The press release is written for one audience in mind, the press.
When you add a press release to your website, there are now hundreds of audiences that have the potential of reading your article, so it needs to be written for those audiences in mind too – journalists, bloggers, customers and other stakeholders etc.
Online media is very dynamic and multimedia driven, and is very different to traditional media – it’s no longer just about the written word.
Your press release needs to be written in a way that invites users to comment and share it across social media and the web. In terms of search-ability, it also needs to be written in a way that the web understands too, and in a way that people searching the web will find it.
Optimise your next press release with these tips
Start with a quality press release
It’s essential that you start with quality written content that people are going to want to read. With a wider audience in mind, make sure your content can be understood but these audiences too. It’s no good geeking out if the reader doesn’t understand what it is that you’re saying.
Google search has also come along way, and although keywords are still important for search rankings, it’s the subject matter that really matters. Don’t go and fill it full of keywords and buzzwords that no-one understands but Google.
Change the page title
Keep it to under 55 characters to guarantee it displays properly across 95% of platforms. It also needs to be much snappier than typical press release titles.
Optimise for keywords and search terms
Adding press releases to your website has the ability to support your SEO and content strategy. Most businesses forget that they can also use press releases on their website – it’s a good source of valuable content, and as long as you make a few simple tweaks, it has the ability to reach many more people beyond that of traditional press circulation.
Use Google’s Keyword Planner (it’s free) to find relevant keywords and key-phrases that people are actively searching for – in most cases, you’ll only need to make a few gentle tweaks to your content. The important thing is to remember that you’re writing for people, not search engines, so don’t go nuts.
Link to additional stories (anchor text)
Adding press releases to the web gives you the ability to link to related content from your article. For example, you might have a press release that mentions past successes or other projects, you can link to this stuff. Not only does this provide the reader with additional and relevant content, but it also helps to revive stories that may be long forgotten.
Include contact details, including social media links
Including contact details is vital for any press release – especially for the web.
Journalists and bloggers may want more information, they may need images, but they won’t want to go your through your mainline to get it. Include details of the relevant contact or PR agency.
Include your organisation’s logo and website link
This is more important if your press release isn’t going to sit on your own website and is basic practice of the PR world.
However, if the release is on your website, make sure people can save your logo from your website. I know it sounds strange, but many websites that I come across often don’t allow you to right click and save images. In addition to this, consider providing a higher-res logo that people can download.
Embed additional content such as video
The brilliant thing about online is that you can embed stuff. You can’t add a video to a hard copy newspaper, but you can with the web.
Embed your video and link to where others can access the content. You may link back to a YouTube or Vimeo video where others can grab the embed code for themselves.
Video is hot right now, and if people can watch a quick 30 second video that summarises 700 words, they’ll watch it instead of reading it.
Turn sharing on
Add a sharing bar to your news and blog section of your website to make your content go even further. Add This is a popular service, allowing you to add social media and email sharing sidebars to the pages on your website. If your content is good, people will share it and amplify your content’s reach.
Keep your press release to 500 -700 words
There is no magic number of words that you should include or cap your press release at. It’s widely rumoured than 500 – 700 is the optimum number, but it really depends on your audience and the subject matter. Some argue that by having a more in-deph article of 1,000 words can seriously help your SEO. This is because people will stay on your website longer and the article will be filled with more rich key-phrases.
Focus on facts & use bullet points
As above, there is no magic number of words to include. As long as you cut out the waffle and focus on the facts, you can’t go wrong.
Despite the argument of keeping people on your website for longer, it may have the opposite effect of people becoming bored and leaving too early.
Embed a Twitter feed
Some press releases can be dry, there is no way to avoid it.
By adding a Twitter feed to the sidebar of your website can seriously change that point of view. It is dynamic and it shows that you’re alive and kicking with other things going on – which may be of interest to the reader.
Tweeting regularly is also a handy way of updating your website, without actually updating it.
Add a Twitter card to your website
Twitter cards automatically add link previews to your tweets. You may have seen these already, but essentially it displays a preview of your article, along with an image at the bottom of a tweet. Even if you don’t upload an image yourself.
Twitter cards will help to make your tweets much more dynamic and will drive more visitors to your website.
Avoid SEO penalties
Google doesn’t like passing over ‘link value’ from press releases to websites. In the early days of SEO and creating backlinks to improve search rankings, you could effectively write a press release and distribute it all over the web – creating hundreds of links back to your website. Over the years Google has taken steps to penalise websites that still try and use this tactic. You can still include links in your press releases, but you need to make one addition to your website’s HTML.
The code you need is rel=”nofollow”, but the chances are you’ll need a web developer to implement this for you.
This basically tells Google to ignore the link-value from the links on a particular page.