One of the best ways that press release writers and PR people can move ahead, and make more money, is by learning how to write releases not only for humans, but for the search engine spiders.
“Learning how to use top search keywords in optimized press releases is no longer an interesting sideline for a few SEO copywriters. It is now a significant career opportunity for the vast majority of online public relations copywriters, as well.”
Entire seminars are devoted to the topic of optimizing web copy. But here’s his quick checklist in how to do it:
- Do keyword research to find two or three relevant terms that your target audiences are likely to use for a news search. (The Publicity Hound uses Wordtracker.)
- Edit your press release – particularly the headline and first few sentences – and make sure that it actually includes your target terms. News search engine algorithms scan the title, headline and at least the first hundred words or so of news articles, so it would be wise to include your top search keywords in these crucial positions.
- Add hyperlinks intended to help people find interesting, related content, when applicable.
- Use one of the press release distribution services crawled by Yahoo News and Google News. (I use NewsReleaseWire.com, which lets me post up to 52 press releases a year as part of my subscription to Expertclick, the Online Yearbook of Experts.)
- Measure your results. An optimized press release can generate high keyword ranking in Yahoo News and Google News, publicity in news media and blogs, traffic to your web site, qualified leads, as well as online sales.
My free email tutorial “89 Ways to Write Powerful Press Releases” gives step-by-step instructions on how to do this and recommends several tools you can use.
In the meantime, if you hire PR people, find out how much your candidates know about search engine optimization.
If you’re looking for a job and you understand and use SEO, mention it on your resume. Who knows? You just might end up teaching it to your new boss.