Press Release Titles - Critical to getting your news release read

June 26th, 2009

The title of your press release is the most decisive factor in whether your news gets good results. In today’s online news world of ‘Twitter’ and ‘RSS’ syndication having a well written article, press release or op-ed is not good enough. Today’s online news is not even the same as it was 5 years ago. 5 years you could write a professional title with the first few lines going into more detail, building on what was outlined in the title. Today this is no longer the case…or a least it’s changing rapidly.

Today’s online news is no longer read in what we call ‘Teasers’, teasers have become quick bits of info.

You need to grab the readers attention in the first few words, or without question, you will lose some readers who would normally be interested in what you have to say…particularly readers under 35.

Journalist and Editors are not immune to this ‘Twitter Effect‘, they, like all readers of news start to favor what gets their attention immediately.

So how do you go about writing a press release title to be effective?

The first few words should be compelling!

For example, lets say you have a news release on climate change.

You have a traditional title like:

Dr. John Smith of Acme University Reports in a New Research Study That Climate Change XXX XXX

When this is sent to press and they see it it in their email, this if fine because a good part of the release is visible. Editors and journalist will quickly scan the document to see if it something they want to fully read.

However, if the news is being read in a ‘Twitter’ or ‘RSS’ bit…your important story may get overlooked….i.e. they may only see:

Dr. John Smith of Acme University…

Not a very interesting ‘bit’ of news. A more effective title in today small size news would be:

Climate Change - Unprecedented New Facts Alarm Researchers

You can then lead into the the story like so: (after the reader has clicked to read the full story)

Climate Change - Unprecedented New Facts Alarm Researchers

New York, NY - Dr. John Smith of Acme University reports in a new research study that climate change……

SEO Content - Website Content

July 14th, 2008

Getting good rankings on the major search engines is something everyone would like, but few achieve. One of the most important factors is the content of your pages and the amount of content. Every site should add new content, every week, at least a few pages. For a business such as ours there is a limitless volume. Aside from our built in content: new press releases posted daily, their is endless amount of pages we can and do write. This is not so with every business, so you need to be creative while sticking within your subject matter.

One way to add content to your site is to have a blog and rotate your employees to post articles. Create a company news section to highlight what’s going on. Write on what’s happening in your industry, even if you don’t have any services or products for the subject at hand.

The bottom line is: Content is king on the web. The more content you have have the better your chances are somebody will find your site with some combination of keywords on one of your content pages and will end up buying. Adding fresh content will keep the web search engine bots (robots) coming back to your site often. In general, large content sites rank better than their smaller competitors (sites) on most search engines.

Getting PR - Piggybacking on current news

July 14th, 2008

What is piggybacking on news? Well, in short when somebody writes on a topic of interest about your industry, you should reply to that journalist / editor when you have something of value to add.

This does require some work monitoring relevant websites and journals but it can and DOES pay off.

There are some tools that can help notify you when somebody writes relevant articles, like Google alerts an Yahoo alerts. These only get a small percent (very small) of articles, so you’ll have to make it a habit of checking manually. Also check on past news and pitch the writer with an update for their story.

Of course a steady stream of press releases targeted to the right persons is the easiest way of getting PR, but piggybacking press releases can be done as well.

  • Time your release with other major industry news and reference it
  • Include current events in the press release
  • Quote other notable sources and reference their products / services

Controlling your incoming links to give the most impact for SEO

July 14th, 2008

You would think that www.rapidpressrelease.com and rapidpressrelease.com are the same. We’ll they are in fact the same, BUT, to search engines they can and are sometimes ranked separately, effectively halving your incoming page rank.

If you click on the above links you’ll notice they both point to the www version. So, no matter how somebody chooses to link to us, we get a full 100% of the value of the link.

There is a real simple fix for this it’s called a 301 redirect. Some hosting providers have a feature in the control panel to make the redirects or you can use code on your dynamic pages. If your not sure you want to mess with this ask your web developer to make the 301 redirect.

For classic asp developers here’s the code we use:

