If you can write a good press release, you can create a buzz around your brand and reap the benefits of lots of free publicity for your company.
Writing a press release can be tricky but if you follow these steps you’ll be on your way to promoting your company in no time.
Here are some best practices for writing a release that will drive traffic to your website. The focus isn’t so much on the format of the press release as each distribution website has its own guidelines, rather we’ll be looking at what to consider when creating your release.
What will your Call to Action be?
Do you want them to click through to your website or do you want them to visit your blog? At the end of the release, you’ll have the opportunity to tell the reader about your company and to signpost them elsewhere, so make sure you decide which page on your website to send them to.
Make Sure your Release is Newsworthy
This is a news release, so you’ll need newsworthy material to grab the reader’s attention. Make sure your news has a sense of perspective. For example, if you see a press release about a company’s effectiveness, you’d expect to find statistics in the story to back up the claim and put the story in perspective for readers.
If your release isn’t informative and newsworthy, it’ll be rejected by distribution websites and journalists won’t give you a look in. Don’t make the mistake of focusing too much on promoting your company. Think news, news, and news.
Give Thought to your Headline and Summary
People don’t read on the web – they scan. You have approximately three seconds to grab people’s attention with your headline. Stop them dead in their tracks. Make them think, and make them want to read more.
For example, if the product or service you sell saves people time then say so! Find out what the average time savings is and put that in the headline. If your business is helping sales people close more sales and your product can help them increase sales by 50%, put that in the headline.
When writing headlines, come up with five or six possibilities that include keywords you want to rank for. Take some time out for a few minutes then come back and look at them again. Try taking the first few words from one headline and adding it to the last few words of another. Continue this process until you have an attention grabbing headline.
Every press release has a summary paragraph after the headline. This paragraph is only a few sentences long and should describe what your press release contains. It may be an idea to write this last after you’ve completed the main body of the release. In search engines, the header and summary are all a reader sees, so they both need to be intriguing.
Structure you Main Body Appropriately
This is a news story, so use the journalists’ standard rules of telling the reader who, what, where, when, why, and how as early in the press release as possible. The most relevant information should come first and the less vital but important details should comes later.
Keywords should appear in the headline, summary, and first paragraph. The general rule of thumb for keyword density is to aim for between 2 – 4%.
Write Well – Don’t use Jargon
You want your press release to be understood by anyone who reads it so don’t overload your release with jargon or you’ll lose your readers’ interest.
Use correct grammar and spelling. It’s always a good idea to have someone proofread your release before you submit it for distribution. Nothing is more frustrating to a reader than sloppy grammar, poor spelling and bad punctuation.
Don’t be too Wordy
You want to make sure the reader has enough information to take an interest in your company but you don’t want to bore them with too many words. A press release should be between 300 and 800 words with 350 – 500 being ideal.
Armed with these suggestions, you’ll be able write a great press release that gets plenty of publicity for your business and drives traffic to your website. One last tip: don’t forget to include as much contact information as you can so readers have several options in how they reach you.
Do you need a press release written for your company? Find out more about our press release writing services.