Optimizing Company News for the Search Engines

Aside from letting the world know about what's going on at your company, press releases also help your company's website build and maintain high search engine rankings. In the past, press releases were only for journalists who may be interested in your company or industry.

Now, press releases need to written and formatted with the search engines in mind as well.

Continue reading for ways you can optimize a press release for the search engines and have it pay dividends well past its initial distribution.

1. Carefully choose 2-3 keywords and strategically place them throughout your press release

The first step in writing an optimized press release for the search engines is to determine 2-3 keywords you will target. You should place these in your headline, sub-headline and about 1-2 times for every 100 words. You should also include your company name in your headline.

2. Anchor-text optimization - Create links with keywords

Creating links to your homepage using keywords, also known as anchor-text optimization, is an important way to optimize your press release for the search engines. Highlight a keyword in the first paragraph and link to your company's homepage along with linking to specific service pages within your site from keywords in your boilerplate (company description at the end).

In addition to the anchor-text in the first paragraph, you should include your actual web address in parentheses right next to it.

3. Text-formatting - Use bold, italics, underlining and bullet lists to make points and optimize for search engines

Search engines also place a higher value on keywords formatted differently than the rest of the text in a press release. Formatting keywords in bold-faced, italics, underlining or other special formatting elements can wring more benefit out of your press release in the search engines.

4. Include a RSS and "share" button

When you post the press release on your website, include a RSS and social media "share" button. These handy features allow those who find your press release to easily share it with their friends and colleagues.

Not only is properly formatting a press release to AP style guidelines like we described in part I of our article important, optimizing them to show up in search engines is equally important. Not optimizing keywords and other SEO elements in your press release means it will not have the desired impact you may be hoping for.

Even if you have the best written press release otherwise, not optimizing it for the search engines means it will not be seen by as many people as you want it to.
September 9, 2010

Stone Reuning is president and founder of SEO Advantage, Inc., an online marketing firm and website optimization company that helps businesses turn their websites into powerful lead and revenue generation tools.

Beginning with a focus on search engine optimization in 1999, SEO Advantage now brings a full multi-disciplinary approach to each client website. Clients enjoy dominance on Google, Yahoo and Bing through a suite of unique pay-for-performance search engine optimization and online marketing services. Experts in SEO, social media optimization, online reputation management, and website conversions work hand-in-hand with small business owners and client marketing departments providing complete copywriting and creative web design support.

You'll find SEO Advantage referenced in books such as Writing Web-Based Advertising Copy to Get the Sale and the BusinessWeek bestseller The New Rules of Marketing & PR, as well as popular ebooks like The Small Business Blogging Blueprint.

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Search Engine Guide > Stone Reuning > Properly Formatting your Press Release for Maximum Impact - Part II