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Optimize your content: A quick guide

Tips on how to use keywords to make it easier for search engines (hence, residents) to find your content.

Step 1: Find the right keywords 

Use either one of these tools: 

  • Moz Analytics (you can set up an account for free with a limited plan)

  • Conduct a general Google search on your topic and see what comes up in “People Also Ask” and “Searches related to [your keyword or phrase]”

Pro tip: You’ll need to have a few keywords in mind to start your discovery. Choose a few synonyms that are the most relevant to your topic. You may need to brainstorm a few before getting some results on the tools above.

Step 2: Create a list of relevant keywords or phrases  

When analyzing your results in Step 1, look for keywords that are:

  • The most relevant. This is the most important factor. A keyword or phrase that’s highly popular but not very relevant to your content, will not help (in fact, may work against you in search). 

  • Highly searched (in terms of monthly traffic) but have low competition. A keyword planner tool like Google Keyword Planner will tell you the volume of traffic (a range of monthly traffic)  and how competitive those terms are (e.g. low, medium, high). 

Pro Tip: Choosing the right keyword and phrase is both an art and a science. You want to find keywords or phrases that people are searching for but aren’t included in many sites. Hence, you want “high volume” but “low competition”. 

Step 3: Refine your list to find a primary keyword

At this point, you may have a few different synonyms. It can be hard to decide between a few good candidates. Use Google Trends to compare different keywords by location. This will help you refine your list. 

Pro-tip: When it comes to search optimization, relevance trumps everything. 

Step 4: Keep iterating

Evaluate the traffic to your page after posting, and update your content accordingly. Ask yourself:

Is your content still not showing up on the first page of a Google Search? Did you place your keywords in the most critical content elements? 

Then return to the keyword list you created in Step 1. See if there are other keywords you could be using instead.

TIPS for Better keyword research 

  • When designing your page, ask yourself: what’s the main topic or the key takeaway from I want residents to walk away with? That’s your primary keyword. This should be the main focus of your page. Anything that diverges, dilutes your content (and searches). 

  • Sprinkle the keywords in searchable content elements on your page. This means make sure they’re in your headers and page titles. But don’t overdo it or “keyword stuff” your page. You want to integrate them in a natural way that doesn’t compromise your content’s voice or tone.