No matter what kind of content you create online, optimizing it for search engines is a constantly moving goalpost. As updates to search algorithms roll out, often a few times a month, the definition of what constitutes good SEO changes along with them.
Which brings us to the press release. Business Wire has just released a free report, “A Guide for Press Release Optimization.” Their press release states:
The guidance report details some of the biggest news discovery changes in more than a decade made by Google, including how links are treated in a press release, how quality content is ranked and the transition from a keyword-based, Boolean search to what is referred to as a semantic search: mobile-friendly speech queries.
Business Wire has been the global leader in press release distribution and regulatory disclosure since 1961, so having them endorse these as official standards is pretty important. Tom Becktold, senior vice president of marketing for Business Wire, said:
In recent years we have seen many press releases more focused on SEO-keywords and strategically placed links — at the expense of quality content. Our new research report provides a welcome path for PR practitioners to return their focus on quality writing. Well-written press releases with engaging multimedia content continue to be among the most powerful and cost-effective communications tools available. We are thrilled to see that quality writing and quality content are at the top of PR best-practices for SEO in 2014.
If you’re a regular reader you’ve seen many of these topics covered here on the blog, however, this report focuses on press releases rather than blogging. Of particular note are the sections covering layout and use of multimedia elements.
The report is laid out as a series of 10 SEO tips:
- Research and Learn ‘Real Time’ User Behavior
- Make Friends With the Algorithms
- Make Format Improvements
- Use Natural Links
- Press Release Keywords
- Focus on Quality Content
- Always Include Multimedia
- Use Social Media Strategically
- Use Responsive Design for Mobile
- Choose the Proper Distribution Method
All in all, this is a report that should be read by everyone who uses press releases. While things are pretty well guaranteed to change, it provides a solid set of best practices for this point in the evolution of search.