Integrated Marketing and Communications Plan Example


The plan is the 2012-2013 OPS Dragon Boat Club Integrated Marketing and Communications Plan and reflects actual plans executed during the 2011-2012 dragon boat season.

OPS Dragon Boat Club Integrated Marketing and Communications Plan

Business Objective2011-09-11-GWN-Dragonflies-300x199

Introduce people to dragon boating for fun, health and wellness, and to allow members to meet and work with people from various ministries and backgrounds within the Ontario Public Service (OPS).

Organize teams for people in the sport of dragon boating to provide a fun and affordable experience and exposure to competitions and diversity of events.

Communications Objective

Raise awareness of the club and attract paddlers to join the club and register for club programs.

This objective is accomplished through the following goals:logo-square550x550-300x300

  1. Collect input from members and potential paddlers on their goals and wants to dragon boat programs and related events.
  2. Increase awareness of the club, its programs, and events. Provide information showing benefits of dragon boating including health, fun, and friendship.
  3. Provide information to attract people to register for the club’s programs and events.

The goal is SMART as outlined below:

Specific: Growth in registration and revenues by 5% assuming an additional team is created.
Measurable: Percentage change from 2011
Attainable: New teams were created with the 2012 season, allowing growth in registration and possibly revenues to occur.
Realistic: New teams can be formed given the size of the target audience. A new team of 20 people is small percentage of the possible audience estimated as 40,000 people.
Timely: 2012 calendar year (Dragon Boat season) is the evaluation time period.

ContextOPSDBC-Civil_Dragons_2011-300x199

The OPS Dragon Boat Club was formed in June 2002 by experienced dragon boat enthusiasts and people with a great spirit for health, team work, and fun. They were people from the Ontario Public Service (OPS) who wanted to introduce other people to dragon boating which is now one of the world’s fastest growing water sports.

Traditionally, the club forms several teams each year catering to beginners and experienced paddlers alike. The club is responsible for constructing the programs, gather funds from paddlers to pay for team expenses, and ensure continued operations of the club.

The club has since grown to include individuals from within and outside the OPS  (OPS Dragon Boat Club, 2011).

Target Audiences

OPS PeopleOPSDBC-Canada-Day-2012-Teams-960x960

These are people working for the Ontario Public Service (OPS) and often includes their friends and family. They are motivated by:

  • Team building activities
  • Health and wellness
  • Affordable and accessible sporting activities
  • Opportunities to meet other people in the same organization
  • Enjoy fun events with their colleagues

People in Toronto

Past survey results indicate many paddlers find that club through the internet and word of mouth from friends. These people usually live in Toronto and occasionally surrounding cities like Scarborough,
Mississauga, Oakville, Richmond Hill, Pickering, etc. and are actively looking the following things in dragon boating:

  • Beginner teamsToronto-Canada-Satellite-Image-300x271
  • Join friends they knew previously in the club
  • Teams that practiced through the summer season 1 to 2 times a week

These people commonly say the practice times, frequency, and price of the club programs fit the criteria they were looking for or searching online for.

Club Members

Previous members of the club, friends, and leaders of previous teams usually comprise about 50% or more of team registrations in a given year. They represent the core of the club and its teams and drive performance and consistency in the club’s operations.

Media

Media includes mainstream public media as well as corporate communications editors in the OPS.

Strategic Approach

Collect feedback > Assess existing communications > Build Awareness > Action on Promotional channels > Create a conversation > Improve Communicationsdeming-cycle

  1. Collect feedback from club executive, members, OPS staff, and team captains and coaches on how the club can improve and stay in touch or reach new paddlers. Find out how the club can achieve performance, social, and other goals of members
  2. Assess existing communications from the previous season. Use lessons learned compiled from executive members to develop improvements.
  3. Build awareness of the OPS Dragon Boat club to OPS staff and people looking in Toronto and surrounding areas for dragon boating .
  4. Communicate club materials, messages, events, regattas, programs, etc. to the target audiences.
  5. Provide channels for feedback to the club executive and team captains and coaches. Interact with paddlers to build a relationship lasting across seasons.
  6. Improve communications from year to year to extend reach, improve relevance, and match expectations of members and potential members.

