What Is a Press Release?
Have you ever read journalistic pieces about a product launch from a big brand? Those are press releases. A press release can be defined as an official statement from a business that provides new information to journalists or news websites for any noteworthy event.
The purposes of a press release are simple – gaining media coverage, building brand awareness, or controlling a narrative that the brand might want to change.
Press release SEO has become a prevalent factor for businesses in the digital age. But how important are press releases and how can you make an effective one? Let us find out.
History of Press Release SEO
Press releases, in their early days, held a lot of value, and businesses garnered great organic results from them. Then, like everything else in the digital marketing world, press release SEO started being overused in the wrong ways.
When businesses started seeing that gaining links from the top-ranking news websites could help their website rank better, they started writing all types of press releases and oversaturated the market with them. This included mundane or non-relevant press releases for activities like hiring new interns, relocation, and much more.
This led search engines like Google to start noticing this spam of press releases and they started penalizing the websites carrying these links. The result of this was that all the Newswire websites now only use nofollow links while publishing press releases. So, you can still attain links on these websites through press releases, but they would not do anything to boost your website’s SEO.
Are Press Releases Still Important?
While you would not get many benefits from the links in a press release, it is still very important for businesses. Press release SEO can be quite beneficial for businesses, but it should serve one of the following purposes to do so:
- Informing and engaging people about a big event to encourage them to attend the event
- Announcing new product or service launches
- Getting ahead of a negative story or narrative about your business and clarifying your position to grab control of the situation
- Promoting big marketing steps or raising brand awareness organically
If you want to do any of the aforementioned things, press release SEO can be of great help to your business.
How to Draft a Press Release
Find Headlines and News stories
Any news story that gains traction has a hook to it. This hook usually ends up being a headline or a capturing story that encourages the users to click on the link and read it. It is crucial that your headline or the story is not only engaging, but also relevant.
Obtaining user attention with a catchy headline is only half the job. What story you talk about in your press release is equally important. Make sure that it contains valuable information and organically promotes your brand to push the readers to explore more about your business.
Know Your Target Audience
Press release SEO is only as effective as its targeting. Since a press release informs people about the achievements or offerings of your business, it is important to tailor them specifically to your target audience.
The first group in this target audience is journalists, so your press release can gain some media attention. Then comes your potential customers who should gain some enticing information about your business to engage with it. Always use simple language with a direct message that everyone in your target audience can understand.
Structure Content for your Readers
Many people wonder what is press release submission in SEO. The structure of a press release is imperative in submission and how much engagement it can generate. The structure and style of a press release are targeted towards journalists. Here is how you should structure a press release:
- Catchy Headline – Make sure your headline can immediately grab the attention of your target readers
- Address the 5W scheme – Who, What, Where, When, and Why. This will provide all the relevant information to the readers in a concise and direct format. Finish it up by addressing the “How”, which is your brand’s place to shine in the press release.
- While writing the press release, use the inverted pyramid structure. Layout all the most important information in the first half of the write-up. This should include facts, quotes, and figures. Add your sources, and once the most important information is written, you can fill in the gaps of information in the remaining part.
- Have a brief description of your brand and your services to finish it off. Use this part to add all the important links to your landing pages for easy accessibility for the readers.
- Do not exceed 700 words in total. Keep the press release as tight and concise as possible. Use short sentences and small paragraphs.
- Research and Reach Out to Journalists
Doing some surface-level research on the journalists you will be reaching out to for the press release is important. A little background check will reveal if these people write or publish media in your domain or not. If they do, they are the perfect candidates to send the press release to, since they already share content in your domain. Your only job will be to make your content newsworthy for them to share across multiple sources and media channels.
Share your Press Release on Different Networks
Since you have reached out to multiple journalists about your press release, it should be shared across various channels. This makes your press release more authoritative and catches the eyes of search engine algorithms. Sharing your press release across multiple networks is imperative as it scales up the contents of your news, and attracts more attention from your target audience.
Press Release SEO Best Practices
Keywords are the best way to get some online traction with your press releases. Whatever event you cover in your press release, you should always find avenues where you can organically use the most relevant keywords related to the content.
Keywords can help you reach an audience that is looking for similar products or services organically via SERPs. Search for keywords that have a good search volume and also carry a high CTC value. You can use tools like Google Keyword Planner or Ahrefs to find the most trending keywords in your industry.
You can also use the “people also searched” section on Google SERPs to find search terms that can be organically used in your press release.
Do Competitive Analysis
Always be on the lookout for how well your competitors’ press releases are performing. If they are performing well, you can reverse engineer them to use the same keywords, and overshadow their links by putting even more relevant content.
You can even find where your competitors are getting their backlinks from using tools like SEMRush or Ahrefs. This will give you a good list of resources where you can publish your press releases to get ahead of your competitors.
Pick a Catchy Headline
As mentioned previously, a catchy headline is the greatest source of organic clicks. Readers want to be enticed into clicking something as there is an abundant amount of content available online. Have a good start by doing it from the get-go with an attractive headline.
Create Useful and Engaging Content
With press releases, readers are lazy and want to consume important information in the shortest time possible. Remove any fluff from your content, and be to the point throughout. Include quotes, figures, and cite resources to keep the readers’ attention intact. This creates an engaging reading experience with useful content that helps your press release do its job.
Insert Links Naturally
Do not add hyperlinks just for the sake of linking. If you choose to insert any links in your press release, make sure they serve a purpose and are inserted in the content naturally. Avoid hyperlinking keywords as anchor texts. Use sentences or relevant terms as your anchor text where the link seems to fit the most and directs the readers to a page where they can learn more about the anchor text term.
Back up with Visuals
The human brain processes and remembers information from images or visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Visuals can prove to be a great catalyst in transferring key pieces of information about your press release so it stays longer in the minds of the readers and creates a lasting impact.
Use Long-tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords can bring in the most effective organic traffic with better chances of conversion. Since these keywords are specific, they bring in readers who are looking for a specific type of content. And if their needs are fulfilled from the content, they are also the most likely to convert.
Include a Powerful Call-to-Action
The press release not only informs people about a development in your business but also urges them to take an action after reading it. Readers should walk away knowing what they should do after reading your press release. Hence, having an impactful call to action is crucial.
Your CTA should depend on the purpose of your press release. Before drafting your CTA, ask these questions:
- Are you selling something with this press release?
- Are you aiming to get more subscribers to your services/newsletters/etc?
- Are you aiming to gain more audience to attend an event?
- Are you looking for more coverage for a product launch?
Once you have figured out which of these questions is the most relevant for your press release, create a powerful CTA around it.
Time to Make the Perfect Press Release
Now that you know all the tricks to utilize press release SEO, it is time to put in the work and create the best press release. Remember to implement all the points mentioned above, and also do comprehensive research on the journalists you would want to push your press release out.
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