Monday, January 7, 2013

5 Keys to Writing Press Releases Packed with SEO Power

If you’ve been following me for a while, I make no secret about the fact that I think that press releases area an extremely important part of online marketing. However, just like any other tool, it’s important that you use press releases properly.

When I first started marketing online, I knew that press releases were an important piece, but I did not know how important these tips are for making the most of your press releases.
  1. Find Key PR Submission Sites
  2. Use Keywords Intelligently
  3. Use Links Intelligently
  4. Use Tricks with Images
  5. Include Videos (when possible)

Let’s look at each one a little more closely to help you write press releases with a lot of SEO power.

1. Find Key PR Submission Sites

This step is not essential, but it is important.  It has a big impact on the SEO effectiveness of your press release.

I wrote press releases for a long time before I learned this.

When I first started writing press releases, I was under the impression that each press release submission site was just as important as the other submission sites. I was wrong!

I started analyzing which sites seemed to be ranked more highly. Truthfully, this was a lot easier to do when Yahoo Site Explorer was working, still.

However, today, one way you can analyze is to submit your press release to several different press release submission sites. Afterward, visit Google and type

“Press Release Title” (put the title inside those quotation marks)

See which sites show first.

This is not a perfect method to check which sites are strongest, but it might get you started without having to spend a fortune.

2. Use Keywords Intelligently

If you only follow the advice of two (2) of these keys, this is one (1) of those you need to follow.

If you do not use keywords, you are mostly wasting your time writing a press release. At least, this is true for search engine optimization (SEO). If you want people to find you or your business on Google when they are looking for something specific, you NEED TO USE KEYWORDS.

A few tips about keywords:
(a) Title: Use your keyword in your title—preferably as close to the beginning as possible.
(b) Summary: Use your keyword in your summary— preferably as close to the beginning as possible.
(c) Body: Use your keyword about 3-5 times in the body of your press release text. Ideally, you use your keyword in the first paragraph, as close as possible to the beginning of it.

3. Use Links Intelligently

This is the other ESSENTIAL key to follow when you want to write a press release for good SEO.

Within the context of press releases, there are two types of links:
(a) Fully Spelled out URLs (i.e.
(b) Anchor Text Links (i.e. Press release writing is important for online marketing. – Notice the “clickable” text. That is anchor text, the text the “anchors” the link.)

Both of these types of links are important, but only some press release submission sites allow submissions to include anchor text.

Make sure to have your press release links point to different pages on the targeted website. If possible, try to point some of those links to other previous press releases.

When you can use anchor text, try to use your keywords within that clickable anchor text link as possible.

Each link to your site is like a “popularity vote,” sort of serving as “validation” to Google and other search engines that your website is worthwhile and really has to do with the keyword your site targets.

Have those anchor text links point to many different pages on your website—not just your home page. Plus, point some of those anchor text links to other previous press releases.

4. Use Tricks with Images

The easiest “trick” to apply is for you to save your image file with the keyword file within that filename.

The other trick will be a little more technical. So you might want to skip to the next section, but for those of you that want it, here it is.

Use keywords in something called ALT tags for the images. ALT Tags are part of HTML Code that serves as the background code that people looking at the website do not see.

Example: <img src=”file location in funny code” alt=”keyword phrase goes inside here”>

The purpose of the ALT Tag is to provide search engines (i.e. Google) a way to categorize pictures since they have no words. They also are the words that show when a website browser has trouble loading the picture. It shows the words within the ALT Tag instead.

5. Include Videos (when possible)

Some press release submission sites let you include a video link or embed it into your press release.

Obviously, it helps if you reference a video that includes your keyword. It is even better if this video includes a link to your site that you are promoting.

Nobody outside of Google really knows how Google ranks their search results, but following these tips have served me well (and my clients, too!) when I submit press releases.

Have any other major tips that I should have included?

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