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Back in the day, companies jockeyed for position in the yellow pages by adding a string of A’s to the beginning of their name. Thus pages of AAAA-lock smith and AAAA-Dentist. While this told you nothing about the service provider, it got them listed first and thus in front of a larger audience. Is SEO just a modern day version of Yellow Page games?

Thankfully the algorithms set by search engines continue to adapt to reward content more than tricks. The best way to improve your SEO rankings and the benefits of it – increased web traffic, new audience, long-term supporters, thought leadership, influence – is to write quality content. It’s one thing to want to be found, it’s another to be found for the right reasons.

If you store great content in a closet, it will be great but lonely. How do you bring someone to the closet so they can try on your content, and then show it off to their friends? Start by thinking about the main ideas of your content. Pick a few words or noun phrases that best describe it; the key points of what you do/who you are. This leads us to your Keywords – the word someone types into a search box that leads them to you.

Keyword Homework

Below are a few questions to brainstorm with your team to come up with your website’s overall Keywords.

  • What word is someone searching for that should lead them to you?
  • What words do you want to be associated with?
  • What words do people outside your organization use when referring to you? (this will help prevent you from using internal jargon)
  • What is someone thinking when they ought to be thinking of you?
  • If your organization is the answer, what is the question?
  • Take a break and check out the words the world searched for in 2013

Once you have this basic list, start thinking of the various objectives you want to accomplish. Create a “bucket” for each. It could be “donate,” “volunteer,” “subscribe/register,” or “follow.” List the landing pages on your website that enable your users to do each of these things. Then go through the exercise again, focusing on one specific page at a time. Create a set of keywords for each page, and label each set with the goal you want your user to accomplish once they get to the page.

Once you have your buckets and lists, check future posts about how to use these words, assessing the value of your words, and optimizing your website for these words. If you have specific questions about the best keywords for your specific organization, send us an email – we think communication is key, word.

Claire Kennedy headshot
Claire Kennedy
Claire values context, creativity, and joy. She uses these skills to help causes invest in the good of others.