SEO and press release writing go hand in hand these days. Unfortunately, many PR people still don’t understand SEO. As a result, they often end up with either a press release that isn’t optimized at all or one that’s over-optimized and difficult to read. Here are some simple guidelines you can use when optimizing your press releases for the search engines.
Do keyword research before you start writing – When done properly, keyword research can help you figure out the exact terms your customers are using when searching for your products or services.
Don’t sacrifice readability for SEO – Good press release optimization isn’t about seeing how many times you can get the keyword in your copy. It’s about creating an easy-to-read piece that just happens to also be optimized for the search engines.
Do place keywords toward the top – Keyword placement is an important, yet often overlooked, aspect of optimizing a press release. To give yourself the best chance of having a well-ranked press release, you should try to include the targeted keyword in the headline, subhead, and first paragraph of the press release.
Don’t get caught up measuring keyword density – Some people still swear that by using a keyword a certain percentage of the time in your copy, you can rank better in the search engines. Don’t waste your time measuring keyword density, because there is no magic number you need to hit. Instead, focus on creating a natural flow in your press release.
Do use keyword-rich backlinks – Many times, you can include links back to your website within your press release. This lets readers get more information about your story, and it drives traffic to your website. But that’s not the only purpose of doing this. If you use keyword-rich anchor text in your backlinks, you can actually help improve the rankings of the pages being linked to.
Don’t write press releases just for the sake of SEO – While press release marketing can be an effective SEO tactic, you shouldn’t do it solely for the sake of improving your search engine presence. Always focus on writing newsworthy, interesting press releases.
If you follow these tips, you should be able to enjoy the best of both worlds: media coverage and high search engine placement. The key is to always write newsworthy press releases with a strong hook that draws readers in.
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