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DM News’ Essential Guide to Search Engine Marketing: Why and How a Press Release Should Be Search Optimized

On the Internet, press releases can serve a greater purpose than merely conveying your latest news. The process of optimizing your press release for search engines typically makes the release optimized at large, meaning it is more likely be found throughout the Internet.

Done well, optimized online press releases can increase search engine rankings, build brand awareness, usurp competition, drive Web site traffic and help to save money on pay-per-click campaigns.

Online releases may also hold the key to getting any publicity at all.

According to a joint survey conducted by Middleberg/Ross and the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 98 percent of journalists go online every day and 73 percent of those do so to search for press releases. If those journalists don’t find your press release because it hasn’t been properly optimized, you’re missing out altogether. So why bother generating press releases in the first place?

[For a PDF of the guide click here or on the cover image]

Optimizing a press release is not as complicated as it may appear. In the tips below, let’s review best practices by building a sample press release from XYZ Fencing, a fictitious company announcing the formation of a new business division.

Be newsworthy! XYZ Fencing chose to launch its new business division because of the persistent problems facing the U.S. government over illegal immigrants crossing over the United States’ southern borders. Identify the crucial descriptive keywords for this press release. You will want to use these in the headline and first paragraph for certain. But think like a searcher, not like a brand manager.

Craft a descriptive tight headline: “XYZ Fence Company Launches Border Security Fencing Division”

Follow the fundamental rules of solid press release writing. Answer in the first paragraph who, what, where, when, why and how. Avoid hyperbole. Stick to the facts.

Repeat crucial keywords. No more than two to three times in the first paragraph using keywords that searchers might use in the headline and first paragraph.

Emphasize generic product/service descriptions rather than unknown brand names.

Always use the full “http://” in all URLs to ensure a live hyperlink back to your Web site.

Sample press release’s first para:

(City, USA) XYZ Fence (http://www.xyzfence.com), the East Coast’s largest commercial fencing manufacturer, announces the formation of a new business division, Border Security Fencing, focused on providing border security and controlled access fencing products to U.S. government contractors and security companies. The new division was created in response to demands created by the illegal immigrants from U.S. southern borders and increased government discussions about border protection and homeland security.

Next steps include press release distribution and optimized posting to your site newsroom.

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