Press releases are best treated like a communicative and marketing tool, as a piece of content designed to be informative, interesting and above all, relevant!
However, they’re also a powerful SEO resource and can deliver multiple business benefits.
Since the vast majority of modern press releases are published digitally (even if that’s only on your own website), optimising the content for SEO purposes can amplify your reach and support your broader content marketing strategy.
Understanding how it all works can help inform how you write a press release, the information you include, and where you decide to publish your announcements.
Five Ways a Press Release Benefits SEO
Let’s look at some of the SEO-related advantages of publishing well-written press releases and how featuring them on a few different high-profile sites can produce fantastic improvements in SEO performance.
- Boosted backlinks from other authoritative websites (think news outlets, digital magazines and high readership publications).
- Introducing your business, product or idea to a larger user base, raising brand awareness and growing your audience.
- Establishing a new potential marketing channel, depending on the nature of your press release or media feature.
- Improving visibility of your website and content for search engine indexing – the more places you are featured, published and mentioned, the more ‘important’ your website becomes.
- Delivering wider engagement for your site and business, with a higher volume of potential touchpoints and channels on which to communicate or invite questions.
Combined, these advantages mean your website features higher up in the search engine rankings. You can incorporate press releases into your SEO strategy even if you’re not investing in big marketing campaigns.
Being featured on third-party sites in a non-promotional way acts as social proof and demonstrates brand credibility, presenting you as an authority in your sector that provides trustworthy information.
Driving Brand Awareness, Visibility and Interest
The trick to a press release is that you’re telling a reader something they don’t already know that sparks interest (and hopefully engagement!).
The idea is that the details you provide are beneficial to your reader, and if done right, press releases can be an excellent SEO asset.
- Quality press releases cited in the media or a well-respected news site reach a much larger audience than your existing channels, initiating higher visitor traffic to your own landing pages.
- Referral traffic means readers learn about your brand or what you’re doing and search out your site to find out more, sign up for your newsletter, buy a product or register for an event.
- Backlinks establish better domain authority and showcase the authenticity of your website to Google, pushing you further up the search engine rankings.
Features or mentions that are placed naturally provide the best backlink profiles, and if you choose the right publication, you gain credibility through an association with that site.
Engaging With Relevant Reader Demographics
One of the essential aspects of a press release is that it’s written for the right audience.
For example, if you’re posting something technical, or a research study in a trade journal, you won’t score points if the content is too generic and designed for a consumer audience rather than professionals who already know the basics!
Likewise, a press release about an innovative new product can work amazingly well – but readers will switch off if it’s stuffed with jargon and complex specifications that don’t mean anything to your intended customer.
Creating a Press Release as Shareable Content
A great press release is a multimedia piece of content, so you want to ensure that:
- You can cross-post the content, or a link to it, on social media channels.
- There are images, infographics or videos that bring the text to life.
- Readers can share the content – one-click share buttons work perfectly.
- The content is optimised for mobile display since most readers consume news information through their mobile.
The more shares and backlinks you acquire, the more authoritative your content is, and if you make it as easy as possible to share your press release, you’ll encourage readers to do just that.
Since a press release is primarily a piece of news content, rather than a direct sales pitch or a promotional activity, you can publish different types of information than you might in an email campaign.
For example, you can use a press release as a trust builder, providing explainers, offering professional insights or challenging a status quo to create a rapport with your target customer.
Done well, this exercise can provide high returns, build credibility, act as social proof and expose your brand to a potentially very large new audience.
How to Optimise a Press Release for SEO
The rules of information architecture and readability apply as they do to any other type of content:
- Use a catchy headline that immediately conveys what the press release is about.
- Split your content into digestible chunks, and use bullets and subheadings to separate each information section.
- Remember the golden rules: what, who, when, where, and how.
- Include a backlink over anchor text that connects the reader to your landing or product page.
Your intro should cover the most important facts or summarise the most significant piece of information.
From there, you can elaborate with more details, background, related news or other pieces of content that support or explain the main focus. That could be the backstory behind why you’re running this event or some of the problems you’d discovered that your new invention will overcome.
Incorporate relevant keywords and links where they flow naturally, but stick to the facts and keep any fluff to a minimum.
At the bottom of your press release, always include contact details or social media links, so anyone who wants to find out more or engage with you can do so. You can’t always assume that a third-party media channel will include a direct link!
If you need further advice about crafting your press release for maximum SEO benefits, please get in touch with the Brand News team, or visit our site for access to a free press release template.