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How to Write Effective Online News Releases

How to write Effective Online News Releases

What is an Online News Release?

Writing online press releases is similar to writing offline news releases. There is a lot of information available about how to write traditional news releases. So, I’ll focus here on how online press releases are different from offline press releases.

An online press release will improve your SEO (ranking) in addition to generating targeted traffic.

Here’s a recipe for writing effective online press releases.

Writing an online news release

A press release has similar elements as an article. It has a title, introduction, body, ending/conclusion and a resource box.  The difference is that a news release has to have a newsly feel.

You can use press releases to announce a range of news items such as new products and services, new procedures, new equipment, new or revised website, events, awards, accomplishments, promotions, moved, renovated, special price, sales and financial data. Press releases can also be used to generate a feature story.

Writing a compelling title

You’ll want to write a compelling title that will intrigue a large amount of people. Your title has to be  related to your topic.  Keep it powerful but vague. Make readers click to find out what it’s all about. Avoid using your business name or your own name in the title.

Writing the body of the news release.

  • Rewrite an article to give it a newsly feel.
  • The “story” or “newsletter” approaches work well. With the newspaper approach, put all the pertinent details in the first paragraph and then slowly scale down the story. When using the story approach, you provide specific details at the end.

Writing a resource box

A resource box is a blurb with your contact information that goes at the end of the press release.  Here’s how to write a resource box for your news release.

  • Include your main key phrase in the resource box.
  • Direct the reader to your site in your resource box. Included your full url  (including http://).
  • When allowed, create anchor links linking your key phrase to a specific web page about that topic. (this is very important)
  • Don’t forget to include a call to action, e.g. ask to call or visit your web site.

Include keywords

The purpose of writing SEO optimized content is to get indexed for your keywords and show up in the search results when someone does a search for your keywords.

For search engines to find you you need to include keywords.  To get the maximum SEO benefits from online news releases, you need to include key phrases. Here’s how to use key phrases to optimize your press release for search engines.

  • First, you must know what keywords you will be targeting.
  • Write each news release around one main key phrase.
  • Include your key phrase in your title.
  • Include your key phrase in the first and last paragraph.
  • Include your key phrase several times in the body of the news release. 1-3% keywords is ideal which means repeating your keyword 4-12 times max in a 400 word press release.
  • Include your key phrase it in your resource box (in anchor text whenever possible).

Caution about keyword spamming: But don’t overdo the keywords. If your news release doesn’t make sense to readers,  legitimate PR sites won’t publish it and your prospects won’t read it.  If you’re using the keywords too often, you can be penalized for keyword spamming.

Submitting your news release

After writing the news release, you have to submit it to online press release sites.

It’s important to follow the submission guidelines of the press release service you choose. Some services require character-per-line formatting while others allow wrapped text.  You will typically have to include certain information such as your telephone number, address, and byline.

You can submit your news release yourself or you can use a press release submission service.

I can submit your press release to news sites.

Press Release Submission Services

Read more about the benefits of online press releases here

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News Release Resources

Sandra Beckwith shows how to write a tip sheet news release.

5 tips for writing a book announcement news release that will get used by the press

Press Release Fire

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