Content Marketing, Search Marketing

How to Optimize a Press Release for Search

We work with some amazing public relations firms ourselves and with our clients. Public relations is still a great investment – our folks at Dittoe PR have gotten us mentions in the New York Times, Mashable and a host of other popular sites.

While PR professionals understand how to write compelling press releases and get them distributed to the right audience, sometimes they don’t optimize the press releases as well as they could be for search.

  1. Always ensure that your Press Release traffic can be measured. We add campaign tracking and unique landing pages to our Press Releases so we can see where the traffic is coming from and how valuable it is.
  2. Utilize relevant keywords in the title of your Press Release – which is typically utilized in the page titles of the destination sites that it is syndicated to.
  3. Target 1 to 3 relevant keyword phrases within the body of the press release and ensure you’ve repeated them. Using them in subheadings or formatting them in bold or italics always helps, too!
  4. Include links back to your site or landing page within the press release and be sure to link the keyword or phrase, not the name of your company. If you can’t add a link, ensure the link is found adjacent to a keyword phrase.
  5. Use images within the context of your press release. Name the file using a keyword (dashes for spaces) and, if you can insert it with alternative text or a title – use a keyword.
  6. Spend the money. I’ve released press releases before without paying for distribution and they didn’t result in a single whisper… paying for distribution through MarketWire, PRWeb, PressKing or other services may increase the likelihood of your news being picked up on news sites with great authority.

Optimizing a press release can provide some additional lift to your company’s web site when that press release is distributed and syndicated through other relevant industry or news sites. Don’t miss the opportunity to generate valuable backlinks back to your site, driving up your rank and increasing the authority of your site with search engines.

11 Comments

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      Absolutely , Bob. Some PR distribution outlets don’t provide the opportunity to utilize HTML, though. As a result, utilizing adjacent keywords and good distribution can help.

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    Appreciate the mention of PRWeb in your post Doug 🙂

    At PRWeb.com we have numerous learning resources for optimizing your press release for search engines, here are 5 quick tips to start. You are correct in your comment below, in that utilizing keywords and good distribution certainly helps SEO.

    http://service.prweb.com/learning/article/optimize-press-releases-5-tips/

    If you have any other questions on SEO for press releases, you can always tweet us @prweb 🙂

    –Stacey Acevero
    Community Manager, PRWeb

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    Hi Doug,

    Thanks for mentioning PressKing as well!

    Sending press releases can have nice effects on SEO, indeed. Which is why we’re also providing SEO measurement tools (along with our press release and media monitoring modules) – it’s always nice to keep an eye on your online activity, isn’t it?

    We have a few extra features we’ll introduce in the coming weeks – I’ll keep you posted!

    Charles – CEO, PressKing

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    Press release distribution is an important component of SEO link building. It’s important to incorporate anchor text and links in the body of the release. However, you need to keep in mind that a press release needs to be newsworthy. Don’t spend the time and money on a press release that will be ignored.

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    I’ve been tasked with press releases for our company and would like to know how to avoid getting hurt for having duplicate content? On my third request for a posting I realized that if indeed each of these sites put my article up, the search engines may see it as duplicate content and bury our new product. What is the best strategy to follow?

    • 10

      Hi Annette,

      If you take a serious look into ‘duplicate content’, it’s a bit of a myth that you would ever get penalized for it.  There is actually no such thing as a duplicate content penalty.  Refer to the Official Google blog:
      http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2008/09/demystifying-duplicate-content-penalty.html

      Duplicating content doesn’t have a negative impact, but it can negate a positive impact. Why? Because people may link back to the content where ever it’s posted. You want content to be published on a single URL so that people link to that single URL.  When they link to that single URL, you rank better.  When they link to other pages, your page isn’t going to rank as well as it could.

      Distributing press releases is not a deliberate attempt to mislead the search engines… it’s a tried and true practice for distributing news, both traditionally and on the web.

      Doug

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