By Penny C. Sansevieri, Adjunct Instructor NYU & CEO of Author Marketing Experts, Inc.
When was the last time you distributed a press release that got a great response? If you’re like most people who write and distribute press releases on a regular basis, it’s probably been a while. If you’re eager to get more exposure for your next release, here are some helpful tips that should get more eyes on your release and help ensure that its search engine friendly.
No anchor text links: If you’re not familiar with anchor text it’s the text in press releases that’s linked to an external source, namely your website. These are also referred to as hyperlinks. You should have at least two anchor text links in your release.
Too many links: This is where you need to be careful. Anchor text links are great, but too many of them can really kill your SEO.
Don’t link to throwaway words: Often I see anchor text that’s linked to common words like website, contact and other fairly generic terms. Ideally you’ll want to use keywords for these links instead of just common terms everyone has in their release. Why? Because using anchor text in keywords can really help to ramp up the SEO value of your release. It’s one of the best ways to optimize a press release.
Jargon and industry language: One of the quickest ways to lose a reader, customer, or possible media interview is to use a lot of jargon in your release. Jargon is confusing and unless you’re interested in only pulling in media and readers who understand these terms, you shouldn’t use them. If your target is the consumer market, you’ll want to use terminology everyone can understand.
Long headlines: Most newbie press release writers love long headlines but the problem is, search engines don’t. When you’re writing a release you really want search engines to spider (also called indexing) these searches so you can maximize visibility. The problem is that search engines don’t index beyond 65 characters, and I find that most press release writers put their real punch, and often their keywords, towards the end which does nothing to help make your press release more SEO friendly. Ideally you’ll want to put your keywords in these first 65 characters. How long should your headline be? Ideally between 115 and 130 characters in length.
Keyword selection: You’ve probably heard the keyword discussion before; finding and identifying the right keywords for your message is important. What keywords should you use for your release? Well, ask yourself this: What primary keywords answer this question: what is this release about? Pick those keywords and use them.
First paragraph of your release: This is another important place for your keywords. Whatever keywords you decide to use, per the paragraph above, use a hefty dose of them in the first paragraph. Why? Because search engines index (spider) the first paragraph of your release, but again, just the first 65 words so keep that in mind.
The idea behind writing a release is not just to write a good one, but one that will get seen and, if you’re lucky, get picked up by the media. You may decide to play around with keywords and phrasing until you get it right, and when you do, you’ll be glad you spent the time optimizing your release.
Penny C. Sansevieri, CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc., is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most cutting-edge book marketing campaigns. Follow on Twitter @Bookgal.
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