Editor’s Corner: Best Practices for Using Links in Press Releases

March 21, 2012

by Sera Gonzalez, Senior Editor, Business Wire Dallas

by Sera Gonzalez, Senior Editor, Business Wire Dallas

With the advent of XHTML, additional knowledge is only a click away. Embedded hyperlinks turn ordinary text into doorways of information. Business Wire tracks link click-throughs, showing the link text, URL, which version of the release and how many total clicks it has received.

As an editor, I’ve seen releases with no links at all, making it difficult for readers to easily find more information. I’ve also seen releases so full of links it was impossible to determine what information was important. Finding a balance and knowing how to optimize link usage is vital for press release writers.

When considering hyperlinks in text, the writer has two options: the URL and anchor text.

A URL in the text is like this: www.businesswire.com, which works well for short URLs and at the end of boilers, linking to company home pages. Though most of the internet is XHTML compatible, there are a few sites that still post in plain-text. In these instances, a link will not be active in the body unless it is written out. Instead of saying, “Click here,” say, “Visit www.businesswire.com.” Full URL links are also useful when linking to social media sites: http://facebook.com/businesswire and http://twitter.com/businesswire. Readers see your handle and can type it in if they already have those web sites open. Registration URLs for conference calls, webcasts and trade shows help a reader easily keep the link for future use or send to colleagues.

Sometimes URLs for frequently shared pages can be really long and should be hidden from readers. These cases call for anchor text, like Business Wire, instead of writing out the URL. These links are like the icing in your release; leading your reader to more information. For names in releases, an anchor text link to the person’s biography – which commonly includes a photo – works perfectly. You also can use anchor text in product announcements, referencing a page with videos, photos, reviews or purchasing information. Anchor text links also boost SEO for your release. For example, if you wanted your release to rank on Google for the keyword “Business Wire,” you would make sure that phrase appears in the headline, first paragraph and as anchor text, Business Wire.

Make hyperlinks work for you. Lead your reader to places beyond your release, to further the understanding of your product, personnel and company. Also keep in mind that not everything needs a hyperlink; too many and your release can look like spam and discourage readers. The link is yours.

With 31 bureaus around the world and more newsrooms than all of our competitors combined, Business Wire is proud to provide local expertise and superior service, backed by the most accurate editors in the world. In Editor’s Corner, we ask some of our best to chime in on how to get the most out of your press release, based on their years of experience in the industry.


80% of Press Release Headlines Too Long for Google, According to New Study

February 14, 2012

by Amy Yen, Marketing Specialist, Business Wire Dallas

Are you optimizing your press release headlines? For the second straight year, our friends at Schwartz MSL Research Group have put together a study on the SEO of press release headlines using data from Business Wire releases. As we’ve previously noted, Google only displays roughly 65 characters in their search results and therefore releases with headlines 70 characters or under are best optimized for SEO.

For this year’s study, Schwartz looked at the headlines of more than 16,000 Business Wire press releases from 2011. Of those, only 19.5% of all releases had headlines with 65 characters or fewer and just 23.7% were at 70 characters or fewer. This suggests that the great majority of press releases do not have headlines fully optimized for search.

The average headline length is 123 characters, which is the same as last year’s results. The study also looked at buzzword usage and completed a geographic headline face-off to determine which cities hosted the SEO-savviest press release headline writers. You can download the full report here.

Check out more press release optimization tips here. You can also read up on why your press releases might not make it into Google News.


BW Fun Fact: Business Wire Has Been Adding Multimedia to Press Releases for More Than a Decade

March 14, 2011

In 1997, Business Wire introduced the Smart News Release (SNR), which allowed users to embed photos, audio, video and other multimedia into press releases. Not only does multimedia help a press release stand out to reporters or readers, but it also increases the reach of a release in search engines. Although often overlooked, Google Images receives a huge amount of search traffic and can actually drive readers back to your release. Our research has found that releases with multimedia receive 1.7 times more reads than those without.

Back when we first introduced SNRs, clients would often provide us with hard-copy photos, which were then scanned by Business Wire editors to be made available in high resolution to media and web viewers. Today, we distribute hundreds of releases with multimedia every week.

Check out what some of our experienced editors have to say about how best to submit multimedia and best practices for writing photo captions.


