Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on December 29th, 2009

SEO Tips For Press Releases

On an average day, more than 2,000 press releases are distributed online by the five leading wire services – Business Wire, Marketwire, PrimeNewswire, PR Newswire, and PRWeb. But you can’t just publish a press release every time someone in your office wins a fantasy football game! Ask yourself, what can you do to set your press release apart from those other 1,999 of the day and help your target audience find you? SEO.

Press releases are not only a great way to spread your news, but also to get your website ranked higher in the search engines. But you have to search engine optimize your press release before you can gain its ‘link juice’ for your website. Here are some SEO tips for press releases that will surely get you noticed.

Use Primary Keywords

You may already be targeting specific keywords for your website. Use your primary keywords throughout your press release to optimize it for those words. It is especially important to use a keyword in the headline, and the earlier the better. The first 250 words of your release will be the most important, according to Google’s indexing spiders and online skimmers everywhere, so optimize the first part of your release for keywords and interesting content.

Tip: When using keywords throughout the body copy, use ones that are similar to, if not the same one as, the keyword you used in the headline.

Use Anchor Links

When you are using keywords, include anchor text links with them. What this means is turning your keyword text into a clickable link back to your site. This will increase your chances of driving traffic back “home” from the press release.

Tip: Make sure that at least one of your keywords link back to a page on your site other than the homepage.

Engage Your Audience

Make sure the press release is written with very strong copy. Be sure the content is engaging with potential customers, random journalists, and critical bloggers. Tell a story that entices an audience, not interrupts them. Will your press release impact anyone? Do you have an original angle? Why does your press release matter to ANYONE?!

Tip: Don’t include a date in your release. It will make your information appear outdated very quickly, which could hurt your credibility.

Did I miss any SEO tips for press releases that you have found especially effective? Let me know in a comment below.