10 Tricks to Optimize Press Release & Get on Top of the Search Rankings

By: kristinemorana

Do press releases still have search engine optimization value? Since Google changed its algorithm, there have been many questions, whether it can still help in optimization.

It’s true that many marketers are confused and don’t really understand the nature of SEO. Oftentimes, this leads to over optimization or not optimizing their content at all.

Before we go through the tricks that can help optimize a release, let’s first define what SEO is.


What is SEO?

SEO is boosting the quality and quantity of traffic to a site through organic search results. Quality pertains to attracting visitors to your site because they are interested to your products or services.

When you say quantity, you should attract more people to your site once you are found on the search engine result pages (SERPs). It is important that you attract traffic to your site that comes to you naturally, without the need to pay anything.


How it works?

When you type on search engine search box, it shows you relevant sites that can answer your inquiries. Have you ever thought what’s behind all of these?


Press Releases and SEO:

Today, press releases are no longer used to generate inbound links. It is no longer used as an SEO tool that can help a site rank on the search results.

Marketers, writers and PR professionals should remember that releases should serve value and help generate organic reads and clicks. As a highly valuable content, it should boost a company’s visibility organically.

Yes, releases can still help with SEO. However, the key is to make it engaging and informative.

There are many ways how you can make it informative. Offer newsworthy facts. Support it with evidences.

Add links that lead to a landing page. It should have a “nofollow” attribute.


Here are 10 tricks to optimize a release for the search engines:


1. Create a newsworthy and relevant content

If you want the search engines to rank you as a reputable and authoritative site, you need to produce quality content like releases. Write interesting and engaging content relevant to your target audience.

Place yourself in the shoes of the audience. Identify the questions that they have in mind. What do they need?

Think of the answer that can answer their question. Based on their need, provide it through your offer.

Search engines like Google have developed algorithms to rank content based on its ability to best answer an audience inquiry. Moreover, a content that gets more likes, shares and retweets have a higher place on the search engines.


2. Choose relevant keywords

The keyword you use in releases should be highly relevant to people’s search. Use the keyword that they use to search for content. Look for keywords with high search volume and low search competition.

The best way to optimize your release is to incorporate keywords that the audience is typing on Google search to find a content like yours. You should use the search term in your content in order to optimize it for the search engines. Otherwise, using irrelevant keywords will lessen your chance to get found.


3. Craft catchy and shareable headlines

Headlines play a crucial role in increasing the visibility of your content. It is also important to boost the interest of your readers.

Since it is the first thing a reader sees, it is important that it is attention-grabbing and informative. In reality, it is the part of a content that is not missed by most audiences.

Here are ways how you can maximize the headline:

  • Include primary keyword in the first three words of the headline.
  • To make it shareable on Twitter, it should fit the 140 characters.
  • The key point of the story should be included within the first 55 to 70 characters.
  • Use numbers in the headline.

When sharing on social media channels, know the appropriate length before Google chops off the word in the search engine results. If you have to present more idea in the headline, use a subheading.


4. Include a call-to-action

Include a call-to-action (CTA) in order to maximize the time before your audience finishes reading your content. Don’t lose the opportunity to engage them.

A clear CTA can accomplish this task to convince them to take an action. Simply hyperlink on a good anchor text. Place a hyperlink on a keyword rather than a general term.

Logically, the CTA corresponds to your goal. If you’ll capitalize on this portion, you’ll be able to engage them more and make your content more visible in the search result.


5. Incorporate visuals

Multimedia assets like infographics, graphs, charts, images and videos should be included in your release if you want to boost its SEO. Why?

Content with visuals get more reads and shares. As we all know, Google pushes content up on SERPs if it gets more shares, likes and engagement.

Including images make your content searchable on Google Images. Make sure to write a good description of your image while using a relevant keyword.

A content with images or videos are shared more on social media channels. This means that your content has more chances to be visible on the search engines.


6. Use keywords appropriately

In connection with the use keywords, it’s important that you’re not only going to use appropriate one. You should use it with limit. You can place it in the headline, subheading, first paragraph and the body of the release.

After Google changed its rules, keyword density is no longer a thing. What some marketers and writers believe is that using a keyword multiple times will place the content further on top of the SERPs.

This is no longer applicable. As long as you craft an interesting and useful content, the density of keyword no longer matter.

Don’t force keywords in the release because it would make it look like a spam. Let your content be as natural as possible. This will attract traffic more.


7. Use links with caution

Links attract visitors to your site. However, it should not be overused in the content. Make sure to include only two to three links.

If Google finds you overusing it in your release, it can flagged you as spam. Doing this can kick your content out of the SERPs. Use links in your CTA or provide them a chance to learn more about your business and offer.

Don’t use a link that points to one single landing page. As mentioned, there should be one or two links that land to two separate landing pages.

As a caution, if you have published releases in the past that use a lot of links, it’s time for you to disavow old links. If not, it can affect your ranking.

You can request to take down your old releases, or have the links removed from the content. If links can no longer be taken down, you can use Google disavow tool. This will make you safe from harming your SEO.


8. Write a release naturally

Lastly, for proper optimization, you should never write content for the sake of optimization. If you do this, you’ll begin crafting poorly-crafted content that doesn’t benefit the audience.

Always think that releases should be written for your audience. If you prioritize the search engine, your content will lose its quality. You may be too conscious about how to place too many links or keywords in it, which only harm your SEO.

When writing, always craft it without considering how you are going to use keywords or links. Focus on writing interesting and newsworthy releases.


9. Turn it into a blog

Reformat your release to increase its value. You can write it as a blog by summarizing the content. Never copy paste the entire release in your blog.

This practice is called duplication of content that can put you at risk. You may be flagged as spammer, instead of a quality site.


10. Use interesting story angle.

In order for you to write an effective content, you need to use an interesting story angle. Always consider what your target audience is passionate or interested about.

Don’t focus too much on your company or product. You don’t want to appear like you are selling a product or service.

Even if your story is about a new product or service, think of an interesting angle that will entice audiences to read it. Perhaps, you can present a study that claims how effective your product is, or announcing a freebie for a certain period of time if they buy the product.

Although a release is a great promotional tool, it shouldn’t be used as an advertisement. Write a content that your audience is interested in. Avoid sales and industry jargons, buzzwords and adjectives.

Your release should be based on facts. Support the facts with evidences.

Note that Google changes its rules each time. Make sure that you are aware of the new algorithms before you are caught up and flagged practicing “Black Hat SEO.”

When writing releases, craft it while thinking about your target audience. It helps if you can create a marketing persona.

You can better personalize a release based on it. A customer-centric content ranks better than a brand-centric content on the search engines.


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