Originally, press releases were used to inform the TV and print media about new information or products. But the days of the standard, market-spun press release are pretty much over. Whilst words still certainly have their part to play, the landscape has most certainly shifted to the point where simple marketing rhetoric won’t cut it any longer.
Online marketing is changing the way we think and like it or not Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is playing a bigger role than ever. The traditional press release now has to work that little bit harder to keep up.
Getting Press Releases Working For You
Ultimately, the purpose of a press release is to provide information that is of interest to its readers. The following tips will look at the essential things to consider when writing a press release, in order to appeal to the search engines as well as your target audience.
1. Keywords Are Key!
The importance of keywords must not be underestimated. In simplest terms, a keyword (or key phrase) is a specific word or term used commonly in search engines to find a particular subject, service or product. As such, before you even start writing your press release, you should have a good idea of the key words or terms you’re going to be using.
2. Spread the Word
There are numerous conflicting arguments when it comes to ‘keyword spread’ or how many times a particular search word or term appears within the body of text on the page. Ask a range of so-called experts and you’re likely to end up with a range of answers.
The general rule of thumb is that each chosen keyword or term should not exceed around 2 – 3% of the overall word count – thus avoiding saturation and rejection by search bots.
3. Take a Look at Your Layout
As important as knowing which keywords to use is understanding where to place them. The following guide can help you construct your press release and make the most of your chosen words:
- Title – Try to keep it concise and attention-grabbing. Ideally the title should balance keywords with an irresistibly clickable quality!
- Summary – During the first few sentences try to give an overview as an introduction, using one or two secondary keywords or phrases.
- Body – Write subjectively and in the third person. This is the main body of text and should contain the bulk of your keywords or phrases.
- About the Company – A short synopsis of your company’s services, including a link.
- Press Contact – Provide contact details of one person who will act as point of call for all enquiries. Include name, email and contact number.
- References – Don’t forget to reference your quotes and statistics. This lends the work an air of credibility.
4. Consider Your Content
Try to choose a compelling subject with broad appeal. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes – would you take time out to read the release? Of course, this is where an attention-grabbing title comes in, but just as important is the content. If there is nothing current of note happening within the company, choose something you have done and make it fit – easily done with a little spin.
Remember, the principal aim of any press release is to draw attention to the company. Company quotes can be as self aggrandising as you want them to be, it’s your press release after all! Don’t be afraid to sell yourselves.
5. Designed for people, not just search engines
Never, ever sacrifice content for the sake of SEO. This is an all-too common mistake and can be at the detriment of a company’s overall image. Think of it this way – the release will be worth nothing if, having found its way onto the screen, it doesn’t hold the reader’s attention long enough to drive the message home.
If you would like to learn more about using press releases to improve your search engine appeal, call us on 01454 261111.