Many companies constantly create press releases to keep the news media informed of anything they deem as news worthy. The distribution of a press release is often outsourced to a specialist company who have access to important journalists and industry authorities.
The vast majority of these companies do not make best use of these press releases though. Press releases are a highly powerful tool in the world of Search Engine Optimisation. For very little extra effort and expenditure you can turn a press release into an influential link building tool.
Online PR distribution services often have an add-on service that allows any hyperlinks embedded in the document to remain in the article. As sites (those that allow hyperlinks from within releases) pick up the release, then the number of links pointing back at the pages in your site increases.
Optimising a Press Release for SEO
It’s important that you tweak certain elements of a press release to ensure it reaches maximum potential for SEO, in order to:
- Improve Exposure – to maximise the number of sites that pick up the story.
- Get Links – Include links to a handful of pages using keywords in the anchor text.
1. Improving exposure
The title is very important as, more often than not, this will be the meta title of each page that takes on the release online. It’s important to add a relevant high volume search term in here- this is so the release gets immediate exposure on high volume searches as news results.
The title should also contain your brand name to try to improve the strength of your brand.
2. Getting Links
- As a rule of thumb a good number we suggest is 4 or 5 text links from within the document. Too many and the article is covered in blue hyperlinks making it look poor and spammy.
- Spread these out through the article.
- Add links from long tail keywords and different variants of your keywords – to improve link diversity.
- Deep link – don’t just link to your homepage with main keywords – try more specific keywords targeted at those specific pages in your site.
Press releases are an ideal starting point for brand new websites and or sites that have few links and relevance in Google. Although it probably won’t get you ranking for your most competitive keywords straight away, it drives page rank to your site and can improve your visibility on a host of low search volume and more specific searches.
One such example is shown below. Traffic to this site was very low. Upon the release of just one SEO’d press release on the 18th December, the organic search traffic increased immediately and has continued to increase in subsequent weeks. They now appear on Google for a host of terms (albeit low volume terms), but this is now a great starting point to build upon.
Press Release SEO as Part of a One Way Link Building Strategy
For bigger companies that create a large amount of PR it’s absolutely essential that this option is exercised in order to unlock the full potential of online press releases.
For smaller companies it’s definitely worth building this into your link building strategy once or twice a year – but only when you are confident there is something news worthy to create a press release about.
Search Laboratory offer a press release SEO and distribution service as part of an ongoing search engine optimisation campaign. Please contact your account manager for more details.
About The Author
Ian Harris is the co founder of Search Laboratory. Ian has been programming for the internet since 1995 and has an MSc in internet technologies from the University of Leeds. Prior to starting Search Laboratory he was the C.T.O. at one of the world’s largest translation companies for five years where his focus was web site and software localisation. He has helped many companies with their global content including IBM, Novell and HSBC. Through Search Laboratory he is now applying his experience of web technologies and web site localisation to help clients reach their global audience quickly and effectively.