Leyl Master Black | Openforum
Did you know that just 14 percent of press releases posted on major wire services have been optimized for search? Or that press releases including an image or a video get shared three times more than text-only releases? Also, nearly half of marketers do not routinely add images to their press releases.
Many small-business owners are missing out on opportunities to get their news more widely viewed and shared. So before you issue your next press release, consider these four simple tactics to amplify the reach of your news.
1. Write Your Release With Search in Mind
t’s no longer enough to write press release copy that tells a clear and compelling story; you must now also write your release in a way that helps searchers find you online. Reporters use search engines to find sources and story ideas.
Start by making a list of the keywords and phrases that are most relevant to your company, and then cross-check these terms using Google’s keyword tool to assess monthly search volume and competition for your core keywords, and to see suggestions for other related keywords.
Once you have your list of keywords, use them in the headline and subhead of your release, as well as throughout the body of the announcement – just make sure that the release still sounds natural and makes sense. Avoid over-repetition by using secondary and tertiary keywords, too.
When including hyperlinks in your release, Mark Scott, global public relations manager for NCR, also recommends you link to what your product does or your keywords, not your product name.
“I’ve seen both big and small businesses only link to their product name, which limits the SEO value of your release,” Scott says. “Don’t put a link to just the product name because if it’s new, there’s not a single person who is going to Google that name. Link to a keyword phrase like ‘inventory management software’ instead, because that’s what people are searching for.”
2. Include Search-Optimized Images With Your Release
. Including images along with your release can make a big difference in coverage. PRESSfeed’s data shows that 80 percent of journalists and bloggers are more likely to cover news that includes an image.
What kinds of images work? Courtney Walsh of Media Darling PR encourages clients to use images that really illustrate that news they’re putting out.
“For example, if it’s a new product, don’t just include a product shot, show customers using it,” says Walsh. “Also remember that images need to be high-resolution to be useful for most press.”
Images can also work double duty in your search strategy if you optimize the images for search by naming and tagging them with keywords.
Becca Bernstein, social media marketing manager at Picaboo, also suggests including the release headline or the related blog post title in the name and tags, so people can find your content through an image search. For example, this approach helped her company get a recent “How to Photograph Fireworks” blog post to the top of Google’s Image Search.
“When people search for photos of fireworks, my tips and tricks for taking photos of fireworks is now prevalent,” Bernstein says.
Bernstein also recommends adding hashtags and the URL back to the blog post or news release in the Photo Title and Alternate Photo Title.
“When I do this, it allows any image pinned to Pinterest to include a searchable hashtag and a link back to my blog. This drives more clicks and ultimately, a higher ranking on Google,” adds Bernstein.