Market to the Moment

Eliminate Gobbledygook with Press Release Grader

Yay! 100%!

Hubspot, the innovative company behind the creation of The Website Grader, has recently released a new tool: Press Release Grader. And I have to say, this is an incredibly valuable tool.

The images I have included in this post are screenshots of the instant report that Hubspot generated for my latest Press Release submission. Hubspot provides products, reports and advice to help small businesses with Inbound Marketing. The Website Grader is a great tool for business start-ups that need help analyzing their sites for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

I’m a big advocate of Social Media Releases (SMRs) and changing the way people read and write Press Releases. I really enjoy writing releases that help interesting people share great stories with their readers. I can’t wait to scavenge the details, find an angle, and develop a compelling story. I’ve had great success with many of my submissions.

Here is a general overview of the core features of the tool:

Section 1: General Statistics

This section features a short analysis of the word count, sentences, number of links and readability of your release. The readability section is important, and comparable to a word processor’s Flesch Kincaid Grade Level. I would suggest adjusting your copy and writing your press releases specifically for your market. Don’t create releases based solely on industry standards and submission guidelines. Always ask yourself, “who is my target, and what will they respond to?”

Section 2: Content Suggestions

This section includes analysis of basic sections that are included in every press release such as Contact Information, the About the Company paragraph, and the End of Content Markers (###). All Press Release templates include these sections and give the audience general information about the company.

The Content Suggestion section also features my favorite tool: Goobledygook Words. Hubspot has specifically designed this tool to compare your press release against the words that have been designated as Gobbledygook in David Meerman Scott’s e-book Change This: The Gobbledygook Manifesto.

In the Manifesto, David explains how a small number of words are vastly overused in distributed releases:

The news release wires collectively distributed just over 388,000 news releases in the nine-month period, and just over 74,000 of them mentioned at least one of the Gobbledygook phrases. The winner was “next generation,” with 9,895 uses. there were over 5,000 uses of each of the following words and phrases: “flexible,” “robust,” “world class,” “scalable,” and “easy to use.” Other notably overused phrases with between 2,000 and 5,000 uses included “cutting edge,” “mission critical,” “market leading,” “industry standard,” “turnkey,” and “groundbreaking.” Oh and don’t forget “interoperable,” “best of breed,” and “user friendly,” each with over 1,000 uses in news releases.

If you have not read this short ebook, I suggest that you visit the David’s site and download a copy. It can help you avoid using unnecessary words and bring clarity to all of your copywriting.

In case you were wondering, my Press Release received a score of zero for Gobbledygook words.

Section 3: Link Analysis

I really like this section as well. I almost managed to get a perfect 33%, 66%, 99% score, but my first link was included in the text a little too early.

I think it’s important to include links throughout your Press Releases. Having three, as Hubspot suggests, provides your readers an opportunity to visit your site at the exact moment they begin making a buying decision. Why wait until the end, after the About the Company section, to direct them to the sales page or website? Capture them at the height of the story, immediately after a compelling headline, summary or incredible quote.

Overall Impression

I highly recommend Hubspot’s new offering. It’s certainly worth trying before you submit your next release. I encourage you to explore their site and try of all of their free tools.

If you’re interested in more free information, Hubspot is presenting a Free Webinar – Doing a Website Redesign with an Internet Marketing Strategy in Mind on Wed. July 9, 2PM EST.

I’ll definitely be tuning in.

If you want to find out more about the Press Release Grader, follow this link to Hubspot’s Video on You Tube, which highlights all of the features that I have mentioned above.

If you don’t think you have a story worthy of a Press Release, take advantage of my Free 30 Minute Consultation. I will help you figure out how to write a compelling press release that drives traffic to your site.

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Inspiration, Learning and Free Website Tools

Today was a great day of learning for me.

I’ll share with you what I’ve learned today:

I’ve learned that like other writers and marketers, my website suffers from the “cobblers children have no shoes” syndrome. I’ve neglected my own site and writing because I’ve been so focused on my clients. It’s not a bad thing. It’s a great thing, but I’m not following my own marketing strategy and that is not setting the best example.

I’ve watched Seth Godin’s talk at Google , which was incredibly informative. As a marketer, I understand what he’s talking about, but as someone who needs another 8 hours in the day just to get things done, it’s going to take me a little while to apply his principles. If you don’t know who he is, you should read his blog . While his methods may or may not be relevant to everyone, his openness to new ideas is inspiring.

I’ve learned new things about Squidoo . I’ve come up with a few ideas for lenses and I’ve resolved to try it out.

I have also had a lot of fun with Website Grader . It was passed on to me by a friend, so I’m sending it your way. It’s great tool for analyzing your website structure and figuring out what parts still require work. I use it all the time. Too much probably. They might ban me soon. The other great thing about Website Grader is that is allows you to enter the URLs of your competitors and compare the results of your sites. I have a passing grade, and I plan on really making an effort to improve it over the next couple of weeks.

There are so many interesting and fascinating people to follow and communicate with that it takes real discipline to focus on just one task. We all have deadlines, but everyone once in a while it’s great to step back and look at how far we have come. Give yourself credit for taking the steps toward making your life what you always wanted it to be, and working hard to get there.

I hope to be able to take the time to learn something new everyday.

Pamela Weir is a Marketing Copywriter. If you are looking for a sales writer with experience creating website content, press releases, squeeze pages, and sales pages, please visit her Copywriting Services page for more information.

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Market to the Moment