SEO Keyword Research

Tips For Optimizing Press Releases

by | 01/20/12 | Marketing


Marketing methods come and go, but in this digital age the traditional press release seems to be here to stay.  There’s a good reason for this: If you’re able to rank well on popular online news websites and in search for your optimized keywords, press releases can offer attractive benefits at a reasonable cost.

To ensure that your press release gets the best possible search engine results, it’s a good idea to review the following questions.

What’s the Best Word Count for a Press Release?

Even if you have a perfect headline and the best keywords, the length of your press release can make or break its optimization. If the press release is too long, search engines can’t index it as specifically. If this happens, your press release may drop out of the top search results, making it less likely to be found online.

The optimum press release length for SEO is 400 to 600 words. A press release should be concise and easy for readers to comprehend but long enough to include some relevant details with color — the information that readers find interesting and which search engines latch onto.

How Do I Optimize a Press Release Headline?

Press release headlines have always been important, and they’re even more crucial from an SEO perspective. Online news sites typically use the headline to populate several important HTML fields that optimize your press release, including the title tag and the search engine results page description.

To optimize your press release headline and subhead, try to lead off with a sentence that includes your most important keyword. Keep your headline under 70 characters. The subhead should be no more than two lines, and both the headline and the subhead should include language that is repeated in the body of the press release.

Do Website Links Belong in a Press Release?

While the press release is a tried-and-true format for dispensing information, it’s also an opportunity to drive traffic to your website. Don’t be afraid to include anchor text (text hyperlinks). Your anchor text should be from one or two keywords (not “click here”), including one link from keywords in your lead sentence. But don’t overdo it. Two links per press release will help search engines focus on your most important keywords.

How Important Are Meta Keywords Tags in a Press Release?

While meta keywords tags were important to most online search engines five years ago, that’s no longer the case. Today, search engines and news wire services are all about content, and meta keywords tags are used in a different way. For example, PR Newswire’s system populates meta tags with information such as the name of the issuing organization, geographic information, and industry and subject details.

Avoid the temptation to load your meta tags or the press release itself with keywords — hidden or otherwise. It doesn’t work any more, and it can annoy readers. It may even harm your SEO results.

In short, pay attention to how you write your press releases. Use accurate, plain and descriptive language. Avoid jargon. Use language thoughtfully and carefully and make good use of keywords and anchor text. If you follow these best practices and stay current on other SEO techniques, you’ll get the most out of your press release campaigns.

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