Key Messages

Here is a selection of messages speaking to the club’s goals, approach, and history of operation (Tung, 2012).

Diversity – “In Toronto, the OPS Dragon Boat Club has 5 teams offering various practice times, competitiveness levels, and locations.”

Popularity of dragon boating – “Dragon boating is one of the fastest growing watersports since it is suitable for anyone.”

Accessibility and Open Nature of the Sport – “Our teams have had people in their 20s to 60s paddling and we welcome beginners and advanced paddlers alike on all teams.”

Team building – “Dragon boating is all about team work. There is no better feeling than when 20 paddlers cross the finish line as one cohesive team.”OPSDBC-Photostream-2012-960x629

Affordability – “All the club’s programs are at cost to ensure the lowest possible price for paddlers. We’ll work with you to arrange payments that are convenient to your schedule.”

For paddlers, by paddlers – “Experienced dragon boaters and enthusiasts are the ones running the club as volunteers and we welcome feedback and contributions from members.”

Tactics by Communications Objective

Utilize communication channels to collect feedback, communicate, build awareness, and promote the club’s programs and its improvement. Timings of tactics are based on a regular club season which usually begins in December with a new executive, goes into the New Year with active team programs in May to September, and a season closing period from October to November.

Objective: Collect Input

Description Vehicle & Audience Timing & Budget
Executive (exec) Meetings and Informal conversationsMeeting-on-the-beach-by-Racum-via-Flickr-300x213Discuss club planning and operations. Invite members, team captains, and previous executive members as needed. Much feedback is received simply from conversations people have at practices, regattas, and other club events to be described in other sections. Face to faceExecutive members, All club members, people attending events/regattas. Year round$0, requires meeting facility
Registration SurveysOPSDBC-registration-form-300x65Ask paddlers about how they heard about the club, their goals, and their needs for team programs.Surveys are counted as registration to a team and provide information to paddlers about payment, practices, etc. Online survey(e.g. Survey Monkey)Paddlers registering for programs April – June or longerFree or $125-228 annually for Survey Monkey account
Annual General Meeting (AGM)OPSDBC-AGM-2011-300x140Held at the end of the season, the AGM offers a place for: conversation, review of surveys, discussion of important issues and the future of the club, and recognizing people. Face to faceAll club members End of season$0 if event funded by members or TBD by exec, $20 for recognition materials, $100 for member rewards
Digital Channelscomputer-monitorContinuous feedback is possible in email, website forms, social media. See section below for details and links to the club website and social media channels.Traditionally email is the primary vehicle for feedback and comments through Facebook in 2012 is growing as a channel to push announcements and a place for conversation between paddlers and sharing media such as pictures and video. Online including website, email Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube*, Google+* Note* YouTube and Google+ channels have not been developed yet.Club members, People in Toronto, OPS staff Year round~$100.00+ annual website costs. Free for social media. $24.95 annually for Flickr account (optional)
End of Year surveyOPSDBC-2011-Survey-Results-300x111This survey is used evaluate paddler experiences, club programs, communications, and teams. The survey is not scientific, but is the top source of feedback with metrics.It offers discussion points with the exec and members. Online survey (e.g. Survey Monkey)All club members September to OctoberSurvey Monkey account, costs covered in registration tactic.

