Writing for Real People, Writing for Robots

When it comes to getting your press release seen online, the rules for writing may be different from what you've been taught. EON: Enhanced Online News offers these tips to help you write a release that people will read and search engines will find.

1. Choose and use your keywords. Think like your reader: What words are most likely to be searched for by people looking for what you want them to find in your release? Choose/use those words multiple times.

2. Use bold, italics, and underlined text for emphasis. To make key phrases and keywords more visible to search engines and people, use the formatting features provided in your word processing program to emphasize the most important language in your press release.

3. Keep your headlines short. Google recommends headlines between 2 and 22 words for optimum visibility and search results. And Google results display only the first 63 characters of each headline.

4. Add a sub headline. If you're looking to amplify your headline, the sub headline is the perfect place. The sub headline displays directly below the headline on the EON: Enhanced Online News website and on many search engines. Write a succinct headline and add additional details in the sub headline field.

5. Keep it readable. While your goal is to appear high in search engine results, don't miss the mark by writing copy that's overly repetitive, keyword or link stuffed or unreadable. You want search engines to find your press release and for readers to click through to it. Strike a balance.

6. Be careful with puns, innuendo and double meanings. Search engines and robots have no sense of humor. Keep this in mind when trying to attract their attention.

7. Write timely content that provides useful information to readers. Provide tips, advice, or analysis in your press release that is relevant to your industry or your customers' interests. Search engines reward press releases that provide useful, relevant content.

8. Utilize hyperlinks and anchor text, but don't overdo it. Too many links can flag your release as spam and get you blocked by search engines. One link max per 100 words is recommended. Choose relevant links that direct traffic to the specific pages you are promoting rather than generic links. And avoid links in your headline — they won't display on EON: Enhanced Online News or major search engines.

9. Be consistent. Some words have multiple spellings — such as t-shirt and tee-shirt, or email and e-mail. Stick with one spelling to avoid appearing unorganized, preferably choosing the more frequently searched spelling.

10. Keep it fresh. As press releases age, they tend to drift lower in the search engine results pages. A campaign of several press releases is more likely to drive results than a single press release.

11. Publish on your own website. Be sure to make your press releases available on EON: Enhanced Online News as well as your own website. If you have a blog, repurpose the press release content as a blog post. Since links are like votes, use them to drive traffic to appropriate pages that you host. And work with your web team to make sure your own site is optimized for the same keywords that are used in your press release.

Good Luck!

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