Small Steps: Integrating SEO into your Press Releases

July 16, 2009

Google AdWords Keyword Tool

Ten years ago, companies would send press releases to various media outlets in the hopes of a simple mention in order to gain publicity for their company. Now, with the onslaught of the Internet, social media, and company websites, companies can create their own publicity by developing and posting well-written press releases to their website. 

The key to driving traffic to your site is making sure your press-releases are, in fact, well-written. Not only should your press release follow a general format that ensures specific details are included, but it should also be well-written from a search engine's point-of-view. A few well-chosen keywords partnered with coherent and intelligent writing will increase your search engine rankings and keep your visitors engaged.   

In order to help you determine what keywords would be best in your press release, you have to ask yourself a few questions.  

If you're writing about your company 

  • What key words define your company? 
  • What quality are you specifically writing about? 
  • Did you change your customer service philosophy? 
  • Did you add another member to your team? 

If you're writing about your work

  • What specifically did you do for the client?
  • Did you utilize your technology with their website?
  • Did you work with an agency partner?

If you are writing about your work for a specifc client 

  • What type of client are they? 
  • Are they a new start-up e-commerce? 
  • Are they a political candidate? 
  • Are they a University client?    

When in doubt - establish who & what you are writing about and visit similar parts of your website to see what keywords were used.   

For example, did you just launch a website for a new political candidate? Do you have a portfolio with other political candidates and their case studies? Do you have any past blog posts that discuss political websites?   

A good idea is to have your company develop a list of keywords they deem important to search engine optimization and to the company. Google's AdWords Keyword tool allows you to search for similar keywords and see how many people are actually searching for that term.  From there, your company can narrow the list of words to those that relate to your company and have a decent search volume.

What's important to remember is that search engines are getting smarter every day and are evaluating the content around keywords more meticulously than ever.  So while filling your press releases with keywords may seem like the best way to help your SEO, it would be better to focus on developing the quality of your writing and inserting keywords where they fit coherently. Taking small steps like reassessing the way in which you write press releases can create big benefits down the road.    

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