Proficient Press Release Optimization
Online press releases have always had the upper hand when it comes to link acquisition and off-page SEO (search engine optimization). However, there are many people who have no clue how to effectively optimize their press releases for search engines, and there’s a good chance it’s costing them.
A properly optimized press release will boost your brand exposure, website referral traffic, and search engine rankings. Here are a few protocols that, if executed, will give your press releases greater SEO value and potentially transform readers into clients/customers.
Use natural/branded anchor text:
One of the most important things you need to do when optimizing your press releases is to use natural/branded anchor text. This has been the best practice after the Google Penguin and Panda updates. Traditionally, using keyword-rich anchor text has been a way for sites to rank well for targeted keywords, but this concept seems to be diminishing. Industry expert, Rand Fishkin, explains his theory on co-citation and how certain sites are ranking for keywords in which they aren’t even optimizing for.
Essentially, he’s saying that site’s are ranking well for certain keywords simply because they’re being mentioned in the same content over and over again. As an example, Rand uses Consumer Reports and how they’re ranking for “cell phone ratings”:
“You can see a lot of articles on the web that mention cell phone ratings and reviews and mention Consumer Reports. They don’t necessarily link to this page. In fact, very few of them link to this page. But many of them will do exactly this. If you look at a text snippet on the page, it’ll say, “Cell phones as rated by Consumer Reports.” This doesn’t even link. This is not a live link. It’s not even pointing to their website or to that specific web page. But Google is noticing the association. They see the words “cell phone.” They see the word “rated,” and they see “Consumer Reports.” They put two and two together and say, “You know what? It seems like lots of people on the Internet seems to think that Consumer Reports and cell phone ratings go together.”
This is only one example of how a site can rank well for keywords without using keyword-rich anchor text. Next time you’re writing a press release, try to focus on associating your brand with the keywords in which you are targeting rather than the anchor text of your link.
If your press release is less than 500 words, you should link to your site only once. If your press release has 500 words or more, feel free to include two links that point to your site. You should never link to your site more than two to three times in the same press release. Using too many links can make a press release appear spammy, and Google could potentially devalue those links or penalize your site for over-optimizing.
You also want to make sure you’re links are linking to relevant pages on your site. Don’t just link to your homepage. For example, if your press release is about computer software, and you have a page on your site regarding computer software, then link to that corresponding page.
Press releases that contain multimedia components have proven to have a higher click-through rate. So, if the press release service that you’re using allows multimedia attachments, such as videos or image slideshows, then take advantage of that and include them in your press release.
Be sure to optimize the filenames and titles of the media you attach too. Google, as well as other search engines, use filenames and titles to understand what wordless content is all about.
Press release structure:
Lastly, you’ll want to make sure you use a traditional and SEO-friendly press release structure. This includes:
- Title – Just like your website’s title, make sure your press release title is 70 characters or less. Google will remove anything after 70 characters and those might be crucial keywords which you are targeting.
- Introduction – The introductory paragraph is a make or break type of thing. If a user isn’t impressed with your press release’s introduction, chances are they won’t read it. Be sure to formulate a compelling introduction to draw readers in.
- Body – Do not stuff the body of your press release with keywords, but definitely include them. Be sure to use a keyword density tool to make sure your keyword density isn’t above 5%.
- Boilerplate – Usually two to four sentences that appears at the bottom of a press release (good place for links and company contact info). Be sure to highlight your brand here and perhaps a few company facts to give readers a little more insight.
I hope you take advantage of these tips the next time you’re writing a press release. Thanks for reading and happy optimizing!