What To Do:
Following these simple tips is the difference between a successful release which gets a readers attention and a release that does nothing.
- Decide what your goal is. - Are you trying to get visibility for your news? Are you trying to show up in Google search results for targeted keywords? Are you trying to get the news out to social media?
- Think of your target market – Make sure your release provides information that is useful and people care about. Think of the audience you are trying to target. Too often I see a release written about a website that offers tons of services or products. The release is usually all over the place because they are not sticking to a specific topic. Concentrate on one specific service, product or topic.
- Headline keywords – It is extremely important that within the HEADLINE of your release, you add a keyword phrase (3-4 words) you wish to rank on. Another great reason is that you want people to find your release on Google when they do a keyword search that is relevant to your release.
- Trending Topics – Try to incorporate your release with a trending topic. Google loves anything trending. A client of mine used: “New Facebook Timeline Page Layout” on the headline of his release and got thousands of pageviews because of it. Do a search for that title and he still appears on first page of Google. Use tools such as Google Trends & Google Insights
- Multimedia – If you have images and videos associated with the release, use them. People love them both. A video will keep them on your release longer.
- 5 second rule – The same rule that applies to getting a readers attention on your website, applies to your release. Your headline, your summary and your opening sentence must grab the readers attention. This is extremely important!!
- Write professionally – Whether you write it or you have a copywriter write the release, make sure your release is professionally written. No one wants to read a spammy press release with tons of exclamation points, slang, all capital letters or excessive hype.
- Use plain language – Don’t limit your audience by using technical language. Use words that anyone will understand.
- Link to your website – Use hyperlinks on keywords in your release (maximum 1 per 100 words). Make sure they point back to a relevant part of your website. Do not use links on the headline or summary.
- Use features of your release – Make full use of the features available on the press release. Use videos, images, logos, anchor links, social network profiles, website URL, tags and contact information. It is surprising how many releases do not include the features available to them.
- Tags – Tags are used to categorize and describe the content of your press release using simple keywords. It is very important that you use the correct tags on your release. tags appear at the bottom of every release. Google, Social Bookmarking sites, RSS feeds all rely on tags to find relevant content for their readers.
- Share, Share, Share – It is called a social media press release for a reason. 80% of users who submit a release do not share it on their social networks. I know it sounds funny doesn’t it? We check every release to see if the client shared it and most of the time they do not share the release on networks such as Facebook & Twitter. Add the release to your website. Send an email campaign with a link to the release. There are so many ways to share and unfortunately most just submit it and do nothing else with it. It’s the difference between 30 pageviews and 5000 pageviews.
What Not To Do:
Avoid making these mistakes with your release.
- All capital letters – Do not use all capital letters in any part of your release. This is considered shouting and looks tacky and spammy. The title of your release can have the first letter of each word capitalized. I see many releases with the titles all capitalized.
- Long headline – Keep your headline under 75 characters including spaces. Google will only read the first 60-65 characters. making your headline too long may not only keep you out of Google News but will turn readers away.
- URL in headline – Do not for any reason, add the complete URL of your website in the headline. This makes it seem too much like a sales pitch and will keep you off of Google News and other sources.
- Not using targeted keywords phrases – Use a search term in the headline of your release that your target audience is likely to use when conducting a search. Try using the search term in your summary and body. Not using a search term will have you miss out on potential readers looking for relevant information. Too many times we see a release with a title that has no purpose. You want searchers to find your article. No one will find a title that says, “80 Can be The New 30″ instead use, Look Younger With Proven Anti-Aging Cream That Works”
- Long summary – Keep your summary a maximum of 175 characters. The summary should just be a short description of your release story. Again, Google only reads the first 175 characters.
- Date & region – Do not add the date and region in the body of the release. We tell you this because when you fill out the release form, there are fields that ask for the date and region of the release. Adding them to the body will just duplicate it.
- Purpose of Release – Too many times a release focuses on a site which has many services or products. Instead, a release should focus on one specific topic of the website. This allows you to properly target your market with relevant and targeted keyword phrases for each service or product you offer.
- Uneven spacing – Your release should be evenly spaced. Do not used forced line breaks or symbols to separate the sections of your release.
- Boilerplate/About Us - The press release must include a boiler plate/About Us section. It is very important you add this information to the Boilerplate field of your newsroom. Do not add it to the body of the release itself. Only add it to the body if you have more than one company which you need mentioned. For example: Lets suppose your company XYZ is promoting a product together with ABC company. You would add the “About ABC” to the bottom of the release. The “About XYZ” of your company is automatically from the newsroom.
- Too many links – Rule of thumb is one link per 100 words. Do not add more than six links throughout the entire release.
- Active URL hyperlinks – Too many times I see a release that hyperlinks their URL throughout the entire release. You only have to hyperlink your URL once. If you want more hyperlinks going to your website, use anchor links on targeted keywords throughout your release. For example: Instead of linking www.mywebsite.com throughout the entire release, try using anchor links such in your keywords.
- Share, Share Share – Once again…If you do not share your release, you are missing out on valuable pageviews. It is very important you share the release via every marketing channel you have.
If you follow these tips. You will reap the rewards of having a successful social media press release that gets attention and loads of traffic to your website.