It is obvious that the Internet has caused a revolution in the way information is shared and the newest information sharing technique to undergo a complete revolution is the press release. Press releases used to be sent to news groups and analysts for them to decide whether or not to run with a particular story – and these press releases were infamous for their short shelf-life.
The Internet serves as tool for news releases to be posted up for everyone to see, news groups, analysts, competitors and or course the potential client. These news releases have a three fold advantage over the traditional press release:
- they have a much longer shelf-life (living for months if not years)
- they can not only include the basic prose but can have e-media embedded within them (such as infographics, video clips, links to landing pages etc)
- finally these news releases can be shared on a number of social networking sites and thus be able to capture millions of people in a way that was not possible 10 years ago (such sites include facebook (facebook alone has 400 million users world wide), twitter, linkedin, stumble upon, digg etc)
The important point to note is that most people like to find their information through search engines. This means that people do not like to read information sent to them through e-mails but instead prefer to trawl through web pages to find the information they need. This is where the search engine optimization (SEO) comes into play. If you create a news release (that is like a mini-webpage) with SEO-friendly web content that can be posted up on servers such as PRweb or PR newswire you have much more chance of pulling-in journalists and potential clients. The news release has to be optimized to improve your search engine rankings. The potential outcomes of posting a SEO press release are as follows:
- including a link to your business’ Website can improve your search engine rankings
- if your release ranks highly on the news search engines such as ‘Google news’ this will increase the exposure your website gets
- the more exposure you gain the more chance that bloggers will pick you up and write about you
- it can help to neutralise any negative comments that might exist about your business
The questions is ‘How do I write an SEO article?’ Webandrank will help those who are trying to improve their web exposure, mainly up and coming bloggers and small business’ trying to utilize Internet marketing. Remember content is king – tech stuff comes later!!!. And make sure you follow these three golden rules:
- it must grab the attention of potential readers
- it must be relevant
- it must be original, offering new and interesting content
This article will offer some useful, easy to follow steps in helping you optimize the search engine rankings of your SEO press release.
1. Firstly, you must have a clear understanding of what you want to write and who you are writing for.
2. Try to imagine you are back at University writing an essay, introduction (hypothesis) – main text (clearly articulated points)- conclusion (summary of the main points and concluding argument).
3. Make sure you know the target audience’s main problem, many people search the web to find solutions for their IT problems (for example anti virus solutions). If the problem is clearly outlined without the use of technical language and hype then you have more chance of being found in search queries.
4. Google Adwords Keyword Tool is your friend do not forget to consult it. This tool will help you find the primary keyword phrases (also referred to as SEO-friendly web content) you need to include in your SEO press release; try to find keywords that have high search traffic but are not too competitive.
5. Once you have your keywords try to use them in strategic places such as the title, summary, subheadings, alt text and link text. Keywords included in quotes from important people are always a nice touch too.
6. Keywords are very important but not too many. There are two camps in the SEO press release world; they are those who believe the reader is the most important and those that believe the search engines are the most important. The fact is you must strike a balance between the readable and the searchable – think of yourself like creative designer you must create something that is beautiful but practical.
7. At least one of your keywords should be a rich-link which is linked to the most suitable landing page on your website (normally to the page that offers the solutions to the problems articulated in the news release).
8. Do not forget to utilize all those handy little tools you have at your disposal, videos, pictures, infographics etc. The popularity of image searches is growing rapidly and including images on your news release will improve your internet marketing potential.
9. Make sure a potential reader, if they so wish, can share the news release with social networking sites with ease. Use ‘social bookmarking’ with your release.
10. I don’t know about you but I get bored easily when reading information on the Internet. Your article must be concise, readable, to the point and well formatted. The average optimized press release is between 450-700 words.
If you do not feel up to the task of writing an SEO press release then there are many companies that will do it for you but there are a couple of things you must look out for.
1. Some companies will create a ‘shadow’ domain that feeds browsers to a site using deceptive redirects. The main problem is that the SEO company normally owns the shadow domain. If the relationship goes rotten between the SEO company and the client the SEO company can use the shadow domain for another website or even a competitor.
2. The other one to look out for is the placement of ‘doorway’ or ‘bridge’ pages. These doorway pages are filled up with keyword phrases and placed somewhere on the client’s website. The ‘doorway’ page is essentially like a welcoming page but it has been used by unethical ‘blackhat’ SEO companies to attract the attention of web crawlers. The fact is that individual pages are rarely relevant for a wide range of keyword phrases; further more these ‘blackhat’ SEO companies include hidden links to the sites of their other clients (this is not exactly ideal if that other sites contains illegal or unsavoury content).
Deception by SEO companies is becoming more and more of a problem. The Federal Trade Commission FTC can take complaints regarding unfair business practices. To lodge a complaint, go to: www.ftc.gov, call 1-877-FTC-HELP or write to, Federal Trade Commission, CRC-240, Washington, D.C.20580. If you are outside of the United States you can visit www.econsumer.gov.