Choosing the Right Keywords for Your Press Release

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In one report from comScore, it was revealed that U.S. searchers conducted 371 million news-related searches on search engines in February 2012. 371 million news-related searches in one month!

Keyword_buttonWhat does this mean for you? It means you need to be optimizing your press releases. Reporters and customers alike are using search engines to find stories, so when they perform searches relevant to you, it’s important to make sure your stories are showing up in the search results.

While the search engine landscape has changed dramatically with all of the Google algorithm updates, including targeted, relevant keywords in your content is still an important step to making it more search-friendly.

So, how can you go about making sure you pick the right keywords for your press releases?

  • Brainstorm keywords and phrases related to your news—Start the keyword research process by jotting down a list of words and phrases that are related to your story, your company, and your industry.
  • Think from your audience’s perspective—What are the phrases reporters and customers would enter when searching for what you provide? What’s the intent behind these searches? Searchers typically have a very specific intent, so avoid broad keywords and get as targeted as possible.
  • Use a keyword tool to refine your list—There are lots of great keyword tools out there that will make it easier for you to identify the most popular and relevant keywords in your niche. Google’s free keyword tool is a great asset for your keyword research needs.
  • Pay attention to search volume and keyword competition—Your instinct might be to automatically go after the keywords that have huge search volume, but those phrases may be too broad and too competitive. You don’t want to go after keywords that are super competitive because it will be too hard to get found. It’s about finding a balance between a significant search volume and a lower amount of competition.

Once you’ve chosen your keywords, there are a few basic things to keep in mind when including them in your press releases:

  • Target 1-2 keywords per press release.
  • Incorporate a keyword in your headline if you can do so naturally.
  • Don’t force keywords into your press releases. Use them when it makes sense to do so.
  • Use keyword-rich anchor text in your backlinks.
  • Make sure you only use keywords that are relevant to your story.
Sending Press Releases Yourself

Do you think about keywords when writing your press releases? Share your thoughts and tips by commenting below. 

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (, the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download a free copy of the PR Checklist – a 24 point list of Press Release Dos and Don’ts here:

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