Jumat, 12 Desember 2008

20 Tips & Tricks for Writing SEO-Friendly Press Releases

Once you have your SEO priorities in order, consider the following tactics to make your press release as search engine friendly as possible.

1. Determine the best keywords for your announcement. Depending on the news you are issuing, they may vary from previously identified terms.

2. Online keyword tools are excellent resources for determining the correct terms. If your organization does not subscribe to a paid keyword service, consider these free alternatives:
a. www.adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
b. www.keyworddiscovery.com/search.html
c. www.blogpulse.com/trend (to determine words most often used on blogs)


3. Once keywords are determined, you may need to associate more colloquial words with them, as company/marketing jargon isn't typically used in search.

4. Use the most popular keyword phrase in the headline, which carries the most weight with search engines, as well as in the body of the release and in hyperlinks.

5. Pick one to three relevant keywords and repeat them at least three times in the release.

6. Don’t OVER-HYPERLINK words. Optimizing releases for words that are not used often in the press release can cause irrelevant results and be considered spam by some search engines.

7. Include anchor text hyperlinks in the press release that are your keywords or similar to them. Make sure you link these words back to the appropriate page on your website. For example, if you are linking a product name, link back to the product page on your site.

8. Make sure the page you are linking back to is optimized for your chosen keywords. If the anchor text is “accounting software,” be sure that it is linked to a page containing “accounting software” in the title tag and within the text on the page.

9. Place your anchor text links in the first two paragraphs. Search Engines will pick up these words more efficiently if they are placed before the “fold” of the screen.

10. Keep press releases short and concise. Most experts agree that the “sweet spot” for an SEO- friendly press release is between 300 – 500 words.

11. Ensure there is a balanced keyword to press release word length ratio. Avoid too many keywords and hyperlinks in shorter releases, and vice versa in longer releases.

12. Include rich media content such as images and videos that will augment search engine pick up in places such as Google Images or Google Video. Be sure all media-rich content is appropriately tagged with keywords.

13. Include a link (not a hyperlink) to your website. Make sure to include the http:// of the URL.

14. If the release has a subhead, make sure it includes a keyword phrase. Search engines give more weight to bolded text (i.e. headline, subhead).

15. Optimize your boilerplate – always include links and keywords.

16. Resist the tendency to shorten terms. For example, if you are writing about your company’s branded data management software product, you’ll be inclined to make the second mention “the solution” or “the software.” However, people looking in search engines will type in “data management software.” Repeating “data management software” as a keyword phrase will help your release be found, while “the solution” will not. (But, try to keep the writing as “natural” as possible.)

17. If your company or product falls into a particular industry that is often referred to by an acronym, include both the full term and abbreviation throughout the release. For example, “Customer Relationship Management” should be referenced by its “full name,” and, “CRM.”

18. Post all releases on their own permalinked page on your website in addition to sending it out over wire services.

19. Be consistent with keyword use both in press releases and on your website. The website should have a keyword density of between 2-8%. This tool, www.keyworddensity.com, allows you to enter your URL and chosen keyword for a complete keyword density analysis.

20. Buy Adwords for those keywords that are very difficult to get in the first page of results (i.e. those that are more generic and colloquial, or common industry terms). Putting this extra cash to drive traffic to a press release could be vital to helping the impressions of the release, increasing visibility and the possibility of greater pickup.