengthen your write up. Audio and visual tools are very effective. You can also add an audio link such as a podcast or product announcement to your press release. Since you have integrated your multimedia elements into large sites for expanded availability. Now the search engines will be able to find you better, and faster.

PageTraffic Guide - How To Write PR 2

Tips To Write A Good Press Release

  • Topic– Choose a topic relevant to your work-audience and keywords. But it has to be newsworthy. Like you may write on any new product/service/program, that your company is bringing out. You may also write about any mergers taking place, any festive offers etc.
  • Tone– Do not be too formal. The formal tone was for press releases, that were sent to journalists. But now, these press releases are published and the users can read them straightaway. So you have to be clear and precise. Also always use a third person tone. Using “you” in a press release sounds like advertising.
  • Quotes– Use them for authority and interest. If you have a quote from a famous person, that is relevant to your news, use it! Quotes of CEO's etc. are an excellent way of self promotion.

The Takeaways:

These are the three points to remember, from the write up. Keep a track of these, and see your press releases improve your positions in search results.-

  • Incorporate links from your targeted keywords.
  • Make sure your press release can operate as an additional information source on your business.
  • PR must be able to drive traffic and lead conversions.

Here is a list of top PR sites that you may submit to. They include both free and paid sites.

S. No URL Page Rank Type
1 http://www.free-press-release.com/ 5 Free/Paid
2 http://www.freepressbox.com/ 5 Free/Paid
3 http://www.freepressindex.com/ 4 Free/Paid
4 http://www.newswiretoday.com/ 6 Free/Paid
5 http://www.1888pressrelease.com/ 5 Free/Paid
6 http://www.i-newswire.com/ 6 Free/Paid
7 https://www.sbwire.com 4 Free/Paid
8 http://www.free-press-release-center.info/ 4 Free/Paid
9 http://www.onlineprnews.com/ 5 Free/Paid
10 http://www.addpr.com/ 3 Free
11 http://bignews.biz/ 4 Free
12 http://www.newsbycompany.com/ 3 Free
13 http://www.benzinga.com/ 3 Free
14 http://www.pr-inside.com/ 6 Free
15 http://www.widepr.com/ 4 Free
16 http://www.prlog.org/ 6 Free
17 http://www.pressreleasepoint.com 5 Free
18 http://www.openpr.com/ 5 Free
19 http://www.prleap.com/ 5 Paid
20 http://pressmediawire.com/ 4 Paid
21 http://www.digitaljournal.com/ 5 Paid
22 http://www.prfire.co.uk/ 5 Paid
23 http://www.pr.com/ 6 Paid

Navneet Kaushal is the Editor-in-Chief of PageTraffic Buzz. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet is also the CEO of SEO Services company PageTraffic which is one of the leading search marketing company in Asia.