The next time you write a press release, don’t let youself lapse into gobbledygook.
They’re annoying, overused words most people wouldn’t use when they talk, but they don’t hesitate to use them when they write because buzzwords make their releases sound “important.”
I’ve written before about aggravating words in press releases. In this week’s Daily Dog newsletter published by Bulldog Reporter, Ken Makovsky comments on the most annoying, overused words in the workplace. When I saw the list of words—leverage, interface, viral, cutting age—I couldn’t help but think that the list is identical to words that should be banned from press releases.
If you think I’m exaggerating, just hop on over to PRWeb and glance through some of the press releases that were posted today. (The worst examples are those from technology companies.)
Instead of relying on buyzzwords, pay more attention to keywords. That is, words and phrases that people type into the search engines when they’re looking for information. Press release specialist Janet Thaeler gave dozens of kick-butt tips when she was my guest expert on Wednesday during the teleseminar on “How to Use Keywords, the ‘Magic Magnets’ That Pull Consumers & Journalists to Your Press Releases.”
Here are four tips from that call:
- Use keywords in the headline, the first sentence and throughout the body copy.
- Use keywords in anchor text that links to your website or your blog–about one anchor text link for every 100 words of copy. For example, if one of the keyword phrases in my press release was “free publicity tips,” and I wanted people to visit my website to sign up for my free ezine called “The Publicity Hound’s Tips of the Week,” I wouldn’t say “Click here to sign up for Stewart’s free ezine on publicity tips.” I’d say “Sign up for Stewart’s free ezine on free publicity tips.” If people were searching for free publicity tips, they wouldn’t be typing “click here” into the search engines.
- Use the URL again in your press release but spell it out, like this: http://www.PublicityHound.com. The place to do this is in the boilerplate, also known as the “About us” paragraph at the end of your press release. If someone cuts and pastes your press release and uses it on their website, or forwards it to a friend, but doesn’t bother to make the links live, people won’t be able to find your website unless your URL is spelled out.
- Janet’s favorite keyword research tools are the Google keyword tool and Wordtracker’s free tool.
Using keywords in press releases might feel strange at first because we’ve all been taught to concentrate on things like the headline, a great “hook” in the first paragraph and powerful quotes within the release. But the more you practice using keywords, the easier it becomes. And the more skilled you become at using keywords, the easier it is for people to find your release.