RealityPR(tm)Search Optimization Strategy (SOS)
Traditional press releases are a colossal waste of time — unless your Search Optimization Strategy (SOS) is optimize them for search engines and store them in a blog press room on your site.
As long as you have something worth saying in well-written releases, they can serve the useful purpose of increasing your search engine rankings. These search optimized press releases should be archived in your online press room, and that should be a blog with an RSS Feed. (RSS tutorial)
I haven’t sent out a traditional press release in the last 15 years. But I have placed stories about my clients in The Wall St. Journal, New York Times, ABC News, The Today Show, Good Morning America, and just about any other major media outlet on the planet. Here’s how I do it:
– My Reality PR(tm) format for press releases, both for media and search engine purposes, is to keep them under 300 words and use the 5W format: who, what, when, why and where.
– Skip the superlatives. Don’t make the company or person you are pitching sound hard to believe. S/he probably didn’t do whatever you’re writing about single-handedly. Describe her actual role.
-Eliminate hype words like “first, only, greatest, biggest.” Someone almost always did it before, also, as well or bigger. Reporters are trained to look for conflict, lies, and exaggerations.
– Respect today’s reality: take the time to write less and make it mean more. Write like you have 10 seconds to make a point. Because online, you do.
Better Press Release Distribution
Forget about PR Newswire and BusinessWire. Use PR Web’s Expanded PR Web + PR Newswire Distribution for $369 and save a few hundred dollars over PR Newswire prices, or go for their cheap service and pay $119 for Expanded PR Web and eMediawire distribution, which includes distribution to Google, Yahoo News and MSN News.
You want your search engine optimized press releases to get into search engines’ news databases whose RSS feeds are read by journalists. Both these inexpensive packages will accomplish that. A week later, use PR Web’s free distribution to send out the same release with a different headline. That’ll increase your search engine placement opportunities substantially.
Make a Blog Into Your Press Room
Besides sending releases out on the wires, use a blog to create a press room and archive your releases there. Moveable Type blog software is the perfect cheap ($300 and up) but incredibly full-featured content management software for a press room. You can use it to set up press release, speech, video and podcasting archives in searchable categories you assign.
Moveable Type blog software’s best feature for search optimization strategy is its permalinks (permanent URLs.) Every entry in a is assigned its own permalink which includes words from the headline. Having several urls for search engine optimized press releases in the same category can help your listings big-time.
How to search engine optimize your press release content:
1. Repeat a keyword phrase in the headline and use it two or three times in the body of the release.
2. Use the most popular keyword phrase in the headline, which carries the most weight with search engines.
3. Include a bold subhead every three or four paragraphs. Search engines like bold type, as long as you don’t go overboard with it.
Search engines love frequently updated, link-rich content and that’s what your press room should contain. Include not only press releases but also tips, articles, how-tos, speeches, a company brochure, an e-newsletter and even instructions for product use. Just be sure you optimize all the copy and post to the press room blog regularly and watch your search engine rankings soar.