SEO 101: Questions From Our Press Release Optimization Webinar

July 26, 2010


For this edition of SEO Tip Jar I culled some questions from last week’s webinar on Press Release SEO presented by Alison MacDonald, Raschanda Hall and  yours truly.  We’ve held this webinar a few times now, and some questions keep coming up.  In that vein, I thought I’d start a mini-series answering your basic press release SEO questions.  Here we go!

What does it mean to optimize your press release headline?

When you are talking about search engines and your press release, optimizing headlines means incorporating your most important keywords. Keywords being the words or phrases you’d like to rank well for in search engines. This is not a simple task, as your headline should also be compelling to your target audience and convey the content of the release.

Since search engines heavily factor page titles when determining rankings, optimizing the headline is the single most important task within press release optimization.

What is a deep link?

A deep link is a link, be it on a press release, blog post or webpage, to somewhere other than your company’s homepage.  For example, a link to Business Wire’s webinar archive rather than homepage. Typically, your homepage will receive the lion’s share of links and highest search ranking for broadly relevant terms, but it’s important to link to pages within your site to help unlock their ranking potential.  These pages often address specific audiences.

What and where is the title tag?

The Title tag is part of the HTML code that makes up a webpage.  Depending on the browser you are using, you’ll often see the Title in action on the top of your browser or tab window.  The title tag is also used when displaying webpages in search results.

Don’t fret.  You don’t need to know HTML to add a Title tag to your press release.  Your headline will become your press release’s title and is automatically inserted into the Title tag.

What does SERP stand for?

SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page.  This is the page of results served up by search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing when you search for something.  It is typically composed of both organic and paid search results, as illustrated below with an image from Google’s SEO guide (pdf).

What is rich text?

In the context of online press releases, rich text is copy within your press releases that is formatted with styling such as bold or italics.

How many words should comprise my press release headline?

There is no hard limit for the number of words in your headline, but if getting into Google News is a priority, you should make sure headlines contain fewer than 23 words to be within Google News’ guidelines.  In addition, Google SERPs often limit titles displayed to roughly 67 characters, so you should limit your headline  67 letters and spaces if at all possible.

That’s it for now.  Please let me know via comments, e-mail or Twitter if there’s any questions you’d like answered.


Business Wire Boston First Summer Mingle a Success!

July 22, 2010

This week Business Wire Boston hosted a summer mingle for members and friends at the Lobby Bar & Kitchen in downtown Boston.  The July 20th event drew a lively crowd of public relations, investor relations and marketing professionals from the New England area.

Take a look at some photos from the event:

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Local Business Wire offices host dozens of events each year on PR, IR, SEO & media topics.  Check out the Business Wire Events page to find upcoming events in your area.

Follow Business Wire events on Twitter! Hash tag #bwevents


28th Annual NAHJ Multimedia Convention and Career Expo in Denver: El Grito Across the Rockies

July 22, 2010

by Pilar Portela, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire/Florida

Business Wire’s West Coast Media Relations Specialists, Eric Thomas and Pilar Portela, were in attendance at this year’s 28th Annual National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) Multimedia Convention and Career Expo in Denver, June 23-26. More than 700 journalism professionals, a majority Latino, gathered across the Rockies to meet and hear from their peers.

Eric Thomas; Mariela Dabbah, author of "The Latino Advantage"; Rebecca Aguilar, founder, Wise Latinas Linked; Pilar Portela

This year’s title was “NAHJ En Denver: El Grito Across the Rockies.” For those of you that are unaware, the Spanish-language word “grito” means “shout” in English.

According to the association, it’s an apt title because there are distinct messages – gritos – it wanted to reverberate in all directions from the conference in Denver. The first message NAHJ wanted to make clear was that although 2008 and 2009 exacted a toll on groups such as NAHJ, their organization is still strong. Secondly, NAHJ remains committed to providing members with the training they need to thrive in spite of these tough economic times. NAHJ has long considered itself the voice for Latino journalists and for the kind of fair, accurate, balanced, nuanced and informed coverage that the industry needs.  At this moment, as an organization, NAHJ believes this role continues to be relevant and they will not falter in their stance as that voice citing events in Arizona that reaffirm this point.

The convention programming included media training sessions on topics such as Mining Your Beat, Multimedia Photojournalism and Web Publishing. There were also workshops on Convention Do’s and Don’ts, Twitter 101 and Marketing Yourself in a Multimedia World, just to name a few. As the voices behind Business Wire’s Twitter account @BWLatinoWire, Eric and Pilar tweeted some of their convention experiences.

