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SEO for Beginners

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Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

There are many ways for government and civic organizations to optimize their websites without an SEO subscription or a professional SEO expert. For this post, the example is a civic organization encouraging family egg production at home for increased nutrition and income.

How Search Engines Work

Search engines crawl a website for keyword-based titles, headings, sub-headings, alt-text, keywords, and tags.  These are all picked up by search crawlers and are words you can research and include on the site. If the communications office does not generate these tags, ask the IT department to show them for review.

  • Crawlers rank sub-pages or landing pages with many internal links as more important than those without.  So, a page on chicken egg production with explanations and links to additional internal pages on the site will be interpreted as more important than a page with no internal links.
  • Search engine crawlers pick up popular pages from links from other authoritative websites, ranking them higher.  Important news, government, or blogs that link to your site pages raise its ranking.  Encourage media and other allies to connect to the site.
  • Using such a cluster of keywords can increase the probability of driving more traffic. Also, when you use a cluster of related search queries to cover a topic extensively, Google may recognize you as an authority on the subject.
  • The increase in websites, blogs, and generated content means short search terms such as “food safety” brings up many results and cover many topics that may not apply to family egg production.  There is a longer-tail search for “food safety for egg farms” that is more specific, and this is what to include in headings or tags.
  • Consider keyword clusters effectively to get your website on the first page of a search result. A good cluster might use related keywords. For example, egg producers, small family chicken farms, and neighborhood chicken farms are different word choices, but their meanings are similar or relevant in context.
  • Keywords should be relevant to the content of the website. On a small farm egg producer’s website, a post on famous cartoon chickens with “cartoon chickens” as its primary key phrase makes it difficult for search engines to rank cartoons. The crawlers and the visitors looking to draw cartoon chickens are not likely to be engaged in egg production.

Analyze Your Target Audience

  • Capturing the audience’s words provides insight if you have an internal search function on the website.  If visitors enter keywords or questions about egg shortage or bird flu, it makes for important content that can be further expanded or put on a website more prominently.
  • If your target audience is interested in “family farm eggs,” you should begin creating a list of questions your audience frequently asks regarding the topic. You can look up“How do I start chicken farming,” “Make money by selling eggs,” “Steps to start a chicken farm.” etc.
  • Another step is to search the “People also ask” for search terms in Google search.  This often generates a list of the most common questions people are searching for.
  • Google autocompletes when you type in search words can help identify keywords or questions.
  • Once the list is prepared, you can search these phrases on search engines. Some of these results will show results from your businesses from similar niches, reassuring you that the keywords are commonly used.
  • Sometimes an authoritative site search is helpful for key phrases repeated throughout the site.  The Poultry Farmers Association would be a worthwhile site to identify keywords or phrases for egg production.

Keyword research tools

  • Google Trends: One of the most basic and easy-to-use keyword research tools is Google Trends. It allows users to access data on a chosen topic based on a global or countrywide search.
  • Google Trends is free and helpful for searching for the most common words by country and time period. The last category is the web, image, news, Google shopping, or YouTube search.
  • Based on the following, worldwide in the last 30 days on the web, organic egg production is a more popular word choice to put alt, tags, and headings on the website.

Looking at regions, “organic egg production” is more prevalent in various areas, with many searches in Kenya and Hong Kong, UAE, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Looking at the map, “egg farms” is how Australians and South Africans describe it and where there is high interest.