I know of a company who recently changed their PR agency to one which claimed it would write the company’s press releases in a more search engine-friendly way. Now, that certainly suggests a PR company which is doing a bit more than just going through the motions, which sets it apart from some others. However, if your PR company is thinking this way, it’s important to find out exactly what that means. Writing with search engines in mind is more than just using the term “blue widgets” half a dozen times.
Indeed, using the term “blue widgets” half a dozen times is a complete waste of time and effort. Seriously, do you think that Google is suddenly going to disregard years of companies putting all their resources into getting their websites to the top position for searches on “blue widgets”, and decide that your press release is suddenly more important?
The key to search engine optimising a press release is to identify the specific thing which the press release is about, researching what might be the most frequently-used search term for that key feature, and ensuring that phrase is highlighted in the release. So, if you’re launching “a reversible blue widget for the beverage production industry”, that’s the phrase to investigate. You might find that there are more searches for the equivalent term “back-folding widgets” than for “reversible” ones, and that sector-specific searches tend to use the term “drinks manufacturing” rather than “beverage production”, but that’s the cornerstone of search engine optimisation. If it’s company policy to use the term “reversible blue widget” then the good search engine optimiser’s skill is in getting the word “back-folding” into the press release too.
Of course, there are ways of highlighting the chosen term, such as linking to or from the press release with that term, featuring it in the title and headline, etc. But researching the phrase which makes that press release of specific interest will be the place to start. Your PR company will of course know this. Asking them what search term the press release is focusing on, and why, should be part of the standard specification.