Michele Salcedo and Eric Thomas

Michel Salcedo, Editor, The Associated Press; Eric Thomas, Business Wire

One of the most anticipated events of the convention was The Newsmaker Luncheon on Friday afternoon.  This panel of distinguished immigration experts grappled with how public opinion shapes the immigration debate.  Panelists approached the issue of immigration from their respective fields of study, giving each one a slightly different viewpoint.  Nelson Castillo, an immigration attorney, said the political will to accomplish comprehensive immigration reform within one year is not there.  Steven Camarota, director of research for the Center for Immigration Studies, likened the immigration debate to the title of a book about abortion, a “Clash of Absolutes.”  Camarota said talking about immigration is difficult because it is an issue that strikes at people’s core beliefs.  Paul Voakes, dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Colorado at Boulder, called immigration a third-rail issue.  Voakes, who studies how media cover immigration, said part of the problem, is that people don’t like talking about immigration.  He said that in the mainstream media, immigration receives relatively little coverage until close to election time.  However, in talk-show media, hosts blend news with opinion, distorting the issue, Voakes said.

Unfortunately, NAHJ’s message was overshadowed by rumors of the organization’s financial woes and dwindling membership. The 1,300 member organization dependent on monies made from the convention has seen a rapid decline in registrations for the annual event.  In 2006, 1800 people came together in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  This year the number teetered just over 700.  Moving forward NAHJ officials said the organization’s future includes a commitment to training and continuing annual conventions but not depending on them as “cash cows.”

Manny Garcia and Pilar Portela

Manny Garcia, Executive Editor, El Nuevo Herald; Pilar Portela, Business Wire

Next year’s 29th Annual NAHJ convention will be held in Orlando, FL. For more information on NAHJ visit the association’s website at www.nahj.org.



Upcoming Business Wire Event: Chicago – August 4

July 21, 2010

Upcoming Business Wire Events

Join Business Wire experts in your area for media breakfasts, panel discussions and other insightful events. We bring local media members and industry thought leaders to your market to discuss today’s most relevant topics, from writing for SEO to marketing with social media. Best of all, Business Wire events are usually free of charge. Check out this upcoming event in your area:

Chicago’s Media is “Transforming”: Discover New Placement Opportunities

Hosted by Business Wire Chicago

Our companies and clients understand that the reductions in local newsroom staff can mean less opportunity for pitching and placement, but are we missing opportunities with local news organization start-ups with rapidly growing audiences that can give our properly-crafted pitches a new place to call home? Join Business Wire Chicago as we speak with the editorial management staff behind some of Chicago’s newest media outlets.  They will talk about how professional communicators can best work with their staff and what kinds of untapped PR opportunities exist within their organizations. Speakers include Kyle Leonard, Managing Editor at Triblocal and Tracy Schmidt, Editorial Director for ChicagoNow.com. This event is free for all attendees.

Wednesday, August 4 at 8:00 a.m. CT
Maggiano’s Little Italy – Chicago
Amarone Banquet Room
516 N. Clark St. (banquet entrance is on Grand Ave.), Chicago, IL 60654

To register: Please RSVP to Abbie Sullivan at abbie.sullivan@businesswire.com by Thursday, July 29. Please include your name, company name and phone number.

For more upcoming local Business Wire events or to see what’s coming up in our award-winning webinar series, visit http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/business-wire-events.

Follow Business Wire events on Twitter! Hash tag #bwevents


New Resident on the Blogroll

July 21, 2010

CyberAlert is a longtime partner of Business Wire, providing the technology and innovation behind NewsTrak Clips, our suite of media monitoring and measurement services. Bill Comcowich, president and CEO of CyberAlert, recently launched his corporate blog to share information on media monitoring with PR and marketing professionals everywhere. As Bill notes in his press release, “We couldn’t find an adequate definition or description of media monitoring anywhere else, even in Wikipedia where the write-up for ‘media monitoring service’ is, well, dreadful.” The new blog enables and encourages comments from readers and expects to publish articles from guest bloggers. Check out Bill’s first post, “Media Monitoring:  What It Is.  How It Evolved.  How It’s Done Now,” and make sure to be a frequent visitor there!


