SEO is as essential for your press release as it is for other content.
Since consumers look for brands online, optimizing your press release for SEO holds more importance than ever. It can help your customers learn about your brand through various online sources. Press releases can even get featured in Google news and get shared on social media.
“71% of journalists confirmed that news and press releases are one of the top content they want to receive from brands."
As more users consume online content, press releases have the potential to bring you quality backlinks. They can help you spread brand awareness among potential customers who don’t even know about you. That’s possible only if you optimize your press releases to make them accessible for those who are in dire need of your products or services.
An SEO-friendly press release helps you ensure that your news reaches the right eyes (targeted audience).
This easy-to-consume guide teaches you how to optimize your press releases so that they catch the attention of potential customers and increase your brand’s reach.
How to Optimize Your Press Release for SEO and Potential Customers
The purpose of SEO is to get your press release out there in front of your potential customers. To make sure that they receive your message, let’s discuss how you should optimize your press release.
1. Insert Keywords
Optimizing your press release always starts with adding keywords. You should search for keywords relevant to your industry and include those keywords in the title, introduction, and the content of your press release.
Keywords can play a vital role in getting your press release found by the users who are looking for similar products and services.
For example, being a content marketer, I always look for news that tells me something new about the marketing world. The headline below recently got my attention:
Image source: Business Wire
As you look closely, this headline includes keywords like "smart technology," "marketing," and "2019." These words are enough to compel me to click and read more.
You have to search for keywords that users are looking for and create your press release around them. You can use Google’s Keyword Planner to find out keywords with high search volume. You can then include them in your press release.
Sometimes, you can even use your selected keywords to come up with ideas for your next press release. For example, type the keyword “increase organic traffic to website” into Google. With the help of the “People also ask” box, you can get ideas for your next press release.
The “People also ask” box says that users want to learn how to increase organic traffic in 2019. You can use this to create a press release about how you grew your organic traffic from 10K to 100K over a specific period of time.
2. Conduct Competitive Research
Are your competitors doing well with their press releases?
It's time to steal their keywords and create better press releases using those keywords.
You should make a list of keywords your competitors are using and add them to your own list. You can use SpyFu’s competitor analysis features to analyze which keywords your competitors are targeting and where their backlinks are coming from.
Their backlink sources can give you a list of websites where you can publish your press releases to get found by relevant users.
Image via SpyFu
3. Pick a Valuable Headline
It all begins with the headline.
"80% of users read headlines while only 20% of them read the entire content."
In this digital age, where content is coming from all sides, the headline is your only opportunity to grab users' attention. It can make or break your efforts behind creating the press release. That’s why you should spend some time to use this opportunity wisely.
You should follow the tips mentioned below to craft click-worthy headlines and optimize them with keywords:
- The headline must be informative and deliver some value.
- Avoid jargon (if possible).
- Insert essential keywords.
- Offer solutions to a problem.
- Use numbers in your headline (as numbers get more clicks).
- Insert words that depict emotions.
Let me give you an example of keyword-rich eye-catching title.
Image source: Fit Small Business
Targeted audience: those who want a loan
Keywords: free loan, loan help
Emotional words: loan in time of need
4. Begin Your Press Release with 5 Ws
Now that you have your title and keywords, it’s time to work on the first paragraph of your press release.
After the headline, it is the introduction that keeps users engaged and encourages them to keep reading. The first paragraph of your press release should answer these five questions:
You might have noticed that most press releases mention details such as date, place, and name at the beginning. These details can trigger the imagination of users by providing them with details about an event you’re hosting or the product line you’re launching.
After these details, you should highlight the message that you want to deliver as a brand. It gives users a clear idea of what the press release is about and why they should read more.
Following this 5 Ws format to write your press release can help you cover all of these things. And you shouldn’t forget to include your target keyword once in the first paragraph. However, you should make sure that it sounds natural so that Google doesn’t penalize you for keyword stuffing.
Let’s take a look at this press release by TicketCity quoted below and see how beautifully it illustrates the brand’s message at the beginning.
Image source: TicketCity
TicketCity's press release highlights the message that the brand is giving away a year of tickets to one lucky fan.
5. Write Engaging Content
Users are lazy these days. They don't like reading long content unless they find it engaging.
This is why you have to think like a journalist. Gripping stories from current events, sports, and even entertainment make you read to the end. That’s how you want your content to be.
Journalists use these tricks to grab the interest of their readers and keep them engaged for longer:
- Tell stories.
- Get to the point.
- Include quotes.
- Use data/examples to prove your points.
- Provide background information (if needed).
Finally, you should summarize your press release with a boilerplate.
A boilerplate is the last paragraph of a press release, where you give a short introduction of your organization. It's your chance to describe your company. You should focus on answering "who" and "what" in this section to install your brand's name in the readers’ minds.
Let’s take the example of Hebrew's free loan news further to understand how to write thought-provoking content for your press release.
Image source: Fit Small Business
Another thing to note here is that you should optimize the content of your press release for SEO. You should make sure that you evenly distribute relevant keywords throughout.
6. Leverage the Power of Visuals
"Users remember only 10% of the information they read after three days of consuming that content. With added visuals, their memory power increase by 65%."
Visuals can help you increase the effectiveness of your press release. Adding visuals can help you prevent users from getting bored and engage them in a better way. Visuals can also help people remember your content better and longer.
You can easily include visuals such as images and videos in the content of your press release. They can help you take the story further. To optimize the visuals in your press release for SEO, you can include keywords in their file names, captions, and alt text so that Google gets an idea about what your image is about.
7. End with a Call-to-Action (CTA)
You spend a lot of time to create an engaging, SEO-friendly press release. Do you want your readers to leave without taking the desired action? I don’t think so.
You need to ensure that your readers get a fair idea of what you want to convey and what they should do after reading your press release. You can encourage users to take the desired action by smartly placing a compelling call-to-action.
Your CTA totally depends on what you want to achieve using your press release. So, you should determine your aim behind creating it.
Do you want to:
- Get new email subscribers?
- Sell something?
- Increase event attendees?
- Gain more traction for your product launch?
You should add a relevant call-to-action to meet your end-goal.
Pro Tip: You should avoid using common CTAs like “click here” as they tend to drive your users away.
Let’s take a look at a few effective ways to use CTAs at the end of your press release.
- Offer freebies to download (they must be relevant to the topic of your press release).
- Include a form that users can fill out if they want to learn more.
- Offer deals like “buy now and get 50% off."
- Invite them to call you for a free consultation.
- Use FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) to promote product sales on discounted prices for a limited time.
- Include numbers and percentages.
Using CTAs creatively can help you engage and convert more consumers.
Press releases can help you get the word out about your brand, products, and services. However, to make sure that they reach the right audience, you need to optimize them for SEO.
I’m sure the tactics we’ve mentioned above will help you optimize your press release for SEO. You can implement them to convey your message to potential customers and encourage them to take the desired action.