How to Add SEO to Your Press Release

There are a number of places where you can optimize your press release for the search engines. Each can help your press release become more visible so you can get more traffic and media attention.


SEO explained

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a series of methods used to rank highly in the search engines. There are SEO tactics you can do on a web page, and ones off a webpage. Each can contribute to your page or site ranking highly on the search engine results pages (SERPs) such as Google.

Each search engine has its own algorithm or formula for determining page relevance, but in general, there are several important elements on the page you can optimize.

The headline

The headline should contain keywords and brand names, if applicable, to make it more readily found by people searching for those topics or companies. The headline has to entice and offer a promise of more interesting information. It will be visible on the search engines and in press release distribution service interfaces if you decide to post your press release on one of them.

The headline should be 42 to 60 characters in total to avoid any important information getting cut off. That is generally the character limit for most search engines and interfaces.

The subheading

The subheading is a field found in most press release distribution services. Think of it a supporting the headline and offering a summary of what the release is about. Use keywords here as well and try to make the story sound as interesting as possible.

The first paragraph

The first paragraph will also be essential for you trying to get people to read your story. It should contain keywords and the most important facts you are trying to convey. Several years ago, press releases were being issued all the time in order to try to get credit with the search engines through backlinks. That no longer carries the weight it once did in search engine algorithms. Many of those old press releases weren’t really news at all, just ads or sales letters. Many still are. Therefore, you can stand out from the crowd by writing press releases that are genuinely newsworthy, and that means writing like a newspaper reporter, not a marketer.

Your media files

Studies have shown that press releases with media such as images and video are much more likely to get media pickups than once which do not have them. When naming your media, be sure to use keywords. Don’t just use file names like 12345.jpg. You can also add captions, which can have keywords. For images, you can use alt and description fields to tell more about the image and add keywords here, too. These tags can help the visually impaired find out more about what is on your page.

Your anchor text for your links

At the end of your press release, you should have at least one link with a call to action, such as to send them to your website in order to pick up a free report about X topic. Do NOT use the words click here and link them to the page. Instead, used keywords in your anchor text and hyperlink them, for more SEO credit.

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Anthony Santiago is Director of Marketing at Newswire. With over a decade of experience in PR, he helps ensure that clients understand the value of brand messaging and reach.

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