Baiting Your Hook in Press Release Writing

Baiting Your Hook in Press Release Writing

To get people to pay attention to your press release writing, you need to build a hook into your story. What’s a “hook”? Well, like a hook that catches fish, a news hook is some interesting angle that makes readers “bite” so to speak. You can think of the news media as a vast ocean of competing stories. There are thousands of press releases every day. It’s easy to float by readers, unnoticed. What will make yours stand out? What will make the audience bite?

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If you know what to look for, you can see hooks in almost every story in the newspaper, the Web or on TV. Hooks tend to vary by audience and news category. With national news, for example, the hook is usually broad. For example, a press release about the proposed healthcare laws will try to hook the audience with some shocking, attention-grabbing detail like the number of people who might lose health coverage if it passes. This could be called an outrage hook. The reader sees it and thinks, “What? No! What’s the story. I better read this.” Hooked…

In the narrower niches we typically deal with at, the hooks are more specific to the intended audience. For instance, if you’re writing a press release to promote a kitchen product on Amazon, your hook would be related to cooking. The question, of course, is how to bait your hook?

There’s a temptation to try to make product features into hooks, but that’s usually not the best choice. Let’s say your make a colander that’s designed with a special handle to avoid getting burned by hot water. A poorly conceived hook might be “New colander features new safe handle design.”

Hooks work better when they intrigue, when they ask questions that the reader hopes will be answered in the press release. In this sense, a better hook for the safe colander would be, “New colander reduces kitchen injuries.” The reader will be more like to read the press release with this hook because the press release promises to offer a solution to a problem. People get injured in the kitchen. How can this be avoided? Read on and find out…

Conjoint or paradoxical ideas make the best hooks. They play on the reader’s sense of how the world works. In our example, a reader might expect a nifty kitchen gadget to be expensive. A conjoint hook might read, “Now a safer kitchen costs you less than a dangerous one.” This hook challenges the reader’s assumption that safety costs extra. Safety will save you, now. How? Read on…

How to insert a long tail SEO key phrase into a press release

Press releases can be a great way to weave key phrases into your content. This video shows how to insert a long tail SEO key phrase into a press release.

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An SEO Guide Worth Checking Out

An SEO Guide Worth Checking Out

In my continuing efforts to find helpful resources for Search Engine Optimization, I have come across a very well organized and succinct SEO guide. Seolium’s new 2017 On-Page Search Engine Optimization guide offers a to-do list that emphasizes relevancy signals that are picked up by search engines. It’s basically a big infographic with a lot of really helpful information.

The guide is designed to help you stay within best practices. In particular, it emphasizes how to be creative on your web pages but never trade value for better search rankings. The guide also cautions web designers never try to deceive users or search engines.

Here’s an example. In Rule #1, the Seolium guide explains, “A webpage should be tailored around just one family of keywords.” It elaborates:

  • Emphasize one “super-keyword” – A page should be optimized around one keyword. All the connected keywords (e.g. variations, synonyms etc.) will be connected to each other.


  • Create a good amount of text – This is the page you wish to rank for with all the search queries in the same family, so you need to have a decent amount of text that covers the topic well.


  • Create one keyword family – Relevancy signals should only include keywords in the targeted family. This avoids competition between different pages, which is also known as “keyword cannibalization.”


The guide also covers URL creation, title tags and meta descriptions.

A lot of these rules apply to SEO press release writing, too. Press releases should have a super keyword and enough well-written text to be indexed as authoritative content. Press releases can also help with an SEO concept known as “anchor diversity.” With anchor diversity, you can create backlinks with multiple anchor texts pointing at a target page you want to elevate in search results. More to come on this topic. Stay tuned.

To download the Seolium guide, visit




Introducing Our 500-Word Press Release Distribution Service

Introducing Our 500-Word Press Release Distribution Service

IMG_3308We’re pleased to announce that we are now offering a new service for writing a 500-word press release, with press release distribution included.  The new service gives you distribution to 300 media sites with a longer, more in-depth description of their announcements.

Forget “Less is more.” Sometimes more is more. If you want it, we offer it. Search engines favor richer content in many cases, so a 500-word announcement can be useful for this purpose. Also, sometimes you just have a lot to say!

The 500-word press release service enables you to include fuller details of the announcement that are not possible in a standard 300-word press release. For instance, in a product launch, a 500-word press release can describe product features in depth. You can get into detail. If you think your readers want rich information about your product or service, the longer format will work well for that.

