Here’s what I find drives press releasesto the top of search engine placement and also gets them read:1.) Put your keyword phrase in the headline, in the first sentence, and once or twice more in the body. But ESPECIALLY the headline.

2.) Include a picture. This increases the chances that people will read your press release over others which have no picture.

3.) Tie it in to current news. As Phillip Davies, owner of free press release distribution site¬† Is Your Free Press Release and World News Distribution Center¬†pointed out to me recently, if you sell face masks, with the concerns over Swine Flu, now would be an excellent time to send out press releases. A client of his got AWESOME traffic and online placement right before mothers’ day by announcing a new line of mother’s day cards at the right time. Holidays, current events…always keep your eyes peeled for ways to use them for your news.

4.) Webwire’s $180 option can get astounding pickup by legitimate newws agencies.

5.) If your goal is not just to get back links and online branding, if you want traffic, you need to convey a benefit to the reader. This can be tricky in a press release because if you are too sales-y it will be rejected, but you need to give the reader a reason to click on the URL link in the press release. “To find out more about xxxx’s new book, and to download 2 free chapters visit” – as an example. Announce a contest, with prizes, give away something, etc. – again, in a reasonably non-hype-y fashion – because remember, you are creating a news announcement, not a sales letter.