Learning to write press releases that can be easily found by search engines can exponentially increase the size of the audience that sees your release.

After all, don't we write releases because we want them to be seen by the largest possible audience?

Finding the Right Keywords

When you optimize your press releases for search engines, you need to find a maximum of three keywords or phrases that people are most likely to use to find information on the topic. If you don't use the keyword term enough times in the release, it will not be found by search engines. If you use it too many times, the search engines will regard that as “stuffing,” and you can actually be penalized—by not being listed.

What's the right number of times to repeat the keywords? Probably about 2% of your content should be keywords. So if your press release is 300 words, six words can be keywords. Therefore, you can repeat your keyword or phrase up to three times.

Some experts recommend writing the release with two different leads and sending it out twice, a week apart. You also should post it on your site's Press Room, where it can be seen by search engine spiders as they troll the Web.

So you might send it out on BusinessWire or PRNewswire first, and then send it again, with a new lead, a week later via PR Web.

The major newswires have distribution arrangements that feed releases into Google News, Yahoo News, Inktomi and many other search engines' news areas. PR Web's basic distribution is free, but the company claims that with a contribution of $20 or more you will receive enhanced search engine placement.

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B.L. Ochman is a social media marketing strategist for S&P 500 companies, including McGraw Hill, IBM, Cendant, and American Greetings. She publishes What's Next Blog and Ethics Crisis, where readers can confess their worst ethics transgressions and others can rate them on a scale of one to ten. She also blogs for MarketingProfs Daily Fix Blog.