Press release SEO best practices are more important than ever before. In the days before the dawn of the internet, press releases were shared in the newspaper or perhaps on television. But today, we get the majority of our news on the World Wide Web. So, to help get your press release in front of as many eyes as possible, you’ve got to format your piece correctly.
The point of a press release is to inform readers about your company’s latest news, events, or launches. But what good is a press release if no one is reading it? By using press release SEO best practices, you can give your piece a better chance of reaching relevant audiences, bringing more attention to the aspects of your business that matter most.
Carefully Craft Your Headline
Just like with any other piece of content, the headline is the first thing that readers will see when they click on your press release. So, you’ve got to make it eye-catching.
First, your headline should offer value. It should communicate what your press release is about in just a few words. Including an essential SEO keyword in your headline is a good strategy as well, since it’s likely to be intriguing to audiences and appealing to search engines as well. Avoid using industry jargon in your headline if you can, and if it’s relevant, consider adding a number to your headline (as this strategy can help you get more clicks).
Optimize the First 250 Words
An article from Time Magazine claims that 55% of readers only spend 15 seconds (or less!) on a given web page. That’s why it’s critical that you include the most important information at the beginning of your press release. Incorporating SEO keywords in the beginning allows your readers to get everything they need within the first few sentences, so even if they don’t stick around very long, they’ll still be informed.
But optimizing the beginning of your press release has another benefit. When a search engine is analyzing your press release, it will have an easier time if the most relevant content is upfront. That way, the search engine is better equipped to recommend your press release to the readers who are most likely to benefit from it.
Start with the Five W’s
You might remember the Five W’s from your elementary school English lessons: Who, What, When, Where, and Why. These five question words offer a great starting point when you’re trying to determine what information is most relevant to your readers. This practice is one of the most effective press release SEO best practices and, even better, it’s one of the easiest to implement.
Image Source: Mailchimp
Answering the Five W’s right out of the gate gets your readers interested from the very beginning. You’ll get your audiences thinking and will encourage them to push on. Then, in the remainder of your press release, you can include more about your specific message and brand. Use the beginning of your piece to cover the most important information, then use the rest to offer extra insight and help readers understand why they should care.
Ensure You’re Covering a Newsworthy Topic
Press releases, first and foremost, are meant to spread news. But what exactly counts as news, anyway? The answer will depend on your audience. What topics and events are most relevant and important to them? Think about what topics your target audience will actually care about reading.
Some of the most obvious newsworthy subjects include launching new products or services, participating in an event, winning an award, or adding a new member to your team. You may also consider writing a press release to highlight a recent company achievement, highlight a charitable donation, or promote a giveaway or contest.
Put SEO Keywords and Phrases in Bold
We already know that incorporating keywords is one of the top press release SEO best practices. But you can take it a step further by bolding your keywords and phrases.
Drawing more attention to these aspects of your press release will communicate the most important information in the shortest amount of time. Viewers will find your press release easier to read and understand, so even if they’re only scanning the information, they’ll still get what’s most critical.
Include Links Back to Your Site
In addition to bolding keywords and phrases, you can use these elements to link back to your website. Readers who want more information don’t want to go searching for it. Providing the links makes it that much easier for readers to find out more.
You might consider linking to your “About Us” page or the listing for a new product or service you’re offering. Just ensure that your links are relevant and will provide added value to anyone who clicks. Otherwise, your bounce rate could skyrocket.
Hyperlinks are helpful tools for sharing more information with your readers and getting more clicks throughout your website. But when you choose to add hyperlinks, do so with restraint.
Adding too many hyperlinks throughout your press release reduces the chance that your readers will even click. You’ll ultimately be making your content harder for your viewers to read, and they’re less likely to seek out additional information.
On top of that, search engines tend to penalize articles with tons of links, as they can appear spammy. Adding too many hyperlinks can sabotage the hard work you’ve put into the rest of your press release and your overall SEO campaign.
Consider Adding Visuals
Most people think that a press release is simply about the written content. But this belief is actually mistaken. Adding visual elements to your press release can not only help it stand out, but it can also draw audience’s attention much more quickly than a giant wall of text can.
If you’re welcoming a new team member, for instance, consider adding their headshot to your press release. You can also include photos from a recent event or recognition, images of a new product you’re launching, or any other visuals relevant to your message. Be sure to optimize your visuals by including SEO keywords in the alt text.
Image Source: PR Underground
Look at Your Competitors’ Press Releases
There’s a good chance that you’re not the only one putting out press releases in your industry. So, take a look at your competitors and see how they’ve been handling their newsworthy content.
If you notice that your competitors have been highlighting specific SEO keywords or phrases, consider adding them into your content as well. You may want to conduct additional keyword research by using these words or phrases as a starting point. Then, you can see how you currently stand in the rankings and determine whether it’s worth it to target the word or phrase in question.
Include a Call-to-Action (CTA) At the End
You don’t want your readers to simply stop after reading your press release. There’s likely some other action that you want them to take, whether it’s getting involved in a promotion you’re offering or seek more information about a new product. But to get audiences to act, you have to ask.
Adding a call-to-action, or CTA, is one of the most underrated press release SEO best practices. Create a unique CTA to get your audience moving; the standard “Click here!” likely won’t cut. You might ask readers to reach out for a consultation, fill out a form for more information, join an email list, or act quickly on a promotion.
Get Eye-Catching Press Releases from WriterArmy
Incorporating press release SEO best practices doesn’t have to be complicated, especially when you have a team like WriterArmy’s on your side. WriterArmy offers top-quality content marketing and content creation services at some of the most competitive rates in the industry. Contact us today for a free consultation and discover how we can help boost your business!