No matter what you think of it, optimizing your press releases for the search engines is important. Between the prevalence of online corporate news rooms, press release distribution websites, and news sites like Google News, your press releases are getting posted all over the web. If they’re optimized properly for the right keywords, you can get more traffic from people interested in the products and services you offer.
But there’s a right way and a wrong way to use keywords in your press releases. All too often, people use keywords the wrong way. They view press release distribution only as a means to manipulate search engine rankings. Nothing more, nothing less.
So, what are the wrong ways to use keywords in press releases?
WRONG: Using grammatically incorrect keywords – If you’ve ever done any keyword research, you know there are a lot of search phrases that just aren’t grammatically correct. For example, a bike shop in Houston’s most trafficked keyword might be something like “Trek bike Houston” or even a misspelling like “bicycle repair Hoston.” Don’t use grammatically incorrect keywords in your press releases. It’s unprofessional.
WRONG: Writing to hit a certain keyword density – In the early days of SEO, people believed there was a magic keyword density that could shoot your pages to the top of the search rankings. They thought if you used your keywords a certain percentage of the time in your copy, you could gain a competitive edge. Of course, that’s all BS, but there are still people who believe it. Don’t bother writing to hit a certain keyword density. Just focus on writing natural-sounding, compelling content.
WRONG: Stuffing the keyword in the headline when it doesn’t fit – The headline is an important place to put your keywords. It gets more prominence there and carries more weight with the search engines. But it doesn’t always make sense to use your keyword in the headline. Sometimes, a keyword-rich headline can be clunky and awkward. In cases such as these, either target a different keyword or leave it out of the headline. Write for humans first, search engines second.
WRONG: Targeting too many keywords in a single press release – Just because you have a dozen different keywords you want to rank for, doesn’t mean you should target all of them in the same press release. I recommend choosing only one main keyword per press release. You can also include a couple of supplementary keywords and backlinks if it makes sense to do so, but doing anything more than that is overkill. It will cause you to focus too much on writing for SEO and not enough on writing a compelling press release.
WRONG: Targeting keywords that don’t bring quality traffic – Keyword research isn’t about finding the keywords that bring the highest volume of traffic. It’s about finding the keywords that bring the highest quality of traffic. And there’s a big difference. After all, what’s the point of ranking well for a phrase if the people who search for it aren’t really interested in what you’re offering? Traffic isn’t everything. Never stop pursuing quality.
What are some other mistakes people make when using keywords in their press releases?