Journalists and editors, like anyone else, do many online searches when drafting their news articles. Thus, to get the opportunity to be found, it is essential to implement SEO strategies for your online Press Release.
What is a Press Release?
A press release is usually a two-page article which is considered news-worthy enough by an organisation to be released to the media. It is written by either an in-house communications professional or an external press release copywriter. Examples are new product or service launches, latest survey findings or results, store or branch opening, new CEO, new technology, acquisition or merger, new funding or more.
What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?
SEO is the process of optimising your content online for it to be shown as top results in the search results of the search engine for relevant keywords. The better visibility your pages have in search results, the more likely you are to attract attention and prospective customers to your business.
Typically, other than distributing the press release to the media, organisations would publish their Press Release online on their company website.
However, in many instances, little is done to improve the ‘searchability’ of the press release for relevant keywords. Communications professionals or press release copywriters spend hours or days drafting the press release and it would be a waste if we do not implement SEO strategies on the online version to make the release work harder for the organisation.
Here are three key tips to improve the SEO for your online Press Release.
Before drafting a press release, it would be ideal if the writer, having some basic SEO knowledge, could conduct some keyword research using tools like Keyword Planner to check out specific keywords for the article.
Armed with the necessary keywords, the writer would then craft the press release accordingly, bearing in mind the main objective is to interest the journalists and editors enough for them to publish the story.
When the press release is published on the company website, ensure that the headings are properly tagged from H1 to H6 within the content management system like WordPress.
Correct use of headings on a page provides hierarchy and helps communicate what a web page is about. They help visitors quickly scan a page and help search engines understand a page’s structure and what it’s about.
As a best practice, create a meta description and title tag for every press release you publish. A meta description provides a brief description of a webpage. Text from SEO meta descriptions appears on search engine results pages (SERPs).
For images or graphics within the release, include your focus keyword as alt text. Alt text is the written copy that appears in place of an image on a webpage if the image fails to load on a user’s screen. By adding keywords into your alt text, it allows search engines to better crawl and rank your website.
An easy way to create text snippets for WordPress is by using the Yoast or RankMath for WordPress Plugin. Once you install and activate the plugin, you gain access to a feature box that allows you to add a custom title tag, URL, and meta description. Include the keywords in the meta description that you are trying to rank for so that your page would be clicked when users type in those keywords.
There are two kinds of links, internal links and external links. Internal links are hyperlinks that point to another page on the same website. Wherever possible, you should link anchor text in your press release to relevant products or services or advisory pages of your website as part of your SEO strategy. In this way, users who land on your press release will be able to get as much information as they can from your website and are more likely to stay on to navigate around.
For external links, it would be great if a high domain authority publication would be able to give you a hyperlink from their website to your press release. Even if it is a nofollow link, meaning that the link would not help in your ranking, this would still bring in some quality traffic to your site.
To summarise, press releases are valuable information provided to journalists, editors and influencers in the hope of increasing brand awareness, publicity and earned media for the organisation. Where needed, you may like to consider curating your release in Chinese for your Chinese audience.
While we hope to publish the release in as many media outlets as possible, we should also remember to optimise it on our own website in the hope that more of our target customers can land on our page and benefit from our wealth of information that we have been painstakingly building up over time.
Take action today and improve the SEO in your next press release!