State Policy Network
Get your state-based solutions for COVID-19 in front of a wider audience
Opportunities for media time might be slim as television networks dedicate their slots to commentary from public health experts and elected officials, but there are still opportunities to get your state-based solutions in front of a wider audience by optimizing your website content.

Opportunities for media time might be slim as television networks dedicate their slots to commentary from public health experts and elected officials, but there are still opportunities to get your state-based solutions in front of a wider audience by optimizing your website content.

Searches for COVID-19 and coronavirus-related questions and keywords have increased more than 4,000% percent in the last six weeks. The public is looking for answers and guidance on what the effects of the pandemic will be in both the short and long term. You have the recommendations and solutions they seek. But are they finding your content?

They will be if your website has good SEO.

SEO, aka Search Engine Optimization, is an easy, free way to get your content in front of the people who are looking for it. In a nutshell, good SEO is about:

Here’s how to accomplish that:

1. Identify what coronavirus questions and concerns your audience is searching for.

Google Trends is a great place to start. Its coronavirus insights section identifies the top trending searches and questions each day, and even lets you dig into queries by state, allowing you to identify the information your audience is most interested in. You can also analyze specific keyword searches to see how your subject matter would fare.

2. Incorporate those search terms and phrases into your online content.

Incorporating keywords into your content is the best way to let search engines know what your content is about. Avoid nuance — if you’re talking about the coronavirus, don’t refer to it as “the current situation.” Be precise — Google’s algorithm is starting to consider context, but other search engines still rank pages by exact keywords, so your best bet is to integrate the popular keywords and search terms verbatim in your content.

When we say content, we’re not just talking about your article text, though that is an important part. You want to include keywords in every field the search engines are considering. This includes:

3. Don’t sacrifice quality

Readability trumps keywords in search engine rankings, so don’t garble your message to fit them all in. You can incorporate multiple keywords you want to be ranked for, so feel free to use a variety of “coronavirus” and “COVID-19” related terms to improve the flow of your articles. This will both broaden your reach and improve the quality of your writing.

Bonus Tip: Add visual appeal

Adding relevant, appealing images doesn’t impact search engine rankings, but it does improve the shareability of your content. Images make your content more interesting to read. Featured images also improve how your link appears when shared to social media.

More guidance on identifying and successfully incorporating keywords is available on the SPN Member Portal.

Categories: Best Practices
Organization: State Policy Network