“Keywords” are the words and phrases people type into a search engine. Surfacing popular keywords on your website’s pages helps search engines understand the content of those pages. For instance, when a user searches for “hiking,” your page is more likely to show up if it actually uses the work “hiking” in its content.

Using single words is just the beginning. You’ll want to start using longer, more detailed keywords and phrases as well, such as “mountain hiking trails.” These are more likely to be useful searches to the user, because they’re more specific and help search engines deliver results based on user intent. That is, a search for “cub scouts” and a search for “find cub scouts near me” show very different intent on the part of the user.

(Note: if you are looking for Cub Scouts near you, a great place to start is BeAScout.org)

Similarly, using related keywords will help the search engine narrow down exactly what your page is for. If your page is about local hiking trails, you might include keywords like “park hours” or “local wildlife” that could reasonably be associated with your actual content.

The trick with keywords is striking a balance between those that are specific enough to be useful, those that get a lot of searches. This is called keyword research and is an ongoing process that could be amended and updated endlessly.

However, since realistically it’s not something everyone has the time to do, we’ve done some preliminary research for you. Click here for some basic high volume keywords across a variety of topics. These are terms that are being searched across the country, so performance in local markets may vary. But they will at least give you something to start with.

Finally, there are a number of places you can include keywords beyond the actual text on a website, such as title tags, meta descriptions, and image alt text, among others.