We are pleased to share a great post by our PRGN partner, The Castle Group, from Boston, Mass. For more information on the Castle Group, click here.
Writing for the web is changing communications. At Castle, we’ve always put a premium on writing, and our teams must be writing chameleons. Every client has a different voice, with a tone and style that must shine through in written materials.
We will always embrace AP style, follow grammar rules and avoid words like “leading” and “robust,” yet we are cognizant that our beautiful flowing prose may not always be the best way to communicate a client’s message. As companies move from being media consumers to media producers, it’s no longer enough to write clearly — whether a press release, speaker abstract, event microsite copy or more — we must write so the content can be found. Search is a great equalizer, but also a great segregator for those companies that are not writing content with Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines in mind. Much like with website copy and behind-the-scenes tools like meta-tags, when we create content for distribution, we must consider both the audience and how they may find it — which is usually through search.
Most news release distribution companies, for example, now offer “Enhanced SEO” tools and other up-sell services. PRWeb, a newer distribution company, was built entirely on the premise of optimizing content for search. These services aside, there are critical steps to consider when writing anything that will touch the web. If you’re mailing a letter, write it any way you choose; for just about everything else, consider these ideas:
* Keywords: How is your information found? Do you know? You should. Embed those words and phrases into your documents to improve their chances of showing up in search. Also consider the phrases that attract traffic to your competitors’ sites and use those words. Google’s AdWords has great tools for seeing search density of specific terms.
* Links: Live Links allow those perusing your content to find out more, directing people to your site, videos, Facebook page — wherever you want them to go. Don’t just include your website (but do include it!); also focus on landing pages and other places specific to your product or service offering.
* Headlines: For press releases especially, make sure your headline is crystal-clear. Sometimes that’s all that will show up on sites that aggregate news. If it’s vague — no company name included, obscure language used, etc. — no one will read it.
* Your website: Make sure your distributed content also lives on your site. Your inbound site visitors should be able to access your information as easily as those finding it elsewhere.
While this information is fairly basic, it still doesn’t happen as much as it should — which is any time (all the time) content is distributed online. We practice the above for clients with each piece of content we create and distribute. We know these methods work — a client recently experienced the most online inquiries they ever had, following our issuance of a press release written solely for web audiences.
If we can’t find, we can’t read it.