For many public relations, marketing and investor relations teams, press releases are an integral part of a communications strategy. But too often, press releases are written and distributed without much consideration for search engine optimization (SEO), reader engagement or how they can maximize business impact.

1) Know Your Keywords

Before you write, it’s important to identify your target audience and develop a keyword list that matches the message. Thinking of the keywords and keyword categories early will allow you to incorporate them organically, rather than after the fact. The result is a much more natural, well-written (and better-optimized) press release that builds your company’s credibility as a news source.

2) Place Your Keywords and Links Strategically

There’s valuable real estate in a press release, so use it wisely - starting with the headline. Google typically displays the first 50–60 characters of your release headline, so best practice is to keep it brief, with the most important information as early as possible in the headline. Different sites display headlines abbreviated at different points, so ensure the most important information occurs within the first few words of your release headline. And don’t forget to use your subheadings and intro text for keywords as well.

3) Follow SEO Do’s and Don'ts

To engage your audience and hold their attention, “do” write in short, declarative sentences and keep your headlines short as well. When selecting words, “don’t” choose hyped expressions like “one of a kind,” which are associated with advertising content. Also limit filler words, like conjunctions, in headlines. Not capitalized? Then it probably won’t do much for your press release SEO. All caps in a press release should also be avoided.

4) Use Multimedia to Boost Engagement

While words alone are powerful, you can create far more engaging and better-optimized press releases by including embedded (and downloadable) images, videos, audio clips, graphics, and other media. Not only are you piquing interest in your topic, but you’re also making additional storytelling assets easily available for journalists!

5) Listen to Social Media Conversations

For maximum impact, you want your press release to reach the right audience at the right time with the right message. Through social media listening, you can gain valuable insights into consumer sentiment, trends, and your competitors’ activity. You’ll also be able to identify keywords in the conversations and determine what to emphasize – or avoid – in your release.

6) Take Advantage of Tracking Links

The tracking links in your press release are an easy and effective way to measure engagement, whether it’s from the media or sales prospects. For example, you can use specific tracking links to see who registered for events or product demos, or who downloaded resources. Similarly, you can track inbound traffic to your website from hyperlinks in your press release.

7) Measure Performance

If you’re not analyzing key metrics after every release, you’re missing valuable, actionable information. Post-distribution reports can tell you the number and location of people who viewed your release, social media shares, multimedia engagement, link click-throughs and more. You can even see earned media coverage resulting from your releases to let you tie ROI directly to your efforts.

GlobeNewswire press release distribution by Notified can help you build brand awareness, boost online visibility and get more media coverage.

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