Let's continue with our discussion on making the most of your press releases with an explanation of backlinks and anchor text. This is the second post in our three part series helping you ensure your press releases are properly optimized for better search engine results. (To review the first three tips, please visit: Making the Most of Your Press Release - Part One.)
Previously we discussed the importance of researching and choosing three to five keyword targets and using these keywords throughout your press releases, especially in the main headline. Now we turn to the body of your press release where ideally you've been able to include your keyword targets without disrupting your readability. Using your keyword targets throughout your release is important because it tells the search engines to display your release information or your company website (if linked to from the release) in the search results whenever those keywords are searched. But don't stop there. An SEO-friendly press release should also include backlinks and anchor text.
4. Add Backlinks. Backlinks occur when other websites display links back to your website, thus the name 'backlink.' Backlinks are the currency of the web. The number one way to boost your search engine rankings is to increase the number of backlinks pointing to your website from other websites. When you issue a press release, you have the opportunity to include a few backlinks inside the release. I recommend no more than three backlinks in the body of your release as too many links may cause the search engines (as well as reporters' email service) to interpret the release as spam. If the story is picked up and placed online, you will have at least three new backlinks pointing back to your website. This is especially relevant when you launch your release on the wire where multiple services such as Yahoo News! and Marketwire tend to automatically run the release online. One thing to note is there is no guarantee a reporter or news source will include the backlinks from your original release when running the story on the web.
5. Use Anchor Text. Anchor text is when you anchor words to your backlinks. Anchor text lets the search engines know the exact keywords that relate to the website being linked to. For example, we specialize in marketing for healthcare organizations so one of our primary keyword targets is healthcare marketing. If we have an opportunity to mention healthcare marketing in one of our press releases, we may choose to link those words back to our website. By linking those terms to our main website, we are telling the search engines that they should display our website whenever those terms are searched. In the below example, both links go to the same place but the second link is telling the search engines that Lovell.com specializes in healthcare marketing.
Regular backlink: www.lovell.com
Anchor text link: Healthcare Marketing
Anchor text links add value to your backlinks and should be utilized whenever possible in your outgoing press releases.
Continue reading part three in our series on how to optimize your press release for the best search engine results.
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