How To Know If Your Press Release Headline Is Effective

There are a number of main ways to tell if your headline for your press release is effective. The best way is to define effectiveness first in relation to each press release. If your press release gets read by anyone, then your headline is effective.


Set the goal of each press release

Set a clear and specific goal for every release you send out. Create a means of tracking your progress to that goal easily. Examples of goals for most press releases will usually be to:

  • Media pick-ups
  • Get links to your site
  • Get more traffic to your site
  • Get more subscribers to your email newsletter
  • Launch a product successfully
  • Make more sales

Before and after

Before you publish your press release, take a screenshot or download an Excel copy of your main metrics, page views, pages per session, time on site and so on. In this way you will be able to compare easily all your key site metrics before the press release gets sent out, and after it has been published.


Depending on the press release distribution service you are using, you should get a full report of all pickups. Not all of them are created equal, so pay attention to any big ones you bag, such as a top newspaper or a magazine or prominent site or blog related to your niche. A pickup on Google news would be pretty exciting.

Note that some pickups will have a do not follow command to lead back to you. Others might get indexed, in which case, people will be able to follow you more easily.


Links are not as important as they used to be in relation to the Google search engine algorithm (formula) that ranks pages in the search results, but links are still a way to help boost your rank and get real people to your site. Check your site logs to see the effect.

Traffic to your site

Any press release is going to generate additional traffic to your site. It is just a question of how much. Every good press release should have a call to action. Create a ‘squeeze’ page and/or ‘sales page’ to help you meet your goals.

A squeeze page for email list subscribers

A squeeze page with a chance to register for your email list is a good way to measure success. Track the release to see how many subscribers you get in your email marketing interface. To make it easy to track, create an all-new list.

A sales page for buyers

If your goal is to increase sales, set up a special order flow for the press release so you can track click-throughs, visits, and sales to that unique URL. A special price exclusive to the promotion can also help you track the success of the press release more easily.

A product launch

Any sale is a good sale if you are launching a new product, but create a unique URL for the press release to see how many responds to your call to action in the release.

Track and test

Creating unique URLS makes it a lot easier to track the success of the promotion. The referring URLs data can also give you an idea of your traffic gain as a whole for the entire site. Experiment with headlines to see which ones jump out at the reader.

Set your goals and check your metrics and you should soon see just how much return on investment you are getting from your press releases.

Call us today to speak to one of our PR specialists: 1-800-713-7278

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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