Write All About It!
Once you have your onsite copy optimised to perfection your SEO is reliant on your offsite operations, I think we all understand that now. So you’re spinning and writing guest blogs and you might even have a few secret tricks you don’t really want to share but you’ve seen results. The thing is these methods are quite time consuming and the results might be good but are they long term strong backlinks?
So what are your options? Well, it’s all well and good having links populating the internet that have never been read let alone clicked as often happens with spun articles which go to onto low PR sites. Or you might get a little bit of traffic through guest blogs but with those you’ve traded quantity for quality; fair enough but will it get you really outstanding results?
What you have now is an opportunity to start making use of the internet as a finely honed tool rather than simply fuelling the machine, toiling away like the fireman on the footplate of a lumbering great steam engine. You need to start being strategic and the entry level to strategic SEO is writing press releases.
The great thing about a good press release is that you can target it to your audience and, if it’s news worthy enough you should see it disseminated through trade journals or even in mainstream media if it really is that important.
Given that you’re going to be aiming this press release at journalists and industry heads it can be a bit daunting but you don’t want to send out something that looks boring or is just a blanket statement. If you’re at the stage where you have something you really want to say then you should have enough confidence in your convictions to be able to write compelling, interesting news about it. News which a journalist should be able to lift and, after a few personalising tweaks, put into their newspaper or magazine. (Of course we all know a real news hound would never cut and paste but we want to make their lives as easy as possible if we want to get published.)
First thing you need to do is research, starting with your distribution list. You might as well not even bother if your contacts database is full of email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. If anybody ever does read them it won’t be until a couple of months after your news was current. What you need is the addresses of real people, important people and aim high; if you send the press release to a head of department then it’s far more likely to trickle down than sending it to the intern and hoping it will trickle up. Another trick is to send the press release out in bundles of twenty addressees at a time, spam and bulk mail filters will accept twenty as reasonable but more than that and you might start seeing delays, fifty addressees or more and so many will be blocked that, again, you’re wasting your time.
So, that’s the hard work out of the way, now for the copy itself. Remember that you want this to be read by people who write for a living so it has to be damn good. Your headline has to draw them in, make it interesting with your company’s name in it. If your headline is dynamic it will make the reader want to read on, you’ve tickled them now hold onto them with your sub header, this will tell them a little more about what the story relates to , a précis to let them know how important it is that they read on. But remember, it is a sub headline, keep it to one sentence. Your release is in all likelihood going to be put out on any number of websites as well as being read by those you have specifically targeted so make it as journalistic as you can so that anybody can pick it up and comment “That’s interesting.” The more people who do that the more people will pick you up and link to you.
Your press release should be top heavy with data, think of your piece as an ice cream cone, delicious at the top and a bit dry at the bottom but by the time you’ve got that far you might as well finish it! The first paragraph should summarise the content of the copy. All good news stories answer the 5 Ws: Who, Where, Why, What and When. You might also want to throw in a little How as well. Always bear in mind you’re writing a news article, not advertising or marketing blurb, do some research into the SEO keywords associated with your business and make sure you fit them in naturally and be careful not to stuff them in. Use your keywords as anchor text but bear in mind that you only want to put links in at a rate of one per hundred words maximum.
As I mentioned above, the dry bit at the end of your press release should be your boilerplate; data including the name of your company, your contact details including your name and phone number as well as your website and email address. It would surprise you how many people don’t put this information in so if I did want to get in touch I’d have to track them down, you want your contacts to find it as easy as possible to get in touch with you.
If you disseminate your press release through free distribution networks like mailchimp or prweb as well as your own distribution list you can get some great coverage but it may not be as well targeted as if you had paid for the services of organisations like marketwire who boast newspapers and search engines of international renown on their contact/distribution list.
Best of luck with that and I look forward to seeing you in the press soon!