Think that press release is done and ready to be published? Before you send it out to the world, take a moment to answer these questions about optimization.
Have you used your company name and top keywords in your headline?
Many SEO studies have concluded that the page title is the single most important factor in press release optimization. Your release headline always serves double duty as your page title, so be sure the first 67 characters of your headline includes at least one keyword as well as your company name.
Including your company name will also ensure your release is properly attributed to your company in news search engines such as Google News.
Have you used your top three keyword phrases throughout your release?
Consider which search terms people would use to find your release. There are many free sites available to help you research the most commonly searched for variations of these terms.
Did you craft a catchy, clear and concise headline under 22 words?
In order to be indexed in Google News, your title should be between 2 and 22 words.
Additionally, Google and other search engines often limit titles displayed to between 67 and 120 characters, so the key message of your press release should be conveyed in as close to 67 letters and spaces as possible.
Search engines don't understand jokes like puns or plays on words, so your headline should be straightforward in order to be indexed properly.
Did you include a sub headline?
While the sub headline is not included in the page title and has a smaller role in press release SEO, its top placement in the body of the release makes the subhead a great place to incorporate your top or secondary keywords that didn’t fit in your headline.
Did you focus on your top keywords within the first two paragraphs?
Search engines place a disproportionate amount of importance on the content early in your release, specifically, in the headline, subhead and first two paragraphs (first 100 words of text). Make sure to use the top two or three keywords you want to target as often as you can within this space.
Are you using deep and descriptive links?
Hyperlinks and anchor text are the currency of SEO and help search engines associate your release to related sites, helping the rankings of both the release and linked pages.
Try not to settle for text such as "click here" whenever possible and don't forget the importance of the anchor text. Descriptive anchor text tells search engines more about what you are linking to and why it is relevant to your news.
Do you have any multimedia elements to include?
Not only does multimedia make your release stand out to reporters and readers, images and videos increase your release's reach and visibility in search engines.
Image search engines such as Google Images receive a massive amount of search traffic and can both drive readers back to your release and provide exposure for your images to be used in news and blog articles.
Have you optimized your multimedia assets?
To optimize images and videos, make sure each has a clear and descriptive file name and incorporates relevant keywords within the caption. Also, always include your company logo with your release, as it is the image most likely to come up in your brand name searches.
Looking to learn more about optimizing your press releases? We have a number of free resources available, including blog posts and webinars. Here are some highlights: