Doing press release SEO can boost brand awareness and establish your reputation as a thought leader. Doing SEO for your press releases might seem a bit daunting at this point. However, you’ll soon realize that it’s not as scary as it seems. Once you’ve read through our tips on how to do press release SEO, you’ll be ready to write press releases which are both appealing to read and valued by search engines.
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Before we talk about how to optimize your press releases, let’s talk about why this is helpful:
How can press releases boost your SEO?
A press release can contribute to your SEO score both directly and indirectly.
Direct SEO benefits of a press release
When you write a press release, the next step is to send it to a press release distribution website. If this press release ranks highly on Google after publication, then it will boost your SEO ranking directly. The result is almost instantaneous in this case.
Indirect SEO benefits of a press release
A good press release will boost brand awareness and direct more curious people to your website over time. By increasing the visibility of your brand as well as your web traffic, this press release boosts your SEO ranking indirectly. This is because the more people find about you, the more mentions your brand will earn. Likewise, as your brand awareness grows, you will start earning backlinks from quality sites, thus increasing your domain authority.
How press release SEO has changed
In the past, brands relied heavily on press releases to increase their SEO rankings directly. However, with time, Google realized that these same brands had started writing press releases for the sole purpose of boosting their SEO. Companies started writing press releases to announce even the smallest piece of news just so that Google could rank them higher and increase their visibility. In fact, there is a brand which is known to have written a press release to announce that they were changing the carpeting in their offices. True story, but we’re not naming names.
With time, newswire outlets caught onto what was happening and started turning all the links within press releases into nofollow links. In other words, none of these links benefit your SEO score in any way.
For this reason, when you’re writing your press release, we recommend focusing on the indirect benefits of your press release. Instead of racking your brain to figure out which sites you can link to to maximize your SEO, you should make writing a quality press release which people want to read a priority.
How to do press release SEO
With the following tips, you’ll master press release SEO in no time:
1) Craft a newsworthy story
The first thing you need to do when writing a press release is to make sure you have a newsworthy story. Whatever you do, don’t write a story about your new office carpets. Make sure your story is of value to your target audience. If you can consistently produce quality and educational press releases, then people will start to rely on you as a source of valuable information.
By building a reputation for writing newsworthy press releases, you will attract the attention of media outlets as well as your target audience. Media outlets will want to write about you, and your target audience will want to hear more about you.
2) Create a concise headline
Your headline should be both concise and informative. If it’s too long, then it could get shortened in search engine results pages (SERPs). Similarly, if it’s vague then your readers won’t know what your story is about.
Your headline is where you grab a reader’s attention, so it’s important to craft a headline which will prove that the rest of your story is worth reading. In order to do this, you should be as descriptive as possible. Make sure you include your primary keyword as well as your company name – or a shortened version of it – in this headline. By doing this, you will show search engines how to categorize your news, and you will also have an easier time capturing your audience’s attention.
3) Optimize the first 250 words
Since a standard press release is 300-400 words long, it’s important to include the important details in the first half of your story. Use the inverted pyramid structure so that both your human readers and the search engines know what your story is about right away.
Introducing the main point of your story immediately helps you to retain your readers’ attention and helps Google to categorize your story accurately.
4) Hyperlink wisely
Linking from your press release to high-authority sites which have written about the topic you’re addressing is good if you want to make friends with search engines and with your readers. Each link you provide is a vote of confidence for your authority as a thought leader.
However, in order for your hyperlinks to work, you need to link to high-authority pages which have written about a relevant topic instead of just linking to any random page. Since these pages already exist, Google has already read them. Linking to them therefore helps Google to put your press release in the right category. Since you’ve linked to high-authority pages, these hyperlinks will also increase your domain authority. Finally, linking to trusted pages encourages your readers to trust you.
Provided that you can link to relevant pages, and limit yourself to 2-3 links per press release, your hyperlinks will add value to your press release.
5) Use diverse keywords
While we’re on the topic of domain authority, using diverse keywords in your press releases will also give your domain authority a much-needed boost. By writing about diverse topics, you become a more credible source both to both the search engines the people reading your press releases.
In order to choose effective keywords, you can do research on what people are searching for. Once you’ve found keywords which correspond to your brand, you should include them in your heading, your subheading and your lead. These are the most important parts of your press release, so using keywords here will help you not only rank for those keywords but also stand out in your readers’ minds as an authority on those topics.
Ultimately, being recognized for a variety of keywords will lead to optimized brand awareness.
7) Avoid keyword stuffing
Yes, it’s important to use keywords if you want to build your reputation as a thought leader. Be that as it may, it’s even more important to avoid keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing is actually one of the cardinal sins of SEO writing, and for good reason. If you overoptimize your text by using too many keywords, then it’s harder for you to elaborate on the topic at hand.
Remember, when you’re doing press release SEO, you’re not just aiming to make search engines happy. You also want to keep your readers happy. Stuffing your press release with keyword after keyword will distract from your main points and result in them losing interest in what you have to say.
Since a press release is supposed to be 400 words long at most, you should only use your keyword three times. If you want to use more keywords, then it would be wise to choose two keywords. With a primary keyword and a secondary keyword, you can use your keywords six times in total.
6) Add contacts and links to your site
Including contact details and links to your site will pull in traffic from people who are curious about your brand. This information is helpful to a journalist who wants to write a story about you but needs more information. It can also help to channel traffic from members of your target audience who want to learn more about you.
People using your contact details and following links from your press release to your website is a good example of how a press release can benefit your SEO indirectly.
9) Aim for a high dwell time
The news changes rapidly and Google knows this. So, when Google receives press releases, the search engine pushes those which seem more newsworthy to the top of the SERPs.
How does Google determine what is newsworthy enough to be placed at the top? All search engines will try and measure the quality of your story using information such as your domain authority and the quality of your hyperlinks.
Even so, the amount of time people spend on reading your press release before they bounce away to something else is a more important yardstick for measuring the quality of your news. If people spend a take their time on your press release, this is a sign to Google that yours is a valuable story worth reading.
So, if you forget all our tips for press release SEO, at least remember this one: you should aim for a high dwell time. Ultimately, in order to do this, you need to go back to tip #1. First, craft a newsworthy story, then make sure you write a quality press release which is worth reading all the way to the end.
How to do press release SEO for outstanding results
Most of what we’ve discussed can help you write a press release that will attract backlinks and, therefore, benefit your SEO indirectly. If you really want your press release to boost your SEO ranking directly, then you should consider hosting all your press releases in an online newsroom.
Your online newsroom will boost your SEO directly because it’s owned media. In other words, it’s entirely under your control. Since you’re not relying on a newswire agency to distribute your press release, your press releases will boost your SEO ranking directly. In addition, if you create a collection of press releases in one place, then you can rank on Google for more than one press release.
However, you shouldn’t cancel your subscription with your press release distribution service just yet! This is not to say that you shouldn’t submit your press releases to a distribution website. Please continue to do this. Newswire agencies have greater reach than you will achieve on your own. So, if you opt to go it alone, you might be disappointed by the results.
In summary, if you want to do press release SEO well, you should do the following:
- Develop a newsworthy story
- Write quality press releases
- Don’t break up with your newswire agency
Optimizing your press release for SEO seems scary at first, especially if you’re a newbie to the concept of SEO. However, with the tips above, you should be writing quality press releases and capturing your audience’s attention in no time!
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