Writing a Search Engine Optimised Press Release

I have just written a press release for Vendlab and so I thought I would share some thoughts on writing press releases for SEO.

Online press releases should follow the format of a traditional press release i.e.

  • Title. This should be be short, less than 100 characters
  • Summary. A synopsis of the story. Usually 2-3 sentences
  • Body. This should be around 300 words
  • About the company. This is the elevator pitch for your company and should be 2-3 sentences
  • Press contact details. Designate someone in your organisation as a press contact. If you are optimisating for your name, you should mention it here

First decide on the focus of your press release. This should be succinctly summarised in the title and summary paragraph. Remember many people will not get past the summary (or the title for that matter), so make sure it is compelling, jargon free and contains the vital information. Press releases are normally short, one page maximum.

The body of the press release should add flesh to the story. It is a good idea to add quotes or industry statistics as these bring the story to life and make for good copy.

Finally, include some background information on your company and a contact for extra information. Here it is vital to include a link to the company’s website. Whilst some press release websites will allow links in the copy of the release, most will only allow a single link back to the website.

Think about the style of writing when creating a press release. The release should be written in the third person.

Search Engine Optimisation of Press Releases

Deciding on Keywords

Using a tool like Google’s Keyword tool, decide on the most appropriate keyword phrases for your release. I would recommend choosing primary, secondary and tertiary phrases. These are phrases for which you wish the press release, and ultimiately your website, to be found. Phrases should be chosen based on the volume of searches and also the compatibility with your products and services

Brush up your HTML

Write the press release in plain text and also HTML, as some sites will allow HTML to be submitted. Where  HTML releases can be submitted, links can be created in the body text. When creating links use your keywords as anchor text.

Using your keywords

The title for the press release must include your primary keyphrase. If using HTML the title should be between H1 tags. The title should be short, up to 100 characters

Overall aim for 5-10% density for the primary key phrase throughout the text, and up to 5% for the secondary and tertiary.  The keyphrases should be distributed throughout the text.  As mentioned above use some of your keyphrases as links back to your site

Submitting your Press release

Here is a list of free press release services:


Remember the press releases can also be submitted into Google News through Google Base.  If anyone knows any other sites, please let me know.

Comment on “Writing a Search Engine Optimised Press Release”

  1. Danny Brown says:

    Informative post for anyone unfamiliar with the difference between traditional press releases and search engine optimized ones.

    However, I’d have to disagree on a couple of points:

    * Keyword percentage should always be between 2-4% for maximum effect – anything more than that will just appear spammy. It’ll probably read like it was made specifically for SEO purposes as well, as opposed to an actual press release.

    * You should have a sub-header in-between the main headline and the press release body. This is ideal for grabbing your target audience even more (after a strong lead-in headline). Too often people confuse a summary with a sub-header.

    Otherwise, good info. Additionally, you can use your press release URL to include two of your optimized keywords.

    Although the free press release sites you mention are okay and do a decent enough job, I’d also always recommend using a service like the $200 SEO Visibility package from PRWeb – I’ve had excellent results from my clients using this package.

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