Marketwired Blog

Picking SEO and Social Media keywords to maximize pickup

By Catherine Adel West, Senior Editor, Chicago

The Internet is a wilderness – vast and untamed. In an ever-changing technological ecosystem clamoring for readers’ attention, a press release is one of many pieces of information looking for a strong position among its peers.

With so many options for news, how do you get your company’s release perched at the top of the online food chain?

A press release’s survival can depend on many things, but one of the most important weapons in a PR professional’s arsenal is proper use of SEO and Social Media strategies. It’s not about oversaturation of the Internet with common terms and adding 20 website links in a 400-word press release. It’s about intelligent and measured use of both SEO and social media elements.

“Every press release should leverage SEO.  If you’re not, you are missing a critical component of today’s press release. Not optimizing press releases is like buying an HDTV but not getting HD channels from your provider.  You’re still getting a great solution, but you are missing a major benefit,” says Sean Chinski, Director, US SMB Sales at Marketwire.

One of the best ways to optimize your press release when using SEO and Social Media Enhancements is proper usage of keywords.

A balanced use of SEO and Social Media keywords can even increase the visibility of a press release on some of the most popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing.

Chinski says many PR professionals select their company name as one of their keywords for SEO and Social Media.  “What you want to target are the phrases describing what your product does and have those people find your business.  Those are people seeking information and are more likely to convert in the behavior you want.”

Choosing phrases that are too competitive or general is also another tactic to avoid.  “If you target a phrase, such as ‘Internet,’ you’re not only going up against a highly competitive phrase, but one that probably doesn’t drive a direct action to your business,” he said.

Social Media keywords are used to help index your news according to subject. SEO keywords are meant to not only increase traffic to a company’s website, but also allow you to indicate words or phrases that are relevant to or associated with your news subject. Social Media is a more organic and interactive way to engage a potential reader or consumer. SEO has a metrics driven component allowing both a company and the public to actively measure the popularity of a particular brand or product.

When embedding hyperlinks in your press release, look at the number of links in relation to the length of the press release. Try choosing between four to ten embedded links per press release as a general practice. Choosing about 100 characters worth of keywords (which does include spaces and commas) for both SEO and Social Media is how you will steer search engine and social media traffic to your business.

It’s also best to link to specific landing pages and not just to the company’s main webpage. It’s not just the fact you are linking a phrase to a website, it’s HOW you are trying to reach the goal of more website traffic.  Said Chinksi, “Getting someone to your homepage can be good, but it’s much better to bring them right to the product page they are seeking.  Leave fewer decisions for them to jump around and possibly get lost on your site.”

Finding your way through the dark and mysterious pasture of online social media and search engine optimization is a daunting task; however it is absolutely achievable. Through conscientious keyword choice and attentive use of links your press release will have the right tools, and a good strategy to compete with all the other content out there.


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