Did you know more than 70 percent of Americans read their news online? Research also shows that 19 out of 20 journalists use search engines or news search engines during the course of their research for a story. So in a galaxy of thousands of possible search results, how can you make your news stand out?
One of the easiest ways to elevate a news release in a search is by the use of keywords or phrases. Choose terms wisely, and limit them. Overuse of keywords risks confusing both the reader and the search engine. A good ratio is three to five per 400-word release. But don’t count your company’s name a keyword. People who are conducting an online search for a company by name already know it exists. Instead, count more generic terms such as “San Diego PR firm.” And don’t overlook the power of a strong headline. It’s your first, and perhaps only, opportunity to grab your audience’s attention!
Also known as anchor text, hyperlinked keywords and phrases allow you to offer readers the option to explore additional information. It’s also a chance for you to direct readers to other relevant pages. For this reason, make sure at least one of your links asks for a call to action. For example, rather than always linking to a homepage, why not provide a link to where a customer could book an overnight stay, make a reservation for dinner, or purchase a product or service?
You know the old saying: a picture is worth a thousand words. In addition to keywords and anchor text, today’s most effective news releases often contain photos, graphics, video, and more. Apart from helping your release visually stand out from the pack, one major advantage to including multimedia is that search engines index images and video separately from text content. Not quite sure how to embed video into a document? Why not just provide a hyperlink to a video uploaded on YouTube? Bam! Now you’ve got a “multimedia press release.”
Of course there are many other SEO techniques available. It’s when you put them all together that you greatly increase the likelihood that your news will be picked up by media, consumers and search engines. What’s more, an optimized release will rank higher in search results and therefore have a longer shelf life on the Web. Love that!