The primary reason for using press releases is to get attention for your news, and the nature of the news varies widely. Press releases that are search engine optimized can bring you first page visibility for your keywords very quickly. The ability to rank well on the most popular online news web site as well as Google News simply by optimizing and distributing a press release offers attractive benefits at a minimal cost. However, press releases should be a part of your public relations plan, and with that in mind, they should also garner attention for your organization.
If done correctly, properly search engine optimized press releases have benefits, which include the following:
• Get backlinks from credible and reputable news sites, which increases the ranking of your website for your keywords.
• Get visibility in search engines.
• Ranking in Google News and Yahoo News for your keywords.
• Get numerous headline impressions across hundreds of blogs, websites, and news sites.
• Syndication on prestigious news sites.
Despite the numerous benefits to SEO press releases, there is an art and science to getting your press release found by your audience. Below are some tips on how to effectively use press releases to get targeted traffic to your website.
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• First, you have to know and understand how your clients and potential clients search when they are trying to find your products and services, so never use industry jargon.
• Understand and master SEO tools like Google Keyword Tool, Market Samurai and SEOMoz Keyword Tool.
• Write a short (90 – 120 characters), attention grabbing headline, which includes your primary keywords.
• Optimize the first 250 words of your press release.
• For a 350-400 word press release, optimize it for two to three keywords to focus search engines on your most important keywords. Keyword density should be within the 8 – 15 percent range.
• Inside your press release, link your keywords to relevant pages on your website that does not include your home page. Use your press release as portal to your website.
• Approach your press release as if it was a webpage, instead of just a public relations tools, you will write it very differently.
• Use bold, italics, headings, sub-headings and bullet points in your press releases to enhance SEO.
• Add images, podcasts and video to your press releases, then direct the podcasts to your iTunes channel and the videos to your YouTube channel. There are audio and video aggregators that make your audio and videos keyword searchable.
• Be newsworthy – the more newsworthy your press release, the more likely it will capture the attention of media professionals. If your press release is not newsworthy, no amount of SEO will help you in getting it noticed.