The importance of an optimized press release

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March 15, 2021

Digital newspaper readership has been on the rise for years. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this digital transformation, with many readers turning to apps and articles on their mobiles in order to access the latest news.

As PR specialists, it’s our job to tell great stories and get our clients’ names out there. In an oversaturated world of online articles, getting heard amongst the noise requires skill and creativity.

 

Digital PR and traditional PR go hand in hand

Print coverage, broadcast features, podcast placements, backlinks… the list of PR options goes on. Whilst your brand might focus on a specific area of marketing or the media, you’ll need a healthy mix of both traditional and digital marketing channels to ensure overall success.

PR experts often work across a number of channels, including working with journalists in different ways, to amplify your brand’s message. People might hear about your new product while listening to the radio, spotting an experiential stunt on their daily walk, reading an article in the local paper (print and digital) or noticing an Instagram post about it. The key is understanding where your audience is most likely to be and focussing your energies on those channels.

 

Digital PR isn’t all about securing links

It’s about securing the right links. You should never be thrilled about securing a backlink from a site with a lower Domain Authority than your own. Achieving links from authoritative, relevant websites should be a priority.

Digital PR should also be measured by digital campaign impact as well as link growth. Some of the most powerful PR campaigns in recent months have stemmed from viral tweets or photo stunts. Brand mentions online, particularly on social media, can be extremely powerful. Repurpose relevant stories across all channels, including your blog and social media feeds, to ensure you make the most of your content.

 

Top tips to get you started with optimizing a press release for SEO

  • Write with your desired audience in mind

Every press release should be topical and relevant to your target audience. Understanding what subject matter and trends have the potential to be a newsworthy story is key. This is becoming increasingly important for search engines, too, as understanding user intent plays a huge part in the way Google delivers relevant search results. Focus on creating high quality stories your audience will have a genuine interest in.

 

  • Follow SEO best practices

You might be used to writing SEO optimized blogs (the RICH team are our in-house experts), so why not use similar tactics for SEO optimized press releases? Incorporate keywords, internal and external links and a strong relevant header. Follow SEO writing best practices such as varying sentence structure, keeping paragraph lengths short and incorporating bullet points to enhance readability.

 

  • Think about links

It’s unlikely a journalist will link back to your site’s homepage without good reason. Housing a whitepaper or infographic on your website will encourage journalists to point readers in your direction. Creating a campaign page or microsite adds value to the end user, meaning journalists are much more likely to send readers there.

 

  • Get attached

In most instances, you should link to additional resources such as whitepapers or reports. However, images or documents including specific (perhaps region-specific) information might often be attached to an email alongside a press release. When naming your files, use keywords and phrases that are relevant to your press release. No one wants to see ‘Image01’ slide into their inbox.

 

  • Consider your format

Take time to perfect the title and introduction of your press release. As the title is most likely to be used as the meta title of your page (which Search Engines pay close attention to), try to get the main message of your story across in around 60 characters. It’s a challenge, but incorporating your brand name and keywords could prove beneficial.

 

With digital PR such a key part of your marketing mix, it’s important you don’t let SEO slip through the net. Our search savvy experts know how to grab attention using keywords and key messages, landing us coverage and links for our clients.