As businesses rely more on online press release distribution, search engine optimization (SEO) becomes a vital component of public relations.
Traditionally, writing an effective press release involved writing an attention-grabbing headline, informative opening paragraph and other newsworthy elements to get the information noticed by an editor or journalist. These elements of an effective press release still hold true with one exception. Press releases now need to be written with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind.
What has changed is press release distribution. Instead of placing a release in an envelope and mailing to editors for their consideration, most press releases are now distributed online. Online press release distribution sites will post the release online for journalists to find. This new method of distribution has made SEO a critical component of a press release, especially if this is the only method of distribution a business uses.
Online Press Releases Using SEO Tactics are Easier to Find
Search engines are relied upon heavily by publishing professionals to do their job. 91% of journalists, editors and reporters surveyed in a recent TopRank “ Journalist Use of Search Survey ” revealed using search engines like Google or Yahoo! when seeking information. Search engines and social media are used to find experts, story ideas and sources for stories.
Search engine optimization involves optimizing a press release so the content is more visible when a journalist or editor uses a search engine to find a release. Many news publishers are using SEO tactics to help make stories rank higher on search engines. A well-written press release that ignores SEO tactics may never be found by journalists using search engines to generate story ideas.
Traditional Public Relations Kits Go Digital
Traditional public relations kits included a printed press release and slide or photograph for inclusion in the story. Today, press kits have gone digital. Public relations professionals can include videos, presentations, podcasts, digital images, executive interview clips and other components to tell the entire story. Each of the elements in the public relations kit should be named using SEO keyword tactics as these elements are now part of the search results utilized by many search engines.
In addition to distributing a search engine optimized press release online, businesses should add a press release section to their website. The press release center can serve as a place to house supporting material, videos and images for journalists to easily access 24/7. Be sure to include the name, phone number and e-mail address of the individual media professionals can contact for additional information.
The days of stuffing envelopes with press releases are over. Technology has made it possible to distribute press releases instantly online. Press releases written with SEO tactics in mind are easier for journalists and media to access and use.