Objective: Distribute Information and Increase Awareness

Description Vehicle: Audience Timing & Budget
Email / Word of Mouthemail-credit-nounprojectSurveys consistently place email and word of mouth as the primary channels (greater than %50 versus other channels) of hearing about the club. Email is also the primary means of day to day and announcement based communications to and from members. Emails and word of mouth. Emails done via Google Apps)All audiences, especially previous club members Year round, specifically during promotion of events or teams.$10-30 for Domain/email hosting
Web ChannelsOPSDBCDigitalComms-Collage-300x300OPS Dragon Boat website and social media (OPS Dragon Boat Facebook page, Twitter, and Flickr) are used for the delivery of information that have been promoted via email and face to face communications.Web channels should be used with email, events, and physical media (e.g. posters) which will drive people to visit the websites.A digital communications plan can developed for an early season awareness campaign including blog articles, exec minutes and decisions, engaging photos, videos, email newsletters, annual chair’s/presidents message, seasonal (holiday, spring) messages, annual reports, and creative graphics. Later posts can contain program promotions (e.g. discounts) based on existing team registrations Online including website, email Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube*, Google+*, OPS Intranets and articlesPeople in Toronto (especially people searching on dragon boating), All audiences (especially younger people for social media) Year round~$100.00+ annual website costsFree for social media. $24.95 annually for Flickr account (optional)
Dragon Boat Information SessionsOPSDBC-Panel-Speakers-2012-300x169Historically the club as participated in a variety of information sessions held for other organizations like a Ministry division, a school, or sports showcase.These events provide an opportunity to promote the sport and the club’s teams. Face to face eventOPS staff usually, Toronto community Ideally early in season April to June$0, 5-10hours of preparation time for presenters

Objective: Attract Registration to Programs and Events

All tactics in the “Distribute Information and Increase Awareness” objective can be reused to also obtain registrations for programs (dragon boat teams) and events.

Tactics in this section are more specific as they describe communications and marketing essential to the success of teams and programs by obtaining registrations.

Description Vehicle & Audience Timing & Budget
Email / Word of Mouth Early Season Campaignemail-credit-nounprojectEmail, talking to, and phoning previous paddlers is a primary channel to encourage people to register for teams in the club. Emails usually include official information from the club exec on teams with registration links, waivers, and other information for paddlers. Email (can use Mail Chimp or manual) and phone callsPrevious club members Early to mid season March – June$10-30 for Domain/email  hosting
Club ShowcaseOPSDBC-2012-Showcase-showing-video-of-dragon-boat-with-presentation-in-background-300x165A whole or half day event centering on an informational presentation at lunch time in a public OPS space. Common agenda items are a raffle for a free membership, guest coaches/speakers, description of dragon boating and the club’s teams, and introductions of people involved in the club. Face to face, usually conducted in OPS provided spaceAll OPS staff, usually located in downtown Toronto near or at 900 Bay Street. March or before teams begin$0, promotional materials costs are covered under other channels
Digital AdvertisingAdWords-Campaign-Overview-300x222Facebook – Promote likes on the OPS Dragon Boat page, increasing reach of Facebook announcements and promoting conversation. Google AdWords (includes ads for Search, YouTube/Video, and Display Network with websites across the internet) – Keyword based advertising based on member survey data (e.g. dragon boat, Toronto, ashbridge’s bay, paddle) Online ads on Facebook, Google, and others if desiredPeople in Toronto and surrounding cities interested in dragon boating or similar sporting experience. March to May, Early Season$0 or TBD by exec., recommend $50 to $100 available from Google for new accounts for free.
Press Releases & Media KitOPSDBC-Press-Release-for-Showcase-300x221Opportunities for issuing announcements include the following: OPS Dragon Boat Club Showcase – issue release during early March, major OPS regattas (i.e. the Dominion Day Regatta) – issue release in June.OPS-Dragon-Boaters-showcase-their-sport-600x584-300x292Significant changes to teams or creation of new teams.Releases can be traditional or social media ones with videos of regattas, pictures of teams and races, graphics (logos, posters), and the club’s social media channels.The club frequently partners with OPS staff in certain teams to issue releases for OPS internal digital communications (e.g. EANG, ministry teams). Email, website, optionally newswireMedia, Internal OPS communications staff operating news intranets like Topical and Ministry intranets, Operators of funontario.ca and dragon boat news sites Early to mid season, See description$0
Promotional Materials, Signage, and other Physical MediaOPS-Dragon-Boat-Banner-960x402These materials complement face to face conversations and events and can include awards, medals, pictures, posters, brochures, banners, t-shirts, dragon boat equipment, lanyards, etc.Posters, brochures, and digital presentations (PowerPoint, PDF) have been the most popular forms of promotional communications. At the AGM, the exec usually presents recognition awards to outstanding padders, captains, and volunteers.Advantage of having signage is the opportunity to reuse it at events and regattas to aid in visibility of the club and help paddlers identify club branding and information. Physical media (see description), digital mediaAudiencePeople in Toronto and OPS staff in areas like offices, sports centers, gyms, dragon boat sites, learning events Year round, though mainly early to mid season$30-$50 or more depending on physical media to be printed.
Web ChannelsOPSDBCDigitalComms-Collage-300x300OPS Dragon Boat website needs to update audiences on these items as they change:

