When SEO and public relations professionals first decided to merge their skills to create better branding strategies, they knew that the history of communication would change forever. Countless case studies have proven this to be the case.
SEO and public relations strategies both perfectly complement each other and it seems that they now could not live without each other. Separating them would be like living out the ending of a Romeo and Juliet style tragedy. According to the experts at Digital PR, press releases can be very effective at helping improve the SEO of a website and building search traction around a brand identity.
“Press releases are some of the most trusted forms of content, so they are ideal for generating quality backlinks,” states Zach Hoffman, the lead strategist of Digital PR.
We know that traditionally, press releases have been important tools for generating earned media, which are fundamental elements in PR strategies. Press releases give journalists and media outlets valuable information about a brand or organization when they are trying to write their own article and publish it on the right sites. In fact, 72% of journalists say that a press release is one of the most useful types of content a PR professional can offer, according to data from Cision’s 2020 Global State of the Media Report.
However, in the SEO world, press releases can be seen as momentary tactics that quickly get old and are submerged by new information, since they are dependent on topical information with a short shelf-life. Will the press release be the “apple of discord” that opens a big hiatus in the love affair of PR and SEO? The simple answer is “No.” Nevertheless, it is important to make sure your press releases are properly tweaked according to the best practices of SEO.
The value of an SEO optimized press release
I’m sure many PR professionals are wondering how a stale PR tactic can be meaningful in improving SEO rankings and supporting brand discovery. The reason is simple: OPTIMIZATION.
When executed correctly, SEO-optimized press releases get the right information to the right audience at the right time. Millions of consumers around the world, including journalists, are using online search engines to find what they need, when they need it. Marketers and PR professionals that focus on optimizing their releases and disseminating them through comprehensive communication can maximize the chances of search discovery.
Additionally, by having optimized information of value about your company or brand through earned media, you boost online visibility, improve reputation, generate high quality backlinks and referral traffic from the websites that host the publication. This helps you better promote the business.
The big problem that arises when you are trying to merge press releases and SEO is that, as in many other things, it is possible to go overboard. Instead of focusing your efforts on creating press releases that are intended to earn a great story from a journalist writing for a website with a strong domain authority to receive high quality, relevant and authoritative backlinks, some brands abuse this tactic by flooding the web with low quality content that gives no real value for SEO.
For press releases to help improve your brand’s SEO through proper optimization, take a look at these simple tips.
1. Use press releases in your content marketing strategy
Rather than just communicating news, focus on using your press release to provide quality, original and relevant content at the time, place and in the format (multi-format) as it will be consumed by your current and potential customers, media and journalists and digital influencers. Making it part of your content marketing strategy will give it much more value.
2. Know and use keywords
Discover the keywords that your brand’s current and potential customers may be using to search for what they need and what the brand sells. There are several tools that can support you in your research.
3. Incorporate your keywords in your press release
Include the keywords strategically. You should use them in the title, subtitle, first paragraph and even in the name of the image.
4. Strategically integrate links
Links are an important element that helps improve your SEO. In addition to using links in traditional places such as the boiler plate or first paragraph, you also should integrate them with your keywords, this improves click-through and positioning.
5. Pay attention to formatting
Search engines crawl the content and locate keywords more easily when using formatting resources such as short paragraphs, bullets, lists and subtitles that divide the text.
6. Add multimedia to increase discovery
Include multimedia content, named with keywords, to increase discovery through image search.
Do you still have doubts that press releases are important for SEO? Next time you write a press release, remember that in addition to providing valuable information to the audience, you also need to optimize it for search engines. You will see that your results will never be the same again!
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