Fun with keywords

As part of my new job at Golden Gate Audubon Society, I’m in charge of the organization’s Facebook page and web site. So I’ve been poking around and gradually teaching myself about social media.

No one at GGAS had ever paid any attention to keywords — the phrases that people type into Google when they’re searching for something. Keywords are useful for organizations or businesses to know, because they allow you to tailor the writing on your web site to show up more prominently when people search for phrases related to your niche.

In the case of Golden Gate Audubon, people might be searching for our actual name. Or for something like “Bay Area bird watching.”

Google’s AdWords program lets you figure out how often people search for particular keywords or phrases. You can do this for free even if you’re not going to buy any ads from them.

So I started with phrases like “Bay Area bird watching” but then branched out just for fun. Here is how often, on average, people in the United States search for the following phrases each month:

  • Golden Gate Audubon Society – 480 searches
  • Bay Area bird watching – 140 searches
  • Bird watching – 49,500 searches
  • Ilana DeBare – 46 searches
  • Sam Schuchat – 28 searches (HA! I beat you, Sam!)
  • DeBare – 720 searches
  • Schuchat – 2,400 searches (Sam’s revenge)
  • Midlife bat mitzvah – <10 searches
  • Adult bat mitzvah – 260 searches
  • Julia Morgan School for Girls – 590 searches
  • Temple Sinai Oakland – 720 searches
I also looked up the title of my book on girls’ schools, Where Girls Come First, and found that it was generating 390 searches per month. But I suspect that number may be artificially inflated by people searching for a less pedagogical meaning of those words. Google sometimes offers you suggestions of related keyword phrases, and in this case it suggested both “ilana debare” and “orgasm games.”

In any case, this is all interesting and fun and maybe even ego-boosting — huh! 46 utter strangers are trying to find out about me every month! —  until you put in something like “Lady Gaga” and see that she incurs 5 million monthly searches.

That’s nationally.

When you look at her global figure, it’s 24,900,000.


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2 Responses to “Fun with keywords”

  1. alanterra Says:

    Well, I thought I had a dirty mind, but I never thought of that double-entendre for your book’s title!

    I’m pretty sure that Google will donate ad-words to a non-profit.

    — Alan

    • Ilana DeBare Says:

      Yes, Google does offer free advertising to nonprofits. At some point I’ll get around to trying that for GGAS — maybe for one of our speaker series events, or for field trips.

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