  • Teams and details like captains, members, practices, regattas, training camps
  • General information: about the club, executive, payments, practice sites, waivers,
  • News: new teams, changes
  • Social mediaUsed to push out messages and news on teams and events.
Online including website, email Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube*, Google+*, OPS Intranets and articlesPeople in Toronto (especially people searching on dragon boating), All audiences (especially younger people for social media) Year round~$100.00+ annual website costs. Estimate around 85+ hours need for website maintenance in year. Free for social media. $24.95 annually for Flickr account (optional)
Sponsorship and FundraisingOPSDBC-Season-Opener-Party-300x164Sponsorship and fundraising help manage costs and can be applied to the club, events, teams, or paddlers. Sponsorship can be in the form of a team or regatta/event. Fundraising has traditionally been done through selling tickets to a club organized event and selling small items towards keeping costs low for paddlers. Online, Face to Face, Website pages, eventsAll club members, friends/family of members Year roundResult in money ($) collected by the club related to communications activities.

Evaluationbar-graph-with-statistics-and-metrics-300x152

Key Measures

  • Awareness based on communication channel – surveys of members – “How did you hear about the club?”
  • Awareness and effectiveness of material measured using methodology below.
  • Follows in social media and and correspondence generated by promotional events.

MethodologyGoogle-Analytics-Report-with-graphy-of-visitors-300x221

  • Registration and End of Year Surveys
  • Email campaign tracking (requires free tools like Mail Chimp)
  • Web analytics on engagement (requires free tools like Google Analytics on website):
    • Time spent on information
    • Bounce Rate
    • Information accessed and their metrics
    • Unique visitors, Referral sources
    • Growth of key metric,
    • Conversion goals (e.g. registration page clicks, payments).

Communications Report from 2012

Web We Built

*Every* website page has been improved Amounts to 85+ hours just for web content development, not including many hours spent reviewing and improving pages after initial publication.
Correspondence & Events regularly done with target audiences.
We’ve published articles promoting dragon boating and monitor websites and hold events which include the dragon boat showcase and panel events for an OPS audiences and reach out to the dragon boat community for joint events and races.
We use multiple media channels to maximize our reach and level of interaction This practice is core to strategic communications and best demonstrated by the Ontario Government and Dragon Boat Canada. Every communication channel including the website, email, OPS intranets, events, Facebook, Twitter, etc. is important to the organization and takes time to develop.

Achievements for 2012 season compared to 2011

  • 20% growth in registrations (counted from team registrations) and member base.
  • 6% growth in revenues based on preliminary calculations from 3rd quarter figures. Note the club is run as a cost recovery organization, so growth in revenues reflects a growth in sales and possibly operating expenses over time.
  • 47.3% of team registrations are from people that hear about the club from web channels (website, social media, intranets) which do not include email.
  • 20% increase in website visits from 1900 to 2300 in the last half of the 2012 season.
  • 70% growth in followers on both Facebook and Twitter from the beginning of the 2012 season to end of 2012 season.
  • 9,400+ people can engage with the club in the club’s Facebook posts.
  • 80 people looked at event photos for Canada Day 2012 on Flickr – almost 50% of the people at the event itself.

Bibliography

Center, A. H., Jackson, P., Smith, S., & Stansberry, F. (2008). Public Relations Practicies. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education.

