This is the second article in an ongoing Outreach Tip series on SEO and Neighborhood Councils. Successful search engine optimization is driven by keywords and phrases that are correctly chosen and applied. This week, we talk about how to choose the right keywords to help your stakeholders find you online.

If you haven’t yet read Part 1 in this series, which talks about what search engines are and what Neighborhood Councils should or should not be concerned about with SEO, check it out here.

Creating a list of keywords that are specific to your region or which reference Neighborhood Councils is a great place to start, because these words can be used in any and all of your web and social media content. Our article on how to use hashtags contains a list of suggested general keywords for Neighborhood Councils, and gives tips on choosing the right regional keywords.

Other keywords that will draw traffic to you are the kind of words a stakeholder might use to search for tasks and services that your Council can help them with. Keywords and phrases of this kind are important, because while not everyone in Los Angeles has heard of Neighborhood Councils yet, everyone who lives or does business in Los Angeles can benefit from their services. So, for example, someone may be looking for info on how to get a pothole filled in Boyle Heights.

Different people use different words to describe the same things. Because of this, when you’re creating keyword lists, you’ll connect with more people if you use a variety of words and phrases related to the same subject matter.

One example that’s relevant to any Neighborhood Council is the concept of public safety. Some people talk about “emergency preparedness;” others talk about “disaster preparedness.” Some folks are focused on specific types of emergencies, like earthquakes or fires. Or they might be concerned about preparedness for the disabled, the elderly, or for pets. Some people are trying to find out how to create a preparedness plan; others are trying to gather materials for an emergency kit.

Using the example above, here’s a list of keywords and phrases relevant to the topic of public safety:

  • Public safety
  • Emergency/emergencies
  • Emergency preparedness
  • Disaster preparedness
  • Kit/Kits
  • Plan/plans
  • Checklist/checklists
  • Asset mapping
  • Earthquake/earthquakes
  • Fire/fires
  • Prepper/preppers (a term often used by those who store food and supplies for emergencies)
  • Pet/pets
  • Elderly
  • Children/child
  • Kids/kid
  • Babies/baby
  • Disabled

Note how both the singular and plural forms of keywords were included here. Since the plural and singular versions of a word are treated as totally different entities when using keywords as social media hashtags, it’s good to get in the habit of thinking of them that way.

Of course, you should only use the words relevant to what your Council does with public safety. If you don’t do asset mapping, for example, don’t bother to include it in your public safety-related content, because you won’t be able to offer any information or assistance to someone who’s searching for that service.

Next week, we’ll talk about how to use the lists of keywords and phrases you’ve generated in your web and social media content to improve your Neighborhood Council’s SEO.


Outreach Tip Of The Week is an ongoing series on using communications, branding, marketing, and public relations to build better relationships with your stakeholders. Send your outreach questions to for the chance to be featured in a future Outreach Tip article.