The Fundamentals of an Optimized Press Release Headline
The goal of search engine optimization (SEO) is to get free traffic from search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing. Each has a slightly different algorithm, or formula, for ranking sites on the search engine results pages (SERPs). But generally speaking, there are some techniques for writing press release headlines that can help boost your chances of getting into the top spots on the SERPs.
Keywording your headline
Keywords tell the search engines and people what the press release is going to be about. They can be your company or brand name, and/or something related to your niche or industry.
Keeping your headline concise
Most of the search engines limit the number of characters that show on the SERPs. Aim for between 42 and 60 characters, including letters, spaces, and punctuation to make sure nothing important gets cut off.
Provide semantic support
Semantic support are words that support each other to help determine what a page is all about. Search engines like Google use this to make sense of content because often words have more than one meaning, or mean something particular in reference to a certain niche or industry.
For example, the word current can mean something happening right now, or refer to the movement of water, gas or electricity.
Use words in the press release to support the headline. Your headline shouldn’t be fluff. It should mean something and connect with the rest of the release.
Here’s a recent headline:
Volatile Dow closes up 567 points after a rocky day of trading following Monday’s historic drop
The keywords in the article include:
- Dow Jones industrial average (DJIA)
- Money managers
- U.S. economy
- Federal Reserve Bank
- Market correction
All of these convey information about the activities on the stock market. They provide context for the headline and support it when it comes to the SERPs.
Choosing your keywords
You should do keyword research using the Google keyword planner for each release you plan to issue. https://adwords.google.com/home/tools/keyword-planner/
Other useful tools include WordStream
They can help you find keywords you need and plan each press release headline accordingly. They can also help you write the entire press release, using words that will support the headline.
Branding your business
Brand names are a quick shortcut to grabbing attention provided that the brand is well-known and/or the headline is really interesting. Approximately 300 million press releases are issued in the US alone every day, so it can be difficult to get your message across to your target audience.
Think about the words that journalists in your niche or industry search for.
The kind of words you would like your brand to be associated with or the overall impression you are trying to convey.
A well-optimized headline will give you more visibility and free traffic, so take the time to do keyword research for each press release.