Using Press Releases for Search Engine Optimization: The Do’s and Don’ts

Thinking of adding regular press releases to your search engine optimization strategy? That’s a great plan, especially if you operate primarily in the B2B space. However, it’s important that you understand a few things about what they are and how they work. 

Here are a few things you should—and shouldn’t—do with your press releases. 

Do: Use Press Releases for Internal News

Remember the core purpose of a press release—it’s meant to provide journalists and commentators with some newsworthy information or update about your company. This could be a new product launch, the hiring of a new executive, the opening of a new store, you name it. If it’s something you think the media (and your customers) would be interested in hearing about, it would make a decent press release. 

Don’t: Leverage Press Releases as a Vessel for Commentary

A press release is meant to be about you. It’s meant to be a short, compelling story about a development within or around your business. If you want to publish one of your executives’ thoughts on current events, write a blog post—or better yet, create something for social media. 

Do: Adhere to a Standard Format

Press releases all follow a fairly standard format and structure. They should include information about your company, a media contact, a date and location, and some boilerplate describing your organization. Beyond that, most sites that publish press releases have their own set of formatting and authorship guidelines.

Familiarize yourself with those. 

Don’t: Publish a Press Release Just for the Sake of It

If your company is doing enough that there’s something newsworthy to discuss every month, that’s great. You’ve got a regular stream of press releases and potentially tons of eyes on your company as a result. What you should never do, however, is try to force it. 

If you don’t have anything interesting to report, then a press release isn’t the right choice. 

Do: Perform Keyword Research

Yes, keywords do matter for your press releases—but there are a few caveats. 

  • Any keywords directly related to your company are fair game for the boilerplate, but nowhere else. This includes branding and marketing phrases. 
  • While it’s worthwhile to insert a keyword or two into the body of your press release, don’t go overboard. The news is what matters here. 
  • Consider the intent of people searching for a press release and how it might differ from the intent of others. 

Don’t: Make Unsubstantiated Claims

Press releases are meant to be as factual as possible. This isn’t the place for fluffy marketing copy or flowery language. Your content should be direct, succinct, and factually accurate. 

And if you do make any claims about any organization other than your own, you need to be able to back those claims up with evidence.