Not only do consumers rely on search but journalists rely heavily on search engines to do their job. In TopRank’s Journalists Use of Search Survey they found that 91% of journalists, editors and reporters use Google. In a more recent survey, George Washington University found that 100% of the journalists surveyed use Google to research stories (PDF, page 12).
It’s no surprise that search is used that heavily, as a PR professional are you maximizing your clients news in Google? Here are a few tips that will help:
1. Ask Your Client for Keywords
As a PR professional you may have nothing to do with your clients SEO initiatives. However, to maximize news exposure and results for your client, PR and SEO should be aligned. When crafting your next press release ask your client about keywords. If they are running a SEO or PPC campaign they should have access to a list of keywords that they are trying to rank for. Integrating select keywords into your release can help your clients SEO initiatives and online exposure.
If your client doesn’t have any keywords to share, you at least looked smart and focused on their business. You might want to explain to them the benefits of SEO and have your SEO team follow up with your client.
2. Create an Optimized Press Release
Assuming that your client has provided you with some valuable keywords, you can now craft an optimized release. Based on the list of keywords provided some should align with what you are writing about. Here are some press release tips:
- Keywords should be present in the press release title and copy.
- Ideally, keywords should be mentioned in the first paragraph of the release.
- Don’t over use a term or try to cram too many terms into the release.
- Avoid “click here’s” and try to use the selected keywords as the link text.
- Link deep into your clients site, don’t have all of your links dropping users on the homepage. If text refers to a specific piece of content, link your readers to that content.
- More press release optimization tips.
The optimized release needs to get distributed, this article covers some of the pro’s and cons of BusinessWire, PRNewswire, PRWeb and PRLeap. What about free press release distribution services? Visitpr did a pretty in-depth test of free press release sites.
3. Publish Press Releases on Your Client’s Website
Treat press releases like blog posts and publish them to your client’s newsroom once they get distributed. Google favors a website with frequent updates and these keyword rich press releases are perfect content additions.
4. Media Mentions: Request Backlinks
When other blogs and news sites mention your client online, make sure that they link back to your client’s website. If no links are present in the article, contact the post author and ask if they could include some links back to your site. Be concise, polite and explain your SEO efforts. Links back to your client’s website from other websites are very valuable and will help boost Google rankings.
If the author isn’t willing to help out with a little bit of link love you can always post links in the comments section. These links in the comments won’t have the same impact as a link in the body copy but will help generate traffic to your client’s website.
5. Monitor & Report
Take a look at your clients Google analytics and what traffic your site received via the release or referring sites. It’s a pretty simple idea but knowing how many people got to the website is useful information. Any metrics that shows the success of the release or media mentions should be brought to your client’s attention.