The Author’s Role in Press Release Optimization

12 seo factors

Yesterday we discussed how PR Newswire optimizes press releases. Today, we’ll focus on the role the content’s author plays in the whole optimization equation.

The search engines’ focus on the actual on-page content puts a lot of responsibility on the author of the content.  In fact, the content itself plays the most significant role in ultimately generating results.

All content has the same shot at generating visibility.  The difference between the web’s winners and losers isn’t in the optimization characteristics of the content itself.  The most popular content — specifically, the content that is at the top of the search engine results page — has been proven to be more useful and more interesting than its less visible brethren.

Creating content that generates visibility 

In addition to using PR Newswire to distribute press releases and other content, there are other tactics you can employ to improve the visibility of your press releases in search engines.   It’s hard to overstate the importance of the quality of the message itself when it comes to press release visibility; because the structure of our web site will amplify your message, and so will your audience.

For these reasons, we have written extensively on content optimization and  have just issued a mid-year update on press release optimization best practices that you can use right now . 

Out with the old, in with the new

Just as we have to continually fine-tune our web site, it’s also important that press release writers update their tactics, too. Our advice necessarily involves as search engines update and change their algorithms. Some tactics we recommended a few years ago, including keyword density guidelines and emphasis on using anchor text,  have fallen out of favor following the significant changes Google deployed in the Panda and Penguin algorithm updates, which started last year and continue today.

13 google guidelines

Google’s webmaster guidelines emphasize content quality and utility, not SEO mechanics.

Today, SEO tactics focus less on technical aspects and instead are focused on user experience.   You’ll notice that a lot of the advice that we offer as well as the advice offered by SEO experts centers around creating content that  earns credibility when people actually read, use and share it in their social networks.    These interactions generate positive signals about the content that search engine recognize and reward, and are a crucial to creating lasting visibility for the message.

Arguably, it’s harder to “optimize” content now, because doing so requires the organization to ascertain what the marketplace is interested in and where the gaps in available information are.   It’s no longer as simple as weaving a few important keywords and links into the copy.  However, the results can be more profound and long-lasting, in terms of visibility and audience engagement,  and are well worth the investment in time and energy.

Stay up to date with what we’re thinking about the interplay of SEO, PR and content marketing: http://blog.prnewswire.com/tag/seo/

 

Author Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of content marketing, and is the author of the e-book “Unlocking Social Media for PR.”  Follow her on Twitter at @sarahskerik

2 responses to “The Author’s Role in Press Release Optimization

  1. Pingback: The 3 Cornerstones of Driving Message Discovery | Beyond PR

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