Press Release Writing Tips: Choosing Keywords

It’s no secret that one of the most effective ways to improve your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) is by distributing press releases on a regular basis.

By including anchor text links within a release, regular press release distribution can really assist in getting your website up in Google’s ranks, and fast! But the best way to use this tool to its fullest is to ensure you are choosing the right keywords to link within your release.

Here are some tips on choosing keywords:

  • Use the same keywords you use in other marketing efforts, such as Google AdWords. Keeping your approach uniform across all marketing channels should lead to a greater return on your promotional efforts and dollars.
  • Choose just a few keyword phrases to really hone in on, rather than trying to cover every phrase you think could lead someone to your site.
  • Pat Wootton at Prompt Proofing suggests keeping the number of anchor text links within a release to between four to six, and directing them to different web pages, not just the home page. We would agree with this as it will help to prevent you from being seen as spamming Google’s system, which could lead to your site being flagged and even blocked by Google.
  • It can be a good idea to have a couple of keyword phrases that are quite popular, but also a couple of unusual ones. This helps you cover mass audiences and niche ones too.

Why Penguin Demands Good PR – Pole Position Marketing

At press release, we had been trying to find some further information about the most recent penguin updates.  The folks (Jennifer) at Pole Position were wonderful in contributing a blog post (below) to help clarify and clear up some information.  Thank you Jennifer & team!  Without further adieu, here is the article.

Why Penguin Demands Good PR

It’s a real zoo around here. Thanks to Google’s recent Penguin updates (and Panda in 2011), search engines are feeding spam and black-hat SEO to the lions. Meanwhile, affected websites are dropping in rank while site owner/managers run around like monkeys, wondering how to fix the problem.

Of course, most experts say the solution to getting out – or staying out – of the dog house with Google is fairly simple: straighten up and fly right. Create quality content. And, while I agree with that 100 percent, you can’t assume that quality content alone is enough to reach your target audience. You have to know how to crow about it and, even more importantly, how to get other influencers in your industry to do the same.

PR Pros in Good Position for Penguin

When Google brought Penguin out of its cage in April, unnatural links – along with keyword stuffing, cloaking and content spinning – became a primary target.  As any good Penguin knows, if something smells fishy (like the link from an Alaska-based fishing charter site to a tanning salon in Atlanta that Eric Ward mentioned), it probably is fishy and ripe for devaluing.

However, Google’s Matt Cutts assures us that it’s not time to “write an epitaph” for the importance of links as an algorithm signal. Rather, link building – like content – needs to be managed strategically and on the up-and-up.

Enter the public relations pro, whose role amid rapidly evolving technology now transcends traditional press agentry and publicity. According to the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), PR in the digital age is defined as a “strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”

On the Web, these mutually beneficial relationships are often showcased via website links and shared content. In light of Penguin, an experienced PR specialist is well positioned to make the kind of connections an organization needs to keep and improve its site rankings.

PR that Pleases Penguin

Of course, good press is still important, and links from influential sources like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and ever-popular Mashable are at the top of the food chain. However, getting coverage and links from such major outlets isn’t practicable for most businesses. However, opportunities for PR and quality links still abound, if you know how to come by them honestly and with the sweat of your brow.

In a post-Penguin world, here are some key PR activities you should pursue.

Research Industry Influencers

Before you create scads of beautifully written and keyword-optimized (not keyword-stuffed) content, you need to find out who the influencers are in your industry. Hopefully, your PR strategy already includes building relationships with reporters and editors at valuable-to-you news outlets. However, to get a variety of links from multiple, reputable sources, you need to open the bard doors wider. You also need to be busy as a beaver because search, discovery and due diligence is a time-consuming process

Annalisa Hilliard, link building strategist at Pole Position Marketing, recommends the following tools for finding your influencers:

• Open Site Explorer – In addition to helping you determine where your competitors are getting their links, this paid tool will also assist you in finding people who have clout (not to be confused with Klout). In addition, it shows total links, number of unique websites linking to a page and social likes/shares. Armed with this information, you can gauge where you stand among your competitors for targeted keywords.

