Why should I think about keywords?

You’ll hear the words Search Engine Optimization or SEO tossed around a lot. Search online to learn lots more about this idea. But one essential component is keywords: When someone does a search, they type in some keywords to look for. For example: “preschool Bellevue” or “cooperative preschool” or “science class for kids.”The search engine then looks for pages with those keywords.

Search engines are smart enough to make some adjustments, like plurals and common misspellings: like if I search for “co-op preschools in Belleview” it could also figure out I would like to see “coop” and “preschool (singular)” in Bellevue. But, there are limits to how smart they can be. For example, I might know that people who were looking for preschool in Bellevue might also be interested in preschools in Kirkland or Redmond, but the site engine may not guess that. Or if I had a class called the Birth Workshop, and I never mentioned the word “childbirth” or “class” on my page, then a search engine might not find my classes if the user searched for “childbirth class”.

How do I know what keywords are important?

So, try to put yourself in the shoes of a prospective client searching for a service like yours for the first time. They may not even know exactly what they’re looking for. Birth classes are a good example: they’ve seen them in movies and on sitcoms, but what words might they use to search for them? Lamaze class? Birthing class? Baby class? Class for pregnant ladies? Imagine all the words your clients might type in. Then ask yourself: do those words appear somewhere on my site? If they don’t, that prospective client will never find you!

Go adjust the wording of your site to include the most essential keywords.

Location. Remember to include your location on your webpage, so if someone searches for “lactation consultants Cheyenne” your business will be the first one they see. If you have an after-school program that serve kids from five towns, say it on your site: “located in Waltham, also serving students from Weston, Newton, and Watertown” so those Newton folks find you.

Synonyms. Make sure you think about all the synonyms for the common keywords. For example, if you offered a “new parent support group”, your site should include those words, but also might include: moms, mothers, dads, fathers, babies, infants, newborns, families, postpartum, advice, community, share, discuss, and meet.

Don’t “keyword stuff” a page, just putting in lists of words. But use them naturally in your writing. For example, “Our new parent support group meets once a week. New mothers and fathers attend with their infants and share their challenges, getting advice and support from other new families about managing life with a newborn. It’s a fabulous opportunity to connect with a community of moms, dads, and babies.”

Use layman’s terms too. Remember people may not know the technical terms. So, don’t just call yourself a lactation consultant. Also say on your page words like “breastfeeding support”, “advice for the nursing mother” and so on.

Brand names. Think about whether there are brand names or buzzwords in the popular media that are related to your field. For example, many people looking for childbirth classes think that they are all called Lamaze classes. People looking for preschools have only heard the name Montessori to describe a quality preschool, so that’s what they’ll search for. Or someone may be looking for “academic preschool” and so on. If you’re NOT Lamaze, or NOT Montessori, or not “academic”, what do you do so people may still find you when they search for those programs? Well, on your website, never claim to be anything you’re not! But it’s OK to include those words somewhere on your site, and it’s OK if your ad keywords include those things.

Some people choose to include that word somehow somewhere on their site. Even if it’s something as simple as having a FAQ page that asks “Is this a Lamaze class?” or “Do you use Montessori materials?” Or “Why is play-based better for school readiness than an academic preschool?” And then answering those questions fairly.

We know that lots of parents really have no idea what they’re looking for, but they’ve heard a brand name, so that’s what they type into the search engine. That can bring them to our pages, then on our pages, we can educate them about what we offer. They can then choose for themselves whether our program meets their needs, or whether they really were looking for that specific option.

Questions: Think about the people who would most benefit from your services. What questions are they asking the Internet? These are often things they’re worried about, like “how will I cope with labor pain?” or “how do I manage my toddler’s tantrums.” If you think you’ve got good answers to these big worries, be sure to include words about them somewhere on your website so the search engines can find you.


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