UPDATED 6/13: Best practices for writing press releases that can be seen in search engines and shared on social networks. Learn how to craft messages and fine-tune content to deliver ongoing
UPDATED 6/13: Best practices for writing press releases that can be seen in search engines and shared on social networks. Learn how to craft messages and fine-tune content to deliver ongoing visibility for your organization.
Across the board the advice from experts is focusing on quality content.
Internet searchers are looking for content that is subject-specific. If you want your content to be effective it needs to be focused.
This dummy release was based upon real release (from a different industry). Not sure if you have too many themes? One red flag – if you’re struggling with the 2-link anchor text rule, you may have a focus problem on your hands.
This headline and lead take an unconventional view of a problem, showrooming.
Interactions create signals that indicate to search engines that this *is* quality content and that people value it. Key signals include time on page, exit path (did the reader click on something or back away) and social sharing. Developing great content is part of the trick, but formatting can help readers fulfill their mission (and send positive signals about your content.)
These are examples of exact keyword links. DO NOT do this. It’s spammy and unnatural and something Google is really on the lookout for.
Examples of correctly linking from relevant phrasing, not exact match keywords.
1. Public Relations & SEO: Better Together
Press release optimization tactics you can use right now
VP Content Marketing, PR Newswire
2. Search engines are continually changing how they rank
web sites. (These are headlines from last month.)
3. SEO Experts are Focusing on PR
5. Because earned media counts.
Search engines evaluate content
in terms of how much people like
it, as indicated by things like:
• The amount of time readers
spend on the page
• User behavior – do they click
on a related link on the page, or
back away and go elsewhere?
• Whether or not they share the
It’s always high quality & credible.
6. Earned media mentions
– They trigger highly
relevant social mentions
– Which in turn deliver
– Who in turn read, act
upon and share the
content with peers
– … powering search rank Does anything look
Earned media generates desirable user behaviors.
7. The factors search engines value have changed too.
8. SEO = Good content that people like,
read, share, tweet and +1.
9. That‟s it. Really.
(Don‟t believe me?)
10. Let„s go straight to the authority.
11. Guidelines from Google for webmasters:
12. How do press releases fit in?
(Your web site, blog, &
When people glom
onto your content, no
matter its origin.
13. Press release tactics that matter now.
• Focus. One key theme per message, please.
• Writing for the audience. It‟s about what they want to
hear, not what the brand wants to say.
• Encouraging quality interaction.
– Getting reader attention
– Getting them to read
– Encouraging them to share
– Smart linking
• Drive discovery. Make getting your message into the hands
(or consciousnesses or news feeds) of connected & relevant
enthusiasts & professionals a priority.
14. What? No optimize-y, tech-y stuff?
Clear & focused messages are more effective.
16. Focus. Press releases should focus on a central theme.
Risk of search
17. A dummy version of a real release with too many stories
It starts off talking about
Now we’re on to wooden furniture
and renewable materials…. And
furnaces, automation, entertainment
and storage systems.
This snippet touts the benefits of wooden
furniture in terms of flexibility in décor.
Company history and
heritage, preservation of
resources in manufacturing.
Discussion of environmentally
friendly finishes and emissions
in the home .
Wrapping up with a paragraph
about a home storage product.
18. WRITING FOR THE AUDIENCE
Frame the brand message within the context of the audience‟s
needs and interests.
19. Writing for the audience.
No reads =
Make the headline
& lead about the
story the audience
wants to read, not
what the brand
wants to tell.
20. Put the audience first. Literally.
• Highlight the aspect of the announcement that is important to readers:
– The problem the new product solves
– The opportunity the new app lets people capture
– The time saved or efficiency gained by the new service
21. PRODUCTEEV BY JIVE BRINGS SOCIAL
TASK MANAGEMENT TO
BUSINESSES & TEAMS OF ALL
TYPES & SIZES – FOR FREE
New App Spans Devices To Transform The
Way Work Gets Done Across Networks
Management” is a
“Free” is very
The whole headline is short
(105 characters) & the key
phrase is within the first 65
Subhead adds important detail
– it works across devices.
Bonus: After the first
paragraph, Jive embedded a
link offering direct access to
the free download.
22. Another good headline
features a buzzword
Reference to data
by using digits
23. Common elements of these great headlines
• The headlines appeal directly to
• They are about things the
audience cares about, not the
• Both are short, within the 80-110
character „sweet spot‟
• Both include recognizable
• Subheads add detail and
perspective, and the focus
remains on the audience.
24. ENCOURAGE INTERACTION
Make it easy for your readers to scan, tweet, share, like, +1 and
otherwise share your content with their friends and peers.
25. Encourage Interaction: Plain Text is Boring!
• Images catch the eye (and the
search engine algorithm.)
• Social buttons engage and
• Bulleted lists, bold subheads
hold the attention of people who
are scanning the page
• Links provide distinct calls to
• Create a pathway for
different potential audiences.
• For media
• For prospects
• For enthusiasts
26. LINKS ARE FOR READERS,
NOT SEARCH ENGINES
Use embedded links to provide calls to action or easy access to
more information for your readers.
27. Link from relevant natural phrases, not exact keywords.
28. Examples of linking from relevant phrases.
29. Some other linking tips:
• Use links to guide readers to the
logical next step, not for SEO
• Use 1 or 2 anchor text links per
• Don‟t link to a URL more than once.
Repetition = spam, not emphasis.
• Don‟t link to the home page. Create
a deep link to a relevant product
• Provide the full URL for one really
important page (e.g. the landing
page to which you want to direct
readers) within the release. Some
sites don‟t render anchor links, so
this will ensure readers still know
where to go for more information.
30. DRIVE MESSAGE DISCOVERY
Think in terms of getting your message to more of the right people.
31. Driving Message Discovery
Distribute your content.
• Syndication increases
footprint. More people
will see your message.
• Social reaches relevant
Result: More high-value
user behavior that search
engines notice & more
valuable earned media.
Site & App
33. Driving discovery: Employ multimedia
• Visuals have their
• Visuals draw eyeballs
• Algorithms value
• Better results accrue
34. Summary: 4 Keys to Building
Content quality is the priority.
• Focus the message.
• Create content for the
• Encourage interaction.
• Drive discovery.
35. Thank you!
Vice president of content marketing,
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