The SEO press release: Using press releases to increase findability with search engines
Much has been written about the death of the press release, anti-spam laws, social media releases and the demise of the print media. But you can also use the press release to increase your SEO position at Google. Simple, effective and often free. You just need to know how :). Below some tips and an overview to get started with SEO press releases yourself:
What is a press release?
In short, a press release is a news item written by or for you that you offer to the press, on the basis of which they may write or publish something. However, you can also use a press release to bring your news to the attention of bloggers and even your (potential) customers.
How does that work?
Traditionally, a press release must comply with a number of basic rules. A good title, a clear subhead, a first paragraph that answers the questions: when; where; who; why and how, a more extensive text of no more than 1 A4 that mentions the entire news and to conclude a boilerplate and contact details (and many variants and additions are conceivable). This press release was also often offered as ‘plain text’.
Role of a PR agency
There are many PR agencies that perform all kinds of PR activities, often for large organizations on the basis of (expensive) monthly subscriptions. Traditional PR agencies write or translate press releases, distribute them to their journalist database, arrange interviews with relevant journalists, ensure that products are tested by the right journalists, organize press conferences and write case studies. All this with the focus of ensuring that your company or products are written about in the media. In the last three years, you have seen that PR agencies are also finding their way to online and social media, and some are even adapting their service package to this. They have to because some are finally realizing that online media are increasingly playing an important role in the total news provision.
But not every organization, especially start-ups and freelancers, have the financial means to hire a PR agency. This is not a good thing, however, because it is precisely start-ups that can benefit from the benefits of free publicity.
SEO press release
The current trend is for companies to focus on Social Media Releases, more on this below. But there is an important intermediate step, which is skipped even with Social Media Releases: The SEO press release. And this one is actually very simple. A press release written for SEO contains hyperlinks in all the right places. You can fill an SEO press release completely with hyperlinks so that it links to your website or product. But be careful not to overdo it. A good beginning for a press release is a maximum of 10 hyperlinks. If your company name or product is mentioned in the press release, then link it to the correct URL—nothing more, nothing less.
An optimal press release
The quality of a press release depends on many factors. In addition, there are many things that determine whether a journalist or editor will do something with your press release. These include:
- The news item itself is the news interesting, is it newsworthy at all?
- The timing, does the message come just when a lot is being written about the subject or is it snowed under by other, more important news?
- The writing style, even if your post meets all the standard rules, it still has to trigger the journalist or editor who sees it to do something with it;
- Gun factor. Does the journalist see you as an essential news source? Journalists get a number of press releases every day through email. If the title of the post is not interesting enough, it will be unread without mercy.
That is why it is useful to look at another option that ensures the placement of your message.
Press release sites to promote your SEO press release
If you have an SEO press release and are not using a PR agency, you should definitely check out the free press release services. They provide the best platform to post an SEO press release. There are a reasonable number of these services where you can place your press releases for free or for a small fee. The advantage of these services is that they are already baked into Google and that your message is picked up quickly.
However, these free services are no guarantee that the reports will also come to the attention of journalists. For this, you will have to approach them directly, or use the paid services of, for example, ANP Press Support. When approaching directly, pay close attention to the anti-spam legislation and reduce the number of hyperlinks.
A number of press release sites have switched to a paying model. Probably because the revenues of the GoogleAds were a bit disappointing.
These paid services are still cheaper than an adwords campaign. It is clear that their popularity among users has fallen considerably since they only deliver paid. Yet these paid services are more often taken seriously by journalists and also used as a news source.
Social Media Releases
The next step in news provision and press releases are Social Media Releases. Large organizations such as BMW have already understood the power of Social Media Releases and are therefore using it with great success.
A Social Media Release contains all components that may be necessary to use a (press) release directly within on-line publications. They are provided with short texts (for blogs), images and videos. With these messages, you make it even easier for bloggers and journalists to provide a nice publication.
However, most press release services do not yet offer Social Media Releases. However, this will not be long in coming.
As a (professional) organization, you should consider whether you also want to add your own online press service to your website. You can easily do this with the help of WordPress. WordPress websites work very well within Google, and I will soon explain here how to optimally set up WordPress as a press room, including Social Media.
This notice is not intended to be complete. The SEO press release and everything around it is still under development. Additions and suggestions are therefore very welcome!