• Organic search using unique queries – One free tool to enhance this type of search is Solo SEO. Enter a keyword and you’ll usually get a long list of search queries. Results are available for Google, Bing and Yahoo.

• Comb through blog directories. Sites like Technorati and Blogarama index blogs by niche.

To her list I would add these tips:

• Mine social media sites. Each site has a unique set of users, as well as unique ways to search for influencers. Twitter and LinkedIn searches are particularly useful in this area.

• Stalk your competitors. Find out who they are having conversations with on various social channels.

• Read the comments. This includes comments on YouTube videos, news articles and blog posts made by influencers and competitors you’ve already identified.

• Add your comments. Don’t forget the importance of adding your position to the conversation. This also may be a great way to get the attention of the individual or organization that published the content.

• Look for evangelists. Who has come forward via social media or other outlet and expressed their undying affection for your products, services or organization? Invite them to submit user-generated content on your site or another well-respected one. Or, provide content for them to publish on their site. Lots of options here. This is a fantastic PR opportunity you should not waste.

Pitch Content or Concepts that Appeal to Influencers

Once you have a list of influencers you’d like to approach, it’s important to recognize what’s important to them. The biggest mistake marketing people who try to be PR people make is pitching a blogger or reporter with “markety” stuff. Influencers don’t like to hear how wonderful you are. They want to know what your business or organization can do for their readers.

So, respect their time and get to know their audience. Read their site and several blog posts thoroughly. Build a relationship with them, and only send them content that matters.

Even better, offer to guest post on a regular basis – especially about industry topics that are hot. This will build your credibility and theirs. It’s a win-win situation.

Create an Outstanding News Room

Most companies that have news rooms on their site find that they are high-traffic areas. Visitors want to know what’s fresh – and so do search engines, incidentally. So, it’s important to keep your news room up to date with a reasonable number of press releases. Include navigational links to other pertinent areas of your site, such as your company overview, your blog, recent media mentions, events, statistics and more. Don’t forget to offer RSS syndication.

Write Natural Press Releases

With Penguin, everything is about what looks “normal,” as opposed to something that appears to be gamed. So, when writing news releases, it’s still important to include keywords and links, but think variety and originality.

Don’t overuse website links, keyword phrases and anchor text. Instead, focus on writing fresh content for readers first and search engines second. And, be sure to use a reputable press release distribution site with a track record of legitimate success.

Be Genuinely Social

Don’t forget to give your news a little extra push by publishing it on social sites. But, make sure you have your audience in mind. Companies are often “markety” on social sites. Sometimes it’s because they don’t have enough time to engage each site’s audience properly. Other times, it’s because they don’t understand how to be social. So, share news (your own and industry tidbits) in an engaging way that will help you make connections and build relationships with influencers.

As Penguin continues to impact search results and rankings, PR strategies like these will rise in importance. To Google, it’s about rewarding the most authentic links and content. Well-versed PR pros are among the best equipped to take that bull by the horns.

Jennifer Carroll | Pole Position Marketing | @martijen Previously a freelance business writer for more than 10 years, Jennifer specializes in content marketing and social media consulting for Web marketing agency Pole Position Marketing. She also contributes to the company’s blog, eMarketing Performance. A self-proclaimed word nerd, Jennifer’s favorite escape is historic fiction and anything by J.R.R. Tolkien, preferably in old-fashioned, ink-on-paper form.

