Press Releases and SEO – Are You Doing It Right?


There are some things I can’t stress enough when it comes to SEO. I’m not going to list off the same ‘basics of SEO’ list you’ve seen a million times over. Instead I’d like to focus on something that’s a bit more overlooked, and that’s the potential SEO power in the common press release. Now that Overit has acquired Portfolio PR Group, we find ourselves in a position that makes this element slightly more prominent.

Let’s say, for example, that your brand has just launched a fresh new website. All the standard on-site SEO bits and pieces are in place, and now you want to start building links into the site. The first thing on your link building list should be the creation of a well-optimized press release that can be distributed online using a reputable service, such as PRWeb. PRWeb is great because they allow you to add links within the body of your release, not to mention their fantastically massive distribution network. A release with 2 or 3 anchor-text links distributed to 50 (for example) different sites ends up turning into 100-150 links for your site. One of the more recent releases we’ve submitted for a client was picked up by just under 10,000 sites. In case you were wondering, that’s massive.

Now, if you’re already writing press releases, are you ensuring that they’re optimized to pass the most value back to your site? If not, you’re losing out. At the very beginning, you want to make sure you include your target keyword in the headline, and preferably at the beginning. More often than not, the headline will be encased within the glorious, all-powerful H1 tags.

Next, when writing the body of the release, keep in mind the same keyword density guidelines that should have been used when writing the copy for your site. Don’t stuff your keywords, but don’t make them scarce either. Keep the perfect balance. Having your target keywords in the body now gives us the opportunity for some solid anchor-text links. If you have an interior page that is especially relevant to your target keyword, link to it using the target phrase as the anchor; otherwise, the homepage will do just fine. If there are other keywords you’ve included in the body, feel free to use those to link to the pages of your site as well. My only advice is to spread them out, and don’t use too many. One link for every two or three paragraphs of text should suffice. Most importantly, be sure that at some point you’re linking your brand name to the homepage of your site.

That’s all there is to it. By sticking to this formula for optimizing your release, you should be in a great position to distribute. If you decide to not go with PRWeb, make sure the service you use won’t add no-follow tags to your links (or worse, strip them out completely).

Please feel free to leave your questions in the comments.