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Karen Reynolds

    Here are some ideas from my daughter Elizabeth, who has worked in the SEO (search engine optimization) field.

    When thinking about Google rankings, it’s helpful to understand that Google is an AI that ‘reads’ your web page, and it can only understand what you are feeding it. Google reads the coding of your page behind the scenes to understand what a page is about, and then ranks how your page will show up for different keyword combinations in the search bar. As a result, words you use more often are given more weight.

    Therefore, a page all about your lake, but not mentioning the lake’s name or location, will not be ranked for those words. Google can only understand what you feed it. In this example, the words “rock”, “lake”, “Wisconsin/WI” need to exist, and show up often on the page in order to rank highly.

    It might seem strange to be repeatedly mentioning the name of the lake on the page, but there are some tricks to using the keywords more often without sounding ridiculous. Remember, most people will not be reading every single word on the page, so a bit of repetition is fine.

    Here are some tips on how to work the name and location of your lake into the page more often.

    Page Names
    The names of all your pages could include the words you want ranked. Instead of having the page be called ‘Management Plan’, or ‘Information’, make them ‘Rock Lake Management Plan’, or ‘Rock Lake Information’. Even your contact page can be named ‘Rock Lake Contact Info.’

    Words in headers/titles on pages are weighted more heavily than regular text. Including the words as often as you can without sounding ridiculous is important.

    Images are a great place to use words you want to rank for. The actual name of the image in your Media Library (i.e. Rock Lake, WI Sunset) will be read by Google’s engine, so adding Rock Lake to the name of every image will help.

    Within the library you can also add ‘tags’ to the picture, which should include both the words and their combinations (i.e. rock, lake, rock lake). To add a tag to an image in your Media Library, go to Media > Library and click on the name of an image. Scroll down and on the right-hand side of your screen, under Categories, you will see a section for Tags. Add the words and their combinations to the Tags section and click Add.

    When linking to other pages in your website, the words that are hyperlinked (i.e., colored differently) will weigh more heavily toward the destination page’s ranking. For example, if you link to your lake management plan from your homepage, using the words Rock Lake Management Plan to create the link will weigh in that page’s ranking.

    Hopefully this helps your site to start ranking higher. Keep in mind it may take a bit for Google to ‘reread’ the page and re-rank it for keywords, but this should get you on your way.