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How to Write a Press Release for the Web
Optimized press releases will rank higher in search enginesSelf-promotion is an important factor for the success of a business. One way to achieve this is through properly written and promoted press releases.
The first thing you should ask, before writing press releases, is when it is appropriate to use them. A news release can be used, for instance, when you win an award, introduce new products or services, open a new office or sponsor an event. The press release aims to connect with the media and is usually the first expected form of communication with the media.
Writing press releases comes with a number of benefits:
- Free publicity. If your press release is deemed newsworthy by the editors of the websites you submitted it to, then it may be published, which means free advertising for you.
- Improvement of your search engine rankings. The more links you have that point in the direction of your website, the better your rankings will be.
- Keepin your business fresh in the minds of your customers.
The better you know how to write a press release, the more successful it will be.
- Make it newsworthy. When writing press releases you should always bear in mind that you need to give the media a story, not an advertisement. Most journalists are not interested in your latest products or services unless they are truly revolutionary. They are looking for information that is of importance and of value to their readers. If you can find such an angle, your chances of getting coverage will greatly increase.
- Keep it short. Try to concentrate what you want to say in one or two pages at most to make it easier to read.
- Stick to the facts. Avoid exaggerations and embellishments. Be honest. If your story sounds too good to be true, then you may end up hurting your own credibility.
- Use only enough words to tell your story. Do not use unnecessary adjectives or flowery language.
- The less jargon the better. You will need a bit of jargon if you want to optimize the news release for online search engines; however, it is best to communicate your news by speaking plainly, using ordinary language.
- Do not address your target audience directly. Avoid using "I", "we" and "you" outside a direct quotation, or else your copy will look like an advertisement rather than a news release.
- Header. When writing press releases for online distribution, the header consists of the following line: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.
- Headline. The headline needs to be catchy yet informative. It should be placed a few lines below the information in the header and written in bold type. Do not write in all CAPS, because many online news services will not accept a title in all CAPS.
- Dateline. None of your press releases should be sent without a dateline. The dateline is usually placed either under the header and before the headline or at the beginning of the press release body, along with the city and state/country.
- Press Release Body. The first paragraph (the lead) of the press release body should answer the questions of who, what, when, where and why. The second paragraph of the body should elaborate on the news and provide further details. Continue discussing various aspects of your company’s or site’s news in short paragraphs.
- Boilerplate. You should include a boilerplate, which should remain the same on every news release you send, with a short description of who you are and what you do.
- Contact Info. Provide your contact details so that you could be reached in case someone wants more information. They should be ordered like this, each on its separate line: Contact Info, Contact Name, Company Name, Mailing Address, City/State/Zip or City/Country, Phone, Email, Web.
Optimizing your press release
Always remember when writing press releases to use a language that is compelling to both humans and “machines” (software) that use sophisticated algorithms to determine the meaning and subsequent categorization of the release. Optimized press releases will rank higher in search engines.
In order to optimize your press release, the first step you should take is to select those keywords relevant to your field of activity. Choose your keywords efficiently before you begin placing them in a keyword-rich content. Don't forget that keyword density should be no more than 5% - 7%.
Placing your keywords in header tags is also relevant. Most important is H1, followed by H2 then H3. Try to add keywords in you press release copy and also include text links on your keywords.
How to promote press releases
You have written and optimized your press release for search engines. All you have to do now is to put it on your website and add a link to it on an already indexed page and the search engines will find it. Another way to promote press releases is to send them by e-mail to website editors. Even more efficient is to submit your news releases to online press release services, such as Business Wire, PR Newswire and PRWeb.
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