Upcoming Business Wire Events – Oct. 27 Edition

October 27, 2010

Upcoming Business Wire EventsJoin 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 some of our upcoming events in your area:

Does Your Tweet Count? Journalists and a PR Professional Talk

Hosted by Business Wire Nashville

Join us for lunch and an opportunity to meet members of Nashville-area media, and participate in a discussion on how reporting has evolved amid the popularity of social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook. Paul Kuharsky from ESPN.com and Amy Napier Viteri with WKRN-TV will be discussing how social media has affected traditional news reporting while Rob Robinson of McNeely Pigott & Fox will be providing his own unique insight on pitching stories from a public relations perspective. This event is free for all attendees.

Thursday, November 4 at 11:30 am CT
Maggiano’s Little Italy
3106 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203
Free valet or self-parking is available on-site

To register: Please RSVP by Friday, October 29 to denise.higgins@businesswire.com or call 615.661.6123.

Business Wire Media Breakfast

Hosted by Business Wire Newport Beach

Join Business Wire Newport Beach for free breakfast and a meet the media event. Speakers include: Gillian Flaccus, Orange County Correspondent, The Associated Press; Michele Gile, News Reporter, CBS/KCAL; Lisa Liddane, Editor at Large, Coast Magazine and Editor in Chief of OrangeCounty.com; and Jerry Sullivan, Managing Editor, Orange County Business Journal. This event is free for Business Wire members, $25 for all other guests with advanced RSVP and $35 at the door.

Thursday, November 11 at 8:00 am PT
The Island Hotel, Newport Beach
690 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660

To register: Please RSVP by Tuesday, November 9 to Kathy Tomasino at 949-757-1021 or email kathy.tomasino@businesswire.com

How to Increase your Website’s Ranking by Issuing Press Releases

Hosted by Business Wire Dallas

Join Business Wire for lunch and a discussion on the simple steps that will help your company’s website rank higher on Google, Yahoo and Bing by issuing press releases via Business Wire. Learn the #1 factor that search engines consider when ranking your website and why Google loves press releases, and get step-by-step instructions on how to easily optimize your releases so that Google sees your website as a popular and trusted source.  We’ll also discuss Business Wire’s exclusive SEO platform for boosting your search results long-term and how to combine your press release and social media efforts to boost search rankings. This event is free for Business Wire members and $10 for non-members.

Thursday, November 11 at 11:30 am CT
Providence Towers – Conference Room B – East Tower
5001 Spring Valley Road, Dallas, Texas 75244

To register: Please RSVP to Susie Wolan at 972-458-9555 or email susie.wolan@businesswire.com.

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

Please RSVP by Friday, October 29, 2010 to Business Wire via by email: denise.higgins@businesswire.com; or call 615.661.6123.

Engaging Your Audience Using Video

May 24, 2010

by Rachel Gould, Client Services Representative, Business Wire Boston

Business Wire Boston recently joined forces with video production partner MEDIAmobz and VisibleGains to bring together a panel of specialists in the fields of public relations, new media, conversion marketing and video production to address innovative new ways to engage your target audience and generate buzz.  The original April 27 session was entitled, “Combining SEO and Video to Drive Awareness and Lead Generation Online.”

Check out this interactive video application for some highlights, or to watch the full session.  A 40-second video clip, highlighted at the start of the presentation, offers some guidance on integrating video with press releases.  Also featured are interviews with the panelists, including a segment on tips for creating engaging video.


The discussion was moderated by Cliff Pollan, President & CEO of VisibleGains, and panelists included:

Some key points that came out of the session:

  • Using video in marketing and public relations can expand your audience. Joe Chernov, Global Director of Communications & Social Media at Eloqua, noted that he receives 500% more views on a press release with a video than just plain text content.  Video content can be an important component of a well-rounded and effective lead-generation program.
  • Video can engage media and consumers and generate interest for your campaign. Tim Bradbury, President New Media at American City Business Journals, explained that his news outlets look for content to which they can easily drive web traffic.  He said that video, which can be played with the click of a finger, often translates better than text content to new portable devices such as the tablet or the iPad.
  • Video adds value – both for the target audience and for search engine optimization. Judy Gern, Director of Conversion Marketing at Constant Contact, stressed the importance of giving potential leads value through video, mentioning that including video in outreach reduces opt-outs by 75 percent.  Cliff Pollan, Founder and CEO of VisibleGains, cited a Forrester survey that showed content with video was 50 times more likely to end up on the first page of Google search engine results.

Having trouble accessing the video?  Go directly to the event page at http://bizwire.pr/seovideoevent.

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


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