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Writing a Press Release that’s Optimized for Search

By Annie George

Posted on 19 Jul 11

You have some breaking news or event and you want to get the word out. Perhaps you’re enhancing your Hospitality insurance program by adding “Bed Bug” coverage, or your firm is expanding into a new segment within a niche market you serve. Or, perhaps you’re an agency and you’ve expanded your operation, purchased another operation.

One of the best ways to spread the news is through a press release that’s optimized for search engines. Many studies show that journalists and writers are searching on-line for content and newsworthy information and reading press releases. If you optimize your press release for your target audience, they’ll be able to find it easier. News outlets (in this case, insurance publications, business publications, your local papers) will pick up your release, write an article, and generate more publicity for you. You’ll also attract more traffic to your company website.

Here are some tips to help you optimize your next press release:

1. Do some research to determine keywords. Before you even begin, determine which words someone would use to search for the topic, issue, programs, products, and news you’re writing about. Use Google’s Keyword Tool to help you find the most relevant keywords (1 or 2 per release) that are specific to your content. You can also look at what successful competitors are using by visiting their websites.

2. Focus on keywords with high search volume and low competition.

3. Add the relevant keywords once you’ve determined what will work best to the press release to create keyword-rich content. Use the most popular keyword phrase in the headline, and include a subhead with a keyword phrase. Strategically place keywords within your press release copy. Be sure, however, not to stuff the press release text with keywords!

4. Add keywords in links back to your site, and be sure to optimize the first 250 words of your content.

5. Insert direct links to separate landing pages for more information about what you’re writing.

6. Add media to the release (images, video, audio) as well as alternative formats of the release (MS Word, PDF).

7. Post the press release to your website.

8. Link to your press release from your blog.

9. Distribute the release via a wire service such as PRWeb, Marketwire, PRNewswire or Business Wire.

10. Monitor release rankings, social mentions, traffic & outcomes.

Most important, when writing your press release, write for people. Be natural in using the keyword phrase so it makes sense when a person is reading it.