Feb 07, 2011

Optimizing Press Releases for Maximum Online Visibility

Optimized press releases are a routine piece of many PR plans, and understanding how PR Newswire distributes your news can help you ratchet up your online strategy another notch. We’re constantly striving to ensure your messages garner as much visibility as possible – continually tweaking our search engine optimized news platform, growing the network of web sites and media outlets that receive our news, expanding our reach to individual journalists and strategically placing news within relevant social channels. With a few tweaks to press release wording and format, PR pros can take full advantage of these opportunities for exposure.

Distribution channel: Twitter

PR Newswire distribution details: Press releases issued via PRN may get additional exposure via Twitter through several different channels.   PR Newswire’s media relations team Tweets press releases they think are interesting or significant throughout the day via the @prnalert handle on Twitter. Additionally, we’ve been automatically feeding various industry-specific RSS feeds of press releases on Twitter for more than a year.

PR tactic: If Twitter exposure is important, you can guarantee placement by using our SocialPost news distribution service, which will post a Tweet you write to multiple PR Newswire Twitter channels. To position all press releases advantageously for Twitter pick up, be sure put an important keyword at the beginning of the headline to catch the eye of users, and to show up in Twitter searches.

PR Newswire press release twitter

The @PRNhealth automated Twitter feed displaying health care press release headlines from PR Newswire

Distribution channel: Search engines, via PRNewswire.com

Distribution details: PR Newswire’s web site gets more traffic from search engines than any other site in the commercial newswire business, which means that we do a good job of delivering all-important search engine exposure for the press releases we issue.  This is by design – we have worked hard on developing this visibility for your news, and we’ll continue to enhance it.

PR tactic: Write news releases (and, frankly, any other content that will wind up online) with search engines in mind.  If possible, use a content optimization tool like PR Newswire’s OptimizationMax, to fully optimize your press releases.  If you don’t have access to a tool like OptimizationMax, here are some tips for optimizing press releases that will help you out.

Here’s an OptimizationMax overview:

Distribution channel: WebMax syndication network

Distribution details: PR Newswire’s WebMax online press release distribution network syndicates press releases to more than 5,400 web sites spanning a wide variety of outlets, including:

  • Behemoth news portals like Yahoo!, AOL and MSN,
  • Business news sites like Forbes, the Business Journals Digital Network, and Smart Briefs
  • Hundreds of local newspaper and broadcast media web sites, delivering local audiences
  • Industry and special-interest web sites, reaching niche influencers and decision-makers
  • For public companies, financial news and stock trading sites.

The opportunities: Obviously, our WebMax network delivers fantastic online visibility for news, exposing press releases broadly to relevant audiences on a host of different web sites. Adding embedded anchor text links within press releases can turn that exposure into a source of qualified traffic for your web site, and by linking keywords within the press release (preferably within the lead) to a related page on your web site, you create a logical call to action for interested readers to folllow, delivering additional information seamlessly.

Additional resource:  How to add anchor text in press releases

These are some of my favorite tips for generating the most visibility possible with press releases (and other online content.)  Did I leave your favorite tactic out of the mix?  If so, let me know!

Authored by Sarah Skerik, VP social media, PR Newswire.

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