OPS Dragon Boat Club. (2011). About Us. Retrieved September 6, 2012, from OPS Dragon Boat Club: http://opsdragonboat.homestead.com/2011/2011AboutUs.html

Tung, J. (2012, March 19). OPS Dragon Boaters to Showcase 2012 Programs. Retrieved 07 03, 2012, from OPS Dragon Boat: http://opsdragonboat.homestead.com/2012/2012-OPS-Dragon-Boat-Showcase.html

Wilcox, D. L., & Cameron, G. T. (2012). Public Relations Strategies and Tactics (10th ed.). Toronto: Pearson Education, Inc.

About this Plan

The plan was written by the OPS Dragon Boat Club communications coordinator Justin Tung in 2012. The plan aims to make future communications for the organization easier by planning common goals/messages, ways to communicate, budgets, schedules, and recording how the club has operated in the past.

It incorporates lessons learned by the club from event planning, writing press releases, website development and operations, social media community management, and good practices in PR, marketing, and communications.

Digital Communications Plan Example


The plan outlines the OPS Dragon Boat Club digital communications for 2012 which is part of the club’s larger integrated marketing and communication planning (IMC plan).

Digital Channelsopsdragonboatclub-Twitter-295x300

The following are suggest channels the club should create for a diversified social media presence

  • Yelp! – create for where the club has an address or will have majority of its practices
  • LinkedIn – create a new company page with the re-branding of the club
  • Foursquare – create general page and locations for where the club has an address or will have majority of its practices
  • Google Places – create for where the club has an address or will have majority of its practices (e.g. Balmy Beach Canoe Club)opsdragonboatclub-geo-location
  • Pinterest – create page for club and boards like paddling technique, practices, regattas, people (paddlers, coaches, etc.)
  • Instagram – Create an account for your biz and upload pictures relating to your store, service, etc – try posting at least once a week and make sure your information on your profile is completely filled out.
  • Google+ Page with general information similar to the website
  • YouTube – create channel to host introduction video of club (contains races, interviews, and dragon boat showcase from OPS Spirit initiative), feeds on videos posted by paddlers, races from regattas

Thanks to Liz Oke for suggesting channels for local businesses to attract customers online.

Website Content

  1. General club information about teams, people, payment, history, practice sites, regattas, training camps, and contact forms.
  2. Early season awareness articles: President’s message, about coaches, about the season and its regattas, training that happened in winter.
  3. Executive minutes, decisions, or info targeted to paddlers (email communications)
  4. Multimedia: video, photos, podcasts
  5. Newsletters
  6. Annual report / Annual general meeting materials
  7. Program promotions (discounts, new teams)
  8. Late articles season: AGM, Winter training
  9. Off season articles: Holiday message, club updates (e.g. we’re working hard on next year’s plan, any feedback is welcome, what does next year look like?)

Use an editorial calendar to plan the timing of these messages.

Digital Assets

Photos and videos from 2002 onwards

Media is stored on a variety of platforms and shared document folders listed below.

  • Official club video showcasing paddlers, interviews with athletes, and club initiatives and competitions.
  • Photos from fundraising, showcase, lunch and learn, AGM, and regatta events.

Domains

  • opsdragonboat.ca = current club domain, managed in combination with Google Apps
  • opsdbc.ca = old domain circa 2002 to 2011

Shared Documents

Includes past meeting minutes, photos, and club administration documents.

  • Google Apps account for both domains listed above
  • Shared Dropbox Folder

Bibliography

Oke, L. (2012, November 4). Local Bricks and Mortar Business Listings – some tips on attracting customers online. Retrieved November 30, 2012, from Liz Oke Inc.: http://www.lizoke.com/your-business-listed-online/

About this Plan

The plan was written by the OPS Dragon Boat Club communications coordinator Justin Tung in 2012. The plan aims to make future communications for the organization easier by planning common goals/messages, ways to communicate, budgets, schedules, and recording how the club has operated in the past.

