A great method to promote your business, products and services whilst gaining successful SEO is online PR. Online PR is sometimes seen as a difficult channel to use as part of SEO and digital marketing. But if you stick to these golden rules, not only is online PR a great tool to differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack, it also gives you valuable links for SEO as well as driving traffic to your website.

How Online PR Works for SEO

As well as organic search results, the search engines show news search results. News appearing in the search engines is visible to everyone, including buyers, consumers, bloggers, journalists, investors and researchers.  You can use these news result listings if you include online PR as part of your digital marketing.

Another bonus is that news is time-sensitive so the search engines will index and feature news stories rapidly within a few hours which means that your news story would appear a lot faster than normal search results.

Where possible, use your keywords in your news release title. You can also add keywords and your website into the news release which gives you valuable links back to your website. The number of anchor text links will depend on what you pay and which PR distribution service you use. Be careful not to over-optimise your news release with anchor text in light of the Google Panda and Penguin updates.

Here are a few tips for writing and distributing a news release for Online PR SEO.

1.    Keep it Newsworthy

Rule number one is that press releases need to be newsworthy in the first place. Writing about everyday matters and situations will not get read or accepted by the media. Your news release should be about something newsworthy that has happened with your business, products and services. Some great news release topics are new products and services, new senior staff or re-organisations, events, partnerships, investments and awards.

2.Write for the Media

You should write for the journalist who is going to be reading your press release. A golden rule is to make your news release readable and write clearly so that the reader understands everything you are saying. Give all the information that a journalist would need and answer the questions of the Four Ws and the One H, i.e. what, when why, where, how. Remember that a news release is essentially all the information that the journalist will need in order to make a story out of it, if you miss anything out and if you’re not clear in your messaging then they can’t make a good story out of it and won’t waste their time.

Also be clear about how the journalist can get in touch with you for further information. Give as much detail as possible in a succinct style; you don’t need to write pages and pages. Keep it simple and straightforward.

3.    Be Factual

Consider how your news release will be read at the other end. When it lands on a newsdesk or in the newsdesk inbox, it will be skim-read quickly to see if it’s relevant and newsworthy enough to be featured. So keep your news release succinct and factual.

Journalists and the media need the facts. Don’t use flowery language that isn’t necessary, be very factual answering the Four Ws and the One H. Also do not use your press release to be overly promotional as it is likely to be ignored and not used. Using too much promotional language and using your news release as a promotion tool rather than a factual news tool will turn a journalist off.

4.    Don’t Use Jargon

Avoid using jargon, acronyms and inside-organisation terminology that won’t be understood by the reader. You should also ensure that product descriptions are not complicated and are explained simply, with the benefits clearly defined and communicated in the news release.

5.    Use Credible PR Distribution Sites

It is worth spending the extra money to distribute your news via credible news distribution services such as PRWeb and PRNewswire. They are experts in their field and can add value by ensuring your news release is fit for media purpose. If you are planning a number of press releases, then look at paying for a monthly or annual contract that could work out cheaper for you.

Using a good news distribution service will mean that your news will reach a range of high quality news distributors and aggregators, as well as industry media, regional media and bloggers. They will also have a wider distribution network that can feature your news and drive further website traffic and awareness. They will also give you a unique url for your news release that will help with the SEO for your keywords, especially if you use them in the title as previously described. Social media distribution and multimedia inclusion will also come as part of the package.  They are also more likely to permanently host your news release which maintains the backlinks for your website and avoids broken or missing backlinks.

6.    Tailor Your News Release to Your Audiences

You can use your news release for all of your audiences and not just for journalists. Tailor your news release to appeal to other audiences that you have, including partners and investors. If your news release is about your products or services, then you can rewrite your news release for your customers and add a promotion or offer to it. Ensure that you tailor and include an appropriate call to action for each audience.

7.    Use Social Media

Social media channels are ideal for featuring news stories and it’s free, so make sure you use all of your social media channels to drive more traffic and create more visibility. You can tailor your news story for social media channels and use a promotion with it if your news release is about your products or services. Also use social bookmarking tools to widen your social media distribution.

8.    Include Multimedia

Use relevant videos, podcasts and images with your news release so that you stand out from the crowd. When an image or video is used, it will appear with the image thumbnail in the organic and news search results which make it stand out. Using multimedia will also help you to appear in video or image search in the search engines.

Sonya Brucciani is a Director at Espan Digital Marketing, a digital marketing agency that helps businesses with SEO, PPC and all aspects of digital marketing.

 Online PR For SEO   How It Works And How To Do It