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Archive for February, 2009


When you write a press release, your first objective should always be: Get your message out and across to your key audiences. Now, due to the growing desire for optimized press releases, many people want their press release to be keyword rich documents which guarantee results on search engines. The ‘new’ audience is search engines. There is, however, a double-edged sword when it comes to keywords that people need to be aware of.

Every one of our clients wants to be on the first page of search results under the keywords closely associated with their industry and vertical. Obviously our clients want to, and should, appear on the first page of results with their company names, product names, executive names, etc. They should also be concerned about what else appears on that page. Are there blog posts on the first page? Videos on YouTube? Images? After all, people are far more likely to click on search results that have a thumbnail than results that don’t. Additionally, it can take a lot more ‘work’ to get some blog posts off the first page than to get your content on the first page …

We know that press releases drive traffic, spread messages and sell products… they also, however, play a major role in online reputation management. Press Releases can push down negative coverage of your company, competitor’s websites and other sites that don’t fit with your message.

Not every keyword is a word you should be fighting for… not every word is possible for you to own online. Whether it is “cell phone,” “office products,” “semiconductor,” or “asthma,” these words are already owned and are very difficult to penetrate (ask me how!)… these are words you should target with AdWords. That said, you can also fight the fight by including those phrases consistently in your messaging and placing them in very visible parts of your release (headline, subheadline, first graph, anchor text, etc.).

So, which words do you target with your press release? This is where tools like Google.com/trends and Blogpulse.com come in handy … even sites like delicious and reddit can be used to determine the folksonomy of your organization. “How are our consumers defining our company?” “Are we a company that makes sneakers for running or sneakers for jogging?” “Do more people associate my brand with data storage or cloud computing?”

A lot of agencies, influencers and clients talk about tags within a release and using anchor text to add Google Juice. To say it plainly and loudly, the best thing you can do with your release for search is to write a relevant release for those keywords you are targeting. Of the thousands of sites PR Newswire distributes to, only ours will be the one that hosts your tags and ‘keywords.’ While we put up a good fight with Yahoo and Marketwatch, very often those are the sites that are going to appear higher in search engine results within the first few days and weeks. They, however, purge their data after 30, 60, or 90 days. This is where SEO really helps.

These are all issues that an agency or corporations needs to address in their goals.

If I made you even more confused, I apologize and extend the opportunity for a personal discussion at your convenience.

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