Press Release Writing Tips To Improve SEO

We received some excellent information from Nick Stamoulis, president of Brick Marketing, an SEO Company offering content marketing services.  Please find some tips to improve SEO from

Article from Nick Stamoulis,

Press Release Writing Tips to Improve SEO

An important part of SEO is building inbound links to your website from trusted sources.  In order to achieve these links, you need to create content that other websites will want to share.  Other websites aren’t just going to link to your site for no reason.  Content that is typically shared on other sites includes guest blog posts, articles, and press releases.  Press release distribution can be a great link building tactic since the links are primarily coming in from news sources.  In addition to improving a link portfolio, a well written press release that gets picked up in news outlets can improve brand awareness and generate traffic back to your website.  To improve your press release efforts for SEO, follow these guidelines:

It must be newsworthy

The goal of a press release is to get picked up by as many news outlets as possible.  If your press release doesn’t include anything newsworthy and is just a weak attempt at getting some links, it won’t be picked up. Don’t waste your time.  If there is nothing newsworthy going on in your company, don’t write a press release.  Instead, spend your time writing a blog post or an article.

Distribute through a paid service

As they say, you get what you pay for.  If you are only submitting press releases through free services there isn’t much benefit.  A paid service will improve your exposure and allow you to do more with your press release (include links and images, choose a day and time when it will be published, etc.).  Prices vary depending on which “extras” you choose.  If the news is big, it’s worth the extra cost to get it seen by as many people as possible.

Incorporate keywords

Online press releases are indexed by the search engines and can be found in an organic search result so it’s important to incorporate keywords that searchers would use to find your products or services.  Although, you don’t want to go overboard.  Write the press release for your target audience first and then naturally incorporate a few keywords where they fit.  Keywords are especially important within the title of the release.

Add links

If you are hoping to get an SEO boost out of an online press release, it’s important to include links.  Typically the free distribution services don’t allow links which is why it’s worth spending the money on a paid service.  Include a few links throughout the release, but no more than one link per 100 words.  Use the full URL of your website and a few anchor text links.  Don’t link to the same keyword over and over.  Vary it and link to the brand name so that it appears natural.

About the Author:

Nick Stamoulis is the President of Brick Marketing, an SEO company that offers content marketing services to clients.  For more information please call 781-999-1222 or visit

Perform a Pre-Edit Of Your Press Release Before Submitting it.

Review and edit your press releaseA poorly written press release will be a very fast turn off for any journalist or editor and will reflect negatively on a company or individual. Although some of the best writers will occasionally miss grammatical errors or typos, by making sure you read, edit and re-edit your press release, you drastically reduce the chance for error.

Here is a quick checklist for editing:

• Use a program like MS Word to write your press release so that you can spell check and grammar check automatically. But remember, these tools are not foolproof. • Carefully edit your release, line by line. • Read your release out loud and re-edit. • Print your press release. By printing your press release and reading a paper copy, you are more likely to catch errors, especially in longer press releases. • Have a coworker or friend review your press release. Sometimes another set of eyes will catch errors you’ve missed or inadvertently tuned out. • Wait until the morning and re-read your press release. You would not believe what a difference a night of sleep can do for you when you are writing.

If everything reads well and there are no errors, submit your press release for distribution.

24-7 Press Release Distribution Newswire is currently working with a couple of editors to be able to offer the writing service or editing service for your press release. Although this feature is not currently available, we are working on this for you.

Content is Key: Start Strong and Sell the Benefits

As mentioned in Section 1, your press release should have a strong, catchy headline and summary. Next, ensure that the first paragraph answers some of the important questions, such as Who, What, When, Where and Why. Use one or two statistics here, as long as you do not go overboard. Remember: these first elements must grab the reader and make them interested in learning more, or you will lose potential media support and that second level exposure.

Content is key - Press Release DistributionThe point of a release is to entice the reader or journalist to contact you for further information. You do not need to reveal your company’s entire history. A well written press release does not need to be a novel. In fact, shorter press releases (usually between 175 – 300 words) tend to receive more exposure, if written well. Why? Because many trade publication journalists may be looking for a short informative piece of information to fill a spot within a magazine, newspaper or web site. Have you ever seen short snip-its on one side of a magazine, or down the side of a web page? Guess where the information comes from?

We cannot stress enough the importance of a well written press release. The content within your press release should be accurate, easy to read, to the point and interesting to your target audience. And a carefully written and informative press release will be sure to capture the eyes of journalists.