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April 01, 2014
In the old days, writing good material was a matter of writing good material. The "first and foremost" was to make sure we had a good story, good content, and conveyed what we wanted to say in the most captivating manner. While this still holds true, nowadays there's an extra factor to consider, particularly when writing online material: SEO.
SEO has taken the internet marketing world by storm and created a whole new profession a lot of people have built lucrative careers on. But what exactly is it?
Think of the Internet as the library, websites as books, the search engine as the librarian, and SEO as their categorization and sorting system. Simply put, SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of sorting webpages and websites with the goal of putting the most relevant sites on any given search result list on top.
So while SEO is the process of giving you the best results, SEO Specialists use this as an internet marketing strategy to figure out the search engine's formula (or algorithm - if you want to get technical) by examining how search engines work, what people search for, and actual key words and terms used.
This was great for a couple years and marketers used it to their advantage by figuring out the formula and getting their client's sites and stories at the top of search result lists. Unfortunately, if you have been submitting press releases for awhile you will know that search engines today are getting smarter by the second and now recognize and penalize any content that is deemed "unnatural" (i.e. anything that is non-organic or whose content is formatted to include links embedded in such a way to put their target site at the top of a search result).
So how do we optimize press releases with all these new changes?
The answer may surprise you, but it's to take it back old school and write good material.
Originally, press releases were more than just an SEO tool; they were used to reach out to journalists, consumers and the general public. If you write a good, newsworthy story with a great angle, it will attract readers regardless of what links you have embedded. Attracting readers will result in more clicks, more exposure, and thus better search result rankings.
When it comes to writing good material, engage your audience, build relationships, and report your company news and industry data. Have something to say. The initial point of a press release was to inform your audience. Doing this may even encourage bloggers and journalists to contact you and write a unique piece on your news as well.
However, we can't ignore that this is the digital age. To really take advantage of it without compromising any SEO protocols, consider embedding videos and multimedia; and reach out to as much distribution resources you can, including social media networks. We, at 24/7 Press Release, always encourage our clients to upload material and share their story with our social media share buttons. It all starts with one share at a time to create a viral phenomenon.