The goal behind press releases is that they aim to share news-based content with their target Audience. Press releases are also an excellent strategy to implement in your SEO programs. You could easily squeeze in press releases among other SEO strategies like blogging, guest posting, social media activities and content marketing.
With that out of the way, we should understand that creating and publishing press releases with only SEO in mind is not working like it used to. Google and other search engines have evolved and no longer are fooled easily by such SEO press releases. So, if your only goal is to generate more backlinks, press releases aren’t a smart choice if they’re not really newsworthy.
Before you start
Before you get excited and dive into press releases, there are two things you need to keep in mind:
1. Is it mandatory that people outside your company know about this news?
- It’s simple. If your press release is not newsworthy and will not provide people with new exclusive information about your company, then it’s not really a press release.
2. Is the press release the best choice of content structure to share that information?
After truthfully answering the above two questions, with the correct answer, which is yes, you can move on to the next step and start the writing process.
How is a press release good for SEO?
Mainly press releases don’t have direct value for your SEO campaign. Their biggest asset is that they provide indirect SEO benefits.
When we talk about direct value, we mean that the press release URL has to rank on the search engine result page (SERP), even though that’s possible but very rare. For example, suppose somehow your press release gets into the news section of Google or other search engines. In that case, it will directly help you get more organic traffic and even become trending in your business.
Some may think that’s all they’re gonna get from press releases, but the real benefits lie with the indirect value it will provide for you and your business. Suppose your press release is exceptional, articulate, newsworthy and head-turning. In that case, other newspapers, social media outlets, and a host of other blogs are going to race with each other to be the first ones to link back to it. When this happens, you’ll generate a huge number of backlinks.
Some press release SEO benefits that are worth mentioning:
- Brand Visibility
- Brand / Name recognition
- Referral traffic
Who is your press releases audience?
Simple and very popular advice that is always associated with press releases or any other form of content is that you should write to please people, not search engines. You should aim to make your press release intriguing, useful and valuable to the reader; otherwise, if your press release is not newsworthy, it can lead to SEO damage.
What about the function of Keywords in My Press Releases?
It goes without saying that keywords are one of the building blocks of SEO. This is also true when you want to write and publish a successful press release. You should at least aim for one target keyword. Make sure to use it in the headline, the first paragraph, and one anchor link. Be casual and do NOT stuff your press release with keywords since Google will find out and penalise you.
Important things to keep in mind while doing keyword research:
- Use keywords tools like Google Adwords Keyword Tool or SEMRush to check the volume and difficulty of the keywords.
- Use long tail keywords as well.
- Choose your keywords with search intent in mind. Focus on the context of searches done by people. Use keywords that people are actually using.
As is the case with any content, your press release should also have a target audience as well as content. This makes it worthy not only for your company but also for those who put the time to read it.
What about Anchor Links in My Press Releases?
Implementing links through anchor text will help take advantage of the indirect SEO value we talked about above. That being said, you need to be extra careful with these types of links in your press release.
Why be careful?
The role of thumb is to just use 2-3 links for every 500 words in your press release. And since generally, press releases are something between 400-600 words, you shouldn’t use more than 2-3 links. Implementing too many links inside a short press release will make it look spammy and give the search engines the ability to penalise or even block your press release from the search engine result page.
Some other important points to take into consideration:
- You should include the Nofollow attribute with all your backlinks to avoid getting penalised. You shouldn’t be looking to get a dofollow backlinks from your press release; if you are, then you’re doing it for the wrong reasons.
- If you’re copying chunks of text from your website into the press release, then you should also use the canonical tag.
- It is best to use your target keyword within the anchor text and in the first link of the press release.
- Do not use “click here”, “learn more”, or catch phrases like that. It is better to use actual SEO keywords.
Even though Google and other search engines have gotten a lot smarter in detecting fake press releases, they are still a great choice for indirect SEO value. But the trick is NOT to trick search engines and actually try to publish a genuine, newsworthy piece of information that’ll add value to your company as well as your readers. If you do press releases for all the right reasons, you can use all its merits when it’s picked up by other media outlets and get all that link juice when they link back to you.
- Is your press release truly newsworthy?
- Is your content going to be valuable to readers?
If your answer is “yes” to the above questions, it’s safe to say that you’re doing it for the right reasons.