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  • Woolf Pack

What Are Words

What to do when common search terms are outdated language

When developing a keyword list to boost your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts for your website, you want to use the words and phrases you think most people are searching for when they Google something related to your area of expertise. For example, if you run a weekend local farmer’s market, your SEO list would include things like your city and state and phrases like “farmer’s market,” “local market,” “weekend market,” and “local produce.”

As our society advances, however, our language changes. Increasingly, we are realizing the power our words have and adjusting them to be more restful, humanizing, and compassionate.

This has been especially true for the field of human services.

For example, when we developed a new website for a local DC organization supporting veterans experiencing homelessness, we faced a crossroad:

The language we use to talk about people experiencing homelessness has changed drastically over the years.

We’re moving away from the stigmatized “homeless person” to a person-first situational description. “Person experiencing homelessness” and “unhoused person” are much more respectful ways to describe individuals living without permanent housing. But they do pose a conundrum when it comes to SEO.

Should you use updated language when composing your SEO list? Or should you use the phrases that are more common and more likely to be Googled?

The right answer is… both!

Your website is your most important product, and one that needs to be regularly updated to ensure it is consistent with best practices, current trends, and your brand. Likewise, your SEO should be regularly reevaluated and updated according to changes in language and trends in your search analytics.

Woolf can help you update your website, generate and implement SEO best practices, and analyze your search data. Reach out to us today!

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