Friday

Keywords in Your Press Releases

I've been following The Publicity Hound's press releases email workshop. As a very clever way of harnessing daily clicks to her site, this publicist, Joan Stewart, created an alternative use for one of her e-books: the reader can purchase the e-book about press releases, or subscribe for an 89 day email workshop. The reader gets 89 days of press release info sent to his/her email box. But, you must click on the link back to the publicist's site to get the info. Pretty clever, right.

Okay, along with this clever marketing move, Joan allows the reader to use a number of the PR lessons on their sites/newsletters. Obviously, this is only if the proper credit is given.

So, here is Lesson 63 from The Publicity Hound's 89 Press Release Tips:

The importance of keywords by Joan Stewart

In Lesson 63 you'll learn how to optimize your press releases for the search engines to make it easy for people to find them. You'll also see some examples of press releases that were optimized.

Here's why search engine optimization is so important. Tens of millions of people use search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN to find information. Many of those same people also use tools like Google Alerts so Google can alert them, via email, of specific articles that include certain keywords.

For example, I've set up a Google Alert so that Google gives me a list every day of articles that include the name "Joan Stewart" because I want to see what people are saying about me. If you sell diamond watches and someone is using the search engines to search for information on "diamond watches"--or they've set up a Google Alert, they'll likely find your press release about diamond watches if it includes the keywords they used to search.
 
I'm assuming that you don't know anything about search engine optimization. So let's start with the basics. When someone uses a search engine like Google to find information, the search engines use two critical methods to find pages:

•    Keywords. This is the word that someone types into a search engine to find information.

•    Title. This is the title of the page. In Windows, you can see it on the blue bar at the very top of your monitor screen. It's the first place the search engines look.

•    Description. This is what you see when you do a search and the search engines deliver the organic results on the left side of the screen. You usually can't see the description when you actually click on a link, however. It's created "in the background" of a page and it's part of the HTML coding.

•    Metatags. These are special HTML "tags" that provide information about a web page. Unlike normal HTML tags, they don't affect how the page is displayed. Instead, they provide information such as who created the page, how often it is updated, what the page is about, and which keywords represent the page's content. Many search engines use this information when cataloging pages. Your webmaster used metatags on each page when building your website.

Here are some things to remember when including keywords in your press release:

•    Don't use the name of your company as a keyword. Why? Because people who don't know about you, obviously, wouldn't use the name of your company to find you. Instead, they'd search by typing the generic name of a product or a service they're looking for. People who don't know about me wouldn't type "The Publicity Hound" into a search engine. But they might search under "writing press releases" or "free publicity."


•    Use specific keywords instead of very general keywords. For example, when I wrote the press release about this tutorial, I used the specific keyword phrase "writing press releases" instead of the more general "public relations."  Both those phrases have a lot of competition, and it's too difficult to rank on Page 1 of Google, for instance, for those phrases.

•    If you sell products and services targeted to a particular region or city or state, you might want to include these locations in your keyword phrases as well. (You'll see an example of how one press release writer did this in Lesson 66 three days from now.)

•    Place keywords at the beginning of your headline. The search engine spiders read your page from top to bottom, and you want them to find your keywords immediately.

•    Place keywords in the sub-head. That is, the longer but smaller headline that goes just under the main headline. Sub-heads can also be short headlines that you can use throughout the release to break up the copy

•    Sprinkle keywords throughout your copy, certainly in the first paragraph and as close to the front of the first sentence as possible. Slanting toward the front and top increases your "keyword prominence" which is yet another factor many search engines look at before they give your page a ranking.

•    You can even include keywords at the bottom of the release, so the search engines see a theme to the page.

•    Don't try to optimize a press release for more than about three keywords or keyword phrases, otherwise it will be too difficult to write.

If you want to learn the finer points of keyword research and how to use them in your press releases, press release specialist and search engine optimization expert Janet Thaeler has lots more tips. She shares them during a teleseminar with Joan Stewart on "How to Use Keywords: The 'Magic Magnets' That Pull Consumers and Journalists to Your Press Releases."

Opportunity #63: Radio show appearances

If you've booked an appearance on a radio show, write a press release so people can listen to the show. Alex Carroll, a veteran guest who has done more than 1,264 radio talk show interviews, explains the step-by-step formula he uses to get onto radio talk shows, promote his book, and get invited back--without using a publicist. He has made more than $1.5 million in direct sales by using a simple formula. He explains it on the CD "How to Get Booked on Big Radio Shows in the Top 20 Markets."

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Need help with publicity?
The Publicity Hound can help with many aspects of your publicity campaign. You'll find press release writers, publicists, audio experts, ghostwriters and more.


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2 comments:

Charmaine Clancy said...

Thanks for opening our eyes to the marketing side of writing.

Karen Cioffi said...

Hi, Charmaine,
Unfortunately, it's a huge part of being an author.
Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!