The public relations industry is evolving. Social media and
content generation are increasing as tools of the trade. Media relations
efforts are still the single most important part of the business, but the contraction
of media has forever altered media identities and roles.
This is because of the rise of a “Social Internet”. This new
way of communicating has changed what a communications professional does – but
the news release has remained an important staple of any good public relations
News releases are more than just a direct way to garner
media coverage – now they can also offer “link juice” to a businesses site –
and, when done right, can increase the online shelf life of the news.
(Image courtesy of Raquel Franco)
This is illustrated in the similarity in language we now see
SEO experts when discussing how they prepare their copy for greatest effect.
Here’s a quote from CopyBlogger, a preeminent blogging
expert site that also happens to be very, very good at SEO: “What people say
about you is more important than what you say about yourself.”
He could be talking about PR, but he’s not. Instead, this
statement is about backlinking, the practice of inbound links to a website,
which is a primary indicator of the importance and popularity of a site or page.
This is one of the primary tenets of good SEO practice.
In the same white paper he says: “Good SEO is copywriting.”
John Gruber over at Daringfireball.net deftly explains SEO when
he writes “I’m talking about…writing one article in such a way that makes it
the most likely that people who are searching for the information contained
therein will be able to find it.”
So a big part of SEO is smart, effective copywriting. Just
But how can PR efforts improve SEO?
Simple. PR when done with SEO in mind can improve
search engine rankings for a business website.
Below is a short list of tips and tricks to get a press
release on its way to being well optimized for Google and other search engines:
Use keyword tools to determine the best (potentially colloquial) keywords for
your announcement. They may vary depending on the news you’re issuing. Avoid
The Google AdWords Tool is the easiest to use.
Find A Niche:
Good keywords are targeted to your audience without being too broad to make
them hard to read or too specific for search engines to look for.
Headlines and subheads should include the most popular keywords (and keyword
phrases) relevant to the release as these carry the most weight with search
engines and potential readers. Write like
people search and speak.
Sense: Understand and mirror the language used by the intended audience. This
will increase click thru rate and the effectiveness of the message.
Shorter news releases are better for search engines. Keep announcements between
300-500 words if possible.
Keyword-tagged rich media such as videos and images can increase
rankings as well.
Frequency: Experts agree that 2-8% is the right number of keywords. Anything
more is seen as “keyword stuffing” and will hurt search engine rankings and readability.
Make sure to include anchor text (clickable text in a hyperlink) to important keywords and link back
to client pages with a similar strategy. For example, if anchor text is
“accounting software” be sure to link to a page containing “accounting
software” in the title tag and in the page content. Optimize your boilerplate
to include links (including the http:// of the website address) and keywords.
Here are SEO tips for tech companies.