SEO and Press Release Basics

We’ve written about press releases and Search Engine Optimization before but we’ve had some questions on the topic lately.  You know we frequently recommend press releases which have been optimized.  Here are some basics:

— Start by choosing your keywords or keyword phrase.  Keep it short — 2 to 3 words is best.

— Choose a couple of secondary phrases.  Know these phrases before you start writing.  Keep them in mind.

— Write for people not search engines.  remember who the reader is — a real person.  (Plus the spiders actually look for natural language construction.)

— Your main keyword phrase should be in your headline and in the first 150 characters of the body of the release.  Use it as the anchor test for the first hyperlink.  Use secondary key phrases as hyperlinks too.  (But not too many links — not too crowded.)

— The headline needs to be 65 characters or less

— 2-3% keyword density.  In a 400 word press release, this means use your keyword 8-12 times.

— The hyperlinks should connect to relevant keyword-rich landing pages on your website rather than your homepage.  [A landing page with a Search Engine Friendly (SEF) URL containing the keyword is excellent.]

— There is a tool in Marketwire that will give you analysis of your release with SEO in mind — it’s OK to load up drafts and check them out.  Most of the major press release distributors have some kind of analysis tool that will give you guidance.