Whether you are a for-profit business or a non-profit grant recipient, understanding the role of keywords is critical to connecting and communicating with potential clients, customers and donors.
What Is A Keyword?
The term keyword is simply a term to describe the word or phrase that real people type into a search box on a search engine like Google.
Terms like…”What is a Keyword?”
Or “charities for children” or “cute shoes for size 11 feet”
(Ok, I admit that’s a favorite of mine…)
Google and other search engines quickly search through all the matches for those words or phrases.
They decide the best match of websites for the search term that was entered in the search box.
Why Do Keywords Matter?
Search engines are powerful ranking decision makers that affect the visibility of your cause, your business and your chances at success in the online world.
And it all comes down to your use of keywords in online communication-things like your website, your blogs and your profiles-both as an individual and an organization.
Think of it this way…
Search engines need words, lots and lots of words, to power the search.
Google and other search engines “crawl” the online words you create to decide your ranking every time someone looks for search results.
And when you are figuring out how to appear on page one of search results or page 18,002 will depend on how you use those particular words throughout your website and other online communication.
And these days, if you aren’t on the first page for what you want to be known for around your customers, clients and stakeholders, you are invisible from an online perspective.
Search Engine Optimization Basics
The process of getting noticed by Google and other search engines is called search engine optimization or just plain “SEO.”
Now we could spend hours and days talking about how to use SEO to improve your ranking on Google, but let me give you an example instead:
Let’s say you are creating interesting web pages like crazy!
You include lots of images and comment frequently on Facebook.
(In fact, there are over 30 different pages on your website already!)
You have even figured out how to start a blog and you update it every week.
You know you are already an established authority and an expert in your field…but you still can’t seem to “move the needle” on how to get people to come to your website and increase your search engine rankings.
Have you ever thought that your words may need a “makeover?”
Be a Better Communicator with the Right Keywords
When we are used to talking about our products and services, causes and missions, we like to assume that everyone connects with the words we use.
In the past you had to be able to read people’s minds or “guess” what they were thinking.
Or worse, we had to spend lots of money on “hope” marketing where you “hoped” someone would connect to your message.
Nowadays, search engines like Google can tell us the EXACT word and phrases that people are actually looking for you with.
No more guessing games!
And this knowledge is power!
Using the “right” words that connect with our audience is a powerful communication technique and a smart strategy for getting noticed online and building followers.
How to Find the Right Keywords
Google has an awesome free tool in their Adwords section called the Keyword Planner that will not only tell you how well the words you use about your topics connect with online audiences, it will even make suggestions about related words and phrases to use to expand your online “vocabulary.”
There are also many other free tools available for people who want to be better communicators through the use of keywords in their online web pages, blogs, and online profiles.
We will provide more specific tips and tricks to become an online communication “expert” in future articles.
Lucy M. Morgan, CPA, MBA