It incorporates lessons learned by the club from event planning, writing press releases, website development and operations, social media community management, and good practices in PR, marketing, and communications.

Inspirations for Your Jane’s Walk


Going on a Jane’s Walk this May 2014, leading a walk, or planning a walk?

Get inspired by these visualizations below of the Technology, Arrivals, Gender, and First Nations walkshops (workshops, no walk though) held by Jane’s Walk Toronto over the last few months. The themed walkshops had speakers and brainstorms about people, resources, and organizations related to those themes.

Walker? – Get an idea of what you might see on your walk and questions that come up for people in the city.

Walk Leader/Volunteer? These visualizations will give you ideas on questions to ask, places to see, and how to plan and what to do your on walk.

While drawing the visualizations at each walkshop, I learned a lot about Toronto, how to plan awesome walk, and heard about people and organizations doing great stuff in the city.

See you out on a Jane’s Walk and if you’re interested in water and nature in the city, join me on my walk called “A Raindrop’s Journey in Rosedale Valley“!

Click on each image to see a larger version.

Technology Walkshop 2014 held by Jane's Walk

Arrivals Walkshop 2014 held by Jane's Walk

Gender Walkshop 2014 held by Jane's Walk

First Nations Walkshop 2014 held by Jane's Walk

Start with a Plan to Market Your Product

Start with a Plan to Market Your Product


When promoting an organization, service, product, person, or event, you must start from a plan outlining goals, people you want to engage, and what you plan to do.

When working with people on communications I always ask them whether they have a plan. Following a plan will ensure you meet your goals whether it is to raise awareness, change your audience’s behaviour, build relationships, or reinforce desired behaviour.

Here is an outline for a integrated marketing and communications plan which includes concepts practiced by people from strategic communications, marketing, and public relations.

  1. Organization’s goal and communications goal
  2. Context / Situation
  3. Target Audiences
  4. Strategic Approach, Key Messages
  5. Tactics (schedule, communication channels, budget, actions)
  6. Evaluation (metrics)

You can start a integrated marketing and communications plan template with these headings and fill in details as you go. Usually the tactics section will be large since it is a detailed plan of actions you will take and how they relate to your goals and audiences.

Here is an example integrated marketing and communications plan from a mid-sized sport organization if you are looking what a plan can contain.

4 Steps to Optimize a Website with Keywords

4 Steps to Optimize a Website with Keywords


Want to make it easier for people to find your website? Use these 4 steps.

People find things online using search. One of the ways you can ensure you show up in their search results is with keywords which are similar or exactly the same as what people are searching for. Keywords should be relevant to your organization and what you do, so you get the right people visiting your website.

Case Study for Examples shown in Italics
Anita is a clothing shop owner and wants to enhance her website with keywords so potential customers will find her online. Anita owns a retail children’s clothing business in the city of Oakville called Anita’s Cloth for Kids.

Step 1: Set a Goal

Before researching keywords, you should determine your goals and its relationships to the website. Ask yourself what is your organization’s goal and how does it relate to the website?

For a retail business, a website will sell goods. For a charity, a website aids in awareness building and donation collection. For government, a website informs the public and provides services.

Anita’s Cloth for Kids has the goal to market and sell clothing products, hence the website goal will be to increase revenue growth due to leads or sales from the online clothing store website.

Step 2: Who is your Target Audience?

Children's clothing on display in store

photo credit: slapjack

Determine what kind of people you want to visit your website to achieve your goal. In the case of a retail business, it would be consumers and in the case of a charity, it would be people that donate and for government it would be citizens looking for information on a topic area.

Anita has identified young mothers as the people most likely to contact her or buy clothing via the website. Other potential people are:

  • Family, mothers, and fathers of young children.
  • Residents of the geographical area where the store is physically located.
  • People looking for gifts for young children

Step 3: Research Keywords

Step in the shoes of people in step 2 think about what they want and what they would search on.

