A press release is a written communication directed at members of the news media for the purpose of announcing something claimed as having news value. Online press releases are a special kind of content that can add substantial value to your SEO efforts. You can apply many of the same SEO rules to press releases that have been discussed in our previous article on web page optimization strategies.
As always, SEO efforts begin with keyword research. (Read our articles on keyword research for a more in-depth look at this task.) Let's say that you are selling handcrafted beaded jewelry from Morocco and have discovered that the word string 'Moroccan handcrafted bracelets' attracts high search volume. This phrase needs to fit into your press release title.
When writing press releases for publication in physical media such as newspapers or magazines, one of the best ways to get noticed is to create a catchy title, e.g., 'beaded bangle bracelets from abroad burst onto the scene'. Lots of alliteration will probably catch someone's notice. However, in the cyber world, search engine spiders do not have a sense of humour, nor do they have a highly developed sense of fine writing. Therefore, different rules apply. Your headline should make best use of the targeted keyword grouping, e.g., 'Newly arrived Moroccan handcrafted bracelets symbolise nomadic life'
Even though you want to optimise the press release for search engines, it's important to write the press release with its primary intent in mind, that is, to convey who, what, where, when and how to the reader. Write the content naturally, following the 5 Ws rule, adding all relevant keyword phrases throughout, written into the content where they make sense. Use the keyword phrases to link back into your site, drawing the reader onto the pages that you have optimised for conversion.
You can distribute your press release in one of two ways.
Paid distribution services
Paid services can distribute your press release widely for a fee. This is an excellent way to achieve broad coverage in a short time period. Popular press release paid distribution services include PRWeb and PR Newswire. Please note this type of approach may lead to fewer sites posting your release unless the distribution plan is well-targeted.
If you prefer to maintain greater control over your press release content and/or you would rather avoid the service fees, you can also distribute on your own. It's always a good idea to include local websites and media outlets as not only are these a valuable source of links but they can help you drum up good quality traffic. From there, think of the independent, third party sites that contain a news section, product review or publish industry insight and add them to your list.
Advocate for your content
Most good PR people always make a follow up inquiry after they've sent out a press release. This tactic allows you to advocate for your piece, answer any questions and develop a relationship.
Watch your traffic patterns for evidence that the press release has generated traffic. Pay particular attention to which links they use to get to your site and which channels convert to sales. That information is gold; you have made sales today and you have learned something more about how to make sales tomorrow.
Now that your written content is optimized, let's move on to optimize your website images.