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how does a press release help my SEO strategy?

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Press releases are one of the least used tools as a tool to improve SEO positioning, however, this type of communication is one of the best tactics to increase our position among search results, if it is written with that objective in mind.

First of all, writing press releases implies that our company's content will be talked about in the media, and this is already an act of publicity that can translate into an increase in searches for our company. When searches for a website increase, it improves its positioning. But if these searches also translate into clicks on the page, browsing time on the page and even interaction, the results are much more favourable. And, as we said, we can achieve results like this with press releases.

How to create a press release

A press release is a communiqué written by a company or organisation that is sent to the different media, with the aim that they echo the content, which is always about the same company. Press releases are issued and sent by the different departments or communication offices. This means that the company that writes it has absolute control of the content, unlike other similar formats such as press conferences, where there is interaction with the media. In this format, the company delivers a text and, in any case, the receiving media can contact the company to expand or clarify, although the most usual thing is that they publish it with few or no changes.

Roman Kraft vía Unsplash

Roman Kraft via Unsplash

In terms of format, it is structurally quite similar to a news item (headline, subtitle, lead-in...), but in terms of content and the way it is written, it is said that it is more similar to a chronicle in that it has the point of view of the person issuing it.

Although we said that the content of press releases is about the issuing company, it should be as far away as possible from being advertising. That is, for the press release to be of quality, to be liked by the media and also to benefit SEO positioning, it is essential that, in addition to talking about the company, it contributes something to the general interest. We are referring, for example, to a case in which your company has carried out an updated study. It is essential that the issue it deals with is current and that it provides new information and conclusions.

The name of your business and team will appear, but the most important thing in terms of the writing of the article and its reception by the media and the public is that the information you provide is the most important thing. The creation of the articles from within the company will generate positive results for the company and for the website. But, from the outside, the first thing that must be perceived about the article is the content it provides, and in the background, who provides it.

This small detail that might not seem important is fundamental for the media to echo our press release. The advertising appearance generates great rejection and, what we could exaggerate to improve our position could turn against us and, on the contrary, if we know how to introduce it at the right times and places, press releases can be one of the best SEO allies.

Before knowing how to adapt them for this specific purpose, let's briefly remember how to write a press release:

  • The content of the press release should be clear, simple and brief.
  • Adapt the format as much as possible to a traditional news item so that the media have to make as few changes as possible and our message appears intact.
  • Although depending on the subject, the length may change, it is not recommended that it be less than 300 characters (little more than a tweet). However, these cases are very specific and, as a general rule, a press release covers between one and one and a half pages.

On the structure:

  • Pre-title: This is not compulsory, it is usually used to identify the person who is being talked about, who is speaking or the main subject of the text.
  • Title: Like the headline of any news item, it should be attractive, short (between 8 and 12 words), simple and clear, but strong and interesting.
  • Summary: Also called subtitle, these are several secondary headlines, between 1 and 4, longer than a headline (between 20 and 30 words).
  • In the lead: This is one of the most important parts, between 4 and 5 lines and summarises the most essential parts. It is not necessary (nor advisable, in fact) to follow the 5W rule for news (who, when, where, how, how, and why).
  • Text: This is the rest of the information, approximately 3 or 4 paragraphs long. It expands the note with all the information.
  • Coda: A short paragraph (4 lines at most) that serves as a conclusion and summary.

Accompanying the text with graphic material, either complementary or corroborative of what has already been said, favours the adaptability of the press release to different formats as well as providing reliable evidence to corroborate the content, as is the case with statements.

At the corporate level, it is useful to include some information about the company at the end of the press release, usually relevant information about the author: name of the person who writes it, position held within the company, email or contact details, website, etc.

How to adapt it to improve positioning

For the press release to become an SEO ally, we must focus on some of the above aspects.

In terms of content, guides, lists, summaries or reports on studies work very well as a genre for press releases. They meet the requirement of novelty and newsworthiness, at the same time as being content that generates interest among the public and that is easy for a company to do.

Marjan Blan vía Unsplash

Marjan Blan via Unsplash
  • Linkbuilding: The press release should include links. Since our company is the source of the news, it is understandable that the links should lead to our site. There should be at least 2 links, one to our home page, and another to complementary and useful information for the information we provide. It is also important that the links appear organically, i.e. that they do not appear forced, so that the user is prompted to click on them.

The most important thing about links is that they translate into an increase in traffic to our website. While the press release promotes brand awareness, and that is always good, what translates into better results is an increase in visits. Getting users to spend more time on our website and increasing visits will help, over time, to improve our website's positioning.

  • Keywords are one of the elements that influence positioning. Thinking about them before writing the article will have benefits. When it is published, the search engine will quickly detect the most important word or words, with them it will understand what the content is about and thanks to this it will be able to classify and order it. This, for the search engines, is an advantage over other entries that do not make it clear .
  • Include audiovisual elements. We mentioned before as a useful element of a basic press release, but if we create one with SEO as the main objective in mind, these are essential. In addition to the classic benefits of images and videos (dynamism, information expansion and comprehension), we must know that search engines do not only pay attention to the text. A good area of positioning is the section of images and video.
    For example, by correctly titling the images, focusing on their alternative text, we can get our images to appear among the first results of graphic searches (which is always easier because not all texts have photos). And as these images lead to the article from which they are extracted, we can get the same return from another path. Moreover, if these images include a link to our own page, the benefits will be even greater.

In short, it is a question of increasing our presence both in the collective imagination and in search engines. Providing quality, newsworthy information is always a good way of doing this, which is better received by the public, because it does not look like advertising. In fact, a good press release should never look like advertising. Increasing our presence on the Internet.

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