Online Press Release Guidelines

Generally, as business owners we all know exactly what we want to include in our press release. However there are certain guidelines that we need to follow to ensure that people can find us when they search for us online and search engines know which news to deliver when people ask for them.

Normally a press release is based on the format of

  • Headline
  • Summary
  • Dateline and Lead
  • Body
  • Boilerplate Statement
  • Contact Information

The headline and summary must be strong enough to arouse the curiosity of the reader so that they can continue to read the entire body. It should contain keywords that people are likely to search. Google news limits the title display to 60 characters, while Yahoo allows 120. Use Title case in the headlines. The summary may at times appear below the headline, so your company name should always be a part of the summary along with the keywords.

The dateline and lead are important from search engine point of view because they are used to access the timeliness of the document, the location and the relevance. It should be between 20 to 30 words.

The body copy can be anywhere between 350 words to 1000 words. It depends on the information that you want to give. Try to include a link back to your website via some keywords. Paid press release sites like PR web will accept them. If you are doing an unpaid press release include the entire web address like http://www.xyz.com.

In the press release world, Boilerplate Statement is typically your About the Company sentence. However, it can (and should) also include standard copy about any important people, services, or details in your release.

Contact information provides the media and everyone else interested in what you have to say a way to reach you. It should include your company name, telephone number, Website and an email address. Note: Never include a direct email address or you will be over whelmed by spam.

Google Best Practices

  1. Have a news article with a permanent URL that contains at least three digits indicating the date. If not create a news sitemap and submit it after every news article is published.
  2. Do not break up the article body- example avoid adding comment here option in the middle of the article.
  3. Add the date between the headline and the body. This is important.
  4. Titles matter, so they must contain keywords.
  5. Separate news content from normal content on the website
  6. Have unique and informative content

Try to write impartially, never blatantly brag about your product though you must sound proud about it. Write in active voice. Proof read your press release especially for grammatical errors. Add a inline picture. It makes the news article look attractive.

You can do a press release for any of the events relating to your company. A new employee, change in position, a new product, a webinar, a sponsorship or even a lecture given at the Local Chamber of Commerce.

So get started.

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Sangeeta Kumar

Sangeeta Kumar is the Vice President of Web Marketing for GMR Web Team, a global online marketing, strategy, development and maintenance agency. Sangeeta is a jack-of-all-trades kinda person in the world of Internet marketing, excelling in market research to come up with a strategy based on the latest trends to get a website on page 1. She knows her stuff and enjoys a good discussion on SEO anywhere, anytime.