Many of us use press releases as a marketing tool to improve our search rankings.  After writing it, the next step is usually to distribute them with a firm such as PRWeb or PR Newswire to get the releases out to the relevant sites and media.  For purposes of this article let’s concentrate on improving the press releases so that they sound better and are more relevant to third parties.

It should be noted that each of these services have very helpful tools for improving your press releases and I recommend them highly.

1.    Add photos to your release.  Use your own relevant photos where possible, but consider photo sources such as Shutterstock.com for additional photos.  They have stock video as well which can be very useful.  Try to use your keywords in the photo descriptions.

2.    Structure your story beforehand.  Know what your news is.  The most important part (the news) should be in the headline and first paragraph.  Secondary information next, followed by quotes and necessary background info.  The end of the release should be a “boilerplate” of your business.  A summary that tells what you do, how long you’ve been around and any other important information about your company.  I do not recommend putting your e-mail or phone number in the release.  It will result in increased spam and telemarketing phone calls.  If you use a press release distribution system, there will be a way to share that information without automatic parsers grabbing your information.

3.    Write a factual and compelling headline.  Your headline must be factual or no one will run it, (or no good sites anyway) but this doesn’t mean it has to be boring.  Be creative, clever even.  “XYZ company hires Smith as new agent” is factual, but “Insurance agency, XYZ Company hires Commerical Lines Expert” is much more compelling, while still remaining factual.  It also adds the keywords “insurance agency” to the headline which will help your rankings.

4.    Add Quotes.  Quotes are particularly beneficial when the person being quoted is well known within their industry.  If they aren’t so lucky, there’s no time like the present to begin the journey to “well known.”  Search engines will find the names and when someone conducts a search for that person, they will find your quote.

We have many modern ways to get our names in lights.  Writing great press releases is just another bulb to help make for a brighter light to shine on you and your company.