A 500-word press release can also include more quotes from experts and customer testimonials. Usually, I recommend having just one quote in a standard 300-word announcement. With the longer format, you can have a quote from an executive as well as a customer.

A longer press release allows you to do a multi-part announcement. If you’re announcing a new product as well as a website refresh, for example, a 500-word press release gives you the space to have multiple sections with sub-headlines.

We distribute our press releases through MarketersMedia, one of the world’s top online newswire services. With MarketersMedia, we are able to offer press you about 300 backlinks from media sites. Each press release can include up to three hyperlinks, a photo and a link to a video URL. Your media contact information goes into the announcement. You can have naked URLs if you want. To see an example of one our of press releases that’s been picked up by a news site, go to

For more information, or to order, click here.


SEO and Content Marketing: Roundup of Interesting Articles

SEO and Content Marketing: Roundup of Interesting Articles

SEO and Press releasesInternet marketers as us, “Will a press release help with SEO?” Most of my clients, who are typically expert in getting high search rankings, answer, “yes.” But, it’s more complicated than that, of course. A press release is a form of content marketing. The bigger question to ask, though, is “what is the relationship between SEO and content marketing”? Is a content marketing strategy the same as an SEO strategy. Here are three great articles that offer some answers:


This article gets deeply into resolving the confusion over SEO and content marketing. It offers a great deal of detailed insight into how how SEO and content marketing fit together.


Postan offers reflections on the best Internet marketers adopt practices aimed at selling without selling. The article takes on important questions like “how much do I have to spend?”


Like others writing in this space, the author of this article questions the value of established search engine tools in the wake of major algorithmic changes at Google. The author suggests skipping the hiring of an SEO agency and placing more content directly.

Obviously, it’s a complicated arena to figure out. These three authors, however, have done the hard work of defining the issues and enabling you to put together an effective content marketing strategy that will enhance you SEO potential. As always, it’s a matter of money. These articles are useful, therefore, in helping you determine how much money you really need to spend to get the SEO results you want. This is especially relevant at a moment when the effectiveness of many traditional SEO processes are in doubt. The good thing about content marketing is that it makes possible a fair amount of experimentation without much financial outlay.


Google Releases Penguin 4.0

Google Releases Penguin 4.0

There’s a new algorithmic sheriff in town. Google has released the 4.0 version of its “Penguin” algorithm, which it first introduced in 2012. The major difference? Penguin now works on the basis real time signal processing. With this approach, Google will do a better job of catching sites that it considers “spammy.” Penguin will help Google penalize such sites – and do it much faster than used to be possible. According to Google, this will be the final update of the Penguin algorithm/Filter.

In effect, Penguin is a filter. As Google crawls and indexes pages, Penguin will enable the search engine to factor in perceived spamminess as a factor in ranking. Google said in its official blog that Penguin refreshes its data in real time. Changes will become evident more rapidly. Impacts on ranking will occur quickly after crawling and indexing of pages.

The Google blog also noted that Penguin has become more granular. The filter will devalue spam and adjust ranking values of the perceived spam, not the entire site.

Google also commented on how the web has changed over time. They emphasize the importance of creating compelling websites with good content. As they point out, there are more than 200 signals assimilated in the process of ranking pages. Penguin is simply one of them.

This update underscores again how important it is to have authoritative, well-written content on one’s site. Spammy writing is easy to let slip through the editorial process. It pays to work with an experienced content creator who understands your site’s voice and audience.

Let work with you on developing effective content, including press releases and blog posts that can help optimize your site, even considering the impact of Penguin 4.0.  To learn more about’s press release services, visit

Should You Create a PBN? Three Experts Weigh In

Should You Create a PBN? Three Experts Weigh In

Should You Create a PBN? PBNs, which is short for “Private Blog Network,” are collections of powerful websites that you can use for SEO – building up to links to sites to help spur search rankings. Typically, the sites that comprise a PBN are based on strong domains that had been previously used. Like, if a popular auto mechanic blog shuts down after 5 years, you can buy it and leverage their age and authority to help boost your site through backlinks.