<%
‘Original script MSDN? rewritten by bill rapidpressrelease.com
‘for asp 3.0
‘Purpase - to redirect any page to include the WWW.
‘Redirect to www
Dim Domain_Name, theURL, QUERY_STRING, HTTP_PATH,TEMP_NUM
‘Gets the initial URL
Domain_Name = lcase(request.ServerVariables(”HTTP_HOST”))
‘Check if the URL is the WWW
if left(Domain_Name, 3) <> “www” Then
HTTP_PATH = request.ServerVariables(”PATH_INFO”)
‘Check if page is default.asp if so, redirect to “/”.
‘If other index page is used, such as index.asp
‘the numbers in the right and len statement
‘needs to be changed, as well
‘as the IF statment to indicate the index page.
If right(HTTP_PATH, 12) = “/default.asp” Then
TEMP_NUM = len(HTTP_PATH)-11
HTTP_PATH = left(HTTP_PATH,TEMP_NUM)
End If
‘ Sets the new URL settings with correct page
QUERY_STRING = request.ServerVariables(”QUERY_STRING”)
theURL = “http://www.” & Domain_Name & HTTP_PATH
‘This section passes on the query string variables
if len(QUERY_STRING) > 0 Then
theURL = theURL & “?” & QUERY_STRING
end if
‘ Send 301 response and new location
Response.Clear
Response.Status = “301 Moved Permanently” ‘perseveres search engine ranking
Response.AddHeader “Location”, theURL
Response.Flush
Response.End
end if
%>

Basic SEO every site should employ to getting higher rankings

July 14th, 2008

Home Page Title: Should be short and contain your keywords (keyword phrase).

Every page should have a different title, even if only slight an should contain your keywords.

Every page should have meta description in the code: 8 to 15 words works best.

Meta keywords are not as powerful as they once where, but should be included: 3 to 5 words

The first top left image is very important as many search engines give this added weight. Make sure your atl tag is descriptive and contains your targeted keyword.

All images - image tags should contain an alt tag – this is the only way a search bot can read it.

Your website design should be as modern as possible and error free. Google gives added weight to sights that employ modern web 2.0 code and is free from errors as possible.

Purchase your domain for 10 years or more at a time – added weight on Google.

 

Include your keyword in the domain name instead of the company name.

Repeat your keyword 7 to 12 times on a page.

Have at least 4 paragraphs on each page.

Include your keywords in headings, links and bullet list

 

Page Names (page-name.html) and directories (/directory/somepage.html) should contain keywords.

Avoid strings for important pages (stuff after the file name ?)…somepage.php?fasdasqwrrqwra+fasfa

Whenever possible, when linking to your site use anchor text.

example:

NO: www.rapidpressrelease.com

YES: Press Release Service

Your paid for ads should contain your keywords: in theory ads should not boost your ranking as they are not a real vote for your site…but in practice they do boost your ranking.

Google gives much more weight to inbound links than other what other search engines do – this is not about quantity but quality. Getting a quality link from 1 page rank 7 site is much better than 100’s of lesser ranks sites.

The best links to get are: (Good links in order of how Google weights them)

.edu – best link you can get – do whatever you can to get some of these
.gov – great link – hard to get
news site links – easier than the above, but still hard – pitch articles – reply to a journalist when they write an article on your industry – press releases
org – wiki’s in particular - you can post content to most wiki sites
blog links (Google is in love with blogs – they give added weight to blogs) you can get
blogs to write about you for a fee. Don’t bother posting to blogs that have this in the source code links: “No Follow”

Normal sites

Neutral: trading links; doesn’t hurt or help

Bad links no particular order:

Link farms

Sales letter sites

black listed ip’s sites

illegal content sites

Top Press Releases

March 17th, 2008

Every quarter we highlight 3 of our client’s best performing press release based on several criteria.
Our goal is point out well performing press release that we feel have been well written.

Keynamics:
Google
Yahoo
Press Release

Client states; response was very good from the media.
Client had the top press release page for 10 days on our website with 371 hits since its release.
Client had a top 20 press release page for 2 months on our website.

Glacier Computer:
Google
Yahoo
Press Release

Client sates; media inquires was exceptional.
Client had the top press release page for 3 days on our website with 147 hits since its release.

Marine Safety Group

Google
Yahoo
Press Release

Client sates; the exposure has been great.
Client had the top press release page for 4 days on our website with 233 hits since its release.

~Matt

Press Release Email Subject Line

March 15th, 2008

Most press releases are received via email or past along via email; so the subject line for the email becomes an important factor on whether your news gets read or not.

First you want to get past any spam filters that may weed out your release. There are certain indicators that filters use that might mark your news as Spam.

Some of these are:
Excessive words – try to keep the word count to 6 words or less
Punctuation – avoid: ! $ * - especially avoid repeated punctuation: ***
Excessive Punctuation – A dash /comma or two is ok but once you start using more you run the risk that the filter may not like that
ALL CAPS – are a big indicator – use limited caps

Ok, now you avoided the wrath of the filter, next you want your press release to get read.
Use keywords that are familiar and popular, even if they are not the principal subject matter of your release. They should be topical to the release however, don’t “stuff” the release with irrelevant keywords, just for the sake of it. Remember a press release is a statement of fact.

