5 signs your press release is over-optimized

Avoid these common mistakes by writing your release for humans and worry about the rest later.

Press release writing isn’t easy. And in this day and age of search engine optimization, this art has become even more difficult. It can become all too easy for you to get so caught up in trying to please the search engines that you lose sight of your main goal—writing a great press release that spreads far and wide.

Here are five signs that you’re too worried about optimization with your press release.

1. A city name appears in every other line. Often, people choose to target local keywords. For example, if they run a fence installation company in Houston, their targeted keyword might be “fence installation Houston.” As you can see, this is a difficult keyword to work with. An over-optimized press release will get weighed down by the awkward keyword and will overuse the city name. On the other hand, a skilled SEO press release writer will fit the keyword in a few times and make it sensible.

2. There’s an overall sense of repetition. Continuing with the above theme, too many keywords equals repetition. What ends up happening is whatever message you intended to convey gets lost in the repeated keywords. By the end of the release (if anyone makes it that far), the reader will be left scratching his head wondering why he just read the same lines over and over. Cut the fluff, and stop writing to hit some magic keyword density or word count.

3. There’s nothing really newsworthy in your press release. We all know people use press releases to build links. However, when a release is over-optimized, this is even more apparent. An over-optimized release usually doesn’t just seem like it has nothing to say—it really doesn’t have anything to say at all.

4. It’s too long. A lot of people feel like articles and press releases need to be longer to get crawled by the search engines. This just isn’t true. A good press release should clock in somewhere at 300-400 words. Sometimes they can be even less. Why? The people who read your release don’t want to sift through a bunch of useless jargon and keywords. They want to get to the point and see if your news is worth them reporting.

5. It sounds better when you read it using a robot voice. It may sound silly, but try it. Does your press release make more sense read like a robot or news anchor? If the former is true, you’ve over-optimized.

So how do you avoid that over-optimized press release? Write your release without even thinking about your keywords. Write it for humans and worry about the rest later.

Mickie Kennedy is the CEO and founder of eReleases and blogs at PR Fuel, where a version of this article originally appeared.

Topics: PR


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