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Posted on 04.27.2010

Here’s a Tip: Search Engine Optimize Your Press Releases

SEOAs much as I enjoy lazy Sundays spent drinking coffee and reading my beloved Styles section of The New York Times, I don't know how I would function without the ability to effortlessly and instantly read the news online during the busy work week.  With the invention of Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds, Twitter, Google Reader and the likes, I tend to believe I'm not alone in the quest for news delivery at the speed of light (at least Monday-Friday!).  In fact, according to a recent article from the BBC, Pew Research Center has determined that online new sites are the “third most popular form of news, behind local and national TV stations.”

With that said, as PR practitioners, we have had to evolve our PR tools to cater to the needs of our target audience, which evidence shows, primarily lives online. So what is this evolving PR tool that I speak of?  The Search Engine Optimized (SEO) press release.  An SEO press release will not only get your news online, it will also help to improve your search ranking on Google, Yahoo! and Bing and, in turn, provide additional exposure to your company news.  Below are five tips for creating a press release that will do just that: Use Keywords: Develop a list of keywords that relate directly to the press release content and to your company.  Repetition of these keywords will help search engines pick up on the main focus of the release.  SEO experts say that search engines typically determine credibility of a release from reviewing only the first 250 words, so try to work your keywords into the beginning of the release as often as possible (at least three times is ideal). Nix Generic Headlines: Many PR practitioners make the mistake of using a “teaser” headline or saying something generic to pique the interest of a curious editor.  When it comes to SEO, a generic headline will go unnoticed if it is not informative.  Make your headlines short and concise and always include your company’s name and a keyword or two. Include Links:  Linking to websites relevant to your press release content is another method search engines use when determining credibility.  Link to your company website, of course, but make sure to link to other sites to improve rankings. Limit Jargon: Press releases, whether meant for online distribution or not, should never include a lot of jargon.  The point of a release is to get your news out there, not confuse people.  The same goes for SEO.  Search engines will have a hard time picking up on acronyms, so make sure to spell them out, at least upon first mention. Embed Multimedia: Editors and search engines alike appreciate the value of multimedia to help tell a story.  Embedding multimedia that links back to a website will help to improve ranking. What else are you doing to search engine optimize your press releases?

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