How To: Optimize Your Online News Release

After several grueling rounds of revisions the news release is perfect. Not only does its headline grab the reader’s attention, but the body of the release is strong, flowing seamlessly through the who, what, when, where, why and how of the story. You sit back in your computer chair and sigh with relief—but is your work really done?

With the internet playing a larger role in news distribution than ever before, news releases must be constructed with two readers in mind: humans and search engines. A well optimized news release can jump to the top of organic search engine results, creating more exposure for the client. So, how do you optimize your online news release?

Marketing Works recently participated in a webinar hosted by MarketMotive and BusinessWire which discussed the online news release. Greg Jarboe of MarketMotive highlighted search engine optimization for three areas of the release: the headline, the body and multimedia.

But before you begin optimizing, take a moment to identify several keywords (between five and eight) that pertain to the client and/or news release. Keywords, in general, appear multiple times in a news release or client website and are frequently used by target audiences as search terms. The keywords you identify will be used to optimize the news release, so choose wisely—the better the list, the better your optimizing results!

Headline: The headline is the most important part of the release and is the best chance to grab the audience’s attention. For search engine optimization headlines should include AT LEAST one top keyword and the client’s name and should be kept between 2 and 22 words.

Body: The first 100 words of the news release are crucial and should include the topic’s top keywords. Remember the first 200 characters are often used in the META description so be cautious when writing your first sentence. Another tip from Jarboe, include the web address of important links in parentheses to ensure the information is available even if the link fails.

Multimedia: Including multimedia in a news release, such as photographs or video, is important. Multimedia creates more searchable content which increases click through rates and generates a higher readership. Just like the headline and body, multimedia must be optimized. To optimize a photo or video, simply create a file name and a description using top keywords.

Although optimizing a news release may take a little extra time it can make a difference! Want more information on search engine optimization?—check out this archived blog, How to Master SEO…Even if You’re Not a Pro. For more public relations tips and information, follow us on Twitter.

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