When you write a press release, what is your ultimate goal? No doubt, getting the information to as many publications and on as many Web sites as possible. The focus lies in moving outward... taking the press release to as many *other* sources as possible. We buy lists of journalists, pay public relations companies to distribute the release to thousands of targeted leads, use online press release distribution services, and create our own in-house list of reporters to touch base with. This is the "standard" route that press release distribution takes.
However, we generally don't think about how these releases can work for us in other ways. For instance, have you considered the fact that adding your press releases to your own site can increase your visibility and boost your lead generation efforts?
How? Because press releases can open new avenues for search engine spiders and site visitors to find you.
Writing A Search-Engine-Friendly Release
Press releases have some unique characteristics that can contribute to an increase in search engine positioning for your site. They are similar in many ways to pages that use search engine copywriting techniques. For instance, they:
1. Have a narrow focus.
2. Include copy that deals with one specific topic.
3. Incorporate the use of keyphrases.
4. Use keyword-rich headlines.
Press releases, by nature, incorporate each of the elements used with good search engine copywriting. That makes them the perfect addition to your site.
With very little effort, each of your press releases can be turned into optimized pages that draw in additional, qualified traffic. When you write your next press release, consider adding these two simple steps:
1. Choose keywords that can be easily included in your release.
2. Incorporate keywords into your headline where possible.
Incorporating Press Releases Into Your Site
Next, you'll want to develop a page structure that caters to the search engine spiders. Because spiders follow links, you'll have to open a door from your home page to the section of your site that houses the releases.
First, add a link to your navigation bar that points to a "press release directory." On the directory page, list each individual release with a one- or two-sentence summary and a link to the entire content of the release.
Then create a separate page for each release you write. Using the keywords you've researched for the content, write a title and description tag for each page. Then upload everything to your host's server. Once the pages are spidered, you'll find numerous new roads leading from the engines to your site.
With just a little more effort than you would normally give, your press releases can pull "double duty." Through a push-pull effect, your releases can be pushed toward media outlets for additional exposure, and they can also pull visitors back to your site through the use of search engines. The result? Even after the initial media explosion over your releases takes place, they'll be working to drive traffic to your site and increase your search engine positioning.
February 25, 2004
Karon Thackston is owner of Marketing Words, Inc. a full-service copywriting company specializing in search engine copywriting. She is also publisher of the long-standing free ezine, Business Essentials. Karon is author and publisher of the popular Step-by-Step Copywriting Course, an e-course designed to teach sound and highly-effective copywriting techniques - including search engine copywriting techniques. With over 20 years of copywriting experience, Karon has contributed to the search engine and sales success of companies large and small including Gortons Seafood, Third Sphere Hosting and more.