Our last #seo411 Twitter chat session was about SEO for press releases. Here’s a review of what we talked about. If you’re in PR and not considering SEO for your press releases – take a look. Maybe this #seo411 session will change your mind. Keep reading – Bill Slawski tuned in himself to share info about the Google Patent.
Q1: What are the benefits of using press releases for SEO?
The group mentioned optimized press releases as a way to increase traffic, potentially rank in news sites (like Google News), gain inbound link juice/inbound links from your specified anchor text. Tad Miller described it, “It’s like free link building. Picked up by Authority Sites. You can choose the anchor text & direct link to best page of site.” Of course it’s hoped that the release gets picked up on many websites and boosts rankings. Paige Payne suggested, “it’s a great place to build links to rank for hot ticket news items that may be short term.”
Q2: How many links should you have in a press release?
The participants suggested about 2-3 different links within a release is reasonable, as linking to the same URL multiple times won’t give you more credit. Prioritizing the links is important, too – with the most important at the top. Keep in mind: “janetdmiller: A2 Also, some systems, like PRWeb, limit the number of links you have by the number of total words in the press release.”
Q3: Where should your links point to within a press release?
The group advised to use press releases for deep-linking – to take advantage of the opportunity to point the viewer to the most relevant page possible. Tony Verre suggested product pages, and category/sub-category pages, and all stressed to avoid the home page. Consider this: “allenkristina @janetdmiller from a non-SEO perspective, links to the home page require the reporter to do the digging. In most cases they won’t.”
Q4: How many keywords or keyword phrases should you focus on in a press release?
Write for the human reader, but don’t miss the chance to optimize for keywords. Keep your focus and incorporate your keywords with tact. Feel free to use a whole phrase as a link (combining keywords), but as Avelyn Austin said, the more keywords used, the more “watered down” they become.
Q5: Have you tried social media press releases?
Although many of our participants want to test them out, but haven’t had a chance yet. Those who have tried them suggested Pitch Engine and said they are great for reaching out to bloggers (naturally). “allenkristina: @SearchMojo I use Pitch Engine for social media releases – so easy to use!”
Q6: Where do you think the most effective outlets are to promote your press releases on the web for SEO?
Most suggested PRWeb (Janet likes it because their releases are great for SEO), but also BusinessWire and Vocus.
Q7: What do you think is the greatest barrier/challenge to using press releases for SEO?
Some barriers mentioned were just writing the release to begin with, the permancy of the release, and the coordination that should take place between PR, SEO and the client or company.
Q8: How is the Google patent likely to affect SEO for PRs as well as SEO techniques in general?
Here’s the link for an article about the Google Patent – basically it’s more reason to put the most important link in the first paragraph, and explains the placement of links and their varying weights.
Bill Slawski shared:
Hard to say how many of the features listed in the patent for links, source pages, and target pages might actually be in use #SEO411…For instance, things like whether the topic of the source page is a good match for the anchor text used in a link.
Q9: Are you finding that the location of anchor text links in PRs have an impact on the value of the links?
Tad Miller said, “Body Text rules, but If you only put links in the company description at the bottom that’s better than nothing.” Janet Driscoll Miller suggested that for any webpage (press release or not) links at the top carry more weight.
Q10: What’s the biggest takeaway from today’s chat?
“Press Releases can work magic for improving SEO rankings with anchor text links & they are incredibly easy to do.”
“I have a lot to learn about PR’s. That and there is still value in doing SEO on your PR’s.”
“Get your press team and SEO team working together. Press release still bring great SEO value!”
Hope this recap filled you in, and that you’ll join us next Tuesday (5/18/2010) at 2pm ET for #seo411: SEO for Videos. View the updated #seo411 Twitter chat schedule.