Optimizing Wizard, Podcast Press Release & Google, Oh my!

I recently used PRWeb for the wire distribution of a press release about Oneupweb’s new podcast white paper, Consider Podcasting. (It went well, as expected; thank you for asking.) But today, I was able to use the beta version of PRWeb’s new Optimizing Wizard to review my release’s keywords and talk with one of their techs on how it works. I found it to be a good tool in general and thought I’d share my thoughts. So, we’re off to see the Wizard (sorry I couldn’t help myself.)

The Wizard provides you with PRWeb’s algorithm on keyword density. Now they make no promises that their algorithm will mimic Google, Yahoo or any of the search engines. They explain that they crafted the algorithm to work like the human brain and value the words in headlines, subheads, and summaries more than general body copy. And in the body copy, words found at the top are more valuable than those found at the bottom. All of that seems reasonable and won’t be any surprise to seasoned search optimization professionals.

In analyzing my press release, the results were in line with our team’s assessment. There was a small glitch in recognizing that my press release had anchor text links—but after all that’s what beta testing is for, isn’t it.

A nice little service is that they then give you access to Keyword Discovery data on up to 20 of those words. Again, many of us in the biz will find this rather routine, but it’s nice to have the one-button connectedness in the user interface. And so you can determine if one of the keywords you’re using should be used more or less often based on its search popularity and if you should revise your press release accordingly. It can also provide you with a list of similar terms to keep you from missing something closely related.

Now before you go skipping through a field of poppies, the tool could encourage you to make some strategic mistakes, if you’re new to SEO or get a little carried away. For example, the tool can’t pick keywords that are most important to your business plan. And it might encourage you to drop a specific, high-converting keyword in favor of a more popular one. And I noticed that it wasn’t picking up as many of my three and four-term keywords, which our research shows have better conversion rates.

So as with most good tools, professionals at the helm will get you safely down the yellow brick road, while amateurs may get carried away by flying monkeys.