As you might imagine, setting up and using a PBN takes quite a lot of work and some cash investment. The question, of course, is whether it’s worth the effort and expense. Google has been down on PBNs though they are still considered effective if used properly. Here are three articles by experts that offer insights into whether it’s worth trying a PBN:

  • Are Private Blog Networks (PBNs) Worth It In 2016? – Here, author Nathan Gotch of GotchSEO talks about the potentially high costs of acquiring domain names at auctions.
  • PBNs + What’s Working In Google NOW In 2016 – In this article, “That SEO Guy” notes, “SEOs have been using PBNs for years now and I don’t see them going away anytime soon. Google loves nothing better than a link from a powerful site and still rewards this highly.” So as you can see, he’s a fan.
  • Are Private Blog Networks Still SEO Effective? – According to this article on Website Magazine, a PBN does run the risk of getting de-indexed. It can even be penalized. However, the author still believes that the ranking power of a PBN is quite strong.

The main idea is to develop a plan that includes quantifiable objectives so you can work back to understanding what your return on investment (ROI) will be for your PBN. For example, if you plan to sell exercise equipment and you predict you can close a certain amount of business from the effects of the PBN, that number has to be less than the projected cost of the PBN – including the value of your own time! This is very important. It’s not just $100 for a URL. It’s $100 plus however many hours you have to spend setting it up, feeding it with content and so forth. If the numbers don’t work, go back to the drawing board.

Google Rich Answers – What to Know

Google Rich Answers – What to Know


Example of Google Rich Answer for the query “How can I improve my credit score?”

Have you heard about Google’s “Rich Answers”? You’ve probably seen them. They’re those little boxes with succinct, direct answers to your search query that show up in your search results.  They appear in different formats, such as graphics, slides, text answers, maps, calculators and so forth. They might be small snippets of text or rich snippets. They’re drawn from an existing website.

If you’re curious where Google gets the Rich Answer, here’s what they actually say about it:

“Where does the answer summary come from?

The summary is a snippet extracted programmatically from a webpage. What’s different with a featured snippet is that it is enhanced to draw user attention on the results page. When we recognize that a query asks a question, we programmatically detect pages that answer the user’s question, and display a top result as a featured snippet in the search results.

Like all search results, featured snippets reflect the views or opinion of the site from which we extract the snippet, not that of Google. We are always working to improve our ability to detect the most useful snippet, so the results you see may change over time.”

If you are involved in SEO, your first question should be: Good for me or bad?  It’s a little of both, it turns out. According to Eric Enge, the CEO of Stone Temple Consulting, “A rich answer is any attempt by Google to answer the searcher’s query in search results in a way not requiring a click through to a website.” Stone Temple Consulting publishes research on SEO and Rich Answers in particular. They have observed that Rich Answers are increasingly included in search results. So, it’s a good news/bad news sort of situation. Being in a Rich Answer means you get a lot of prominence, but you may not get click-through.

Pam Neely, writing for the Act-On Blog, notes, “Rich answers are not like other search results. They play by different rules, affect other rankings, and offer a major new opportunity for SEOs who know how to use them.” Neely then asks, “Should site owners worry about rich answers?” She says no. Rich answers that sites built using public domain information. In that case, Google may not include a link to your site if they use your site as the basis for a Rich Answer.  So, rich, original content can be your path to being included in Rich Answers.


Two other articles worth reading on this topic:

Charles Floate Updates his Respected OnPage SEO Guide

Charles Floate Updates his Respected OnPage SEO Guide

7k0a0014-2Floate may be young (20) but he really knows his way around a very important topic, OnPage search engine optimization (SEO). He has just updated his guide, OnPage SEO: The Lost Art. I definitely recommend taking a look at it if you’re trying to find every possible way to improve your site’s search rankings.

Floate makes the point that a lot of web master get preoccupied with backlinks.  But, although backlinks are mega-important, there is more to SEO than just backlinks. As he puts it, “backlinks are a key cog in ranking a website, they aren’t the be all and end all of ranking in the SERPs, despite what some people may say.”

A lot of sites neglect OnPage SEO, to their detriment. What’s a shame, too, is that it’s so avoidable (and cheap to fix, if you know what you’re doing.) As he says, “People are skipping by the essential (and sometimes boring) tasks of basic OnPage, and going straight for the links.. Then they wonder why they don’t rank after spending a thousand bucks on links…” But, the reality is that websites won’t rank optimally without the right OnPage SEO.

His guide covers title tags, header tags, bold tags, image optimization, keyword density, site speed, bounce rate, length of content, URL optimization, meta description optimization, interlinking and more. ith the guide, you can start to create an initial framework for OnPage SEO success.