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How to Write Search Optimized Releases
Prepare your media outreach with engines and readers in mind.
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 by Margie Zable Fisher
Zable Fisher Public Relations

Margie FisherWriting a press release for the purposes of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and driving Web traffic is very different than writing one to get the attention of editors in traditional media.

The main difference between writing a traditional press release and an online press release is that the online press release is keyword-optimized. That means that the content of the press release should include relevant keywords that relate to the business or product being promoted.


When I wrote an SEO-optimized press release about a tele-seminar I was conducting on "How to Get on Oprah," I chose the following keywords:  

  • get on the Oprah show

  • do it yourself public relations

So, if someone typed in "get on the Oprah show" or "do it yourself public relations" into a search engine, I wanted my information to show up in the natural search results (not paid ads), preferably on the first page.

While this press release was sent in October, 2006, I did a recent (August, 2007) Google search for those terms.  When I checked "get on the Oprah show," my online press release showed up in a search on the first page. When I did a Google search for "do it yourself public relations," my online press release didn't show up in the first couple of pages.  However, because I have used "do it yourself public relations" in other online efforts, I showed up on the first page as the second search result (due to a Guy Kawasaki blog entry), and later on the first page for my Do-It-Yourself Public Relations Kit.

If you'd like to see the release, it's available here.

Distributing Your Press Release

I distributed my press release through PRWeb for $200, so that I could use the SEO-optimization features. I also sent the press release to free press release distribution services such as

Additional places to send the press release include:

  • online industry publications

  • blogs

  • newsletters

  • trade associations

  • online news sites

  • the client's Web site 

  • free press release listing sites

Keep in mind that you often need to submit your press releases to each site separately, sometimes through a cut and paste process or an uploading process.  It can be very time-consuming.

Was the effort successful?

It's easy to analyze the success of an online press release campaign. Just note the following:

1. Increases in Website traffic.
2. Increases in the number of new newsletter subscribers.
3. New natural listings in search engines that include the press 

SEO-optimized press releases can be a powerful tool in public relations efforts.  It's also easy to measure the results of your efforts. So start using them today!

Margie Zable Fisher is president of Zable Fisher Public Relations, 
and author of the Do-It-Yourself Public Relations Kit. 
If you enjoyed this article, you can get more useful tips 
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