Originally, press releases have been a tool of self promotion for companies, whether to spread information about new services or products or to provide corporate information to the media. Even though their usefulness has been widely debated, press releases can also be a good resource to position our company within search engines.
It’s not about writing press releases mechanically and without a purpose. But if within our communication strategy we have contemplated a frequent release of press articles, why not optimize them for search engines?
It is true that many times, for us of those who work on communications, talking about SEO can make us feel a little panicked. But do not despair! You don’t have to be an expert on SEO to optimize your press releases. If we keep in mind a few tips we can improve our online visibility.
1. The press release should be at least 300 words long.
2. Keywords: what we need to do is detect the words with which people are going to look for us on the internet, and that, at the same time, have something to do with our website, product or service. Of course you have to give it some thought, you should not abuse keywords or you will be punished. Some interesting tools for this purpose are the keyword planning tool provided by AdWords or Google Trends.
3. Use links. Think about the external links that take readers to third-party websites, as long as they are related to our product or company, but also think of internal links that will lead readers to pages inside your own website.
4. Add links to your website, but beware of the optimized anchor text, remember to include the “nofollow” attribute to the links that are pointed at your website. Another option is that, every time your your brand is mentioned, you should write the URL between parentheses. This way, the URL will still be present on the press release and Google will treat it as a link as well.
5. The title should not be more than 70 characters long, and it should include the keyword that you want to position.
6. Include a summary of the press release with two or three keywords. It shouldn’t be more than 3 lines long.
7. Include images and multimedia content. Videos are a good resource to keep users engaged for a longer time on your website, thus allowing it to be seen by Google as a quality site.
8. Use social media. That makes it easier for your content to be shared through the different social networks and email messages as well.
9. Choose a good news distribution platform with quality content and traffic.
10. Publish high-quality press releases, with interesting information that adds value. These should never be a part of your link building strategy.
11. Reduce loading times. It’s convenient for your website to use a plugin that manages to provide an optimal loading time, to avoid users who will get bored of waiting for your site to open and click the “back” button. Some recommended tools are Smush.it, WP optimize and WP Super Cache.
12. Have an up to date site map. Not only should it be up to date, it should include every URL on your website. This gives Google the possibility of indexing all the pages and it will increase your positioning on its search results. Sitemaps can be also updated with plugins. One of the most popular ones is Google XML sitemaps.
Evidently this is not the solution to all your problems, but it will definitely help improve your positioning. But we insist in the importance of not adding any optimized anchor texts since they are considered by Google to be unnatural links and this will lead to a punishment.
And in case you need to remember some of the basic terms of search engine optimization, take a look at this simple (yet useful!) glossary:
- Algorithm: mathematical formula developed by Google. It establishes the order of the search results that are shown on the main page of this search engine.
- Anchor text: these are the links that point to your website. They should be natural in order not to obtain a punishment from the search engine.
- Keyword: this is quite self explanatory, these are simply the keywords with which we want to position ourselves in the search engines.
- Link building: it is a search engine optimization strategy to obtain links that point to our blog or website.
- Pagerank. it is a numerical indicator that goes from 0 to 10 and it tells you how popular a website is, as defined by Google’s super secret formulae. Having an elevated pagerank does not necessarily mean that you’ll have a better positioning.
- SERP: This acronym stands for search engine results page.