I recently attended a Business Wire event in San Francisco on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for press releases and SVP Laura Sturaitis gave some good tips on optimizing press releases.
Many of us understand the importance of optimizing websites to get better ranking on search engines — also called the Google Juice — but now it’s just as important to use the right keywords and tags to get a good ranking for your press releases.
Not only are the right keywords or keyword phrases important, but formatting is also crucial. Consider jazzing up your text by using bold, italics, symbols, bullet points and sub heads. Also include social networking tags such as a company’s Digg or Del.icio.us page in addition to relevant Technorati tags.
When using links, choose relevant links that will drive traffic to the page you’re promoting rather than your main home page.
Also create permalinks for your press releases so a viewer will never get the dreaded 404 error message.
A Picture’s worth a Thousand Words
So, it’s been said. Linking to photos and graphics can also increase your ranking. In addition to adding a photo or graphic directly to your press release that’s sent over the wire, you can also link to a stored photo or video on one of the popular storage sites — Flickr, YouTube or Google Video.
Web 2.0 has certainly changed the way we look at news. Gone are the days of writing press releases only for editors and reporters. Now we have to write for machines too!