Cheers to the Public Policy Communicators of New York City, whose article released today, “What We Learned: Search Engine Optimization” is a quick and dirty how-to-guide to getting your website noticed.
PPCNYC explains what SEO is (and what it’s not), why it’s so important, and how to make it work on your website. The crux of the matter is that “keyword research is the key” but never fear: their explanation of how to get started is straightforward:
To truly understand how people search on the concepts associated with your cause and your issues, it helps to do some simple research. This is what you should do:
- In your own mind, boil down your article topic to its essence – just a few key words. These are the words with which you will start your research.
- Start a keyword “glossary.” This is just so you have a record of your research for future reference, since you will probably want to use certain terms that seem like good prospects many times in the future. Just create a table (can be in Excel or Google Docs or whatever spreadsheet program you like), and create column headings for “Keywords,” “Competition,” “Global Monthly Searches,” “Local Monthly Searches” and “Comments.”
- Start your keyword research. Go to Google Adwords’ keyword tool. Enter in the “Word or phrase” box the key words your article is about and hit “search.” Or, if you are wanting to refine the title and/or metadata for an already existing post on your site, paste the URL into the “website” box and hit “search.” This will bring up a long list of terms associated with your search criteria. This process can also be used when pulling search terms from your competitors’ sites, you simply enter the URL that is similar to your top and hit “search.”
- Determine which keywords have both high search volume AND low competition. The terms from the search returns you should be most interested in, says Murphy, are those that have “low” competition and high numbers of global monthly searches. (Murphy also noted the term “Longtail Keywords,” which is commonly used to describe these terms.) For those terms that have those indications, click the box on the right for each one and then use the “download” box at the top of the table to download a CSV for Excel file, then just open that up and copy and paste the information into your Glossary for safe keeping and future reference.
- Put those keywords into practice. Once you have done your keyword search, you not only have a better sense of what are the terms that people search on but also which have relatively little completion in terms of other sites that use those terms. Rework your article title and/or metadata/opening paragraph to give prominence to those terms.
To read the article in full, click here.