Press releases can be a great way for a small business owner to get the word out about a new promotion, product, location and more. And press releases can also be powerful search engine optimizations tool that can pay dividends – in the form of targeted organic search traffic – for years to come.

But writing an effective press release can be a little intimidating if you have never done it before. Thankfully, there is a free tool that can analyze the content of your press release before you pay the big bucks to have it distributed.

Free Press Release Optimization Tool

Press Release Grader, by Hubspot, is a free tool that let’s you paste in the content of your release and get valuable feedback. The service looks at everything from the quality of the links to your site to checking to make sure your release has standard press release syntax (things like contact info and about sections, for example.) Below is a video that explains how the service works:

Of course, you’ll also have to remember to write a great headline and solid opening paragraph to your release if you want to get covered by journalists. My company has had great luck with some of our recent press releases by writing headline that include things we know reporters are interested in. For example, when my company’sscanning software recently integrated with Dropbox, a popular online storage platform loved by the media, we made sure to mention it in the first paragraph of the release (you can see our release about scanning to Dropbox here as an example).

Don’t be intimidated by the press release process! Remember, journalists are more busy than ever – which means they need help creating content more than ever. Why can’t that content be about your company?