Get Better Tradeshow Coverage with EventTrak by Business Wire

July 21, 2010

by Leon Harbar, Vice President, Global Tradeshows & Events, Business Wire Los Angeles

It may seem obvious, but many companies often go into an important tradeshow sending hundreds of generic emails to the registered media list and hoping for the best: A meeting with any journalist or blogger. Unfortunately, the result is a series of awkward meetings that result in very little targeted coverage.

A more efficient process would be to actually know before the show which influential attending journalists and/or bloggers are actually covering your target market, then putting special emphasis on setting up meetings with those people before your competitors do.

EventTrak by Business Wire is the solution to enable you to set up smarter meetings before your important tech tradeshow.          EventTrak logo

For each specific show, EventTrak provides your public relations team with a “pre-show” report up to 2 months prior to show start detailing media/blogger coverage of the prior year’s show. The report includes publication name, author, date published and a direct link to the article. Users may search within this data, download and export contacts and review “hot themes” for the upcoming show. Approximately two weeks after the show ends, the user will receive a post-show report in the same format with updated coverage data.

For an overview on EventTrak, click here.

For a listing of tradeshows where EventTrak is available, click here.

Business Wire is the official wire for hundreds of events worldwide and when that’s the case, our Online Press Center is integrated within the media area of that event’s website. In addition, we continue to provide free distribution of 100-word profiles to exhibitors/sponsors/presenters of certain events.

If you have any questions on distributing news for a specific event, adding your event to TradeshowNews.com or just need advice, please email tradeshow@businesswire.com.

Follow TradeshowNews.com on Twitter @TradeshowNews or become a fan of us on Facebook!


Business Wire Responds to Client Demand with Launch of Online Newsroom and Investor Relations Website Solutions

July 19, 2010

by Ibrey Woodall, VP of Web Communications Services, Business Wire Florida

Ibrey Woodall

BW VP of Web Communications Ibrey Woodall

In response to multiple client requests, Business Wire announced the upcoming August launch of the NewsHQ online newsroom and InvestorHQ investor center solutions. The new products complement Business Wire’s current suite of services, improving communication and constructing an enhanced workflow for communications strategies and investor outreach.

NewsHQ and InvestorHQ are often referred to as microsites. Microsites are auxiliary websites that cater to specific needs and interests. NewsHQ and InvestorHQ were developed specifically to help corporate communicators and investor relations officers house and maintain information for a myriad of audiences, including journalists, bloggers, investors, consumers, analysts, key influencers and others.NewsHQ-InvestorHQ

There are many benefits to employing these content management solutions. One of the main reasons the online newsroom came into existence was because public relations representatives were having a hard time getting cooperation from their technical, or IT department, when they needed a press release posted quickly. Investor relations officers also needed a means by which they could get the most recent financial news and data to their company’s investors and analysts.

So, control was an initiating factor for this technological evolution. Communicators needed to be able to post and organize content in a timely manner. They needed to be able to get their message on their website, and delivered directly to those who were interested in their organization.

NewsHQ and InvestorHQ are tools that enable communications professionals to edit and manage the overall functionality of the website, without having to acquire complex technology skills. Posting content to the site is as easy as using word processing functions such as bold, italic, underline or upload image.

The NewsHQ and InvestorHQ solutions also make it much easier for those interested to research the status, history, and news of an organization. All of your company’s press releases, photographs, executive biographies, SEC filings, quarterly and annual reports, relevant stock and background information, along with other components can be accessed and downloaded from one central location – a headquarters – no matter where the site visitor resides. Journalists, investors and analysts expect this convenience 24 hours a day. They do not want to wait for the communicator to “get back to them.”

Search engine optimization is important in every communications campaign. The goal is to optimize your content to gain a higher ranking within search results. The ability to create links and URLs, and add keywords and tags are available within both the NewsHQ online newsroom and InvestorHQ investor center. These features will help strengthen your SEO efforts.

Business Wire’s clients will truly see a return on investment with the NewsHQ and InvestorHQ solutions. Simultaneous posting of formatted Business Wire press releases into your online newsroom and investor center, along with streamlined email and SMS alert distribution, and automatic placement of press releases onto your company’s social networking sites, reduces the amount of steps you have to take to post and distribute content. ROI is also realized with the simple equation of placing a dollar figure on the amount of time you spend answering the same questions over, and over, and over again.

If you are interested in learning more about the NewsHQ online newsroom and InvestorHQ investor center, please email HQ@businesswire.com.


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