I recently got a client’s news release to the top position on Google, Yahoo and Bing News for the company’s keywords.
Before I tell you how I did it, a little background.
For many years news releases had one main purpose: to inform the media about your news. Increasingly news releases are also being used to improve rankings in the search engines and increase traffic to websites.
So, when writing your release, write for the online world as well as for traditional media. That does not mean writing strictly for the search engines. You still need to have the basics of a good news release: a good story told in a clear, concise and compelling manner.
But today it is also important to pay close attention to your URL and keywords (the words people use when searching for your type of product or service).
- Use your primary keywords in your headline.
- Use keywords in your subhead (or summary) or your lead.
- Use them three to four times throughout the release. One easy way is by substituting keywords for “it” and “its.”
- Do not overdo it. Use the keywords no more than five to seven times total (depending on the length of the release).
- Include your URL in the first and last paragraphs, and possibly one other place in the release.
Having written your release this way, send it over a wire service. The primary ones are Business Wire, marketwire, PRNewswire and PRWeb.
Most of the major wire services include search engine optimization (SEO) services, which let you highlight keywords; include a summary of the announcement; embed audio, video or both; and the like. Although the SEO enhancements cost more, such services may be worth it, especially for important announcements.
Slightly edit your release for your own website. Simply changing the order of a few words or sentences can make the release look different to the search engines. Post the release on your website on announcement day.
By doing these simple things, as I said, I have managed to get my clients’ releases to the top positions on online news sites, and seen dramatic jumps in search engine rankings overall.
Which brings me to my final point. Monitor the results carefully. Search engine results are fluid, and you need to check your results several times after an announcement.