Improve Your SEO Ranking with Press Releases
By Dave Manzer
Spoiler Alert: You don’t have to be Apple announcing its latest iPhone breakthrough to benefit from basic PR.
So, if you are not a company that normally grabs headlines on local TV or in the paper every time its CEO sneezes, why would you spend your precious time (and resources) on writing press releases?
Simple: it can boost your organic search engine rankings so that your company brand is found when prospects are searching based on keywords you have targeted in your PR.
You see, press releases are not just about getting in the news anymore. Press releases are highly effective at improving your visibility on search engines like Google. The process, while not complicated, does involve some subtleties.
So, without further ado, below are some quick suggestions on how to utilize press releases as more than just communication pieces to the news media.
- Identify keywords that are highly relevant to your business and words that people routinely use on search engines when seeking your product or service offering. A good tool to help you find effective keywords is the Keyword Tool on Google
- Make sure your keyword density – how frequently your selected keywords or phrases appear in the overall press release – is close to 3% of the total number of words in the release. Here is a free tool to check on how rich your release is with keywords. Be especially sure the 3% rule is met in the first 100 words of the release as Google pays particular attention to that increment when determining the content value of a given webpage.
- Backlinks are hyper critical to search engine rankings. Google likes to rank websites that have tons of links back to the site as it then uses that information in determining how influential the website is and how well it should be ranked for certain keywords. A general rule of thumb is to have one embedded URL (also known as Anchor Text) or free-standing website address that links back to your website or landing page in every 100 word increment of the release. Try not to overdo it or it may get pegged as a nasty bit of SEO gamesmanship.
- Distribution options abound for press releases. You can obviously send them to the news media in hopes of getting covered in the news and driving traffic to your website. Other distribution options include posting it to your website (a no-brainer, really) and distributing it using online distribution outlets. There are free and paid distribution services, including ones from wire services like Business Wire. The trick is to not overspend on this as you will be doing this over and over again, and the ROI (return on investment) is not immediate.
- How many press releases you write depends upon how much news you want to share and how much time you have to write. I recommend no less than one release per month as it keeps your website fresh and highly relevant keyword content floating around the Internet with backlinks to your website.
Bonus Tip: don’t write crap. Nothing irks a prospect, journalist or customer more than opening a press release to learn what’s happening Chez Vous only to discover it’s simply an homage to the keywords you love and cherish. Make it a decent read.
Dave Manzer is a PR professional who founded PR over Coffee as a monthly networking meetup to help small organizations – both nonprofit and for-profit – find ways to connect to the hyper-local news media and promote their latest news. PR over Coffee continues to enjoy support from the news media and business/nonprofit community alike. Dave is also the founder of Dave Manzer – Creative Relations, a PR agency with a focus on small organizations in need of that special spark to ignite future growth.