Example: you have news that you have formed a business partnership with another company. As a side benefit to that partnership you have new sales channels to major well known company. Let’s say this well known company is ACME Inc.

Here is what you say in your subject line of the press release:
Subject: press release ACME Inc. opens up new channels to

press release XXX receives ACME and

Let say there is really no good (high value) keywords to use. Use some related keywords:

Subject: press release Detroit, MI

If I’m a reporter in Detroit, I simply have to find out more.

Subject: press release New .Net based software
Subject: press release New JAVA based software
Subject: press release New Web 2.0 based software

The idea is to point out any “big” feature about the news – Big names draw large amounts of readers – reporters are more likely to want to find out more.

There is much more data on subject line “success”. Much of this is proprietary to larger organizations. For instance many companies track “email opens”. That is how many times the email was opened and if the viewer clicked through to a webpage or download or performed a certain action like calling a specific phone number. We track this metric as well as many others. When your order a press release through our press release distribution service we will optimize your subject line for you.

~Matt

Press Release Title

March 15th, 2008

How to optimize your title in a press release so your news release / press release gets read.

A press release title is the first or second most important part of your news. When your news is viewed via RSS (newswire or news bulletin) or by fax the first thing (most of the time) a reader will see is your title in the press release. Why? First, the press release title is normally centered on the page at the top. Second, the title is normally in bold with a large font size 12pt to 24 pt. Third, white space around the title makes it stand out even more.

When your press release is viewed via email, depending on the email settings the end viewer has set, the title may be the first most important element or the second. If the end viewer has “Reading Pane” or “Preview email” turned on, the press release title is the most important element in the release. If the end viewer has the “Preview email” turned off the subject line (see press release subject line blog post) becomes the most important element.

Your press release title should be descriptive / relevant of what’s to follow. It should highlight the most import aspect(s) of your news. It should include the most recognized keyword(s) or buzz word(s). The title should be intriguing – you want to get the readers attention so they read more. Don’t use sales language for your press release – people who read press release expect information in the form of news, that is, statements of facts, quotes from the principals, and the details, who, what, where, why and when. This is especially true for reporters. A headline like: “HURRY!!! – BUY NOW!!! – LAST WEEK OF SALE!!!” is sure way to send your news right to the readers trash can. Avoid the use of - ! $ *** characters, especially don’t repeat them (!!!).

So how do you word your press release title so it draws attention?

Easier said than done, particularly if you don’t have a marketing degree or PR experience. That said, there are some good rules to follow (below) and there are unlimited examples
News
to look at. If you are a novice to press release writing, look some actual press release examples others have done and pick up your local newspaper and see how they write their titles.

Press Release Title Tips:

ALL CAPS – All caps was an effect way to draw attention to the title. This approach is starting to change, not because it’s ineffective but because it is penalized by electronic filters and search engines. All caps is a favorite method of mass mailers and spammers – so many email filters may weed your news out, sending it directly to the junk email folder, just because its in all caps. Search engines are starting to devalue “sales letter” style WebPages. So if you do get past the email filters and your release is posted to websites, your effect on “pagerank” will make your release show up later in search engine results for keywords. A good alternative to all caps is; capitalize the first letter of each word, bold and a larger font.

Colors – Colors are great to draw attention: Red means – Stop and look at me, Blue conveys trust and so on…Don’t use any color except black! There are a few exceptions: your logo would be one of them. Many websites are professional publications that have certain standards they follow; one of the most common is black font only. If you send a release out that is in a dark blue font the webmaster or web editor may have to change your font color to black prior to posting it. The point here is that the editor will simply delete your release rather than changing your font. The easier you make everyone’s job the better your chances are to get published.

Announcements and Events – Many news releases to the media and general public are to announce something that has happened or is going to happen. Don’t assume anything! Ask yourself; “what would I want to know”. Ask; “why would the press, my industry or the public want to know more”. Here are some examples:

You have an opening of a new store, so you write:

ABC Inc. Grand Opening!

First loose the !.

Next don’t assume that since your sending your release to the local area media they will take for granted the news pertains to them. The media gets blasted every day with pitches, news release and news tips. So, the first thing you want to do is say, “hey, this news pertains to your beat”.

LA – North Hollywood ABC Inc. Grand Opening

Next you want to give the reporter a reason why they should write or talk about your news.

LA – North Hollywood ABC Inc. Grand Opening, Featuring XXX -
The Only Service of its Kind in Southern California

The above applies to your website announcement as well: ABC Goes Live – Be more descriptive and give an indication on why the reader should continue reading more.

There is much more to be said about the title in a press release, see our press release tips section on our main website and check back here from time for more information.

When you order a press release distribution from us, if requested, we will optimize your title as well as the entire news release.

~Matt