Having trouble thinking of keywords? Try these methods:

  • Visit websites related to your organization (blogs, competitor websites) to get keyword ideas.
  • Use the Google keyword tool to pick up keywords on your websites and related sites. One technique is point the tool to Wikipedia page related to your organization and what it does.
  • Most website data collectors and analytics will tell you popular keywords of your visitors.

Expand your initial list to include words that people might use including synonyms, stems, and related keywords. The expanded list will help you vary your web content and avoid repetition.

To come up with keywords, Anita did the following:

  • She knew past customers used search phrases like “buy sweater 9 year old Oakville”
  • She visited clothing magazine websites and online children’s stores and noted down reoccurring themes and keywords.
  • She used the Google keyword tool on topics and websites ranging from children, pre-teen, to clothing.
  • Using a thesaurus and results the keyword tool, Anita expanded her keywords list to include similar words.

Step 4: Put the Keywords on Your Website

Using the keywords you found in step 3, you can enhance your website by placing those keywords in your website. Placing those keywords in your website is one of the techniques of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO means making your website better for search engines to read and the result is the people looking for you and what you do using search engines can find your website easier.

You can approach keyword SEO in two ways:

Improving your website as a whole

Use Meta Information

In libraries, we find books using information about a book in an index or online search. This information about the book is called meta information and describes the book like its title, author, category, etc. Web pages also have meta information where you can include your keywords and things about your organization to help others find the page.

You can read more about the meta elements of web pages and the technical details to add this information to your page, especially if you know HTML. Some web publishing platforms will manage this meta information for you based on your input.

Organize Your Website

  • Choose meaningful titles for your pages.
  • Use keywords in a logical order that they might be searched on.
  • Look at the navigation and key links on your pages. These links should contain keywords and action verbs (e.g. buy, learn, contact).

Improving individual pages

When looking at single pages, place keywords in the following areas:

  • Headings
  • Links
  • Bolded text
  • Media descriptions/names (images, video, transcripts, audio)

These keywords make it easier for a visitor to scan the page and for a search engine read it and find what it is about. Make sure the keywords

Anita made the following changes on her store’s website:

  • New navigation links were added for Pre-teen clothing, Gift Ideas, Clothing On Sale.
  • Text for links to product pages contain the full product name.
  • Descriptions were added to pictures of each clothing product
  • Product pages contain the following information:
    • Name of the product
    • Age category
    • Name and location of the store
    • Example: Sweaters – 6-9 year olds – Anita’s Cloth for Kids Oakville

Standard meta information was added to every web page. See the code below.

<meta name="dc.title" content="<page name here> - Anita’s Cloth for Kids Oakville" />
<meta name="dc.format" content="text/html" />
<meta name="dc.description" content="Website of the Anita’s clothing store for children in Oakeville, Ontario" />
<meta name="Description" content=" Website of the Anita’s clothing store for children in Oakeville, Ontario." />
<meta name="dc.creator" content="Anita’s Cloth" />

All Done, Now What?

After applying the SEO keyword techniques in the 4 steps, monitor your website to:

  • Find new keywords and popular ones
  • Find out who is visiting your website
  • See what people are searching for when they land on your website

A popular tool to monitor your website traffic is Google Analytics. Some publishing platforms like WordPress will provide you with similar information.

After the improvements, search for your website using the keywords and phrases you have to see your ranking. You can see who is higher than you and check out their website for ideas to improve.

Anita integrated Google Analytics on her website so she could observe popular keywords and information about the people visiting her store website. She discovered popular items people browsed and searched for. Using this data, she enhanced the product pages for the popular items and made offers on other products to attract more visitors.

Using These Steps for Good

Only use keywords that are relevant to your organization and what you do. Here are two reasons why:

  1. Including keywords relevant to your organization ensures the right people you want to come to your site instead of just anyone. Doing that increases your position in search results since you are relevant and reduces the load on your website, ensuring visitors get the best possible experience.
  2. It is unethical to place irrelevant or misleading keywords in your website. If search engines like Google and Bing find out you are doing it, they will decide to ban you from search results like Google did to BMW in 2006 and then no one will be able to find you.