Optimizing Marketing News Releases for Searches

I recently came across some tips for gaining top visibility for press releases in both search engines and media that I thought were worth sharing.

Following are excerpts from a recent session led by Meg Walker, Director of Online Marketing for PRWeb.

1. Meet audience demand.
To me, this is the first step in any successful marketing communications endeavor. Walker reminds us, though, that this step is critical in finding the right hook.

She recommends the following criteria:
* Know your audience. What is it potential prospects and media are interested in? In what tone should they be spoken to? Do they appreciate a certain angle over another?
* Be relevant. More than just understanding your audience, give them content that is both relevant and timely
* Satisfy customer demand. To know what the demand is, first research popular trends in search engines and monitor the pulse of your industry. By creating content that is related to hot topics, you can create far more visibility for your releases.

2. Stay focused.
We used to call this the “single ad message.” What is the one thing you want your audience to feel or remember as a result of seeing your message?

The same strategy goes for press releases. Writing about only one topic per release will keep keywords focused, and it will rank higher in search engines. Saying too much dilutes your message, and you run the risk that the audience will miss your key point.

3. Use images for search.
Images can increase the click-through rate on releases in both regular and news search by 15 – 25%.

The experts at PRWeb say they have seen releases that used 3 images generate more than 50 articles.

“We also find that many people are discovering images via image search, which then draws them back not only to the release, but to the customer web sites.”

4. Use videos to engage visitors
Using video in news releases can increase time on pages by up to 500 percent.

Video content is becoming more common, but right now, the inclusion of video is still a great way to stand out.

5. Optimize your release
Walker recommends the following specific tactics:

Anchor text links – use 3:

• One to homepage

• One to product page

• One to blog post

Alt-tag – An alt tag helps your images get discovered in search engines.

URL Keyword – Top keywords can be used as part of the URL string, so be sure and include those during the release selection process.

Description Tag – Add a keyword-rich and compelling description tag.

Title of release – The title of the release will become the title tag of the page, which is a vital element of your on-page optimization. If you have a target phrase, ensure your phrase leads the title of the release.

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